A number of familiar faces will be beginning new leadership roles at the Agency beginning July 1.
Leanne Chapman-Thill has served as a regional director in Region 3 since 2008 and will be taking over as the Director of the Shelter Care Educational Program after the retirement of Steve Iverson. The Agency serves students in Shelter Care classrooms at the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center in Des Moines, Youth Emergency Shelter & Services in Des Moines and Rosedale Shelter in Ames. During her career, Leanne has also been the Director of School Improvement at Pleasantville Schools and a school improvement consultant at Heartland AEA.
“The things I am looking most forward to as the Shelter Care Educational Program Administrator are being able to meaningfully support teachers daily with instruction, assessment and curriculum and diving into the extremely important work the SCEP staff carry out on a daily basis with our most at-risk students,” Leanne said. “I appreciate the opportunity the Agency has given me to fulfill a role in the important work of leading teaching and learning -- an area of passion for me and the reason I entered the world of education 25 years ago.”
Martha Condon has been hired to fill the Region 3 regional director position vacated by Leanne Chapman-Thill.
Martha joined the Heartland AEA team as a school psychologist in 2004 and has served in various roles for the past 11 years. From 2007 to the present she has been a school psychologist and professional learning & leadership consultant assigned agency-wide and has provided leadership and coordination in developing, implementing and evaluating professional learning efforts for agency and school staff. Martha has been a member of the Agency’s Special Education Coordination Council and has recently provided leadership around the implementation of the state’s Chapter 62 early literacy legislation. From 2010-2011 she served as a PLLC on Special Assignment, providing leadership on the AEA Collaborative Special Education Professional Development Team, developing professional learning materials for all nine AEAs.
Martha graduated from the University of Kansas in 2004 with a specialist in education degree in school psychology and from Drake University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
“In my years at Heartland I have had opportunities to work with incredible families, staff and leaders across our state,” Martha said. “In this new role I am looking forward to partnering with district and AEA staff in Region 3 to continue collaborating to improve outcomes for all learners. I feel honored to be joining this group of professionals, as I have been impressed by their knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and unwavering commitment. I am passionate about education in Iowa and am truly looking forward to collaborating to support system growth.”
Brandie will become the Licensure & Conference Center Manager on July 1. This new position will provide leadership for the Agency’s licensure/professional development program and coordinate conference center functions for the Agency.
Brandie has an array of experiences in education, from teacher to principal to Department of Education consultant to AEA consultant. From 2011 to present, she has served as the Learning Supports Consultant at Heartland AEA, overseeing and facilitating the Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools grant by providing facilitation, information, technical assistance and professional development to schools that received the grant. From 2004 to 2011 she was a school improvement consultant at the Department of Education, and prior to that, she was the principal at Kate Mitchell Elementary in Ames for a year and the principal at St. Patrick’s Elementary in Perry for four years. Brandie has also spent time in the classroom as an elementary art teacher, middle school G/T instructor and special education resource teacher.
Brandie has spread her studies throughout the state, attending Drake University (doctorate degree in educational administration, ABD), Iowa State University (master’s degree in educational administration, 1999) and the University of Northern Iowa (bachelor’s degree in elementary education, 1993).
“I am looking forward to continuing to work for Heartland AEA in a new capacity with a wonderful new team to support the learning needs of our stakeholders in many ways,” Brandie said. “I could not be more excited to remain at Heartland, as I have truly enjoyed the past four years here at such a progressive AEA with such amazing people!”
Marty Ikeda will become the regional director in Region 2 serving the Van Meter and Waukee school districts.
Marty began his career at Heartland AEA in 1993 as a school psychologist and quickly moved up to become a Challenging Behavior Specialist/Special Projects Practitioner. Next he was named the Autism and Challenging Behavior Supervisor—a position he held for eight years until leaving Heartland AEA to join the Department of Education as an Assessment Consultant. After a year as an Assessment Consultant and three years as an Administrative Consultant, he was named a Bureau Chief with responsibilities as the State Director of Special Education. From 2010 to 2013, he managed compliance, fiscal and programs for Special Education at the State level and led the Department’s initiative on Response-to-Intervention (MTSS). After moving on from the Department, Marty became the Clinic Director/Psychologist at The Homestead’s Clive office. For the past three years, he has supervised 20 clinic staff members who implement programs for 30 children with autism and has personally provided individual and family therapy, conducted social skills groups and provided behavior consultation for a youth home.
Marty earned his Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Oregon in 1994, studied industrial/organizational psychology at Colorado State University and received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marquette University in 1984.
“I’m looking forward to working with familiar faces and new faces and to getting back into education and special education and helping teachers and schools make bigger differences for children and families,” Marty says.