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Prairie Lakes AEA head appointed to STEM council

Group will work to boost Iowa’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math

September 19, 2011
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

POCAHONTAS - Jeff Herzberg, Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency chief administrator in Pocahontas, has been appointed to Gov. Terry Branstad's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Advisory Council.

The council of 40, co-chaired by Kim Reynolds, lieutenant governor, and Ben Allen, University of Northern Iowa president, will work to grow Iowa's commitment to bolstering STEM education, STEM innovation, and to "better position Iowa's young people and the state's economy for the future," according to a press release from Branstad's office.

While an executive committee has already met, STEM has its first official meeting on Oct. 31 in Des Moines.

"I'm very excited to be one of those 40 people named to do the important work that's going to be done in the state, to try to further STEM education in the state of Iowa," Herzberg said.

Herzberg said he hopes the process of getting all kinds of education entities from many different levels involved will "create some focused policy or curriculum, or ways to support math, science and technology in Iowa."

As chief administrator, Herzberg manages and supports the 240-person staff, reports to a nine-member board, is involved with school improvement activities and initiatives.

"I oversee the entire operation," he said.

Herzberg said that a benefit of his position is that he receives opportunities such as these where he can further help the state's students.

Herzberg has not served on a STEM council before.

"I have participated in and promoted a great number of STEM initiatives throughout the course of my career as principal, superintendent and chief administrator, but this is the first council I've served on," he said.

Herzberg said he's excited about serving on the council.

"It's one of those areas of focus that will help us create that high-quality education system that Iowa kids deserve, and it's an important component of careers for the future," he said. "Absolutely excited about the possibilities."

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or



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