Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy

Our next academy will be held October 5, 2017 at the Aplington-Parkersburg High School Auditorium.

Registration is now closed for the fall leadership academy.   

Click below to receive early email notification to our next academy.

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On Thursday October 5th, 2017 the Ed Thomas Family Foundation will expand on it’s 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.


Registration will be 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Session 1 will be at 9:00 a.m. Sessions completed by 2:00 p.m.


Parkersburg, Iowa | APHS Auditorium


Rohan Murphy - 9:00 a.m Brad Waller - 10:00 a.m Amy Wienands - 10:30 a.m
Al Kerns -Lunch A - 11:10 a.m Al Kerns -Lunch B - 12:10 p.m Aaron Thomas - 1:10 pm


$10 per participant & supervisors: each participant (including supervisors) will receive a T-shirt, lanyard + name tag, notebook, and pen. A sack lunch with a sub, fruit, and chips will be provided for each student. Water will be available free of charge.

*Checks can be mailed to: Ed Thomas Family Foundation, P.O. Box 536, Parkersburg, IA 50665. Currently we do not have the capabilities to process credit card payments. Thank you for your understanding.


Each school is limited to no more than 12 student participants and 2 supervisors per school. Registration will be limited to the first 450 participants.



Professional speaker, Also seen in ABC News, Sports Illustrated, 20/20, and Nike

As a Professional Speaker, Rohan motivates others by his actions, and now, his goal is to motivate the youth of America thru his words. Rohan’s life story is a gripping tale of adversity, dedication, and living life with a purpose. 


Brad Waller was raised in Waverly, Iowa, and is currently the Assistant Vice President, Community Relations with Hy-Vee. Through his position, Brad’s focus is working with the non-profit organizations Hy-Vee supports. He has been in this position since January 2013. Brad recently celebrated his 16-year anniversary with Hy-Vee on October 27th.

Outside of work, Brad is involved with a number of volunteer activities: Variety of Iowa, The Children’s Charity; Juveniles Diabetes Research Foundation; ALS Walk; board member of ChildServe for six years; Urbandale Little League Baseball coach for six years; current board member for the Iowa Sports Foundation for five years; and he is active in his church, St. Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines, having recently completed a three-year term on the church council, and he enjoys serving as a mass lector.


Amy was born and raised in Waterloo and has grown to love this community. She spent Friday nights working in concessions at Sloan Wallace Football Stadium, Saturday mornings selling mini donuts at town fairs, cleaning and painting rental houses, and delivering papers. After graduating from Northwestern College, she accepted her first job at the Cook County Jail, in Chicago, teaching employability skills to inmates. With numerous trips on the "L" to and from work, she read a book that her dad gave her called "The Magic of Thinking Big.". After reading this book, she made the decision to move back to Waterloo and seek out an opportunity to make a mark on her community.

Sales sounded exciting and selling homes sounded like a rewarding experience. She is now a huge proponent of marketing and branding and truly believes in "Obsessively Working for You!" Over the past few years, Amy has started, and grown, her own business - Amy Wienands Real Estate. She is wife to husband Steve and mother to twins, Foster and Faith. She is proud of her upbringing and feels blessed to raise her children in the very same community. 


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

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