Indian Hills Community College instructor wins prestigious award
Stacy Conley, a high school equivalency instructor at Indian Hills Community College, is the recipient of the 2018 Archie Willard Adult Education and Literacy Educator of the Year.
The annual award honors an adult education and literacy instructor for exemplary service through advocating, developing, implementing and teaching adult education in Iowa. Conley received the award and was recognized today for her achievements during the statewide Adult Education and Literacy Conference.
Recipients must have a minimum of 12 months experience working in an adult education and literacy program in the state of Iowa where they serve adult students who:
- lack sufficient mastery of basic education skills to enable them to function effectively on the job, in the family, and in society;
- do not have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent level of education; or
- are unable to speak, read or write the English language.
Colleagues recognized Conley as a lead instructor who has become an expert in numeracy and creating explicit, contextualized, hands-on lesson plans for math for students in the high school equivalency diploma (HSED) program. Her students excel and have very high program completion rates. Conley sets high expectations for her students to get them ready for college or career. In addition, she mentors new instructors and assists them in creating professional development plans each year.
Conley’s students know she cares about their learning and inspires them to believe in themselves. In one instance, a student working on her HSED passed all of her subject tests but did not receive a high enough overall score to graduate. Rather than feel defeated, the student signed up to take the test again, saying she had no doubt that Conley would help her with what she needed. She passed the very next time.
“Stacy is an outstanding instructor,” said Noël Gorden, learning services department chair at Indian Hills Community College. “She encourages her students to not only complete their high school equivalency diplomas, but to continue on into postsecondary education.”
“She is always willing to help other instructors and lend a hand for the good of the program. I depend on her so much and it is a joy to work with her,” said Gorden.
Conley holds a bachelor’s degree in business education and has earned a master’s degree in accounting and finance from Colorado State University. She has been with Indian Hills Community College for five years, four of which she has served as the program’s full-time lead instructor. Prior to that, she worked for 15 years as a substitute teacher. Conley is married to her high school sweetheart and together they have three children, the youngest of whom is currently a nursing student at Indian Hills.
During her tenure as the 2018 Archie Willard Adult Education and Literacy Educator of the Year, Conley will help shape the adult and literacy programs across the state by serving as a consultant to the Iowa Literacy Council and the Iowa Department of Education, participating in the state’s professional development committee, and representing Iowa next spring at the national Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) conference in New Orleans.