Skip to Content

Iowa Teacher of the Year (TOY)


On this page...

The Award
The Iowa Teacher of the Year Award was established in 1958 and is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education through an appropriation from the Iowa legislature. The award provides an opportunity to recognize an Iowa teacher who motivates, challenges, and inspires excellence; who is respected by students and peers; who is a dedicated professional that helps nurture hidden talents and abilities; who is a creative, caring individual; who takes teaching beyond textbooks and blackboards; and who is an exceptional teacher helping to redefine American education.

The Iowa Teacher of the Year may serve as the Iowa Ambassador to Education, acting as an education liaison to primary and secondary schools in the state.

Anyone, including school administrators, colleagues, students, parents, college faculty, and associations may nominate teachers for the award. Winners are chosen by a committee that includes representatives of the Iowa Department of Education (DE), the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), the School Administrators of Iowa (SAI), the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), the past Iowa Teacher of the Year, and representatives from higher education institutions.

2016 TOY Nomination Form


2014 Iowa TOY Jane Schmidt

Jane Schmidt, 2014 Iowa Teacher of the YearJane Schmidt is a veteran teacher from Maquoketa Community School District. She teaches 8th grade literacy in the morning and serves as Professional Growth and Student Learning Facilitator in the afternoon. Her work is dedicated to nurturing not only a love of reading and writing but also a deep understanding of their importance in today’s informational age. Her career began in special education in a variety of settings – self-contained, resource, co-teaching, and eventually full integration of services. While earning a Master’s in Special Education and working with special learners, she developed a passion for literacy, earning certification in both Reading and Language Arts. In 2004, she achieved National Board Certification in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts. Most recently she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership with a desire to influence change within a system. Yeats wrote, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”  According to Jane, “As educators, it is this belief that we must light a fire that keeps us striving for continuous improvement for both our students and ourselves. Every year we have an opportunity for new journeys with students, and lifelong learning is key for that journey to be meaningful.”  She is honored to serve as the 2014 Iowa Teacher of the Year and represent the teachers of Iowa as an ambassador for education.

News Release - 2014 Iowa Teacher of the Year


2014 Iowa TOY Finalists

Left to Right: Byron Darnall, Kristi Wickre, Kari Murray, Jane Schmidt, Elaine Wolf, Aaron Maurer, Director Brad Buck

  • Aaron Maurer, a gifted education and instructional coach at Bettendorf Middle School in Bettendorf
  • Kari Murray, a science teacher at Carlisle High School in Carlisle
  • Jon Parrott, an 8th grade social studies teacher at Urbandale Middle School in Urbandale
  • Kristi Wickre, a special education teacher at Smouse Opportunity School in Des Moines (Des Moines Public Schools)
  • Elaine Wolf, a culinary arts teacher at Central Campus in Des Moines (Des Moines Public Schools)


Past TOY Recipients

**One of four contenders for National Teacher of the Year
*National Teacher of the Year

  Year Name Grade and/or Content Area School City
  2014 Jane Schmidt 8th Grade Literacy and Language Arts Maquoketa Middle School Maquoketa
  2013 Tania Johnson Kindergarten Jackson Elementary School Cedar Rapids
  2012 Charity Campbell Physical Education Norwalk Middle School Norwalk
  2011 Molly Boyle 3rd Grade Brookview Elementary School West Des Moines (Waukee CSD)
* 2010 Sarah Brown Wessling High School English Johnston High School Johnston
  2009 Linda Heffner 4th Grade Everette Elementary School Sioux City
  2008 Andy Mogle Family and Consumer Science Norwalk High School Norwalk
  2007 Jan Keese 3rd Grade Crocker Elementary School Ankeny
  2006 Jacqueline Warnstadt 4th Grade Leeds Elementary School Sioux City
  2005 Vicki Lynn Goldsmith English, Women's Studies, Theories of Knowledge Roosevelt High School Des Moines
  2004 Ernest Lee Schiller Biology Central Lee High School Donnellson
  2003 Diana Buter Reading and Language Arts Grinnell Middle School Grinnell
  2002 Jennifer L. Erbe 3rd Grade Starry Elementary School Marion
  2001 Gail B. Wortmann Anatomy and Physiology & Advanced Anatomy Ottumwa High School Ottumwa
  2000 Thomas H. Paulsen Agriculture Education Carroll Community High School Carroll
  1999 Maureen Hoffmann English A-H-S-T Middle School Shelby
** 1998 Ruth Ann Gaines Drama East High School Des Moines
** 1997 Jan Mitchell English Marshalltown High School Marshalltown
  1996 Jill Olsen-Virlee French Marion High School Marion
  1995 Jerry Pierce English Roland-Story Middle School Roland
  1994 Keith Robinson Social Studies Maple Valley High School Mapleton
  1993 Joan McShane Science Jefferson Elementary School Davenport
  1992 Nancy Mounts Family and Consumer Science North High School Sioux City
  1991 David Arthur Hunt Social Studies Clarence-Lowden High School Clarence
  1990 Pamela Adams Johnson 6th Grade Carpenter Elementary School Monticello
  1989 Anna Mary Mueller English as a Second Language West High School Iowa City
  1988 Pat Roush 7th - 8th Grade English and Speech Neal McGowan Junior High School Knoxville
  1987 Richard E. Peters High School Social Studies Mount Vernon High School Mount Vernon
  1986 Linda Pershall Calvin 10th - 12th Grade Social Studies Urbandale High School Urbandale
  1985 Margo J. Chesebro 11th - 12th Grade Language Arts East High School Sioux City
  1984 Sharon June Lee 3rd Grade Douglas Elementary School Des Moines
** 1983 Gene Ulrich Biology Teacher & Science Department Head North High School Sioux City
** 1982 Darlene Frazier Art Teacher & Department Head Boone Community Schools Boone
  1981 Dan Gogerty Language Arts South East Junior High School Iowa City
  1980 Howard L. Carter Multi-occupations Program Central Lee High School Argyle
  1979 Richard A. Wilson Elementary Physical Education Centerville Community Schools Centerville
  1978 Helen Finken Social Studies South East Junior High School Iowa City
  1977 Shirley Jean Fouts Social Studies South East Junior High School Iowa City
  1976 Betty Burres-Youngs Remedial Reading Washington Irving Junior High School Des Moines
  1975 Alice Elizabeth Piercy Reading Iowa City Community Schools Iowa City
  1974 Genevieve Treichler Wallace   Woodlawn Elementary School Des Moines
  1973 Goldie Michalek Elementary Mason City Community Schools Mason City
  1972 Jean Bogardus Elementary Clear Creek Community Schools Tiffin
  1971 John D. Beghtol History Centerville High School Centerville
  1970 Beulah Anderson   West Elementary School Emmetsburg
  1969 Jane Sharp   Kirkwood Elementary School Des Moines
  1968 James Lokett   Keokuk Community Schools Keokuk
  1965 Betty Jean Hyde   Callanan Junior High School Des Moines
  1964 William V. Houser Science Roosevelt High School Des Moines
* 1958 Jean Listebarger Humphrey Elementary Ames Community Schools Ames


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on March 04, 2015 at 6:29am.