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  • 2021 ICRA Midyear Seminar

2021 ICRA Midyear Seminar

  • Saturday, November 13, 2021
  • 8:30 AM - 4:40 PM
  • DMACC, Newton, Iowa


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2021 Midyear Seminar

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Des Moines Area Community College, Newton Campus

600 North Second Avenue, West

Newton, IA 50208


Hotel room block at:

Cobblestone Inn & Suites

4222 S 22nd Avenue E

Newton, IA

(641) 275-9495

Title of Session





8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.


Registration and

Continental Breakfast

Good Grief

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


Jade Spielman, LMFT


10:00 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.



Seven Habits of

Highly Effective People

10:10 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.


Andrea Christopher,

School Principal


11:40 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.




Lobbyist Update


DMACC Update

Lunch & Learn


11:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.


Kellie Paschke, Legislative Counsel, and Dr. Patricia Ziegler, DMACC Realtime Court Reporting Program Chair and Professor


1:20 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.




State of Iowa vs. Stanley Liggins

 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Aaron Hawbaker, Chief Public Defender


3:00 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.




State of Iowa vs. Stanley Liggins (Part 2)

 3:10 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.


Aaron Hawbaker, Chief Public Defender


Good Grief

Jade Spielman, LMFT

(9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.) 

Jade Spielman is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Ankeny, Iowa.  She received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Kansas State University.  Jade has been a therapist for 14 years, primarily working with a focus on grief, loss, and bereavement. She has worked with agencies, schools, hospices, and now is in private practice. 

When Jade was a freshmen in college, her mother passed away from injuries resulting from a car accident. Jade struggled and worked her way through her own therapy.  Ultimately, that life tragedy and the therapy she sought out to deal with it helped her to find her passion; to bear witness to people’s grief while helping them navigate through some of the most challenging periods of their lives.

Jade’s professional and personal passion grew even deeper in 2018 when she lost her daughter, Selah, at 19 weeks pregnant.  Although Jade and her husband have been blessed with two boys, she had dreamt of having a mother/daughter relationship once again after losing her mom as a young woman. The loss of Selah shattered that dream and her and her family’s hearts were broken. Jade was soon introduced to No Foot Too Small by a friend who had experienced a similar loss. No Foot Too Small once again transformed the way Jade viewed grief, both professionally and personally. She came to realize that finding a community of people with similar losses was crucial to the grief process.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it has been evident or disguised, we have all suffered loss in some way, shape, or form.  Whether experiencing the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a dream, or even the loss of the sense of control or security we once had regarding the stability of our everyday lives, we are grieving, and that grief should be acknowledged and worked through properly.  Jade will provide both a personal and a professional outlook, as well as coping strategies, regarding grief.  She will also talk about her work and experience with the No Foot Too Small organization and all of the amazing opportunities and supports they are providing people in an effort for them to feel supported and advance through their grief process in a healthy manner.

 Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Andrea Christopher, School Principal

(10:10 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.)


Andrea Christopher is the elementary principal at Orchard Hill Elementary School in Cedar Falls, Iowa.   She has been an elementary principal for the past eight years in Cedar Falls.  Andrea started her career in education as a 5th grade teacher in Colorado where she earned her M.A. in Elementary Counseling.   She soon returned back to Iowa to work as an elementary counselor in Davenport, Iowa and then in Cedar Falls.  Andrea became certified in Applied Control Theory and trained educators across the country in strategies for life balance. In 2012, she earned her second Masters in Educational Leadership at UNI and has since worked as an elementary principal for the Cedar Falls School District. 

Andrea loves working with kids and families.  In her free time she loves spending time with her family, riding bikes, hiking, and traveling in the summer. 

During her work in Cedar Falls, she has been trained in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People through Franklin Covey.  She believes everyone can lead and works to create opportunities for students and grownups to find their voice and passion.  Last spring, Orchard Hill was recognized as a Lighthouse School by Franklin Covey.   

Lunch and Learn

Lobbyist Update

Kellie L. Paschke

Skinner & Paschke, P.L.L.C.

Attorneys and Lobbyists for ICRA

(11:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.)

Kellie received her B.A. from Cornell College in 1997, majoring in political science and J.D. from Drake University Law School in 2000, with a focus on corporate/business law.  She was admitted to practice law in September of 2000.

Kellie began working in the legislature as a legislative intern in 1999.  Upon graduation, she spent five years working inside the Capitol as a research analyst for the Iowa House Republican Caucus staff.  Kellie was responsible for legal research and analysis of legislation for several areas including Judiciary, Public Safety, Justice System Appropriations, and Judicial Branch budget.

In 2005, Kellie joined the Iowa Association of Business and Industry as Vice President, Government Relations.  In this role, she served as a primary lobbyist for the association on all matters related to business, environmental, and labor law.  Kellie joined the law firm of Skinner, Nielsen, & McCollom, PLC, in 2008.

In 2010, Troy Skinner and Kellie formed the firm Skinner & Paschke, PLLC.  During the legislative session, they work full time at the Statehouse, and in the interim, they continue this service by providing regulatory and policy development assistance.  Troy and Kellie also maintain an active law practice which includes a focus on personal injury, workers’ compensation, employment law, and real estate matters.  In 2020, Troy and Kellie expanded their firm by hiring two new lawyers/lobbyists; Kelly Verwers Meyers and Logan Murray.

 Lunch and Learn

DMACC Update

Dr. Patricia Ziegler

(11:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.)


Dr. Patricia Ziegler is a Professor in the Realtime Court Reporting program at the Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus.  She has taught in the court reporting field for more than 20 years and has served as a Vice President and Academic Dean and as a Professor of Realtime Reporting at AIB College of Business in Des Moines. Subsequent to her work at AIB College of Business and prior to her current work at DMACC, she was an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Information Reporting Technology at St. Louis Community College.

In her current work, Dr. Ziegler oversees all aspects of DMACC's Realtime Court Reporting program, including academic requirements, recruiting, and mentoring students enrolled in the program. Dr. Ziegler is a member of the National, Iowa, and Missouri Court Reporting Associations. She is also a Certified Court Reporting Instructor and a Certified Program Evaluator for NCRA. She earned an M.A. from the University of South Dakota and most recently a Doctorate of Education from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

State of Iowa vs Stanley Liggins

Aaron Hawbaker

(2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.)

On September 17, 1990, around 6:00 p.m., Jennifer Lewis, age nine, of Rock Island, IL, had disappeared from her home.  Three hours later, around 9:00 p.m., her body was discovered in a field near Jefferson Elementary School in Davenport, IA.  Jennifer had been sexually and physically assaulted, wrapped in a garbage bag doused with gasoline, and set on fire.  Stanley Liggins was questioned two days later with regard to the death of Jennifer Lewis, and was subsequently charged and found guilty of First Degree Murder, Willful Injury, First Degree Sexual Abuse, and First Degree Kidnapping on February 19, 1993.  On November 23, 1994, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the conviction, indicating that evidence was presented to the Jury which should not have been permitted.  Upon subsequent retrial in Dubuque County, Liggins is found guilty by jury on July 25, 1995, of Murder, First, and again, sentenced to life in prison.  The Supreme Court upheld Liggins; a second conviction on December 19, 1996; however, on November 6, 2013, the Court of Appeals reversed that second conviction due to failure on the part of the prosecution to disclose pertinent information regarding a key witness, as well as police reporters which were not provided to defense counsel.  On August 28, 2018, a third jury trial commenced in Black Hawk County. Upon completion of the third trial, the jury deliberated for three days and was unable to come to a unanimous verdict.  The Court declared a mistrial in the matter.  The matter was tried for a fourth time, and on April 2, 2019, Stanley Liggins was again found guilty of Murder in the First Degree. 

Aaron Hawbaker is the Chief Public Defender in the Waterloo Adult Public Defender’s Office.  He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he received a BA in Political Science/Communications.  Aaron graduated in 1994 from University of Iowa College of Law.  He has worked for the State of Iowa Public Defender’s Office since 2004.  He represented Stanley Liggins in his third and fourth trials. 


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"ICRA" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 703 Elm Court, Dallas Center, IA 50063

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