Honoring the 2019 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award Recipients

I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award
2019 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were honored at STEM Day at the Capitol.

The 2019 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were recognized during STEM Day at the Capitol. In her remarks Libby Nelson, vice president and general counsel at Kemin Industries, expressed how proud Kemin Industries is to have sponsored the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award for the past five years, honoring 30 incredible teachers in the award’s lifetime.

This award honors one teacher in each of the six STEM regions of the state whose leadership and dedication to STEM in Iowa increases students' interest and awareness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These teacher awardees are Innovative in their methods, Outstanding in their passion for education, Worldly in the way they help students see that STEM is all around them and Academic through engaging students in the classroom to prepare them for post-secondary education and high-demand careers. Eligible nominees include licensed, full-time, PreK-12 Iowa STEM teachers in public or non-public schools.

The 2019 I.O.W.A. STEM Teaching Award recipients include:

  • Matthew Eddy, agricultural teacher and CASE curriculum leader at Southeast Polk High School (South Central STEM Region)
  • Ann Gritzner, science teacher and project based learning teacher leader at Central Community High School (Northeast STEM Region)
  • Jacob Hunter, agricultural science teacher at North Scott High School (Southeast STEM Region)
  • Sharon Jaeschke, math teacher and robotics coach at Southeast Valley High School (North Central STEM Region)
  • JoAnne Sackett, Explore Lab teacher at Okoboji Elementary School (Northwest STEM Region)
  • Lacy West, 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Missouri Valley Middle School (Southwest STEM Region)

During the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award application process, each teacher is nominated by a school administrator, fellow teacher, student or parent. The nominees are, then, asked to complete an application. All applications are reviewed by a panel of external judges.

Through generous support from Kemin Industries, each awardee is presented with $3,000 -- $1,500 for the educator’s use and another $1,500 to be used in their classroom. Each of this year’s recipients were also honored during a ceremony at their school with students, peers, administrators, business partners and a Kemin Industries representativepresent. 

Following STEM Day at the Capitol, Kemin Industries hosted a reception to honor all past recipients and this year’s winners of the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award and to celebrate the fifth year of the award. The educators had the opportunity to network over refreshments, tour the Kemin worldwide headquarters and engage with Kemin scientists.