Each year, two Friends of Education are selected to be honored at our annual Education is Everybody’s Business Breakfast. These honorees are recognized for their ongoing support of every school in the district, through their Foundation gifts. The Friends of Education recognition award has been given out since 1998. Recent Friends of Education recipients are highlighted below, along with a list of all honorees since ward winners
2016 Friends of Education
Tim Terry and Gretchen Rice and Hills Bank and Trust Company
Tim Terry & Gretchen Rice
Gretchen, a former nurse practitioner from Belair, Maryland, graduated from the University of Virginia, MGH Institute of Health professions and Simmons College Family Nurse Practitioner program. She served on the board of the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic from 1998-2001. From 2011-2015, she founded and led Willowwind Friends and Families – the Willowwind School’s parent/teacher organization.
Tim was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. He is a graduate of Loras College and holds degrees in English Language & Literature, Accounting, and Business Administration. On a trip to Tanzania to summit Kilimanjaro in 1996, one of Tim’s climbing partners decided she needed to introduce Tim to Gretchen, claiming they would make a good match. She was correct!
They married in 1997 and settled in Iowa City where they raise their four children – two at West High, an 8th grader at North Central Junior High, and a 4th grader at Willowwind.
They have been advocates for education beginning with their involvement with Willowwind. Tim served as Board Chairman of Willowwind for ten years, overseeing its transition from an unaccredited school in a house on Johnson and Burlington Streets, to a dual accredited Montessori pre-school and K-6th grade elementary. During the course of his tenure, Tim stepped in on a temporary basis as Head of School. This humbling experience forever provided him with a sensitivity to the challenges faced by our educators and administrators.
Tim currently sits on the Board of Directors for UNESCO City of Literature, is a member of the Rotary Club of Iowa City, and serves on multiple other boards of directors. He has worked to encourage adequate funding for our schools.
Tim and Gretchen’s commitment to education and desire to provide the community school-aged children with influential and impactful experiences make them an ideal choice for the 2016 Friends of Education.
Hills Bank and Trust Company
Hills Bank was founded in 1904 in the small town of Hills, Iowa by a group of dedicated citizens. Today the bank encompasses 18 offices in three eastern Iowa counties, with more than 450 employees. While still headquartered in a town of fewer than 700 people, Hills Bank is one of the largest independent banks in Iowa, offering the advantages of a large regional bank while maintaining the responsiveness of a smaller community bank.
Hills Bank was founded on the principle that banks should care about the people they serve and provide ways to help them prosper. They are actively involved with the communities in which they are located by supporting many youth and education based programs in the Eastern Iowa Corridor. They believe that supporting our children helps give them the tools they need to become leaders in our communities. They also believe that acknowledging and supporting our community’s youth through their service efforts encourages them to continue to give back to their community and motivates them to get others involved.
Hills Bank actively participates in a variety of programs at the Iowa City School District, including, but not limited to the Visiting Author program, Iowa City Music Auxiliary, Global Issues Conference, Hills Bank Leadership Grant Scholarship, John R. Hughes Leadership Program, Banking 101, Everfi Financial Literacy Course and Youth Salute. They encourage parents to help invest in education with their Classroom Cash program. There is no cost to the customer; it’s just a great way to make a difference in our schools. Classroom Cash empowers parents and community members to earn money for the school or school district of their choice by making a purchase with a Hills Bank debit card or business debit card. With every purchase, Hills Bank makes a donation back to the school at various times throughout the year. To date, the Hills Bank Classroom Cash program has given over $345,000 to the Iowa City School District.
2015 Friends of Education
Scheels All Sports and Art and Ginger Nowak
Scheels All Sports
Founded in 1902, Scheels has 25 locations in 10 states throughout the West and Midwest. Scheels is an employee-owned, privately held business that owes its consistent success to its empowered associates, leaders and partners who think and make decisions for their individual stores and the entire company. Their company belief is that education is not only important to the future of our youth and young adults, but to the future of our communities. Our local Scheels store has partnered with the Iowa City School District in a number of ways-on the athletic front as supporters of Stand Up for City High, Go for the Goal at West High and the Go to Bat indoor hitting facility campaign. Scheels also made a wonderful donation to the EveryClassroom technology campaign supporting 21st century technology in all of our District classrooms. Most recently, Scheels has become a supporter of the School of the Wild outdoor learning program that every 6th grader in the District attends. Our many thanks goes to Scheels as a true partner to our schools!
Art and Ginger Nowak have shown their commitment in many different ways to our area schools and children with special interest in the arts, special education and school nutrition. Art is a Professor Emeritus from the University of Iowa Colleges of Dentistry and Medicine and Affiliate Professor University of Washington School of Dentistry. A prolific author he has edited three textbooks and over one hundred publications in referred journals. He served on the University Heights City Council for eight years and retired from the United States Navy in 1997 with the rank of Captain after serving twenty seven years. Ginger served as a substitute special education teacher from our District along with being a reading tutor and volunteer at SouthEast Junior High and Kirkwood elementary. Ginger also was an after school homework helper at Twain elementary and is a current penpal with a Horn elementary student.
As parents of four Iowa City School graduates, they have seen first-hand how a quality education in a wonderful community impacts us all. The Nowaks have really done some tremendous things for our schools: from paying off debt that families owed who are enrolled in our free and reduced lunch program, to donating to the Tate High School art program and, most recently, to ensuring that every 1st and 2nd grader in our district would receive a book from this year’s visiting author – the Nowaks are true supporters and believers and are most deserving Friends of Education recipients.
Past award honorees include:
Sally and John Staley
Mary Anders Morris & Woodrow Morris
LaDonna & Gary Wicklund
Vicky and Terry Green
Home Builders Association
Herb and Janice Wilson
Catherine and Jim Lane
Marv and Sally Hartwig
Doug and Linda Paul
Iowa City Road Races, Inc.
Hills Bank & Trust
Iowa State Bank & Trust
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Richard and Ellen Caplan
George and Mary Lou Matheson
Pete and Kathryn Wallace
Toyota Scion of Iowa City/ABRA Autobody
Ann and Dick Feddersen
Mary and Gordon Mixdorf
Neumann Monson Architects
Integrated DNA Technologies
Elizabeth Boyd and William Nusser
Steve and Victoria West
A W Welt Ambrisco Insurance
Herb and Janice Wilson
University of Iowa Community Credit Union
Ed and Ethel Barker
Scheels All Sports
Art and Ginger Nowak
Tim Terry and Gretchen Rice
Hills Bank and Trust
Ed and Ethel Barker
As Friends of Education, Ed and Ethel Barker are true heroes throughout the school district and the community. Whether they are attending a school event, participating in various community groups or making a donation through the Foundation, the Barkers have contributed to the quality of education for the students in our district for decades. As an educator, Ed was principal at West High school for many years and had a lasting impact on many students. Today, Ed takes pride in meeting his former students and learning of their successes in life. The Barkers continue to be involved in the schools from Ethel reading her novel to elementary school students to Ed’s guest speeches at high school reunions. It is only with the generosity and commitment of community leaders such as the Barkers that the schools are able to provide the highest quality education for each and every student every day.
McComas-Lacina Construction is a General Contractor, locally owned by Mike Hahn and Allen Morelock. Established in 1977, the majority of McComas-Lacina’s work is large commercial, hospital and/or university projects. They employ more than 150 individuals from Iowa City and surrounding communities – and their experienced staff has spent years building relationships with area subcontractors and suppliers. McComas-Lacina’s commitment to the community is clear and they have shown a strong dedication to education by supporting area schools. Whether on the field or in the classroom, McComas-Lacina’s generosity and gifts through the Foundation are essential to the high quality school system we all enjoy and benefit from. Thank you to Mike and Allen for their demonstrated support of excellence in education as true Friends of Education.