Category Archives: News

College Community School Board Approves Land Purchase

The College Community Board of Education has approved the purchase of 155.28 acres. In October, the District entered an agreement to purchase 155.28-acres located on the north side 76th Avenue across from Prairie High School, currently owned by the Divishek family.  

The 155.28 property will be paid for using the penny sales tax/SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education). With the addition of the 155-acre property, the district has a total of 675 acres.

While property’s use has not yet been determined, maintaining a central campus for our programming is a priority of the district and a point of pride for our community.  “Since the property entered the market this summer, we have received numerous inquiries from patrons curious about our interest and supportive of this purchase,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler.  “This purchase helps to ensure the continuation of a central campus for College Community for generations to come.  We are excited for the opportunities this land will bring our students in the future and are thankful to the Divishek family in negotiating with the District on this property.” College Community will take possession of the land in February of 2020.

Prairie School Foundation Recognizes Donors

The Prairie School Foundation held their annual Foundation Society Breakfast this morning to honor and recognize their most generous donors. The Foundation presented Philanthropy awards to the Pearson Company and Mick and Linda Starcevich.  This year’s Pride of Prairie Award recipient was Amy Ellis. The key note speaker for the event was legendary Wartburg College Wrestling Coach Jim Miller. Congratulations and thank you for your support of Prairie students!  

Thank You to Our Amazing Community

College Community School District Families and Greater Community:

While election results are not yet official, please accept this note of thanks for the overwhelming support of the Revenue Purpose Statement during this past Tuesday’s election.  The RPS extension was approved by a margin of over 78%.  This extension will ensure College Community Schools will be able to continue using the state-wide penny sales tax (SAVE) to fund projects through 2050.  Approval of the last revenue purpose statement provided for the use of SAVE through 2031 and has greatly benefited our students in a time of growth.

In the past, these funds have been used toward general obligation debt which has lowered the overall tax levy. SAVE funds have also been used to fund the construction of new buildings and numerous renovation projects. Here is a list of projects funded with SAVE funds.

  • Property Tax relief
  • Early Childhood Center
  • Prairie High School Renovations
  • Elementary Buildings and Renovations
  • Technology
  • Interior Road Repairs
  • Playgrounds
  • Campus Building Repair and Renovations
  • Athletic Facility Updates
  • Land Acquisitions
  • Student Built House Lot

Your positive vote ensures we can continue to use this existing funding stream to enhance the student experience for years to come.  We greatly appreciate the trust and support of the greater community in voting to extend SAVE and we take our fiscal responsibility very seriously as we work to serve our students and the greater community.

For more information on SAVE and the Revenue Purpose Statement, click here

Additionally, on November 5, the following members were elected to the Board of Directors to four-year terms.  Randy Bauer (incumbent) District 3, Dawn Kouseh (incumbent) District 1, Angie Ehle (Incumbent) District 4 and Greg Kelsey (incumbent) At-large.

In service,

Randy Bauer                           Dr. Doug Wheeler                   Angie Morrison
Board President                   Superintendent                        CFO

Where Are They Now? Meet 2004 Prairie Grad Kylee (Erenberger) Kozisek

What year did you graduate Prairie High School? 
I graduated from Prairie High School in 2004.

What activities were you involved in at Prairie? 

Cheerleading – Competition, Football, Basketball

What is your current position? 
Regional Director of Digital Marketing, Americas for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Where is your place of employment? 

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, a luxury hospitality company located in New York City.

What are your job responsibilities? 

It is my responsibility to plan, execute and manage the digital marketing strategy for Mandarin Oriental hotels within North and South America. Major topics I focus on are website optimizations including SEO, paid search campaigns for Google, Bing and Yahoo and paid social media campaigns while always trying to remain innovative in the hospitality/travel industry. With a portfolio of hotels around the globe everything I do needs to also be considered for other cultures and languages. What works within our typical digital space in America is completely different in Asian and European markets and I need to entice guests to stay in our Americas properties from all countries.

Describe your career/educational path since graduating from Prairie High School. 

After graduating from Prairie I attended the University of Iowa double majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. I began my career with People to People Ambassador Programs; an international travel company for students with a mission to understand other cultures. After People to People I moved to Las Vegas, focusing on hospitably marketing with MGM Resorts International. Upon joining Mandarin Oriental, I’ve relocated to New York City.

What advice would you give to today’s high school graduates?
Dream big: I love the saying “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” by Earl Nightingale. It’s true 100% of the time.

Lead, don’t follow: Who would have thought one of the biggest transportation companies wouldn’t own any cars (Uber), an industry leader in hospitality wouldn’t own any property (Airbnb) and clothing rental could be a more cost effective way to shop than actually shopping (Rent the Runway). None of these companies existed when I was in high school and I never would have thought their business model would have worked. The strategy was brand new and they all solved a problem we didn’t even know we had.

Try to love what you do: It will make life so much more enjoyable.

Anything else you would like to add?
My ultimate goal was to live in New York City while truly enjoying my profession. I am grateful that my career allows me to see the world while meeting amazing people along the way; however I am more grateful to have very supportive friends and family who helped me get here. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them constantly encouraging me. It is important to find people in your life who support your most wild and crazy dreams. Make sure you keep those people close to you. They will be the ones to celebrate your wins and pick you up during your difficult times because with every goal achieved there are plenty of disappointments along the way. The disappointments are what makes the win that much sweeter.

Prairie High School Fall Jazz Concert November 14

On Thursday, November 14, the Prairie High School Jazz Bands will present their Fall Concert at 7:00 PM in the Concert Hall at Prairie High School. This concert will be the first performance of the twenty-one member Jazz I and the twenty-four member Jazz II during the 2019-2020 school year.

The concert will feature guest vocalist Eddie Piccard. Eddie is an in-demand performer around the Cedar Rapids area and he frequently performs as a vocalist and pianist in the Eddie Piccard Quartet. This year, Eddie will be recording and performing with Jazz I as a part of KCCK’s Corridor Jazz Project.

Included in this performance will be music from the libraries of the Count Basie Orchestra, Ellen Rowe, Frank Mantooth, Fred Sturm, Stanley Turrentine, Cannonball Adderly, the Buddy Rich Big Band, and Horace Silver.

Admission for the concert is $6 for adults, $4 for students, and $2 for senior citizens. Activity passes are accepted.

Stephanie Johnson Recognized as an Everyday Hero

Congratulations to College Community Schools staff member Stephanie Johnson who was recognized at the “Everyday Heroes” Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 1 at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. The inaugural event, hosted by the Gazette, recognizes individuals that have gone out of their way to make live better for other. 

Stephanie was recognized for her efforts in launching Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa at Prairie Creek Intermediate School. Girls on the Run is a nonprofit empowerment program that works to encourage pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through interactive lessons and running. Stephanie has worked with 275 girls helping them discover their potential.  Congratulations Stephanie!  

School Board Elections November 5

School Board elections will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.  School Board elections are very important! School board members play significant roles in their communities as they are charged with accountability for student learning, determining educational goals, setting policy, overseeing school finances and more. School board members are elected to serve four-year terms, with elections taking place in odd-numbered years.  

There are four open positions and the following individuals have declared intent to run. Three of the four positions are running unopposed. The following individuals will be on the ballot in the 2019 College Community School District School Board election:


* Randy Bauer
* Angela Ehle

Doug Gustafson
* Greg Kelsey
* Dawn Kousheh

School Board and Municipal Elections November 5

For the first time, school and municipal elections in Iowa are being held on the same day, Tuesday, November 5. In addition to voting for school board members and city office seekers, the College Community School District will be asking the community to consider the approval of an updated Revenue Purpose Statement. This is an extension of the current Revenue Purpose Statement.  Polls are open Tuesday, November 5 from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

For more information about the November 5 elections, visit your county site for more details.

Linn County Elections

Johnson County Elections

Benton County Elections

A Record Turnout for Trunk or Treat

A Record 672 Prairie Elementary friends turned out for Trunk or Treat! It was a snowy Trunk or Treat but Prairie High School Key Club and Best Buddies were happy to host the October 30th event. The event gave away 10 boxes of books and collected $320.00 for UNICEF.

Special thanks to the Prairie Crest Administration and Custodial staff for their support and the several parents of Key Club/Best Buddy members for gathering additional candy so we did not run out!

College community Hosts Local City Mayors

Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler and Board President Randy Bauer hosted a Mayors’ breakfast today with our local city officials. Dr. Wheeler provided a district overview which included enrollment growth and District demographics and our ten year strategic plan.  The rest of the agenda focused on enhancing partnerships and opportunities to best serve our families and communities in which we live.  

“It was great to have our local mayors come and share the great things that are happening in their communities,” said Dr. Wheeler.  “I am grateful for the leaders of the six communities we serve and their interest and efforts to enhance an already strong sense of community and school pride.  We share a desire to enhance the quality of life for those we serve.”

The morning also included a tour of our new facilities and ongoing construction projects at Prairie High School, Early Childhood Center and Prairie View Elementary School.