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Community Education Day Marks 36-Years of Learning in Ankeny

 award winners
Annette Vance, Adult Enrichment Educator of the Year; Becky McKim, Friend of Community Education; Tricia Fogarty, Community Educator of the Year; Jean Buenting, Community Educator of the Year; Laura Ernst, Youth Enrichment Educator of the Year were honored during Ankeny Community Education Day.

 Dave Kissinger
Dave Kissinger spoke about the importance volunteering during the Ankeny Community Education Day celebration.
 AHS Quartet
Ankeny High School students Emma Feldhans, Kaylen Luttenegger, Philip Sindt, and Brandon Engelstad perform during the Community Education Day celebration. (AHS singers)

(ANKENY, Iowa) November 19, 2015 - Community members and school district staff celebrated 36-years of quality community education for all ages by honoring volunteers on Ankeny Community Education Day, November 10. The Ankeny Community Education Advisory Council hosted the day, which commemorated decades of valuable education programs, accessible facilities, and family support in the community. 

"Community Education has the potential to foster life-long learning experiences that are meaningful and relevant to both youth and adults," said Karen Norton, Ankeny Community Education. "Its philosophy advocates full use of public facilities by all ages in the community. Community Education also attempts to maximize use of available resources in the community in an effort to provide meaningful and accessible services."

Celebration with Purpose

An Ankeny Community Education Day Proclamation was presented by special guest Kerry Walter-Ashby, Ankeny City Council. Speaker Dave Kissinger shared thoughts about the importance of community partnering to support the needs of Ankeny students while emphasizing the importance of being an effective servant leader in strengthening our community.

Recognition of Friends

Honored guests were recognized for their volunteerism, education of the community, and partnership, and included:
  • Annette Vance, Adult Enrichment Educator of the Year
  • Laura Ernst, Youth Enrichment Educator of the Year
  • Becky McKim, Friend of Community Education; and
  • Jean Buenting and Tricia Fogarty, Community Educators of the Year

Entertainment was provided by a quartet from Ankeny High School and catered by Tasteful Dinners.  Partners and groups supported by Community Education include Ankeny Substance Abuse Project, Ankeny Dollars for Scholars, Project Fresh Start, Safety Town, and The Ankeny Klothing Exchange (TAKE).  Parent-Teacher Orgainziations (PTOs), School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC), faith leaders, boy scouts, girl scouts, civic groups, and others were also commended for their great work throughout the community. 

Why Community Education?

The purpose of the Community Education Department is to:
  • Develop a sense of community and promote quality of life through a broad-based Community Advisory Council.
  • Promote meaningful involvement of the community in the identification and resolution of school and community needs.
  • Mobilize all human and financial resources to meet local needs including quality of life issues and promotion of lifelong learning.
  • Make school and community facilities available to all ages.
To learn more about Ankeny Community Education and the outstanding classes, support and programs it offers, go to