BVU, AHSTW Community School District unite in Strategic Partnership

Avoca-Hancock-Shelby-Tennant-Walnut Community School District employees (front row, from left) Darin Jones, superintendent; Shannon Goetzinger, guidance counselor; and Sidney Zimmerman, para-educator and BVU student; and (back row, from left) Tamara Hansen, fourth grade teacher; Shona Wirich, second grade teacher; Tara Lohoff, guest teacher and BVU student; Katelynn Long, fourth grade teacher; Courtney Robinson, first grade teacher; and Lisa Irlbeck, second grade teacher.

Buena Vista University (BVU) and the Avoca-Hancock-Shelby-Tennant-Walnut Community School District (AHSTW) have united in a Strategic Partnership, working together to strengthen their communities.

This agreement allows employees of AHSTW, as well as eligible family members of full-time employees, to receive grant funding to lower the overall cost of education while enrolled in classes at BVU’s Storm Lake campus. Partner grant funding also lowers the cost per credit hour for students enrolled in BVU’s convenient online/hybrid undergraduate programs or the organizational leadership graduate program.

BVU professors and staff are also available for training programs, workshops, and more should officials with AHSTW seek those services and expertise.

“Our partnership with BVU will provide a great opportunity for our staff and their family members as they seek to earn their degree,” says AHSTW Superintendent Darin Jones, a BVU graduate. “This opportunity will benefit our community as participants can earn their degree all while serving the students of our district.”

The district has approximately 130 employees serving 750 students in grades PK-12. Based in Avoca, AHSTW educates students from five communities, including: Avoca, Hancock, Shelby, Tennant, and Walnut.

“I enjoyed my time at BVU and the opportunities it provided me,” says Jones. “I’m excited that our district’s partnership with BVU has the ability to provide similar opportunities to individuals going forward.”

“We look forward to our partnership with AHSTW Community School District and the doors it will open for many individuals,” says BVU Director of Strategic Partnerships Laura Todd. “At BVU, we work to increase access to education, strengthening individuals and our communities.”

For more information about BVU’s Strategic Partnerships and partner opportunities, please visit the BVU website at or contact Strategic Partnerships at

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