Education & Schools
USA Network and Mediacom Award Quad Cities Principal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Khalan Boyer   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 14:16



Phillip Ambrose, Principal of Thurgood Marshall Learning Center in Rock Island, to Be Recognized at an Awards Ceremony on December 7; Also Featured on USA Network On-Air and Online as Part of Characters Unite Campaign















Continuing its highly successful multiplatform public service campaign to address social injustices and bridge cultural divides, USA Network, along with its distribution partners, have selected ten winners for the 2012 Characters Unite Awards. The winners were selected from hundreds of nominees for their extraordinary efforts in combating prejudice and discrimination while increasing tolerance and acceptance in their communities. 

Each honoree will be acknowledged during a hometown award ceremony and will receive a $5,000 grant from USA Network and participating local distribution partners to support his/her project or related nonprofit organization. Additionally, honorees will be featured on-air in a PSA and online at

Local Davenport resident Phillip Ambrose is among the ten winners selected and will be recognized at an award ceremony in Rock Island, IL. Phillip Ambrose is a Principal at the Thurgood Marshall Learning Center, an alternative school serving the Rock Island/Milan School District in Illinois.  Under the leadership of Principal Ambrose, the school pursues and engages in compelling projects to increase awareness of diversity, tolerance and respect through innovative cross-curricular activities.  Most recently, with the school’s Tuskegee Airmen Project, students studied how the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first squadron of African-American pilots, overcame prejudice to achieve their goal of fighting for their country. The next project the school plans to undertake is entitled Beyond the Dream; 50 years (1963-2013), which studies tolerance in America and the impact of significant events and people over the course of the last 50 years, from Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech to Barack Obama’s presidency.

Mediacom Communications is the local distribution partner for USA Network, and will be co-hosting the awards program and lunch at Thurgood Marshall Learning Center.

United Way and Russell Construction Partner with Jordan Catholic School to Build Rain Garden PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Janine Parr   
Monday, 03 December 2012 15:44
Russell Construction will be at Jordan on Tuesday December 4th beginning at 1pm to help the school build a rain garden. The school is participating in the City of Rock Island’s rain garden program and made the connection with Russell Construction volunteers through The United Way of the Quad Cities.

Ford Supports Education Through the 2012 Heart Behind the Oval Community Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Hillary Mulka   
Monday, 03 December 2012 15:43
  • Heart Behind the Oval Community Challenge is open to all U.S. high school seniors and college students with a demonstrated commitment to their communities
  • Public voting determines three winners who each receive a $2,500 college scholarship and a $2,500 grant to complete a future service project
  • Students may enter this year’s contest on the Ford Blue Oval Scholars Facebook page until Dec. 14 with a video or photo essay showcasing their current community work and outlining a future project they could complete with more funding

DETROIT, Dec. 3, 2012 – The 2012 Heart Behind the Oval Community Challenge is underway, with the general public registering support for their favorite contest entries through daily online voting.  For this year’s contest, Ford Motor Company Fund invited high school seniors and college students to showcase their commitment to their communities in a brief video or photo essay.  Students can submit their entries until Dec. 14.

The three entries with the most online votes will receive a $2,500 college scholarship and a $2,500 grant to a partnering nonprofit to complete a future service project.  Wild Card prizes, including a $1,000 college scholarship and a $1,000 project grant, will be awarded to two entries chosen by a Ford Motor Company judging panel.

For more information or to enter and vote for the 2012 Heart Behind the Oval Community Challenge, please visit

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

Mary Andringa next co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council starting July 1, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 03 December 2012 15:42

(DES MOINES) - Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced that Mary Vermeer Andringa, president and CEO of Vermeer Corporation in Pella, will serve as co-chair of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council when University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen steps down from that role on June 30, 2013. Andringa will assume the role of co-chair next July 1.

The 40-member STEM Advisory Council has been co-chaired by Reynolds and Allen since Branstad established it by Executive Order 74 in 2011. Reynolds will continue serving as co-chair. The new council is working to bolster STEM education, STEM innovation and to better position Iowa’s young people and economy for the future.

“It is with great pleasure that Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I announce that Mary Andringa will become the next co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council,” said Branstad. “Mary’s outstanding leadership and background in both business and education uniquely position her to continue to build Iowa’s commitment to STEM. We are determined to boost student interest and achievement in STEM and promote STEM economic development.”

Andringa began a two-year term as chair of the National Association of Manufacturers, the nation’s largest manufacturing association, in January 2011. As the association’s first woman chair, she leads its efforts to promote a robust manufacturing sector.  She is also one of 18 private sector members of President Obama’s Export Council, where she represents manufacturing on key trade matters. Andringa began her career as a K-6 music teacher in Iowa City, Iowa. She began working in market research at Vermeer in 1982.

“I am thrilled that Mary has agreed to serve as co-chair of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council,” said Reynolds.  “It has been a great honor to serve with President Allen, whose vision and insight have helped move the STEM Council and its 40 hard-working members forward.  I look forward to working with Mary and value the many perspectives that she brings to this initiative."

In May, the council created a network of six regional STEM hubs to meet local STEM needs across the state. In October, the council announced that more than 800 schools and community organizations will participate in scale-up programs in 2012-13 provided through the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. A generous $4.7 million appropriation from the 2012 Legislature is making the council’s work possible.

The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’s priorities moving forward include establishing STEM-focused schools to offer students more STEM education opportunities, building an online portal to house a best practices clearinghouse, and increasing retention of top math and science teachers.


Branstad names Hannah Walsh as student member to state Board of Regents PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Friday, 30 November 2012 15:36

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad today named University of Iowa student Hannah Walsh as the student member to the state Board of Regents.

Walsh, 20, is from Spirit Lake and majoring in Political Science. She has served as a page in the Iowa Senate and serves as the co-chair of the University of Iowa Governmental Relations Committee.

“Hannah is an outstanding student leader, and I am excited to see what she accomplishes in working with the Board of Regents,” said Branstad. “It is important for students to have an effective advocate who understands their concerns, and Hannah will be an effective leader for students at all three state universities.”

Walsh’s term begins today. She will serve until April 30, 2015. Her term is subject to Senate confirmation. Walsh is filling the rest of Greta Johnson’s term, who is no longer a student at a Regent university.

“Hannah Walsh has demonstrated her passion through her involvement with numerous activities at the University of Iowa,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “She will bring fresh ideas and a new outlook to the board.”

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