Ames Iowa, Ames High School alumni header image w Cyclone mortor board and tassle

Behind the AHSAA Curtain

Wizard of Oz: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain". Yes, there are many volunteers behind the scenes at AHSAA, but who is behind the curtain, what are they doing, and how long have they been at it?

Since I am a relatively new member of AHSAA (only 5 years as of 2006 - update: it is now 2014, 8 years later, so I've been doing this now for a lucky 13 years !!) I asked at our October 2006 AHSAA meeting, about the details of the origins and history of our Alumni Association. 3 of the current AHSAA members are also charter members so they explained to me how the AHSAA was created. I took some notes and transcribed them here.

History and Background of the AHSAA

  1. In 1989 the Ames Iowa Superintendent of Schools, Ron Rice, asked Bill Ripp to look into starting an AHS Alumni Association
  2. Bill Ripp sent 40 letters inviting AHS Alumni to a meeting. 20 showed up.
  3. A consultant from Minnesota was hired to help form the origins of the AHSAA, his name was Ken Grounds.
  4. The Alumni Association Charter and By-Laws were created. The parent organization of AHSAA is the Ames Education Foundation.
  5. Officers were elected. 3 Alumni, as I mentioned above, are still on the committee 16 years later (wow!).
  6. It took many years and multiple resources to compile the database of all Alumni addresses both living and deceased. This database forms the backbone of our Alumni organization.
  7. AHSAA sends out a minimum of 3 newsletters per year. The newsletter in the spring is mailed to every alumni, the other two go to paying current members. It is important that each newsletter is sent 1st class postage so we get the address corrections for each member. (We do appreciate you letting us know new contact info by other means such as emailing to AHSAA or writing a letter.)
  8. This past summer of 2006 we were able to give out Five(5) $1000 scholarships to new AHS graduates. Some of these scholarships are financed from memberships, some from Memorial contributions, some is from regular contributions.
  9. We average 11 AHS reunions every year, we post the reunion information in our newsletters, and on the website. We provide each reunion committee, free of charge, a list of alumni address labels for their respective class year.
  10. The AHSAA meets the third Tuesday of each month at Ames High School, and also one time in the summer we meet at the Jack Smalling residence or the Bill Ripp residence, were we also have ice cream.


  1. Ed Hendrickson Jr. (AHS 1974) has been an AHSAA committee member since 2001. He volunteers his time to update and maintain the web site, and personally answers most questions emailed to AHSAA.
  2. was hosted by for free for 7 years, until the site got to be large enough that Ed realized AHSAA needed a commercial host that will also back up the site regularly and provide a large amount of space and bandwidth at a reasonable price.
  3. is currently being hosted by PowWeb. Ed moved part of the Ames High Alumni Web site in 2005 from AmesWeb to PowWeb, and then Ed moved the entire site in September 2006.
  4. If you would like to help AHSAA with their hosting costs and you also are looking for host for your own personal or business website then please sign up with PowWeb by clicking here and PowWeb will give us a credit towards our web hosting costs. PowWeb is also very reasonably priced for the amount of storage and bandwidth. Thank you.