Apr 26, 2019


Grant Wood AEA Leadership Announcements


Grant Wood Area Education Agency is pleased to announce several additions and changes to its leadership team.


Kris Donnelly, formerly a Grant Wood AEA programs/services administrator, has accepted a new role at the agency and will serve as the executive director of Teaching and Learning.


This position will provide leadership and oversight to pilot projects and initiatives in the areas of mental health, authentic/personalized learning, literacy, and support for overall coordination and alignment of agency programs and services.



Kris has held progressive leadership positions with Grant Wood AEA for more than 20 years including work as a special education consultant, school improvement consultant, literacy consultant, a regional administrator, and most recently as a programs/services administrator.

Grant Wood AEA Regional Administrators Bart Mason and John Zimmerman each have been promoted to the positions of director of Teaching and Learning. In their new positions, Bart and John will provide leadership for the implementation and operation of effective educational programs, and will support staff in their implementation and evaluation of agency programs and services.


Bart Mason has worked at the agency for nine years, most recently as a regional administrator. He previously worked as both a building principal, and as a district administrator.



John Zimmerman has worked at Grant Wood AEA for four years as a regional administrator. He previously was a building principal with the Linn-Mar Community School District, and the Eldora-New Providence School District.

John Zimmerman


The AEA also has extended offers to three external candidates for regional administrator positions at the agency. These leadership positions serve as a liaison for school districts to AEA programs, services and staff, and connects districts with supports specific to each district’s needs. The agency is pleased to welcome Darrin Strike, Shannon Kehoe and Amy Beach to these positions.


Darrin Strike is currently serving as superintendent at West Fork Community School District, and has previously worked as superintendent and PK-3 principal at Sheffield-Chapin/Meservey-Thornton Community School District; a school improvement consultant with Central Rivers AEA; a 7-12 principal with the Ventura Community School District; and as a science teacher.

Darrin Strike


Shannon Kehoe is currently serving as a PK-5 principal at Cedar Rapids’ Viola Gibson Elementary. She also has been a K-6 principal with the Iowa City Community School District, and a learning strategist with the College Community School District.

Shannon Kehoe


Amy Beach is currently serving as a PK-4 principal at College Community’s Prairie Ridge Elementary. She previously has worked as associate principal at College Community’s Prairie Point Middle and 9th grade Academy, and was an attendance facilitator with Kennedy High School, Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Amy Beach

“We are excited to add Darrin, Shannon and Amy to the Grant Wood AEA leadership team, and I’m pleased that we had great internal staff who could fill other key positions in our executive cabinet,” commented Chief Administrator John Speer.

All positions have been approved by the Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors, and will become effective July 1, 2019.

Category: News GWAEA