Education & Schools
Online Schools Ashworth College and James Madison High School launch new Refer-A-Friend program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Richard Orr   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:07
Up to $100 per year for students, graduates who help others save on tuition

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Georgia – April 18, 2012 – Ashworth College ( and James Madison High School, leading online schools, today launched a new program that allows its students and graduates to earn cash back when they refer friends and colleagues to an Ashworth or James Madison program.

Ashworth College and James Madison High School students and graduates will be rewarded with $50 for every friend they refer who then enrolls and remains a student for 30 days. They can earn up to $100 per calendar year friends via a direct mail offer, email, Facebook, or Twitter.

“With the cost of college at an all time high, we want to introduce as many people as possible to affordable alternatives an online education with Ashworth College and James Madison High School can offer,” said Dr. Leslie Gargiulo, Vice Ashworth College President of Education. “This program is just one way to show our appreciation to our loyal students and graduates who have
spread the word about their successes as online students in an Ashworth or JMHS program.”

Ashworth College and James Madison High School have built a tradition of excellence spanning 25 years, offering students worldwide more than 115 online college degrees, online certificate programs and online high school diploma options that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of working adults. Ashworth also offers military education online as well as specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.

“Ashworth College has been a great way for me to get a quality education while saving money, and I appreciate them giving me little extra for spreading the word, which I would be doing anyway,” said Denai Chuchran who recently graduated with an Ashworth College Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. “Every little bit of extra cash helps me stretch my dollars even more.”

About Ashworth College

Headquartered in Peachtree Corners, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. James Madison High School is further accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). For more information, visit


Iowa State Education Association elects new president at 2012 Delegate Assembly PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jean Hessburg   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 11:54

DES MOINES, IA (04/17/2012)(readMedia)-- Tammy Wawro, an educator serving as the Resolution Team Facilitator in the Cedar Rapids School District and as the Cedar Rapids Education Association president, was elected the Iowa State Education Association's (ISEA) new president Thursday, April 12, by the nearly 300 delegates who attended the ISEA's annual meeting in Des Moines.

Wawro has been involved in a variety of Association roles throughout her career including serving as vice president of the ISEA for the last four years.

Wawro received National Board Certification in 1999. She received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1995 and a master's degree in educational technology in 2002.

"Tammy will make an excellent president," said outgoing ISEA president Chris Bern. "She has all of the qualities that make her an outstanding leader for the 21st century. She is committed to giving teachers the tools and resources they need and ensuring that every student has a quality teacher in the classroom. Tammy knows it takes a strong partnership to improve our schools and is determined to work with political leaders, administrators, parents, teachers, students, and the community at large to make sure it happens," added Bern. "The ISEA is in great hands with Tammy leading."

"I am excited to work with all of the talented members who make up the ISEA and humbled by the years of experience and expertise that exists within our ranks. With the combined strength of our membership and the knowledge in our profession, we are an integral part of any discussion about education today. The ISEA is the leading voice in education, and I will make sure we are at any table where discussions are taking place," said Wawro.

Also newly elected at ISEA's annual meeting is vice president elect, Mike Beranek, an elementary teacher from Western Hills Elementary School in West Des Moines.

The ISEA is a professional association made up of nearly 34,000 educators dedicated to supporting and protecting a quality public education for all Iowa students. Great Education. It's an Iowa Basic!

Simon to hold new round of Classrooms First hearings PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:17

Public input solicited on school district efficiency recommendations


SPRINGFIELD – April, 17, 2012. The Classrooms First Commission is seeking public input on a set of draft recommendations approved Tuesday that would make it easier for school districts to consolidate and help them save up to $1 billion in operations costs by sharing services, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said.


Four public hearings are slated to begin Thursday evening in Champaign and will inform the final recommendations delivered to the Governor and General Assembly in July. The remaining hearings will be located in Carbondale, Chicago Heights and Rockford through the end of April.


“I look want to hear from citizens across the state as the commission finalizes its recommendations on school district efficiency and effectiveness,” said Simon, who chairs the Classrooms First Commission. “Educators, parents and taxpayers helped develop these recommendations, and I urge them to remain involved as the commission begins the final stage of its work.”


No districts would be forced to consolidate under the draft recommendations, but the state would require counties with small and declining school-age populations to study whether county-wide consolidation or sharing services would save money and boost learning. Other draft recommendations include:


  • allowing compact but not contiguous districts to consolidate; currently districts must be compact and contiguous
  • expanding the regional board of school trustees dissolution authority, by allowing local districts with under 750 enrollment to seek dissolution with or without a referendum; currently this is an option for districts serving communities with under 5,000 people
  • piloting a new capital project list that targets school construction money at districts willing to consolidate and that are in need of new buildings, additions, and/or building renovations
  • phasing in lower local tax rates for new unit districts; currently, elementary and high school districts become a lower, unit taxing district immediately after consolidating
  • requiring counties with small and declining school-age populations to conduct efficiency studies that could lead to shared services, district mergers, or even county-wide districts; 12 counties currently have county-wide districts and another 16 counties have small and declining student populations, according to state and federal population projections through 2030
  • authorizing the Illinois State Board of Education to provide a web-based resource management program to districts to help them identify up to $1 billion in instruction, transportation, food services, administration and facility maintenance savings


The Classrooms First Commission is a bi-partisan group of education stakeholders that was charged last fall by Governor Quinn and the General Assembly to reduce duplicative education spending and improve educational outcomes. It reviewed several paths and collected input from hundreds of Illinois educators and taxpayers through public hearings and an online survey to create the draft recommendations that were approved for release Tuesday afternoon.


The second round of public hearings will provide citizens an opportunity to bring their ideas on the draft recommendations directly to commission members. Attendees will be given five minutes for oral testimony and speaking slots will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Individuals are also permitted to provide written testimony.


To view a live-stream of the public hearings or submit online comments on the recommendations, please visit




DATE: Thursday, April 19

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Parkland College, Room D244, 2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign


DATE: Friday, April 20

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Southern Illinois University, Student Health Center Auditorium, 374 East Grand Avenue, Carbondale


DATE: Thursday, April 26

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Prairie State College, Conference Center Auditorium, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights


DATE: Monday, April 30

TIME: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Rock Valley College, Woodward Technology Center, Room 117-121, 3301 North Mulford Road, Rockford



Clear Writing: It’s All About the Reader PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:57
Experts Share Tips for Math, Science, Tech Professionals

With the recent focus on reviving the economy by nurturing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students, one might conclude there’s little economic value in honing a basic skill like writing.

Not true, say Stephanie Roberson Barnard and Deborah St James, authors of Listen. Write. Present.:The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology (Yale University Press; 2012), They cite the American Society for Engineering Education in which researchers ranked technical writing No. 2 in a list of 38 necessary skills for engineers.

Engineers aren’t the only ones who need to write effectively in order to get ahead says Barnard, a communications consultantwho specializes in training medical professionals to speak and write clearly and persuasively. A recent ad for a pharmacist read, “Clinical Pharmacist: Strong Writing Skills Required!” Basically every job in the science and technology fields today requires effective writing skills, she says.

“Whether you’re requesting funds for a research project, a loan for a business venture, or writing a cover letter, resume,or abstract, you’ll want to write with confidence and conviction,” says St. James, deputy director of publications and communications for a biotech company in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, science-rich educations often leave little room for students to learn how to craft a strong written message. They suggest you ask yourself four questions before you start any written communication:

• Is it reader based? Ask yourself who are my readers? Are they colleagues or people outside my field? What do they know? What do they need to know? How can I best present the material to these readers? Knowing who your reader is will help you decide what words to use and exactly how much detail is needed.

• Is it purposeful? Your second question should be, Why am I writing this? Today we live in an over-communicated society: emails, text messages, tweets, ads, letters, newspapers, magazines, books. In fact, most of what we write no one reads. Make sure every word is useful and relevant to every one of your intended readers.

• Is it clear and concise? Generally, the cause of unclear writing is too many words. Many writers will read a long, rambling sentence they’ve written, and to clarify it they’ll write another long, rambling sentence to clarify the first one. Big mistake. If a sentence is unclear, take words out. Be wary of long sentences, unclear antecedents, poor transitions, jargon, clichés, and an alphabet soup of acronyms.

• Is it correct? Nothing puts the kibosh on a grant application, business plan, or resume faster than grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors. Choose a good dictionary and a reputable style guide for your trade or industry and use it consistently. A style guide is a good investment that will answer questions on grammar, punctuation, and word usage. It will help you appear polished, professional, and well-educated.

Finally, St James and Barnard suggest two final tips to improve your writing:

• Read more: You’ll increase your vocabulary and see how other writers craft sentences and argue points to make those points more effective. Good choices for reading material: general non-fiction, scholarly journals, and award-winning books specific to your trade.

• Practice: Writing is a skill. The more you do it, using the suggestions above, the better you will become.

About Stephanie Roberson Barnard & Deborah St James

Stephanie Roberson Barnard hastrained thousands of pharmaceutical industry professionals on how to be more effective speakers, writers and communicators. She has also coached hundreds of health-care professionals on presentation skills for FDA hearings, CFO reports and scientific speaker programs, as well as national and international congresses. Her clients include AstraZeneca, Bayer Corporation, WL Gore and BoehringerIngelheim. This is her second Yale Press book collaboration with Deborah St James.

Deborah St James is Deputy Director of Publications and Scientific Communications at Grifols. She has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for more than 20 years. Prior to her current position, she was Bayer Corporation’s senior manager for national sales training in the pharmaceutical division. She is a former college English instructor and Senior Editor of Better Healthmagazine.

Sarah Johnson of Davenport Named in 2012 Edition of Who's Who PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ashley Smith   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:54

HUNTINGTON, IN (04/17/2012)(readMedia)-- Sarah Johnson, a senior at Huntington University, has been included in the 2012 edition of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Campus nominating committees and editors of the annual directory have included the names of these students based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success.

Johnson, a senior journalism and English major from Davenport, IA, joins an elite group of students from more than 2,000 institutions of higher learning in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign nations.

Outstanding students have been honored in the annual directory since it was first published in 1934.

Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and has listed the university as one of America's Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its "Best in the Midwest" list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

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