Tim's Farewell...

This will be my last blog for Northwest AEA. I have been blessed to have had a long career in education, serving as a teacher for preschool, kindergarten, second-grade, and third-grade; a preschool director; an elementary principal; an associate superintendent; a special education director; a superintendent; and, now finishing my career, as the chief administrator at Northwest AEA. It has been an honor to work in a noble profession that serves students and families and gives children opportunities to meet their potential. 

As I exit the education arena, there are still a couple of concerns I have, including a disappointment in how our American society regards teachers and educators. This has resulted in a lack of financial support for our K-12 schools across the country. Unfortunately, this has overflowed into a lack of support for AEAs, community colleges and universities in Iowa. To continue a thriving democracy, this sentiment of non-support needs to be reversed soon. 

Remarkably, even though this lack of support exists, our schools and the education program in America has never been better. You would never know that by reading or listening to media or politicians. The reality is that American schools have graduated students at an all-time high of 82 percent—and 91 percent in Iowa, which leads the country. More students are going to college, more are taking college courses in high school, more are taking AP classes and scoring fours and fives, and more are ready for the military or the work environment than ever before. The competition for high school students to enter the college of their dreams is very competitive. And while there has been public scrutiny on our schools over the past 30 years, the American economy has flourished as tops in the world. I contend this is due—in large part—to the quality of our educational system, birth through college-age. We need to continue focusing and investing in our teachers and schools. The rewards and the investment are truly worth it.

I would like to thank the board members of Northwest AEA for their leadership and professionalism. I would also like to thank all of the public servants who serve in leadership roles as school board members. They do so without pay and are unbelievably focused on what’s important. To all of the teachers, principals and superintendents in our schools, I thank them for their endless dedication to providing excellent instruction and mentorship for our students. They do remarkable things on a daily basis. Finally, I would like to thank the staff of Northwest AEA. Our dedicated professionals in special education, educational services and media support students, educators and families. It has been my privilege and pleasure to work with them, and I will truly miss them all. I implore all of you to continue to serve and lead our customers—the students, families and the staff—in our schools in Iowa.

As always, be sure to check out our blogs, which we hope will inform, inspire and guide your daily work:

For a complete listing of all blogs, please go to the Northwest AEA website. You can also sign up for an RSS feed to automatically receive blog updates (instructions provided on the Northwest AEA website).

Educationally yours,

Dr. Tim Grieves
Chief Administrator