Bond Issue Community Meetings

College Community is Hosting Two Community
Bond Issue Informational Meetings
March 25 and March 26

Please join Superintendent John Speer and members of the Board of Education on March 25 and March 26 for two informational sessions regarding the April 7, 2015 Bond referendum.

Superintendent John Speer and members of the Board of Education will present details of the upcoming bond issue and answer any questions you have you may have regarding the April 7 bond referendum.

Informational Meetings:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Prairie High School Study Hall Area
6:30 PM

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Prairie High School Study Hall Area
6:30 PM

Key Club Partnership


Prairie High School Key Club partnered with Xavier High School Key Club and their sponsor, the Cedar Rapids Kiwanis, to paint and decorate the game room at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca.  Students worked on a Friday night and two Saturdays to complete this project.  It was fun for the two clubs to get together and work on a project.

Thanks to the Cedar Rapids Kiwanis Club for providing funds for the paint and for painting, to Diamond Vogel for providing the paint at a great price, to Prairie High School student Ajaisha Rogers for coordinating the artists and drawing the mural, Matthew 25 for providing painting supplies and ladders and to the students at Prairie and Xavier for their hard work!

Heckart Receives Excellence Award


Kim Heckart’s American Spirit project was selected to receive a Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education. This program is endowed by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and allows the Freedoms Foundation to recognize educators for their innovative efforts to help young people better understand the benefits of America’s private enterprise system.

Kim, a third grade teacher at Prairie Ridge Elementary School was one of 12 award winners for 2015 and will be recognized for her accomplishment in November at the Leavey Educational Summit where she will receive a plaque along with $7,500. At this time, she will present her project to fellow recipients and local educators.

Kim is honored to represent the Freedoms Foundation with its emphasis on promoting civics initiatives nationwide. The Freedoms Foundation is located in historic Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It offers youth education and leadership programs through their Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program, Service Learning in Public Policy Program, and Graduate Teacher Programs. Finally, the foundation has a Medal of Honor Grove, a 52-acre memorial commemorating the sacrifices of those Americans who have received the nation’s highest honor of valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Show Choir Season Success

Prairie Ambassadors 2015

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 Prairie Show Choirs for their remarkable season.  In their most successful season ever, our prep group, Focal Point, earned two 1st Place Prep Division finishes, two Best Vocals captions, two Best Choreography captions, one Best Crew caption, and three Best Band captions.  They also qualified for the evening finals round twice.

Our varsity show choir, The Ambassadors, enjoyed an incredibly remarkable season.  Three times they were named Grand Champion and one time they were 1st Runner-Up.  They also earned two Best Vocals captions, four Best Choreography captions, and one Best Band Caption.

On March 21st, The Ambassadors will compete at FAME: Orlando at the Hard Rock Café in Orlando, Florida.  FAME: Orlando is a qualifying event for the Show Choir National Championship held in Chicago, Illinois in April.

Foundation Names Director

Foundation Selects Rumery as Executive Director


The Prairie School Foundation is pleased to announce that Randy Rumery has been appointed as their Executive Director effective March 1, 2015.

Randy has spent the last 20 years in higher education fundraising. He is an Iowa State graduate and has been a fundraiser at Central College, the University of Northern Iowa and recently retired from the University of Iowa Foundation.

“We are pleased to have found someone with both proven fundraising skills and a strong background in education,” said Foundation Board President Steve Howes. “We are extremely excited to have Randy lead our organization.”

Prior to his work in fundraising, Randy worked as a Vo-Ag teacher, served on the Pella school board and worked in banking.

“It’s an honor to serve the Prairie School Foundation and our community,” said Rumery. “This opportunity allows me to continue my long time commitment to education. I am looking forward to working with our school, alumni and business community to further the mission of the Foundation for the benefit of our students.”

Satellite Voting March 10


Satellite Voting Opportunity for All District Residents March 10 from 2:30-8:30 pm at Prairie High School

On Tuesday, March 10 at Prairie High School, all district voters will have their first opportunity to express their opinion on funding Phase I for improvements to Prairie High School, and three elementary schools (Crest, Heights and View) for College Community.

The election officials will be conducting a satellite voting station in the performing arts area in the “Mirror Room” at Prairie High School from 2:30-8:30 PM. The mirror room is located right inside the main entrance of the Performing Arts. There will be signs marking the location. Parking will be available in front of the high school.

All indications are that our enrollment growth will continue at about 115 students per year.

This is a very important vote for our District if we are to continue to meet the space needs of a consistently growing district. Please make an informed vote. Reminder that you must be a resident of the District to vote.

Information regarding the vote is posted on our homepage,

State Wrestling News

Wenger State Champion Pic

Josh Wenger put an exclamation point on a dominate wrestling career as a Prairie Hawk by earning the 138 lb. 3A state championship.  Wenger’s defeat of Daniel Kelly of Cedar Falls made him the 21st individual state champion in Prairie history, claiming the Hawks’ 28th individual title.  In addition, Josh now stands alone as the all-time wins leader in Prairie history with a career record of 169-20.

He was joined as a state finalist by fellow senior Jarod Cadena.  Cadena earned a state runner-up finish in his first appearance at the state wrestling tournament.  Wenger and Cadena were joined on the awards stand by fellow state medalist Marcus England (4th-106lb.), Sam Uthoff (3rd-126lb.), and Taylor Mehmen (8th-195lb.).  Trenten Wennermark (113lb.), Dylan Kleinschmidt (120lb.), Seth Wennermark (132lb.), and Tyler Pasker (285lb.) qualified for the individual tournament but came up short in earning state medalist status.  The Prairie Hawk team again placed themselves among the top programs in the state of Iowa by earning 4th place at the state dual team tournament and 4th place at the state traditional tournament.

Head Coach Blake Williams, “We are blessed to have a community that truly supports and values wrestling along with all other student activities and kids that work hard to carry on the rich Prairie Wrestling tradition.  We are thankful for the dedication the seniors have shown the last four years, we wish them well, and look forward to the team that we will begin to prepare for next season.”

Gudenkauf Elected State BPA President

Gudenkauf Elected Prairie’s First State President
for Business Professionals of America

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.45.42 AM
Prairie Junior Grace Gudenkauf and Campaign Manager, Blake Larsson lobbying for votes outside of Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference

Not since 2005 has Prairie had a chapter member on the election ballot for a Business Professionals of America (BPA) State Officer. During State Leadership Conference in Des Moines February 23 – 25, Prairie junior, Grace Gudenkauf was among the slate of candidates vying for a seat on the Executive Board. Gudenkauf completed a nomination application, scored 99% on a State Officer exam, delivered her campaign speech in front of 400+ Iowa’s delegates and caucused during question and answer sessions with BPA members from throughout the state.

Each chapter was allocated voting delegates who then cast votes on behalf of their respective chapters. Campaign Manager Blake Larsson, Prairie Senior, said Gudenkauf’s election was in a field of tough competitors. “Grace surveyed our chapter to see what members expected out of a state officer and she parlayed that into a compelling campaign speech,” said Larsson. “You can imagine our chapter was cheering pretty loud when Grace’s name was announced.”

As State President, Gudenkauf will guide the executive officer board in goal setting for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. Gudenkauf said she decided in 2014 at the Iowa Conference that running for state office was a chance to influence the future growth of BPA. “No matter what career field you are interested in, the skills and experiences gained through BPA involvement has a huge impact on every student.” Prairie had the largest delegation of 71 members, competing and placing in multiple events. National Convention is in Anaheim in May where 5,000+ will be in attendance. Advisors Joan Cochrane, Kim Hynek and Mary Gudenkauf coach students in various events and anticipate watching Prairie students earn a spot on the National Stage in May.

Business Professionals of America is the leading CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. BPA has 43,000 members in over 2,300 chapters in 23 states. BPA is a co-curricular organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards. Check out for more information.



BPA Students Make Nationals

BPA Students Make it a National Event
55 Students Qualify for Nationals Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.43.51 AM

Prairie’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) students continued their pursuit of National Qualification by competing at State Leadership Conference Sunday, February 22 – Tuesday, February 24 in Des Moines. This year’s roster boasts 73 delegates who placed in numerous contests thus qualifying 55 students to attend the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim in May.

Students dedicated a no-school day to taking “open events” which are tests administered prior to attending State. While at State, students compete in 70+ events in areas including Finance, Management Information Systems, Business Administration, Digital Communications and Design, Marketing/ Management/Communications. Advisors Joan Cochrane, Kim Hynek and Mary Gudenkauf and Student Teacher Blake Scurr, worked with students for several weeks in preparation of this competition. Cochrane, who is retiring in June, started Prairie’s chapter in 1998 with just 4 students. Today Prairie has 82 members, and is proud to be the chapter with the most participants at State.

Business Professionals of America is the leading CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. BPA has 43,000 members in over 2,300 chapters in 23 states. BPA is a co-curricular organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards.

For the complete list of events and participants click BPA Events and Participants. 

Prairie Edge Passport

Prairie Edge Passport

daniel and passportPrairie Edge is proud to rollout our PBIS passport.  The passport provides teachers and students with an easy way to give and receive positive feedback while promoting good behaviors. Students carry the passport in their pocket and when positive behavior is displayed can instantly receive positive feedback from a staff member in the form of a stamp.  The passport can only be used for rewarding students and is once a stamp is earned it cannot be taken away.

Teachers and associates carry unique stampers at all times to mark the various regions within the passport.  Regions within the passport represent school areas such as the cafeteria, hallway, and the bus.  Every region has information on the page telling students what they need to know to be successful in those places; setting the students up for success while reinforcing the expectations at Prairie Edge. One of these features is a volume indicator that specifies the appropriate level of voice for each of the six areas in the passport.

At Edge we believe in the Power of Three.   We strive to show that we are respectful, we are responsible, and we are safe. Students exhibiting these traits are rewarded with a stamp.  Upon receiving a single stamp a student is praised or receives a small reward or privilege. Students are rewarded progressively as stamps accumulate on a page, as pages are filled, and when the book is filled.  Rewards increase in value as these markers are reached ranging from pencils and fidgets to being included in special lunches and field trips.

The Prairie Edge passport is a school wide initiative but provides for teacher autonomy.  The classroom is noticeably not a part of the passport.   Allowing individuals teachers the flexibility to differentiate behavior interventions plans best suited to a student’s needs, abilities, and learning styles in the classroom.  Our passport reinforces positive behaviors in the areas where there is less structure and more likelihood of being rewarded by less familiar staff members.

Written on Page one of our passport is the Prairie Edge Promise. I will do my best to be safe, respectful and responsible to help myself and others reach our goals together. A little help from our friends can drive us to become better versions of ourselves.  The passport serves as a positive reminder of this sentiment.  Building capacity for good is an important job. Our passport gives us a vehicle to recognize positive behavior and encourage it.

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