Skip to Content

10 Iowa teachers honored

Date: 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

DES MOINES – Ten of the state’s top teachers were honored for their service during an annual luncheon in Des Moines. Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise was joined by Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg in hosting the Outstanding Iowa Teachers Recognition Luncheon.

See photos from the luncheon.

The luncheon recognized finalists and winners of the Iowa Teacher of the Year award, the Iowa Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and the State History Teacher of the Year award (names and schools are listed below).

George Anderson, the 2020 Iowa Teacher of the Year, gave the keynote speech. Teaching, he said, is a challenging profession.

“As I head into my 14th year in the classroom, the job has not gotten any easier,” he said. “I had always thought that one day, I’ll get this down so well that I won’t be burning midnight oil or working through weekends, that I wouldn’t be constantly retooling my methods or fully rebooting my classroom processes. I knew I’d learn new things, I knew I’d develop, but I didn’t realize that this job actually becomes more challenging the longer you do it.”

Still, Anderson said he cannot think of a more admirable and inspiring career.

“Continue to take pride in your efforts, continue to fight the good fight and continue to invest in the students in front of you,” he said. “They are worth it, and they need you more than ever.”

The luncheon was hosted by the Iowa Department of Education. Sponsors included the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Science Foundation, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The Honorees

Iowa Teacher of the Year

  • Award-winner: George Anderson, Kennedy High School, Cedar Rapids
  • Finalists:  Corrine Brown, Cedar Heights Elementary School, Cedar Falls Community School District; Luis Lemus, Irving Dual Language Elementary School, Sioux City Community School District; Dan Loy, Beaver Creek Elementary School, Johnston Community School District; Joan Nikkel, Pella Middle School, Pella Community School District

Iowa Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching*

  • Mathematics Finalists: Sharon K. Jaeschke, Southeast Valley High School, Gowrie, and  Stephanie S. Steines, Decorah High School, Decorah
  • Science Finalists: Bradley Jacobson, Central Academy, Des Moines Public Schools and Carol Reierson, North Fayette Valley Community School District, Elgin

State History Teacher of the Year

  • Award-winner: Kelly Steffen, Vinton-Shellsburg High School, Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District.

*State award-winners have not yet been announced by a national selection committee.

Article Type: 

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on January 19, 2021 at 2:46pm.