Prairie Lakes AEA is the result of a merger between Lakeland AEA & Arrowhead AEA in 2003. Our area stretches across 14 counties (Calhoun, Clay, Buena Vista, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Hamilton, Humboldt, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster & Wright) from the Minnesota border down to the Highway 30 area; and across from Interstate 35 to Highway 71. Our 8,000 square mile area is larger than the states of Delaware (2,489), Connecticut (5,543) and Rhode Island (1,545), and is comparable to New Jersey (8,721). Prairie Lakes AEA is one of Iowa's nine Area Education Agencies.
Within that region, we serve 40 public school districts and 11 accredited, nonpublic schools – such as St. Edmond, Pocahontas Catholic, Storm Lake St. Mary’s, Community Christian, Sacred Heart in Spencer, Emmetsburg Catholic, Bishop Garrigan, etc. Click here for a map of our area.
Over 32,500 students attend the schools we serve and we partner with about 3,500 educators. (We define educators who works with kids – superintendents, principals, teachers, janitors, bus drivers)
While we have physical office space in eight communities, our 230 staff members also have work space in local schools. It’s not uncommon for our folks to work in public libraries, restaurants…anywhere they can find free Internet access.
Chief Administrator is Jeff Herzberg joined Prairie Lakes AEA in July 2010. Each of the seven members of our Board of Directors is elected by local school district boards.
We live our shared vision through our values. Each core value is followed by our vision.
Communication. We collaborate and cooperate to build and sustain relationships. We respond promptly to all requests to ensure people have useful and accurate information. We recognize effective technology can enhance and support communication.
Teamwork. We work together to solve problems and coach one another to find solutions. We value face-to-face interactions while embracing technology to connect and collaborate. We are innovative consumers of technology who use the most effective tools to reach our goals.
- Consistent, system-wide, open communication creates a positive organization.
- Prairie Lakes AEA must be an innovative, research-based, data-driven agency collaborating with all partners to achieve excellence.
- We will serve children, families, schools and communities with integrity based on their unique needs.
- All people thrive in an atmosphere of trust, respect, excellence and recognition.
- Through shared knowledge, skills and collaborative partnerships, we can support the needs of all learners.
- Learning must be differentiated in order to meet the needs of agency, the district and the individual to build upon strengths and skills.
- Flexibility and support are needed in order to balance job responsibilities, teaming, training and application of new skills.