Iowa Teacher of Year Made Surprising Revelation When Receiving Award
Each year since 1958, the Iowa Department of Education has named the Iowa Teacher of the Year. Even though we're still several weeks from the new year, the 2024 winner has already been announced.
Before we get into this year's honoree, let's recognize the other six finalists:
- Daniel Black, a music teacher in the Council Bluffs Community School District
- Thomas Braverman, a special education teacher formerly in the Iowa City Community School District
- Rachel Evanoff, a science teacher in the Dubuque Community School District
- Tiffany Herr, an elementary school teacher in the Norwalk Community School District
- Brenda Kaufmann, an elementary school teacher in the North Tama County Community School District
- Nicole Schroeder, an elementary school teacher in the Saydel Community School District
The 2024 winner is Ann Mincks.
Mincks is a 15-year education veteran who teaches English to English language learning students at Des Moines Hoover High School. Mincks says the school is "one of the most diverse high schools in the state. At any given time, in my classroom, I may have ten different languages represented in that specific section." The Iowa Department of Education says that almost one of every four students at Des Moines Hoover is an English language learning student.
Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow announced Mincks as the winner on Monday. In the video below, Mincks says, "My entire family is a family of educators. For a long time, I tried to fight this. I said, 'Everybody in this family is a teacher, I'm going to be something different.' Over time, I slowly realized, I think I'm going to be a teacher... It matches with what I like to do, it matches with my skill set, and it's really rewarding. You can't beat that. That's what you ask for in a career."
*Left to right below 2010 Iowa and National Iowa Teacher of the Year Sarah Brown Wessling, Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow, 2024 Iowa Teacher of the Year Ann Mincks, 2023 Iowa Teacher of the Year Krystal Colbert.
According to Axios Des Moines, during her acceptance speech at Des Moines Hoover on Monday, Mincks elaborated on why choosing education was so difficult. She reflected, "I could not choose one thing to be passionate about because I loved the process of learning."
Finally, Mincks realized the only way to quench her thirst for acquiring knowledge was to help others learn. It was a great decision.
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Gallery Credit: Stacker