State education officials make a stop at A-P

From left to right, Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise, A-P students Maddie Oldenburger, Lauren Olson and McKenna Oldenburger and 2018 Teacher of the Year Aileen Sullivan of Ames pose for a photo at the high school on Friday morning. (Robert Maharry/Eclipse News-Review photo)

Aplington-Parkersburg got a special visit from Iowa Department Education Director Ryan Wise and 2018 Teacher of the Year Aileen Sullivan on Friday morning, but luckily, the district wasn’t in trouble. It was simply an opportunity to talk about what was working and how A-P is preparing its students for their futures.

A specific focus of the trip was job training and preparedness, and Wise and Sullivan met with Cedar Valley West Coordinator Stacy Ascher, Curriculum Director Jana Surratt and Superintendent Jon Thompson. Governor Kim Reynolds has made her ‘Future Ready Iowa’ initiative one of her core tenets while in office, and A-P officials explained how smaller districts have found ways to offer a variety of internship and shadowing experiences.

“Being in the environment every day is just huge for them,” Ascher said. “We’ve had about 80 some kids this year be exposed to business professionals.”

Wise praised A-P for working to connect students with career paths and offering a top-notch education. The visit, as he described it, provided a great opportunity “to see how policy plays out in practice.”

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