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DSM Summer Education Programming Panel

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Name: DSM Summer Education Programming Panel
Date: May 25, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CDT
Registration: Register Now
Event Description:
Research and studies are still emerging around the extent of learning loss for youth across the country.  Early data here in Iowa has shown a decline for students here in Central Iowa. Join us as we talk with state officials, local education administrators and non-profit leaders on how they will be working over the summer to help our students get back on track!

Bradley Niebling, Chief, Bureau of Learner Strategies and Supports
Mimi Willoughby, Des Moines Public Schools, Academic Pathways Supervisor
Kate Bennett, Community Impact Officer, Education
Lisa Remy- West Des Moines Community Schools

Bradley Niebling, Chief, Bureau of Learner Strategies and Supports
Brad Niebling is the bureau chief for learner strategies and supports at the Iowa Department of Education. He earned his Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Psychology, with a focus in School Psychology. Brad has previously worked at the university, school, and intermediate service agency levels as a school psychologist, trainer, and researcher. Brad has also spent time working in the non-profit sector. His professional interests include curriculum alignment, multi-tiered systems of support, standards-based reform, school improvement, implementation of research-based practices, and special education. He has published multiple journal articles and book chapters on standards-based practices, curriculum alignment, and response to intervention/multi-tiered systems of support. His current work focuses on supporting Iowa’s statewide implementation of the Iowa Academic Standards, accelerating student learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and assisting schools to improve Tier 1 practices within a multi-tiered system of supports.

Mimi Willoughby, Des Moines Public Schools, Academic Pathways Supervisor
Most recently from Denver, Colorado, Mimi Willoughby is know for being a trailblazer for non-traditional Academic Pathways for at-risk youth.  She has experience teaching high school and middle school English Language Arts within alternative high schools, title I schools, and charter schools.  Here in Des Moines, she has served as the At-Risk Coordinator at North High School and now leads the Academic Pathways programming for Des Moines Public Schools.  This includes the Flex Academy, Options Academy, High School summer programming, the Core Diploma pathway, and PLACE Academy.  

Her more than 15 years in teaching and transformative educational leadership has pushed her to lead innovative teaching and learning to facilitate professional development to district staff regarding effective instruction and current educational needs (trauma informed care, youth mental health first aid, etc.) to increase both student retention and staff meaningful attachment to employment with at-risk youth.  She works directly with the community, families, and agencies to problem-solve and redesign integrated systems to better serve youth.

According to Mimi “Transformative education means thinking outside of the box; and sometimes learning and attending outside of the building - or changing the box to an open space with lots of Love and Light.”

Kate Bennett, Community Impact Officer, Education
Kate Bennett began her career at United Way of Central Iowa in 2002 as the Executive Director for Polk County Early Childhood Iowa. In that position, Kate worked to create a collaborative system for government and local nonprofits to support at-risk children ages 0-8 and their families. The outcome of that work was a much more collaborative system and higher quality early childhood services in central Iowa. 

Starting in 2012, Kate has served as the Community Impact Officer-Education. She spearheaded the 2020 goals to raise the graduation rate for the three-county area from 83.4% in 2008 to 93.6% in 2019. This increase of 10.2% means 6,300 more students have graduated than would have if the graduation rate had stayed at the 2008 level.

For the last two years, Kate has been a part of the team who created the United to Thrive framework which UWCI officially launched in May 2021. This framework maintains a strong education focus while looking through an equity lens and COVID recovery. Kate is the staff lead for two volunteer cabinets who guide this work: Early Childhood Success and Education Success. Kate is looking forward to this next exciting chapter in central Iowa.

Kate lives in Des Moines with her husband, Blair, daughter Natalie, 18, and son Walker, 17. All four are proud DMPS alums and students. They thoroughly enjoy their time with their 2 dogs, Fitz & Stella.  

Lisa Remy, West Des Moines Community Schools
Lisa Remy, Ed.D., earned her bachelor’s degree in education, master’s degree in Spanish teaching, Superintendent’s certification, and doctorate degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Lisa began her career in education as a Spanish teacher in Hudson.   She later served as high school Principal at Hudson. She came to the West Des Moines Community Schools in 2000, serving as Associate Principal at Valley High School, Principal of Indian Hills Junior High, and Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and today she is Superintendent of West Des Moines Community Schools.

The Iowa Association of School Boards presented Remy with its Better Boardsmanship Superintendents Award of Honor, and the New Tech Network has recognized her for the work the district is doing with project-based learning. Remy is part of West Des Moines Rotary; a board member of Junior Achievement, the West Des Moines Chamber, the West Des Moines Community Schools Foundation, the Greater Des Moines Partnership Talent Development board, the Youth Justice Initiative Advisory Council; a board member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership; vice president of the Global K-12 Education Research Association; and a volunteer with United Way’s Day of Caring.  In February 2018, she was named one of the "17 People Making a Difference from 2017" by the Des Moines' Western Suburbs Business Journal. 
Date/Time Information:
Tuesday, May 25
10 - 11 a.m.
Contact Information:
Molli Davis
Free to attend, but registration is required