Celebrating Administrative Professionals Day 2023
Administrative Professionals’ Day is an important day to acknowledge and express gratitude to the hardworking administrative professionals who make a significant impact on the operations and success of our amazing Ames Community School District. As a vital part of the education system, these employees and so many more play a crucial role in ensuring that teachers, staff, and students have the resources they need to succeed.
It’s important to recognize the dedication and commitment of our administrative professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the Ames CSD functions smoothly. Their expertise, organization, and attention to detail are invaluable and today we share our appreciation. Meet our building staff whom we appreciate today and every day!
Ames High School
Kathi Steenhagen is a secretary to the principal at AHS. She has been with the district 12 years and at AHS for the last two years. Steenhagen’s favorite part of her job is working with the very kind, very hard-working, very dedicated Ames High Staff.
Jennifer Butenhoff has been an administrative professional in the Ames CSD for the past 12 years. Her favorite part of the job is getting to see all the students that come through, as she loves seeing the smiles on their faces and saying “Good Morning” to them. In her free time, Butenhoff loves going on a motorcycle ride with her husband, going shopping with her girls, or chatting with her son who is currently in Japan. One thing that students and parents might not know about Jennifer is that she is certified to give medications to students if the nurse is not available. She takes great pride in being able to provide this service to the school community.
Catherine Monroe has been a dedicated administrative professional in the Ames CSD for over 14 years. Her favorite part of the job is working with the hard-working, dedicated, kind, and caring AHS staff, whom she finds truly inspiring. In her free time, Catherine enjoys spending quality time with her family, whom she cherishes greatly. One interesting fact that students and parents may not know about Catherine is that she has lived in five different states.
Leslie Day is a recent addition to the Ames CSD, having worked as an administrative professional for one year. One thing that students and parents might not know about Leslie is that she is also a Spanish translator and interpreter for the District, a job she has been performing since 2020. Leslie is a quick learner who is always seeking to improve her skills and knowledge. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Ames Middle School
Kim Reimer is a recent addition to the Ames CSD, having worked as an administrative professional for one year. One thing that students and parents might not know about Kim is that she strives to make every student feel seen and heard, especially those who may be feeling lonely or sad, by offering a friendly ear and guidance towards a brighter future. In her free time, Kim loves being with her family, listening to country music, and pursuing her passion for garden and floral designing.
Kari Stagg has been with the Ames CSD for 3 years, working at the middle school since 2021. Most might know her for her friendly smile and greeting as you enter AMS office. Kari’s favorite part of working at AMS is all the dedicated, kind, and hard-working staff she gets to partner with daily. In her free time, Kari enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, cooking, thrift store and antique shopping.
Judy Hopper has been an administrative professional in the District since 2007. Most days, you will find Judy in the student services office always ready to greet everyone and lend a helping hand. In fact, Judy’s favorite part of the job is helping in any way possible. Outside of work Judy enjoys spending time with family, carpentry, and having a good laugh.
Melanie Johnson has been with the Ames CSD since 1995. Johnson was at Meeker from 1995-1998 before taking a break to focus on her family. Melanie returned to the district in 2007 and her favorite part of working as an administrative professional in a school is the interactions she has with everyone, including students, parents, staff, volunteers, district personnel, and various people in their community. She loves the palpable positivity at Fellows that radiates out to everyone involved and truly considers the school a “Fellows Family”. Melanie loves spending time with her friends and family, preferably on or near a lake or body of water.
Jamie White has been an administrative professional with the Ames CSD for 11 years. Her favorite part of the job is getting to interact with the students and building a relationship with each of them. She finds inspiration in the kids she works with and is motivated to do the things that will make their world a better place. In her free time, Jamie loves spending time with her family or soaking up some sunshine on a beautiful afternoon. Her commitment to building relationships and making a positive impact on the world around her is evident in both her professional and personal life.
Jessica Grundmeier has been an administrative professional with the Ames CSD for 3 years. Her favorite part of the job is helping people in any way she can. Jessica enjoys being able to offer support, advice, and hugs to students, staff, and families on a daily basis. One thing students and parents might not know about Jessica is that she loves making connections with students by running mileage club with them. Jessica’s dedication to helping others and making meaningful connections is evident in everything she does. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, going on walks, solving puzzles, and lounging by the pool.
Meghan Von Behren is a new addition to the Ames CSD, having joined Edwards just three months ago. As an administrative professional, she loves the opportunity to get to know so many people in the community and cherishes the moments of joy that she witnesses through the eyes of the students. With her warm and friendly demeanor, Meghan is quickly making a positive impression on those around her at the District. Her enthusiasm for getting to know the community and making meaningful connections is sure to make her a valuable asset to the team for years to come.
Jessi Neilsen has been a part of the Ames CSD since 2009, starting out as a custodian and now working as an administrative professional. Her favorite part of her job is the people she gets to work with every day, including the students and staff. Jessi is a dedicated member of the school district, and one thing that students and parents might not know is that she helps shovel snow during the school day. During her free time, she enjoys reading a good book, watching Netflix, or playing with her daughter.
Dana Schmitt has been in various roles throughout the District, but has been an administrative professional at Meeker since 2021. She finds her job fulfilling because no two days are the same, and she likes to keep busy. Her willingness to go above and beyond to support the school is a testament to her strong work ethic and commitment to her job. Dana finds inspiration in her daughter. In her free time, Dana loves to go for runs.
Heather Forkner has been with the Ames CSD for six years. Her favorite part of her job is seeing the students grow and change each year, and having the opportunity to talk with both parents and students. Heather draws inspiration from her mother, who went back to school at age 50 while raising three children mostly on her own. Her mother’s hard work and dedication inspired Heather to pursue her own career and strive for success. As an administrative professional, Heather does more than just assist with day-to-day operations. She is responsible for purchasing for the school, including managing bus requests for field trips. In her free time, Heather loves spending time with her family and playing her Nintendo Switch.
Sara Sherman is an administrative professional who has been working with the Ames CSD for one year. She loves her job and her favorite part is greeting all the students when they come into the office. Sherman is a mother of two and her own kids inspired her to come and work for Ames CSD. She saw the impact that teachers and staff had on her children and wanted to be a part of that. When she has free time, Sara likes to spend it reading, crafting, and having dinner with friends. In addition to her regular duties, Sara does all of the social media posts for Sawyer Elementary. She enjoys using her skills to keep everyone updated and informed about what’s happening at the school.
Ily Lane is an administrative professional currently working with the Ames Community School District for the past 8 years. She finds joy in watching the children grow from kindergarten to 5th grade, which is her favorite part of being a part of the educational system. When she has free time, Lane prefers to spend it fishing.
Northwood Preschool Center
Sue Severson has been with the Ames CSD for 18 years. Her favorite part of her job is undoubtedly the kids, as she loves to greet them every day as they come into school, often giving random hugs. During her free time, Sue loves to spend time with her friends and family while reading a good book. Sue is a hard worker who goes above and beyond for her school. According to Sue, she does all kinds of random things to support the staff and school and could not appreciate all those random things more!