Category Archives: News

School Board Tours ECC Construction Project

Members of the College Community School Board and administrative staff toured the new Early Childhood Center (ECC) on Monday, May 20.  The 19,614 square-foot building will be located just east of Prairie Hill Elementary School and is expected to hold up to 240 students. The project is expected to be completed in August 2019.
To finance the project, College Community will use a short term note against the Secure Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund. The SAVE funding stream was formerly known as the statewide school infrastructure sales and services tax and also known as the local option sales and services tax for school infrastructure. Loans against the SAVE fund will not affect the district tax levy.

Junior Interviews Held at prairie Delta

Prairie Delta Alternative High School’s 11th grade students participated in Junior Interviews on Thursday, May 16th.  Students prepared resumes, discussed and practiced interviewing before sitting down with a local business volunteers to conduct a one-on-one interviews. 

The Junior Interview Project helps students learn the life skills needed for a successful job interview.  They review their resume, talk about goals and receive constructive feedback to help them hone their interviewing skills. 

Construction Update – May 2019

Below is a May 2019 update on Phase II of our construction projects. Below is an update on recently completed areas, ongoing construction, and summer 2019 projects.


  • Varsity and Junior varsity locker rooms (formerly high school kitchen area)
JV Locker Room
Varsity Locker Room
  • Weight and cardio (formerly high school cafeteria)


New High School Main Entrance (to be completed end of December 2019)

  • Structural steel is 99% complete
  • Roofing is 25% complete
  • Underground plumbing and electrical is complete
  • 80% of the concreate floors is complete
  • Above ceiling electrical, mechanical and plumbing has started
  • Load barring masonry walls are complete
  • Non load barring walls are 75% complete
  • Courtyard brick complete
  • Interior Metals Stud Framing Walls has started 
  • Coming Weeks/Months: glass windows and metal panel installation

North Gym (to be completed end of December 2019)

North Gym
  • Demolition of gym stage and lower locker rooms has began
  • Installation of learning stairs and Fan Stand

PE Locker Rooms (north side of main gym)

  • Demolition is complete
  • Underground plumbing is complete
  • Coming Weeks: Concrete floors and masonry walls will begin

Classroom Renovations (C Hallway)

  • Demolition is complete
  • Metal stud framing walls is 90% complete
  • Mechanical and electrical rough-in work has started
  • Coming Weeks: Drywall, painting, ceiling

Fitness Room (Old Weight Room)

  • Demolition is complete
  • Above Ceiling Rough-in has started
  • Coming Weeks: Paint and wood flooring


Above listed projects ongoing through the summer

Science (D Hallway)

  • Renovate 10 classrooms, offices and storage
  • New flooring, lighting, ceilings, paint, cabinets, mechanical, lockers, electrical, sprinkler system, fire alarms 

New Science Wing

  • Installation of hallway carpet

Old High School Main Office

  • Demolition and remodel
  • New metal stud framing for 8 new classrooms and teacher collaboration room

North Stairwell

  • Remodel: ceiling, paint, hand rails and flooring

New Mechanical Room (across from 2nd floor wrestling room)

  • All new mechanical equipment that will provide heating and cooling, to new weight room, locker rooms, and south main gym

Exterior Improvements

  • The ring road on the west end will receive new concrete, curb and gutters, asphalt and pavement, new sidewalks, light polls, landscaping. To be complete in August 2019 

Hallway Renovation and Improvements

  • Main hallways will be renovated
  • Hallway intersection by old school to be widened

Family Consumer Science Rooms

  • 100% remodel: New flooring, lighting, ceilings, paint, cabinets, mechanical, electrical, sprinkler system, fire alarms 

Arts/Ceramics/Digital Arts/Business

  • Remodel: lighting, ceilings, paint, cabinets, mechanical, electrical, sprinkler system, fire alarms

Cory Heaberlin Named Principal at Prairie Ridge Elementary School

College Community Schools is pleased to announce that Cory Heaberlin has been named Principal at Prairie Ridge Elementary School pending Board approval.

Heaberlin, a native of Des Moines, comes to College Community Schools from the Des Moines Public School System where he has served for 16 years and most recently as the building Principal at Madison Elementary School. For the past six years while leading Madison Elementary School Heaberlin was selected to work with the Presidential Committee of the Arts to be a Turn Around Arts School and was chosen to work with Learning Services International to be a model school for rigor. He also created a MTSS system for behavior that was a model for the Des Moines metro schools.   

“Cory is an experienced leader with demonstrated success in the areas of school culture and academic success,” said Superintendent Dr. Douglas Wheeler. “Cory also brings leadership experiences in personalized learning that are a great fit with the journey established in our strategic plan.  Cory is an experienced student-focused leader and I am excited to welcome him to College Community Schools and Prairie Ridge Elementary.”

Prior to Madison Elementary School, Heaberlin worked in the Des Moines Public Schools as a Dean of Students, Instructional Coach and Classroom Teacher. Heaberlin is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, where his commendations included the Bronze Star for Valor.

“I am excited to join the College Community School District as it is well known in Iowa for having high expectations for all students as well as a long history of innovation in education,” said Heaberlin.  “I look forward to serving your community as the building principal of Prairie Ridge Elementary and am excited to get to know the staff, students, and families there.”

He received his Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Iowa State University and his Masters of Science in Education from Drake University. 

Kylee Hayes Named Prairie Crest Principal

Kylee Hayes, who has served as the Instructional Coach for Prairie Crest Elementary School for four years, has been selected as the next building principal at Crest pending Board approval. Hayes will begin her new role starting July 1, 2019.

“I am truly excited to welcome Kylee to our leadership team,” said Dr. Doug Wheeler, Superintendent of Schools. “Kylee has demonstrated her leadership and qualifications for this position through her proven success as a teacher and teacher leader in our District.  Kylee is a thoughtful student-focused leader who will do a fantastic job leading our staff in support of Crest students.” 
As the Instructional Coach, Hayes has facilitated and supported professional learning opportunities connected to the District’s strategic plan, created building schedules, developed building-wide goals, and implemented professional learning experiences around Effective Classroom Practices. During her tenure at Crest, Hayes has also served on a variety of building and district committees.

Prior to coming to Prairie she taught 4th grade for Liberty Public Schools in Liberty, Missouri.

“I am honored and filled with great Prairie pride to step into the principal role at Prairie Crest Elementary,” said Hayes. “Our students are at the center of all our work and I cannot wait to continue to see them learn and grow. Our community’s dedication and commitment to teaching and learning with the whole child is unparalleled, making College Community an exceptional place to call home. My work as an instructional coach at CCSD has prepared me as a leader to carry on with our efforts towards creating a personalized learning environment for our students. I am looking forward to leading and learning with our CCSD students, staff, families, and community members during the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.”

Hayes earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Iowa.  

Prairie Archers Compete at Nationals – Baustian A National Champion

Forty one student archers from the Prairie Archery team were part of over 15,500 archers from all over the US that attended the Eastern National Archery Tournament at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky May 9 to 11.  This year marks the first time the high School and middle school teams attended Nationals.  Prairie had a very successful year in archery which included a National Champion (Mackenzie Baustian) and the opportunity to have both teams shoot 3D and Bullseye.

Bullseye Range

High School placed 62 out of 263 teams nationwide and 3rd out of our other Iowa competitors.

Individual standings in the top 100:
– Isaac Denning, 9th out of 2699, score of 297

Middle School placed 78 out of 255 teams nationwide and 2nd out of our other Iowa competitors.

Individual standings in the top 100:

    – Mikaela Bock, 39th out of 2559, score of 287

    – Mackenzie Baustian, 63rd out 2559, score of 285

3D Range

High School placed 7th out of 133 teams nationwide and 2nd out of our other Iowa competitors.

Individual standings in the top 100:

    – Abby Bell, 12th out of 941, score of 290

    – Makenna Hewitt, 13th out 941, score of 290

    – Isaac Denning, 69th out 1022, score 285

Middle School placed 17th out 123 teams nationwide, and 1st out of our other Iowa competitors.

Individual standings in the top 100:

Mackenzie Baustian

    – Mackenzie Baustian, 1st out of 958, score of 290 

    – Mikaela Bock, 9th out of 958, score 287 

    – Natalie Baustian, 87th out of 958, score of 274

Mackenzie Baustian, National Champion

Prairie Bands Receive Superior Ratings

9th Grade Concert Band

On Saturday, May 4, over 200 students representing Prairie High School and Prairie Point 9th Grade Academy participated in the annualI.H.S.M.A. State Large Group Music Festival held at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids.

We are excited and proud to announce that all three of our concert bands (Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and 9th Grade Concert Band) were awarded with DIVISION-I “SUPERIOR” RATINGS from the adjudicators.  This marks only the 3rd time in the past 9 years that all three of our concert bands have earned the state’s top rating.  For Wind Symphony it marks the 32nd time in the past 33 years to be awarded this distinction!

Wind Symphony
Symphonic Band

Where Are They Now? Meet 2006 Prairie Grad Morgan (Funke) Less

What year did you graduate Prairie High School? 

What activities were you involved in at Prairie?
Basketball, Volleyball, Choir, Show Choir, Student Council, Speech Team, National Honor Society

What is your current position?
Principal Business Development Manager

Where is your place of employment?
Collins Aerospace (Formerly Rockwell Collins)

What are your job responsibilities?
I work with US and International governments, and Aircraft OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to develop solutions to sustain their military aircraft. I develop strategies to grow Collins Aerospace’s aftermarket business across the globe. Additionally, I create marketing content for the company website, marketing materials, press releases, and trade shows.  

Describe your career/educational path since graduating from Prairie High School.
Since graduating from Prairie High School, I went on to pursue an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, majoring in Marketing. I transferred my junior year to the University of Northern Iowa, and continued my major in Marketing and Sales. I started an internship at Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace) following my sophomore year of college, and was fortunate enough to continue to intern with the company for the remainder of my collegiate career.

Upon graduation, I went to work for Rockwell Collins as a Market Analyst. I’ve been with the company ever since, in a variety of Marketing and Business Development roles. I also earned my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in May 2015.

What advice would you give to today’s high school graduates?
Follow your passion. Take risks. Be willing to start anywhere. Internships are invaluable. It’s a win-win for both the intern and the company. It allows you to figure out if the company is a good fit and gets your foot in the door. It also allows the company to test out its future employees.

Anything else you would like to add?
My husband (Zach Less) and I met at Prairie and are high school sweethearts! Zach is a Pharmacist at the University of Iowa Oncology Clinic. We have two children: Hudson (3), and Laiken (1). We live in Solon, Iowa.

We have wonderful memories from our time at Prairie and are so thankful for the experiences provided to us by our teachers and coaches.

Marketing Students Participate in Brainstorming Session

Swisher small-business owners Nick and Rebekah Neuendorf visited Prairie High School Marketing Teacher, Matt Sima’s classroom, and led a visioning session with a group of students.  Neuendorfs purchased the iconic Swisher DanceMor and have long heard about the desire from teenagers yearning for something to do.  “We are looking for ideas from our target market to help develop the concept of a Teen Night – a safe and fun place for teens to hang out with friends,” said Rebekah.  “The students shared some great ideas that will help us develop a plan for what types of activities we will offer. We are really excited to get it going because there is an overwhelming need for teen-friendly activities!”  Neuendorfs live in Swisher and have one daughter who attends Prairie and a younger daughter who will as well.

Swisher’s DanceMor Ballroom, a community presence since the ’30s, had been closed the past four years.  The Neuendorfs purchased it in 2018 and opened their doors last Fall.  Many Prairie alum frequented DanceMor as the place to go on Fridays and Saturdays for listening to live music and kicking up their heals … Stay tuned for the announcement of Teen Night at Swisher’s DanceMor.