Iowa Education leader finds initiatives in action in Clear Lake

(Above) Iowa Department of Education Direcotr Ryan Wise and Clear Lake Schools Superintendent Doug Gee listen as teacher Kelly Cooney and her Clear Creek Elementary School class explain what they have been studying.-Reporter photo.

by Marianne Gasaway

Ryan Wise was enjoying the favorite part of his job Friday.  The former teacher, who now heads the Iowa Department of Education, made a stop in Clear Lake on his continuing quest to visit each of the state’s school districts.

“I think it is critically important to get in the schools and engage with teachers and students to see how our policies translate to practices in the classroom,” said Wise.

To date, the DOE leader has visited 230 of the state’s 327 school districts. He estimates it will take six years to complete the school list.  On Friday, he was accompanied by School Administrators of Iowa Executive Director Dr. Roark Horn and Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek.   In addition to visiting Clear Lake, the group met with students and faculty at West Fork and CAL on Friday.

Wise said he was impressed by what he saw in Clear Lake.

“There was a high level of student engagement.  Students were understanding the concepts and they could explain what they were learning.”

Career and technical education options available here were also a highlight.  In particular, the high school’s registered apprenticeship program implemented this year was applauded.   Clear Lake is one of eight schools in the state with a certified Registered Apprenticeship program.

“Community engagement and engaging with

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