There’s no question that, especially this year, all teachers deserve to be Iowa Teacher of the Year. Still, only one can be named, and nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 Iowa Teacher of the Year.
Past Teachers of the Year say the experience is well worth the process.
Chris Burke, Iowa’s 2018 Teacher of the Year from Dubuque, said his experience took him across the state, being able to see great work being done.
“Serving the state of Iowa as a Teacher of the Year offers a wonderful opportunity to share stories and experiences of one's students and peers, to highlight and learn from the best that each of us has to offer,” he said.
Jane Schmidt, the 2014 Iowa Teacher of the Year from Maquoketa, said modesty nearly prevented her from accepting the nomination.
“When I was nominated, I feared my teaching skills were not to the level to deserve this title,” she said. “However, when it was explained to me that the Iowa Teacher of the Year serves as an ambassador for education in the state of Iowa – that spurred me on to complete the application because I have always believed in Iowa educators and what we do to make a difference in the lives of our students on a daily basis.
“It was an honor to serve in this capacity, and if chosen, being Iowa Teacher of the Year will only help you develop a bigger vision of what education means to Iowa.”
Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 Iowa and National Teacher of the Year, said being nominated is a great honor.
“So often teachers don't have any idea that what they're doing in the classroom is different or special,” she said. “Nominating someone for Iowa Teacher of the Year helps recognize that they are making a difference and deserve to know.”
So among Iowa’s 327 districts, we know this much: The next Iowa Teacher of the Year will come from one of them. Will it be your district? Go to the Department’s website and get started!