Alliance for Iowa State
-Make Your Voice Heard-

Iowa State University is playing a key role in making Iowa the top state in the nation with its 90% high school graduation rate.

Alumni of the ISU School of Education are leaders at Scavo Alternative High School in Des Moines - where the emphasis is on giving students positive experiences in education and providing them tools for success.

"We're here for you," says Scavo principal Rich Blonigan, who received his master's degree from the ISU School of Education in 2007. "We're not here to get you. We're getting you to where you want to go."

Students who attend Scavo have barriers to graduation. They are behind on academic credits and struggle in areas such as attendance, family problems, or pregnancy.

Blonigan helps students to overcome those barriers. Joining him are other Iowa State alumni including Mary O'Hearn, a SUCCESS case manager; Sarah Ball, a teaching and learning coach; Daryl Miller, a science and math teacher; and graduate student Sarah Smith, who taught English for 10 years and now works as academic interventionist.

They are advocates for the students, providing support where it's needed. They pick up those who need a ride to school, call students' homes weekly or biweekly, and make students feel like they are part of a community that cares.

When someone rings the bell at Scavo, it's a moment filled with emotion. It means that a student just earned enough credits to graduate.

Did you know? Iowa State alumni and Scavo Alternative High School were featured this summer by National Public Radio as part of its graduation rate project.
 Iowa State's Mission:
Create, share, and apply knowledge to make 
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The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State University alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on

state legislators and public policy makers.