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Heartland Area Education Agency
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Chief Administrator

We are on the search for our next chief administrator

Committed to Student Learning & Well-being

Since 1975, Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) has been a great place to work. Innovative programs and services have offered area children, teachers and education­al leaders the chance to excel in their academic careers. The Agency currently has an opening for the position of Chief Administrator. If you have a desire to lead an organization that makes a difference every day in the lives of thou­sands of Central Iowa’s students, this position is for you. Our Board of Directors is seeking a dynamic individual with demonstrated leadership ability to assume responsibility and accountability for our agency. The Board has worked collaboratively with our staff and schools to develop a vision and mission to support improved student achievement for all children. The Board is committed to hiring an innova­tive, data-driven and child-centered leader.

Service to Students & Educators

Heartland AEA has been helping children and educators in Central Iowa reach their potential for over 40 years. Iowa’s AEAs were created by the Iowa Legislature in 1974 and opened a year later to ensure efficient, effective and equitable educational opportunities for all. The AEA system is cur­rently comprised of nine AEAs, reduced by voluntary mergers from the original 15 created in 1975.

Heartland AEA provides programs and services for more than 150,000 children and students birth to 21 (about one-fourth of Iowa’s K-12 enrollment) and 9,300 educators in 53 public school districts and 30 accredited non-public schools. Heartland AEA employs 660 full- and part-time staff members and funds special education staff for the Des Moines Public Schools. The Agen­cy’s administrative offices are located in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston, and regional offices are located in seven other Central Iowa communities.

Unlike local school districts, Heartland AEA has no taxing authority. The Agency is a public entity funded by federal and state aid, legislatively-controlled property taxes, grants, course tuition and fees. Approximately 75 percent of the Agency’s funding goes to serving children with disabilities. The remainder of the Agency’s budget provides a variety of educational and media/technology services to schools. A nominal fee is charged for some services such as printing, graphic design, lamination, some professional development courses and special school district requests, but most of Heartland AEA’s services are delivered at no cost.

Heartland AEA
by the Numbers

◆ Districts served: 53
◆ Accredited non-public schools served: 30
◆ Students served: 150,000 Birth-21
◆ Agency area: 6,369 square miles
◆ Total number of staff: 660
◆ Number of professional management staff: 36
◆ Number of certified union staff: 499
◆ Number of classified non-union staff: 42
◆ Number of classified union staff: 83

Comprehensive Service Agency

Iowa’s AEAs are among the most comprehensive inter­mediate service agencies in the nation. Heartland AEA provides a wide variety of programs and services in special education, media and technology, curriculum and instruction, assessment, professional learning, school improvement and other areas.

Heartland AEA also collaborates with the statewide system of Iowa AEAs, local districts and the Iowa Department of Education to co-own improving students' learning outcomes. These efforts have focused on literacy, math, reducing gaps in learning between students and readiness for post-secondary success.

Iowa Quality of Life

Heartland AEA’s administrative offices are located in Johnston, a fast-growing suburb northwest of Des Moines. The Des Moines metropolitan area’s more than 600,000 residents enjoy outstanding schools, excellent entertainment and recreational facilities, a large medical community, cultural diversity and many other quality urban amenities; however, small town and rural living are only minutes away. Des Moines is the third largest insurance center in the world, with about 60 insurance companies in the metro area. The Des Moines area also is a leading financial, government, publishing and manufacturing center. Des Moines is home to Drake University, and Iowa State University is just 30 miles north in Ames. Several other colleges and universities are located in and around the Des Moines area.

Timeline and Application

The Board of Directors is conducting the search with the assistance of the firm Hazard, Young, At­tea & Associates, Ltd. Leaders wishing to be considered as a candidate for the position should visit the ECRA Group's website to apply using the online application system. The applica­tion should be fully completed online—no paper documents should be sent to the firm. Screening of applications by the Heartland AEA Board of Directors and the search firm will begin in late March 2017 with the Board interviewing those candidates it considers most qualified in early April. The beginning employment date will be July 1, 2017 or as negotiated. The Board of Directors will offer a multi-year contract with a competitive compensation package.

Board of DirectorsLeadership Profile graphic

• Ms. Sheri Benson, Newton
• Ms. Margaret Borgen, Des Moines
• Ms. Elizabeth Brennan, West Des Moines 
• Dr. Earl Bridgewater, Des Moines
• Mr. Bruce Christensen, Urbandale
• Mr. Pete Evans, Ankeny
• Mr. John Kinley, Ames (President)
• Dr. Steve Rose, Indianola
• Ms. Ann Wilson, Carroll


• Paula Vincent, Chief Administrator
• Cindy Yelick, Deputy Chief Administrator
• Kevin Fangman, Chief Academic Officer
• Sheila King, Chief Information Officer
• Kurt Subra, Chief Financial Officer

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