By Sarina Rhinehart
Special to The Witness
AMES — Since taking over as the director of the Iowa Department of Education, Ryan Wise said he has visited about 50 school districts across the state,and on April 22, he paid a visit to his first Iowa Catholic school, Saint Cecilia School in Ames, to learn more about how the Department of Education can strengthen its partnerships with private schools across the state.
“This has really been a year of learning for me,” said Wise, who took over as director in July 2015. “I’ve tried to get out into the schools every single week.” While this is Wise’s first visit to a Catholic school in his new position, he is no stranger to the Catholic school system. “I’m myself the product of 17 years of Catholic school,” Wise said. “I grew up going to Catholic schools K-12, and I’m a Creighton (University) grad as well.”
As part of Wise’s visit on Friday, he observed several classrooms, spoke with parents, and even watched a second-grade class perform a readers theater about “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“We were thrilled to have an opportunity to share what private schools offer to young people in Iowa,” said Saint Cecilia Principal Ervin Rowlands. “To share that private schools are an important part of the educational component in Iowa and that we don’t get overlooked.”