New Prairie Lakes AEA leader honored for service to disabled students

Friday, October 16, 2020
Susie Meade, the new administrator of Prairie Lakes AEA which serves the Storm Lake region, has been honored for Distinguished Service by the Iowa Council of Administrators of Special Education.

Dr. Susie Meade has been presented the Distinguished Service award by the Iowa Council of Administrators of Special Education. This award is presented to individuals making significant contributions to programs and services for students with disabilities. She was nominated by Kendra Alexandra, Coordinator of Student Services at Winterset Community School District, who wrote:

“Dr. Meade has been instrumental not only in the Winterset Community School District but throughout the state of Iowa in the support and progress of students with disabilities. She has put students in with special needs first in the work she has done both as director of special education and most recently as superintendent.

“She has led the state in the work to support students with significant mental health needs.  Her impact has particularly been impactful for students with disabilities and mental health needs in rural Iowa. She is truly an advocate for all children, but especially those who need a little more to be successful in the educational setting. Dr. Meade is a brave leader, a passionate advocate, and dedicated educator. There is no one else more deserving of this recognition.”    

In July, Dr. Meade transitioned from her role as superintendent at Winterset to serve as Chief Administrator at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency. She has also worked as a special education teacher and principal. She replaces Jeff Herzberg, Pocahontas, who led the AEA for 10 years, stepping down in June with plans to return to classroom teaching and coaching.

The award was presented by Christine Wells, ICASE Board Secretary and Regional Administrator at Prairie Lakes AEA.