Education & Schools
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by TheLink Delivery Service   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:54

Baldwin City, Kan. - More than 700 undergraduate, graduate and nursing students at Baker University received their degrees during commencement ceremonies Dec. 17-18 at the Collins Center.  Among the graduates is Kelsey Jurkowski of Bettendorf, Iowa with a Master of Business Administration.

Baker, the first university in Kansas, has been listed among the top schools in the Midwest in the annual college rankings by U.S. News & World Report, and selected as a top school in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. Baker has been named one of the top 100 Best Values in Private Universities by Kiplinger's Personal for combining outstanding quality with affordability.

The University serves nearly 4,000 students through the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education undergraduate programs in Baldwin City; the School of Nursing in Topeka; the School of Professional and Graduate Studies in Overland Park, Kan.; Topeka, Kan.; Wichita, Kan.; and Kansas City, Mo.; Lee's Summit, Mo.; and the School of Education in Overland Park.

Local Students make Dean's Lists PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by TheLink Delivery Service   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:48

The following local students were named to the Dean's List at Gustavus Adolphus College:

Carla DeWit and Kelsey Francis, both of Bettendorf, and Samantha Good  of Rock Island.

Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college in St. Peter, Minn., that prepares 2,500 undergraduates for lives of leadership, service, and lifelong learning. The oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota, Gustavus was founded in 1862 by Swedish immigrants and named for Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. At Gustavus, students receive personal attention in small-sized classes and engage in collaborative research with their professors. Fully accredited and known for its strong science, writing, music, athletics, study-abroad, and service-learning programs, Gustavus hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference.



IOWA FALLS, IOWA - One hundred thirty-nine students have been named to the Fall 2011 (August to December) Dean's List at Ellsworth Community College. To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must have taken 12 or more credit hours during the semester (a full-time class load) and have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average while attending ECC classes in Iowa Falls or online. Part-time students are not included in this list. The staff and administration congratulate these students for their academic excellence.  Among the students awarded is Austin Smith of Davenport.



WHITEWATER, WI - The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater announced more than 2,900 students were named to the fall 2011 Dean's List. To be eligible for the honor, students must have a 3.4 semester grade point average with a minimum of 12 semester credits and no grades lower than a "C."  Brooke M. Marriott of Moline was among the students named to the Dean's List.  The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, founded in 1868, is the fourth largest campus in the 26-campus UW System.


Statement by Chris Bern, President of the Iowa State Education Association regarding the Governor's education proposal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Chris Bern   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:38

DES MOINES, IA (01/06/2012)(readMedia)-- "The Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) remains dedicated to the success of every student. We strongly support education policy with proven methods of success that places students at the center of its goals.

We continue to be frustrated with the lack of real focus and detail of how the Governor's proposal directly impacts student learning in a meaningful way. The ISEA is committed to the ideas we originally discussed: giving teachers the appropriate and important preparation time to improve their craft, continuing with early childhood learning opportunities, and creating additional learning time for struggling students.

We will know more about the Governor's commitment to education once we see his and the Department of Education's budgets. Any plan must give our public schools the tools and resources to help every child succeed and resist the urge to experiment with the latest ideas on the education reform circuit. This issue is too important and the stakes are too high.

The ISEA remains ready to be an integral partner in improving our schools. However, while we appreciate a seat at the table while decisions are made, our presence must not be mistaken for tacit approval of a plan that does not, ultimately benefit Iowa's students."

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

$10,000 and $25,000 grants available to rural school districts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kevin Stillman   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:27

$10,000 and $25,000 grants available to rural school districts
through America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM

ST. LOUIS (Jan. 6, 2012) – Statistics show that the U.S. ranks only 25th in math scores and 21st in science compared to 30 industrialized nations. These facts show that education is strongly in need of support. To help, Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is launching America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education℠ to aid rural school districts by providing $10,000 and $25,000 grants in 1,245 counties across 39 states.

“We believe our rural communities are the heart of America,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “We want to help strengthen local communities and education systems, especially in the areas of science and/or math. A strong science and math education helps build a foundation for many careers in agriculture, but also will help our students to be more competitive with those in larger cities and other nations.”
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their rural community to compete for a grant. Nominated school district administrators can then submit an application for either a $10,000 or $25,000 grant to support a science and/or math educational program by April 30, 2012. School districts that apply for a $10,000 grant will compete against other school districts that are located in the USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD); except that CRDs with fewer than five eligible school districts will compete against each other for a single grant. A school district that applies for a $25,000 grant will compete against schools that are located in its state or designated region.
The Monsanto Fund will award 199 grants this year. There will be 177 $10,000 grants and 22 grants of $25,000 awarded. Visit to see a complete list of eligible states and regions. Overall, the Monsanto Fund will donate more than $2.3 million to school districts in 39 states through this program.

Grants will be awarded based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council will select the winning grant application. This group is made up of 26 farmer leaders from across the country, who are passionate about both farming and rural education. The council members, from across the country, are actively engaged in their local communities through various leadership positions, such as a member of the local School Board, an active Farm Bureau leader or a member of an educational organization or committee within various organizations. The council is responsible for reviewing the top grant applications to select the winning school. These individuals are passionate about both agriculture and education, which is essential when choosing the best grant.
The program started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate a public school district in 165 eligible counties in those two states. The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in 16 CRDs through the pilot.
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society by helping them grow their youth. Visit for additional information and to view a complete list of winning school districts.


About Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work.  Visit the Monsanto Fund at


State Treasurer Fitzgerald Announces New Deduction Amount for College Savings Iowa in 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Karen Austin   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 08:50

DES MOINES, IA (01/05/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced today that the deduction amount for College Savings Iowa has once again been raised. "Iowa taxpayers can now deduct the first $2,975 they contribute to each College Savings Iowa beneficiary account from their state taxable income," said Fitzgerald. "This means that a married couple with two children will be able to deduct up to $11,900 in contributions on their 2012 state taxes."*

College Savings Iowa lets anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – invest for college on behalf of a child. Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and room and board at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.**

One of the best features of College Savings Iowa is how easy it is to get started. "All you need is $25 and ten minutes of your time to start saving," said Fitzgerald. "I encourage all families to save whatever they can today to help offset what has to be borrowed in the future." For more information about College Savings Iowa, call 888-672-9116 or visit

* Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

** The earnings portion of nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing.

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