School: Lincoln Elementary, Cedar Falls
School System: Cedar Falls Schools
Subject and Grade Level: 3rd grade
Education: Viterbo University, MA in Education, 1999-2001; University of Iowa, BA in Education, 1989-1993
Hobbies: Reading, traveling, dancing, yoga, and spending time with friends and family.
Family Members: Kelcie Loughren- (daughter), Luke Loughren (son)
How long have you been teaching: 19 years
The Thing You Like Most About Teaching: Each day is like a new chapter in a great book. I love the way my students make me laugh and challenge me to be the best I can be. I feel so blessed that I wake up each day excited to go to work. My teammates make my job even more fun, and I learn from them!
The Thing You Find Most Challenging About Teaching: My students are so very special to me. I want to do all that I can to make life great for them. It’s difficult when you know that some come to school with heavy burdens and all you can do is smile and try to make it a super day for them.
Best Tip for New Teachers: My best tip for new teachers is to make sure your students know how much you truly care about them. Building a strong relationship with your students is essential. Lastly, laugh often with them.
Best Tip for Career Teachers: I think career teachers know that as educators we are students- always learning new things to help with best practices. Our best resources are each other! Ask questions, share ideas, and learn from each other.
Favorite Piece of Advice for Students: Wee were honored to have one of the captains of USS THE SULLIVANS DDG 68 come to visit my classroom several years ago. One of my students asked him what advice he had for them.. it’s advice that I now use each year in my classroom… find what makes you happy in life, what you are most passionate about and make that your life mission. You will be a happy person if you have a job that you love to go to each day.
What Being a Gold Star Teacher Means to You: I am so grateful to those who took the time to nominate me. I can still remember playing school with my blackboard when I was a little girl. It is amazing that I grew up to have my dream job. I am so honored to be selected for such a fantastic award. It is the highlight of my teaching career. I am blessed to work with a great team of Gold Star teachers, students, and parents. Without them, this award would not be possible for me.