Free Book Giveaway June 1, 2, 3 for Students in Grades K-6

College Community Schools in conjunction with Prairie Foundation, The United Way, Toys for Tots, Parent Teacher Organizations from Creek, Crest, Heights, Hill, Ridge and View will be giving away brand new books for students in grades K-6. A bag of 4-6 books can be picked up at Prairie High School main entrance at the following Dates/Times: Monday June 1 3:00-6:00 pm, Tuesday June 2 3:00-6:00 pm, Wednesday June 3 3:00-6:00 pm.

Big thanks to all who supported this new book giveway for our students!

Prairie Summer Sports Guidelines and Procedures

Prairie Families:

We are extremely excited for our student athletes in grades 9-12 to be able to return to play baseball and softball this summer. I would like to emphasize that we will operate with restrictions during this pandemic. This will take a community effort with all stakeholders accepting responsibility to return safely.

Click here to review the guidelines and procedures for return to play summer sports at Prairie. Let’s all do our part to make this return a safe and successful one. 


Rocky Bennett
Associate Principal-Activities Director
Prairie High School 

Hawker Selected to Lead Prairie Heights Elementary School

The College Community School District has named Annie Hawker as the new principal at Prairie Heights Elementary School.  Her appointment is effective July 1 pending Board approval. 

“I am excited to welcome Annie to the College Community Leadership Team,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Wheeler. “Her experiences teaching and leading across many grade levels combined with her experiences working to meet the needs of all learners will be a great asset to the Prairie community.”

Hawker, who is in her 20th year in education, comes to College Community from the Mount Vernon Community School District where she is the District Leadership Instructional Specialist. In her current role she supports and leads curriculum development, oversees district professional learning communities, and leads a variety of district initiatives. Prior to her leadership role, she was an elementary special education teacher for six years, a kindergarten teacher for ten years, and a PK-4th grade academic interventionist for two years. While teaching, she also served as a PK-8th grade literacy mentor.

“We are delighted for Annie Hawker to serve as the new principal of Prairie Heights Elementary School,” said Tracy Schipper, Executive Director of Elementary Programs. “Annie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in elementary education along with a track record of putting students at the center of her leadership. She is passionate about building positive relationships with students, staff, and families and will be a strong addition to the Prairie team.”

Hawker earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, a master’s degree in Special Education and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education all from the University of Iowa.

“I am overjoyed to join the College Community School District and the Prairie Heights Elementary School team,” said Hawker. “I look forward to connecting and learning with our staff and our students to ensure success and positive outcomes for all. Starting day one, I look forward to building strong relationships with our Prairie Heights students, colleagues, and families.”

Palmersheim Named Associate Principal at Prairie Point

College Community Schools is pleased to announce that Holly Palmersheim has been named Associate Principal at Prairie Point Middle School and 9th Grade Academy pending Board approval.

Palmersheim is no stranger to the College Community School District. She is currently the Associate Principal at Prairie Creek Intermediate School, a position she held since 2018. She spent her first ten years in a secondary mathematics classroom where she taught at Benton High School and Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School. Prior to College Community she spent seven years as a district facilitator with the Cedar Rapids Community School District providing supports for teachers and administrators around instructional best practices and integration of technology. She also facilitated and led a variety of professional learning opportunities to support district curriculum initiatives. 

“I am very pleased to have Mrs. Palmersheim aboard as our Associate Principal at Prairie Point,” said Ian Dye who was recently named the building Principal for Prairie Point for effective July 1, 2020.  “Holly’s experiences in a high school classroom, district role, and most recent success as Associate Principal at Prairie Creek Intermediate make her a fantastic fit. Her instructional background, strong communication and recent experiences will help cement a strong transition support plan between Creek and Point for all of our students and families.”

Palmersheim, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned her undergraduate degree in Math from the University of Northern Iowa, and two master’s degrees (Counseling and Educational Leadership) from Drake University. 

Prairie High School Senior Awards and Scholarships

Individual Student Scholarship, Awards, and Recognition Presentation

Congratulations to our Prairie High School seniors who received individual student scholarships and awards. Congratulations for all your hard work and accomplishments! Click here to view individual students’ scholarships, awards, and recognitions presentation for the class of 2020!

Community Based Scholarship and Awards Presentation
Prairie High School would like to thank the community for their support of our 2020 seniors. Click here to view the Community Based Scholarship and Awards presentation for the class of 2020.  Congratulations seniors on  your outstanding accomplishments!

Lueken Takes the Gold in Optimist Oratorical Competition

Photo taken earlier in the year at  winning her club level competition. 

Rylee Lueken, a 9th grade Point student, competed in a “virtual” Optimist Oratorical Competition on Saturday, May 16th.  Rylee took gold at the club level back in January, however, with Covid-19 school closures, they held a virtual competition for District or State participants.  Rylee took first place and was awarded a $2,500 college scholarship and is eligible for the international competition in July.  Congratulations Rylee!

Prairie Point Golden Hawk Award Recipients

Congratulations to our Prairie Point 7th grade students Nile Fall, Jayden McManus, Laney Myers, Austin Nederhoff, Anthony Schulte, Autumn Schulte and Hero Winterberg who were recipients of the Golden Hawk Award. The Golden Hawk Award is presented to students that are engaged, active and positive during virtual continuous learning. Congratulations to the following students who were recognized for the award.  

Nile Fall
Jayden McManus
Laney Myers
Austin Nederhoff
Autumn Schulte and Anthony Schulte
Hero Winterberg

Ian Dye Selected to Lead Prairie Point Middle School and 9th Grade Academy

After an extensive search, the College Community School District has named Ian Dye as the new principal at Prairie Point Middle School and 9th Grade Academy pending Board approval.  Dye succeeds Kyle Koeppen who accepted the Superintendent position with the Vinton-Shellsburg School District.  

Dye currently serves as the Director of At Risk Programming and Prairie Delta Site Administrator. Prairie Delta is an extension of Prairie High School located on the Kirkwood Community College campus. The program serves students in grades 9-12 in the College Community School District that seek a smaller learning environment than can be found in a traditional high school setting.

“I am excited to see Ian move into this important position,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Wheeler. “Since his hire into the newly created Director of At-Risk position, Ian has consistently delivered positive outcomes through his ability to connect with staff and students in leading complex systems.  I am confident that Ian’s experience as a building leader and district-level leader in our system and other systems will secure continued success for the Prairie Point Community.”  

Prior to College Community Schools, Dye served as the Principal at Sunshine Charter High School in Orlando, Florida. Sunshine Charter is an At-Risk/Drop-Out prevention school designed to help students earn a standard high school diploma and prepare them for post-secondary success. While employed at Sunshine Charter, he served as the Director of Mathematics before being named Principal.  Dye has also served as the High School and Middle School Principal for six years for the Lisbon Community School District.

“Ian brings an extremely valuable leadership skill set along with a variety of experiences that will serve our students and staff well,” said Roderick Wade, Executive Director of Secondary Programs. “His student centered approach and his ability to create positive and meaningful relationships is second to none. He is all about creating and enhancing learning opportunities for all students.” 

Dye, a native of Mount Vernon, Iowa, earned his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Wheaton College and his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with both the students and staff at Prairie Delta,” said Dye.  “This year, we enjoyed an increased credit earning rate, improved attendance and many positive interactions between the members of our learning community. I am excited to be joining the Prairie Point team and partnering with students, staff and families to maximize educational opportunities for our 7th-9th grade learners. I am committed to giving my very best to continue these positive trends and look for ways to sustainably innovate and improve the educational experience for our middle school and 9th-grade Academy students.” 

A search to fill Ian’s current position “Director of At-Risk Programming / Delta Site Supervisor” will begin immediately.

Alliant Energy To Light Tower to Honor Class of 2020

Cedar Rapid-area students honored with light display during Graduation Week

The lights on Alliant Energy’s Cedar Rapids Tower will change to the colors of area high schools as a salute to the Class of 2020.   

High school students come downtown with their families at the end of May to walk across the stage at the Convention Center and get their diploma. The COVID-19 pandemic forced area school districts to cancel or postpone many of those ceremonies.

“In this time of uncertainty, it’s important to remember that brighter days are up ahead,” said Linda Mattes, Vice President of IT and Customer Operations. “This is our way of recognizing the student’s hard work and determination if they can’t be here in person.”

Each Cedar Rapids-area high school’s colors will be on display starting on May 21.

May 21 – Washington High School – Red and blue
May 22 – Jefferson High School – White and blue
May 23 – Kennedy High School – Green and gold
May 24 – Linn Mar High School – Red and black
May 25 – Marion High School – Red and gold
May 26 – Prairie High School – Orange and black  
May 27 – Xavier High School – Blue and silver
May 28 – Metro High School – Purple and black

Alliant Energy wants everyone to have a safe and happy Graduation Day. Visitors downtown to see the lights are reminded to wear face coverings and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet.

The latest news from College Community Schools.