|Pamela Bellows — Aldrich Elementary|
|Abbie Perez — Aldrich Elementary|
|Angie Webb — Aldrich Elementary|
|Jed Batterson — Aldrich Elementary|
|Jessica Folkerts — Aldrich Elementary|
|Jessica Knock — Aldrich Elementary|
|Judy Evans — Aldrich Elementary|
|Katie Charlton — Aldrich Elementary|
|Kimberly Gomez — Aldrich Elementary|
|Lacie Schuster — Aldrich Elementary|
|Mary Ascher — Aldrich Elementary|
|Raine Kramer — Aldrich Elementary|
|Sonya Kremer — Aldrich Elementary|
|Tricia Draus — Aldrich Elementary|
|Tara Nielsen — Aldrich Elementary|
|Cindy Cox — Becker Elementary|
|Dawn Laws — Becker Elementary|
|Kelsey Lyons — Becker Elementary|
|Andy Wolfe — Bunger Middle School|
|Carmen Barker — Bunger Middle School|
|Cory Kendall — Bunger Middle School|
|Jakob Elmquist — Bunger Middle School|
|Matt Dailey — Bunger Middle School|
|Melanie Shayer — Bunger Middle School|
|Michael Rupe — Bunger Middle School|
|Morgan Picolotti — Bunger Middle School|
|Rachel Harmon — Bunger Middle School|
|Thaddeus Nelson — Bunger Middle School|
|Wendy Clark — Bunger Middle School|
|Andrew Eisenman — Cedar Falls|
|Brenda Patterson — Cedar Falls|
|Brenna Griffin — Cedar Falls|
|Chris Wood — Cedar Falls|
|Debbie Paulsen — Cedar Falls|
|Katie Walsworth — Cedar Falls|
|Kyle Engelhardt — Cedar Falls|
|Andrew White — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Ann Weber — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Bethany Neuse — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Coryn Clasen — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Jasmine Ebling — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Kasey Eller — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Kathy Phillips — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Kris Plagge — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Theresa Schmitt — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Tiffany Ahrens — Cedar Heights Elementary|
|Aaron Wendt — Central Middle School|
|Ashley Chase — Central Middle School|
|Esther Rohret — Central Middle School|
|Holly Janssen — Central Middle School|
|Jennifer Brown — Central Middle School|
|Matt Stein — Central Middle School|
|Sam Bass — Central Middle School|
|Kimberly Archie — Cunningham Elementary|
|Sherita Stokes — Cunningham Elementary|
|Allie Neitzke — Dysart-Geneseo Elementary|
|Kristin Cayton — Dysart-Geneseo Elementary|
|Lynne Ternus — Dysart-Geneseo Elementary|
|Michelle Keegan — Dysart-Geneseo Elementary|
|Miranda Hartkemeyer — Dysart-Geneseo Elementary|
|Braxton Chicchelly — Don Bosco High School|
|Bethany Twedt — Dunkerton Elementary|
|Dan Cutsforth — Dunkerton Elementary|
|Whitney Wilson — Dunkerton Elementary|
|Chuck Tomson — Dunkerton Elementary|
|Dori Gorman — Dunkerton Elementary|
|Natalie Crawford — Dunkerton Elementary|
|Adam Bolts — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Alysia Pratt — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Amber Schmitt — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Cathy Mills — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Hannah Corbin — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Karin Bloomquist — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Traci Wolfensperger — Dunkerton Secondary|
|Amber Pichelmann — East High|
|Chris Tims — East High|
|Jason Knittel — East High|
|Joelle Smith — East High|
|Marcey Hand — East High|
|Nekoda Garbes — East High|
|Patrick Wagner — East High|
|Kyle Knox — Expo Alternative Learning Center|
|Aerial Linder — Hansen Elementary|
|Ashley Vonderhaar — Hansen Elementary|
|Christy Amundson — Hansen Elementary|
|Erika Goulden — Hansen Elementary|
|Jaci Feuss — Hansen Elementary|
|Jamie VanMaanen — Hansen Elementary|
|Jennifer Anderson — Hansen Elementary|
|Jeremy Swanson — Hansen Elementary|
|Katie Zylstra — Hansen Elementary|
|Kim Cawelti — Hansen Elementary|
|Leah Franklin — Hansen Elementary|
|Marin Verhulst — Hansen Elementary|
|Megan Janssen — Hansen Elementary|
|Michelle DeGabriele — Hansen Elementary|
|Michelle Kirchner — Hansen Elementary|
|Sara Pierce — Hansen Elementary|
|Tyler Ruane — Hansen Elementary|
|Pamela Platt — Highland Elementary|
|Maria Hoekstra — Holmes Jr. High|
|Sara Blanco — Holmes Jr. High|
|Stacey Yoder — Holmes Jr. High|
|Vanessa Benitez — Holmes Jr. High|
|Aaron Lueders — Hoover Middle School|
|Darby Kurtz — Hoover Middle School|
|George Heit — Hoover Middle School|
|Kayla Irwin — Hoover Middle School|
|Lesley Taylorson — Hoover Middle School|
|Amanda Krambeer — Hudson Elementary|
|Carol Menefee — Hudson Elementary|
|Emily Koch — Hudson Elementary|
|Jordan White — Hudson Elementary|
|Sheryl Dekutoski — Hudson Elementary|
|Tasha Brace — Hudson Elementary|
|Teresa Kiewiet — Hudson Elementary|
|Jennifer Ersland — Hudson High School|
|Lacey McDonough — Hudson High School|
|Casey Tecklenburg — Hudson Middle School|
|Janice Rosauer — Immaculate Conception|
|Kim Bird — Immaculate Conception|
|Marita Schroeder — Immaculate Conception|
|Morgan Rutherford — Immaculate Conception|
|Amanda Everman — Irving Elementary|
|Amanda Harris — Irving Elementary|
|Anne Schrek — Irving Elementary|
|Chelsea Smith — Irving Elementary|
|Hannah Thies — Irving Elementary|
|Hayley Bakula — Irving Elementary|
|Marissa Schweinfurth — Irving Elementary|
|Randi Krull — Irving Elementary|
|Sheila Hollingsworth — Irving Elementary|
|Tessa Horn — Irving Elementary|
|Amanda Wagenhofer — Kingsley Elementary|
|Connie Young — Kingsley Elementary|
|Lawrence Boney — Kingsley Elementary|
|Michelle Van Winkle — Kingsley Elementary|
|Victoria Kohls — Kingsley Elementary|
|Katie Rodden — Kittrell Elementary|
|Angela Petersen — La Porte City Elementary|
|Becky Schmitz — La Porte City Elementary|
|Renee Jesse — La Porte City Elementary|
|Jordan Henrichs — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Carrie Gaier — Waterloo Lincoln Elementary|
|Joseph Graf — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Kelly Pirkl — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Krista Lindgren — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Lynn Klein — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Samanthan Steffensmeier — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Stacy Wilkinson — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Stephanie Kane — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Sue Clubine — CF Lincoln Elementary|
|Tammy Ryan — Waterloo Lincoln Elementary|
|Kendall Rochford — Waterloo Lincoln Elementary|
|Amy McGovern — Lou Henry Elementary|
|Calli Williams — Lou Henry Elementary|
|Erin Yates — Lowell Elementary|
|Nicole Earle — Lowell Elementary|
|Stephanie Peters — Lowell Elementary|
|Amy Nading — La Porte City Elementary|
|Heidi Spore — La Porte City Elementary|
|Cynthia Spore — North Cedar Elementary|
|Jane Cline — North Cedar Elementary|
|Jill Brodahl — North Cedar Elementary|
|Michelle Peters — North Cedar Elementary|
|Sara Steiner — North Cedar Elementary|
|Tammy Uhlenhop — North Cedar Elementary|
|Ellen Schweppe — Orange Elementary|
|Katrina Klingenberg — Orange Elementary|
|Adam Halvorson — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Alyssa Deutsch — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Beth Bobeldyk — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Christy Shaw — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Molly Carty — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Rachelle Michael — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Stephanie Rindels — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Suzanne Watters — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Teresa Barnett — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Theresa Balthazor — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Traci Wildeboer — Orchard Hill Elementary|
|Alex Jackson — Peet Jr. High|
|Bethany Meier — Peet Jr. High|
|Colby Grothoff — Peet Jr. High|
|Eric Lins — Peet Jr. High|
|Ethan Jennings — Peet Jr. High|
|Josh Green — Peet Jr. High|
|Peyton Twedt — Peet Jr. High|
|Sarah Cooper — Peet Jr. High|
|Stephanie Groen — Peet Jr. High|
|Sue Rea — Peet Jr. High|
|Theresa Kenser — Peet Jr. High|
|Will Carter — Peet Jr. High|
|Deborah Boldt — Poyner Elementary|
|Wendy Lee — Poyner Elementary|
|Andrew Voss — River Hills School|
|Pamela Freeseman — River Hills School|
|Amy Smith — Southdale Elementary|
|Bethany Taylor — Southdale Elementary|
|Elizabeth Brunsen — Southdale Elementary|
|Emily Tieskoetter — Southdale Elementary|
|Jenna Schmidt — Southdale Elementary|
|Jessica Sass — Southdale Elementary|
|Kelli Henrichs — Southdale Elementary|
|Lisa Dumler — Southdale Elementary|
|Madeline Chilton — Southdale Elementary|
|Matthew Switzer — Southdale Elementary|
|Nick Rhoads — Southdale Elementary|
|Tish Wedgbury — Southdale Elementary|
|Wendy Korte — Southdale Elementary|
|Lisa Freese — Southdale Elementary|
|Elizabeth Ebensberger — Southdale Elementary|
|Stephanie Klaren — St. Edwards|
|Kelli Zimmerman — St. Joseph|
|Alissa Kjeldsen — St. Patrick|
|Caryn Frederiksen — St. Patrick|
|Elizabeth Gronewald — St. Patrick|
|Ellen Luders — St. Patrick|
|Jacoby Hill — St. Patrick|
|Leslie Rhomberg — St. Patrick|
|Renae Drey — St. Patrick|
|Sheena Bahr — St. Patrick|
|Korina Carlson — Union High School|
|Tim Mitchell — Union High School|
|Dalton Ciavarelli — Union Middle School|
|Ellie Uhlenhopp — Union Middle School|
|Jennie Lorenzen — Union Middle School|
|Jill Aalderks — Union Middle School|
|Amanda Kratz — Valley Lutheran|
|Brian Joe — Valley Lutheran|
|Angelica Simmonds — CF Virtual Campus|
|Mary Watson — CF Virtual Campus|
|Tami Halvorson — CF Virtual Campus|
|Jessica Hartz — CF Virtual Campus|
|Lynn Gerbig — CF Virtual Campus|
|Emily Kadlec — West High|
|Heather Wagner — West High|
|Johannah Nanke — West High|
Position: 6th grade social studies teacher, STEM+, LEAD Class, Religion
Years Teaching: 14 years
Hobbies/Interests: I like to read autobiographies, exercise, work on my Chevelle, and watch Iowa college football.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? When students are excited about what they are learning, and how they are learning it. I also enjoy the ideas that students bring up, that I had never considered before.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Reaching every student’s learning style, and finding the right interventions that will best move him/her forward.
Best tip for new teachers: Your students will rise or fall according to your expectations of them. Always keep your standards high, and students will rise to meet your expectations. Also, be patient with yourself. Not everything is going to work right away, just adjust as you go. Teaching is both an art and a science.
Best tip for career teachers: Take time for yourself, and give yourself breaks to stay fresh (I need to listen to myself on that one). Always continue to be positive in every situation. You are the one in the building who can make a big difference.
Favorite piece of advice for students: You will never regret giving your best effort.
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: To me, winning the Gold Star means that others have recognized that I put students first, and they felt strong enough about that to nominate me. There are so many incredible teachers in the Cedar Valley, and for me to be chosen for this makes it that much more special.
Position: 7th-9th grade band teacher
Years Teaching: 13 years
Hobbies/Interests: My wife Ann and I love the great American road trip. Listening to inspiring music, camping, fishing, hiking, building fires, and staring at the night sky are all my favorite things that never get old.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy how truly meaningful this career has been and always will be. To have been given this purposeful opportunity to live and learn right alongside the brilliant students and adults in this profession is second to none. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Similar to anything else this fragile and worthwhile, there are triumphs and heartbreaks along the way. Consistently seeing the big picture and the greater meaning behind the work we do is a challenge especially since we often find ourselves wrapped up in the smallest moments of the day.
Best tip for new teachers: On that day that you find yourself caught in the middle of a rainstorm with seemingly no way out, understand that just as quickly you will turn around and bask in the sunshine of what is the best day of your career.
Best tip for career teachers: Remember precisely what person brought you to this career. Now go fearlessly and be that person for somebody else.
Favorite piece of advice for students: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: This award for me personally says that I have come full circle as a teacher with the purpose to serve others. I don’t want to imagine where I would be right now without the teachers in my life. To these people and to this profession I owe everything.
Position: 6th grade math
Years Teaching: 6 years
Hobbies/Interests: Golf, Fitness, Human Movement, Pool, Badminton
What do you enjoy most about teaching? Joking around with the kids and laughing with them
Best tip for new teachers: The behavior you allow is the behavior you’ll get
Best tip for career teachers: Separate personal and professional while always making time for yourself!
Favorite piece of advice for students: Go read the instructions again!
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: It means I’m on the right path and my colleagues at Expo really helped shaped me as a teacher and my team at Hoover have also continued to push me in the right direction. Plus, I think it shows that my parents did a pretty good job of raising their son and I know they find joy in my accolades. It’s a team effort when you’re a teacher and I wouldn’t have won this award without help from many individuals along the way.
Position: 1st grade
Years Teaching: 37 years
Hobbies/Interests: quilting, sewing, gardening, and spending time with family and my grandson
What do you enjoy most about teaching? The Children! Their smiles, laughter, hugs, and natural curiosity and love for learning, especially the moment they learn something new!
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Time, there is never enough! You finally get to know every student well in your classroom and then the school year ends.
Best tip for new teachers: The most important things you will teach your students will not be found in textbooks. Be that teacher that makes a difference; be loving, caring, and empathetic.
Best tip for career teachers: Enjoy every moment and never stop smiling! The school year goes by too quickly.
Favorite piece of advice for students: Perseverance; never stop trying, always do your best!
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: Receiving this award for doing something I love and enjoy makes me very proud. I am humbled to have parents and students appreciate the work I do.
Position: K-8th grade teacher & Expanded Learning Program
Years Teaching: 22 years
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy being a part of my children’s activities, playing the piano, and being with my friends.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy being with people.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? The most challenging thing about teaching is there always more to do. Teachers always think to themselves, “Well what if I would have ….”
Best tip for new teachers: My best tip for new teachers is to build bridges with colleagues. You will need each other.
Best tip for career teachers: My best tip for career teachers is to listen to your listen to everyone. You never know who may have the best advise you’ve ever heard. Advise will help us continue to learn and evolve to be the best possible people we can be.
Favorite piece of advice for students: Remember that nobody ever woke up and said, “I think I will do the second-best thing I can do today.” Accept what is done, and learn from your mistakes. Persevere until you are proud of your work.
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you:
Years Teaching: 24 years
Hobbies/Interests: Volunteer with Retrieving Freedom Inc. as a Puppy Foster and a Teacher Foster to train future service dogs for disabled veterans or children with autism.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? Every day is a new day with unexpected moments. Watching the joy in a student’s face and seeing their confidence grow when the “light bulb” turns on! Inspiring others and making a positive difference in their lives.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Finding more time and striking a healthy balance between work and home.
Best tip for new teachers: Have high expectations for yourself and your students. Be prepared yet flexible for student needs.
Best tip for career teachers: Keep on learning. Make learning fun for kids.
Favorite piece of advice for students: First we work and then we play. It’s ok to make mistakes. Try, Try, Again!
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: It’s an honor to receive this award for doing something that I love. It’s a great recognition of a career of high expectations for my students and myself.
Position: Special Needs
Years Teaching: 23 years
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy volunteering and being an advocate for those living with disabilities. My primary hobby at this time is learning as much as I can about adaptive sports and cheering on my daughter as a member of the Cedar Falls High School track team.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? My favorite part of my job is watching my students learn and grow into young adults. Sometimes it may take a month or more for a student to learn a skill. No matter how large or small the task it is a time to celebrate.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Throughout my teaching career, I have supported families during some of their most difficult moments. I was asked to stay with one of my student’s parents as they chose to disconnect their son from life support. I have assisted families with obtaining items to take care of their basic needs. I recently joined a search party looking for a student of mine that is missing. I have learned that a teacher does more than just teach academics, they teach about life. The most difficult thing about my occupation is teaching my students about life events we have no control over and are often hard for adults to understand, such as death or severe illness, and the unknown reasons why their friend isn’t coming to school each day.
Best tip for new teachers: As new educators, don’t focus on the can’t, but instead work enthusiastically to identify the HOW.
Best tip for career teachers: Never say, “but I have always done it this way,” and remember that those new younger teachers can teach us old timers some bright new ideas.
Favorite piece of advice for students: Everyone has challenges that they have to overcome. Sometimes those challenges resemble mountains that you have to climb. For you to get to the top of the mountain, you may have to run, walk, roll, or be carried. All goals are attainable — the way you reach them may be different, but the outcome is the same. SUCCESS!
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: I want to take a moment to say thank you, and I am honored to be named a 2018 Gold Star Teacher. I also want to share what a Gold Star teacher encompasses. You see a teacher isn’t the only one that helps students reach their full potential. Every day I am thankful I have parents that give me the privilege to work with their children. I am grateful for the bus drivers that bring my students to school safely and for the janitors that clear a safe path to enter my room. They even check with me daily to make sure the room is comfortable for learning. I have a team of teachers in my department that are willing to share ideas. Teachers in every teaching area within the building ready to say we can figure this out. Instructional coaches are eager to assist when I need more knowledge. The cafeteria workers make breakfast and lunch so my students can focus on learning. The nursing staff makes sure my students are healthy, and they take the time to train me on how to take care of each student’s needs. The office staff reminds me when events are happening that can make a day difficult or great, but no matter what they have it covered. An administration that expects that every student will learn and be a part of the school community. They are dedicated to giving me the tools I need to improve learning. The school counselors that are there for staff and teachers not only during the day, but after hours, also. The support teams that are there to consult and assist with my students with speech, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The secondary student service coordinator that is always supportive and consistently shares her insightful knowledge. The businesses and services in the community that help me with fixing wheelchairs, figuring out communication devices and providing experiences to young people for transitions after high school. The paraeducators are the foundation in my classroom. They are the ones that make the day run smoothly and are willing to step in to help a student at any moment with a variety of tasks. You see the award may have my name listed, but truthfully a Gold Star teacher isn’t just one person.
Position: 7th-9th grade art teacher
Years Teaching: 6 years
Hobbies/Interests: Time with friends, caring for animals, video games, making art, music, reading, and being outside
What do you enjoy most about teaching? My favorite thing about teaching is getting to know my students and helping to build their confidence. I love getting to see my students’ learning…they impress me every day!
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Time! Every time I cross something off my to-do list, another item appears…
Best tip for new teachers: Don’t be afraid to apologize and re-teach if you feel like something didn’t go well. Students will understand! Also, save every happy note students give you. They mean so much.
Best tip for career teachers: Keep your curriculum fresh!
Favorite piece of advice for students: Be kind, work hard, and know your truth.
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: I am honored to be a Gold Star Teacher. It means the world to me to have been nominated by my students. I am so lucky to work with great people in a great school every day!