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What’s next for education?

Posted September 10, 2014 in Community Featured, Des Moines West

For many of us a favorite seasonal transition is September — the beginning of autumn and, more importantly, the re-beginning of another year of education. We have the excitement of participating with the students among us as they — for the first time or for another year — prepare to connect or reconnect with friends old and new, as they together recharge their interest in this ritual of mind training and expansion.

New ideas, classes, instructors, all accompanied with celebrations, awakenings and perhaps an occasional fear, all guide us along this educational journey. And it certainly is not without challenges for our educational system itself, as we annually re-launch the effort.

How are we doing? Is the result what we desire or need? Can we measure the result of our collective effort? Where are we going? Are we successfully building the citizens for tomorrow, the workforce for tomorrow? Are there areas where we can do better? Are there new areas and challenges where we need to do better? Are we making progress, or at least keeping up with new technologies and an ever more competitive world, whether we compete with other cultural or economic regions within our country, or with other countries around the world?

We suspect that these are among the challenges and topics or concerns to be addressed by our All Star Panel at our Regional Government Relations Committee’s Educational Forum planned for Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 4-5:30 p.m. The location is the diner on the campus of AIB College of Business, 2500 Fleur Drive.

Panelists include President Rob Denson, Des Moines Area Community College; Dr. Michelle Hosp, director of the Iowa Reading Research Center; Kim Augspurger, president and owner, Saxton, Inc.; Kathleen Souhrada, Principal Financial Group; Elisabeth Buck, United Way of Central Iowa;  and Dr. Dave Wilkerson, superintendent of Waukee Schools.

They will discuss the nexus between our educational system and the needs of the Iowa workforce. You are invited to attend. There will be no charge, but please register at our website —

This seminar is sponsored by Des Moines West Side Chamber member Valic Financial Advisors Inc. Since our last writing we have welcomed the following new members to Des Moines West Side Chamber: The Genysys Group, Young General Dental, Valley Realty, Storied Gifts, Visionary, Auto Lab, Audio Lab, Nerium International, DART, American Awards, Robyn & Andrew Bickel, Principal Financial, Focus First Inc., Merle Hay Mall, Community Health Charities and Iowa Process Service.

Information provided by Dave and Carolyn Nagel, co-directors of the Des Moines West Side Chamber, 515-309-3266,

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