Central Rivers AEA chief administrator announces plans to retire in 2023

The Board of Directors of Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA) announced today that Sam Miller, Chief Administrator, will be retiring on August 31, 2023.  The Board will begin the search process for a new leader over the summer months.  

“Sam has been a progressive, visionary leader over the past seven years,” said Dr. Deb Rich, CRAEA board president. “He’s leaving us a stronger, more nimble organization in our service to children, families and educators. We wish him all the best as he looks forward to retirement.”  

“I am humbled to have led this incredible agency and the passionate people who work here,” said Miller. “Iowa’s Area Education Agencies do so much for the children, families and educators in the state. It’s been an honor to be a part of that work in service to others.”

Prior to taking the top position at Central Rivers AEA, Miller previously held superintendent positions at both Solon and Davis County Community School Districts. He joined the agency in 2015.

Central Rivers AEA, with service delivery centers in Cedar Falls, Clear Lake, and Marshalltown, is the largest AEA in the state in terms of geography and the number of school districts served. The mission of the agency is to provide educational leadership, services and support to positively impact children, families and educators within the local school districts served.

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Congratulations to all 2022 Central Rivers AEA retirees!


The May celebration can be viewed online using the passcode: 9#6wO*kv

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Central Rivers AEA is a Des Moines Register Top Workplaces Gold winner!

Congratulations are in order to our full Central Rivers AEA team! Based entirely on the employee feedback captured with the Workplace Survey administered in February, Central Rivers AEA received the coveted “gold” designation.

According to the Des Moines Register Top Workplaces officials, “your Top Workplaces win is proof positive Central Rivers AEA puts its people first.”

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Mileage rate increase approved

The board of directors have approved an increase to the agency’s mileage rate in order to be more in line with the other AEAs. The new rate of $0.42 per mile will take effect on July 1, 2022.

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Remember to “reach out” this summer

Mental health is just as important as your physical health and deserves the same quality of support. We recognize this is true throughout the year, including the summer months.

We want to remind all Central Rivers AEA staff of our, “Reach Out Program.” This program is in-house support, featuring a small group of confidential, trained and empathetic staff who can serve as a first resource for you when struggling with a personal or professional challenge. Our staff support allies are available throughout the summer so please reach out!

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Save the date – Central Rivers AEA all-staff meeting is August 17 at the Cedar Falls office!

The 2022 all-staff kickoff meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 17 in the Cedar Falls conference center, beginning at 9:00 am with social time at 8:30. The morning will feature an inspiring message by Dr. Tina H. Boogren, a fierce advocate for educators, particularly for their well-being.  Lunch will be provided with regional meetings held in the afternoon. 

Attendance is mandatory for all staff, excluding River Hills and Detention Center staff.  If you are not able to be in attendance for the meeting, please notify your supervisor/HR. 

We look forward to having the opportunity to reconnect, network, and prepare for another incredible new year of service!

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Summer office hours begin June 6

Summer office hours, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm, go into effect June 6 – August 5. Reminder that all Central Rivers AEA Offices will be closed Fridays during the months of June and July.

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Thank you to the Central Rivers AEA Board of Directors


Join us in thanking our board members this month during School Board Recognition Month!   Serving almost 62,000 students, 5,000 educators and over 500 staff members, these nine dedicated volunteers are the backbone of the agency, setting the course for all we do!

  • Nicole Lovik-Blaser,  Director District 1 – Districts represented: Central Springs, Clear Lake, Forest City, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Lake Mills, North Iowa, Northwood-Kensett, St. Ansgar, and West Hancock.
  • Dr. Debra Rich, Board President, Director District 2 – Districts represented: Charles City, Dike-New Hartford, Dunkerton, Nashua-Plainfield, Sumner-Fredericksburg, Tripoli, Wapsie Valley, and Waverly-Shell Rock.
  • Kathy Enslin, Director District 3 – Districts represented: AGWSR, Alden, Aplington-Parkersburg, CAL, Clarksville, Eldora-New Providence, Grundy Center, Hampton-Dumont, Hubbard-Radcliffe, Iowa Falls, and North Butler.
  • Dr. Darshini Jayawardena, Director District 4 – Districts represented: Belmond-Klemme, Mason City, Osage, Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock, and West Fork.
  • Dr. Mary Stevens, Director District 5 – Districts represented: BCLUW, East Marshall, GMG, Marshalltown & West Marshall.
  • Maureen Hanson, Board Vice-President, Director District 6 – Districts represented: BGM, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Grinnell-Newburg, Hudson, Montezuma, North Tama County, South Tama County, and Union.
  • Dr. Tony Reid, Director District 7 – Districts represented: Cedar Falls, Denver, and Janesville.
  • Bryan Burton, Director District 8 – District represented: Waterloo.
  • Dennis Craun Jr, Director District 9 – Districts represented: East Buchanan, Independence, Jesup, and Waterloo.
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