Iowa teacher Sarah Brown Wessling is a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award.Wessling is among four finalists for the award, which is a program of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and sponsored by the ING Foundation. The other finalists are from California, Florida, and Michigan.
This fall, Wessling was named the 2010 Iowa Teacher of the Year by the Iowa Department of Education. Former student Tyler Buller, who nominated Wessling for the Iowa teaching award, said she has a long-term impact on her students. In his nomination letter, he wrote, "I find myself craving the same lifelong learning that drives Sarah to connect with students and constantly seek to improve her own knowledge and education."
Wessling has taught at Johnston High School for 10 years, where she is chairperson of the English Department. Wessling also taught in the Cedar Falls Community School District for one year.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education and a Master of Arts degree in English from Iowa State University. She was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society and the Phi Beta Kappa Liberal Arts and Sciences Honor Society.
Wessling is a National Board Certified Teacher and has received the Iowa Governor's Scholastic "Favorite Teacher Award" recognition, the Future Leader in Education Award, and the Promising Teacher Award from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English.
She is a member of the Iowa Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Johnston Education Association. In addition, she has served on many district committees, including its professional development team, building improvement team, reading leadership team, and high school literacy team.