Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy

Our October 8, 2020 leadership academy will be VIRTUAL. 


Ed Thomas Legacy Leadership Academy - for 9th-12th Graders 


UPDATED September 12, 2020:

Due to current COVID-19 precautions, our fall leadership academy will be completely virtual. Additional details such as speakers, schedule and resources will be shared soon. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this new structure! Please direct any questions you may have to al.kerns@a-pcsd.net. Thank you for your understanding surrounding this decision.


On Thursday, October 8, the Ed Thomas Family Foundation will expand on its goal of keeping the legacy of Coach Ed Thomas alive. Coach Thomas was a leader whose main objective was teaching young people to “Do What’s Right”. He was a great role model who lived his life true to the values that he taught to all. The Ed Thomas Family Foundation will provide an opportunity for high school students to strengthen their positive leadership skills and character by sponsoring the Ed Thomas Legacy Leadership Academy.


There will be no registration as it will be free and open to the public online. Instructors can view video links as well as download/print the notebook and activity resources from the schedule listed below. 


Free and open to the public.


No limit. All are welcome to tune-in!


No in-person academy. Videos and activities will be shared virtually on this page. All videos will be posted according to the time listed in the schedule below. Once the videos have gone live, you will be able to view them at any point after the day has concluded. 


Download Notebook Here

9:00 a.m. – Lyndsey Fennelly

Stress Evaluation Activity

10:00 a.m. – Larry Blunt

Walk the Line Activity

12:00 p.m. – Al Kerns

Ethics Discussion Activity

1:00 p.m. – Aaron Thomas

Appreciation Letter Activity



Lyndsey (Medders) Fennelly is a former Iowa State All-American and WNBA Draftee. She has since trained over 40,000 athletes as a basketball skills trainer, created CampusCycle, a beat driven spin studio, and is a community leader in Ames. Lyndsey is a passionate advocate for mental health and a proud Mom to Will (6) and Callie (2), as well as wife to Iowa State women's basketball assistant coach, Billy.


Larry Blunt is in his first season on the Drake staff and joined the Bulldogs after spending two seasons as an assistant at Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y., where he helped guide the Golden Griffins to a share of the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season title. In June 2016, two of his former players, former Kentucky guard Jamal Murray and center Thon Maker were taken seventh and ninth, respectively, in the 2016 NBA Draft.  Blunt was also the head coach for the Oshawa Power of the National Basketball League of Canada.


Former Teacher and Coach at Aplington-Parkersburg.

Al Kerns began teaching and coaching at Parkersburg High School in 1978. He retired from Aplington- Parkersburg in 2014 after 36 years of teaching. During his career at Parkersburg/ Aplington-Parkersburg, he was an assistant coach to Ed Thomas for over 30 years and the head girls’ track coach for 29 years.


High School Principal Aplington-Parkersburg.

Aaron Thomas is the oldest son of the Late Ed Thomas. At a young age, Aaron knew he wanted to go into education and coaching because he saw the impact his father was able to have on young people. Every day he witnessed the passion Ed Thomas displayed while working with young people.


The Ed Thomas Legacy Leadership Academy was established to carry forward what Coach Thomas was most passionate about -impacting young people. Coach Thomas always claimed that the school was his mission field and he spent his life trying to help students realize their potential and the impact they can have on others.

The Ed Thomas Family Foundation is committed to carrying on Coach Thomas’ legacy by passing on his philosophies to students. Our first Ed Thomas Legacy Leadership Academy was held on October 2, 2014 at Aplington-Parkersburg High School with over 490 students and supervisors in attendance. The response was so positive that we have continued to offer our academies each fall and spring.  We have held five academies with over 2,300 students and supervisors in attendance.  With our academies we hope to continue impacting young people to become positive leaders in their schools and communities.

This was such an awesome motivating day! I believe every student we brought got a ton out of this! ~ I wish our whole school could have attended! ~Thank you for hosting this event. Our kids & I loved it. We'll be back. A first class event. ~ You did a tremendous job of inspiring the young athletes I brought with me and energizing me to continue my work in the education and athletic arena. ~ It was an amazing experience! I learned so much that I hope to bring back to my school.

- Leadership Reviews, comments from students and supervisors on the first leadership academy

I have been in education and have coached for over 20 years. I've never been through a more meaningful day with students than I did last week at the Ed Thomas Leadership Academy. As soon as we got into our suburban to drive back to Creston, my students talked about what they had heard and how we could immediately implement change in our school. They talked the entire way home! I've never had an experience with students like that! We are in the process of developing a leadership course for students here at Creston High School. This was the first step in the development. I've gathered a lot of great ideas that we can implement with our students. Again, THANK YOU. You guys were right - something good can come out of something bad. I will continue to bring Creston students to the Ed Thomas Academy.

- Todd Jacobson, Creston HS

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