Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The 4th Annual Iowa Mentoring and Induction Institute

The Iowa Mentoring and Induction Institute held their 4th annual conference in Cedar Falls at the Park Place Event Centre on April 15-17th. Over 100 educators gathered for the three day conference from all across our state for this year's theme "A Key To Iowa's Future". Breakout sessions, keynote speakers and an awards banquet were all on slate for participants.

Monday evening I served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the Awards portion of the Banquet. The conference was sponsored by Mildred Middleton, University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa Department of Education in partnership with ISEA, Heartland AEA Agency 11, and the West Des Moines Community School District.

Mildred Middleton

The awards given out at the banquet are named for Mildred Middleton, Emeritus, College of Education, University of Northern Iowa. Mildred Middleton began making first-string players even before receiving her teaching degree in 1943. While a first-year student at Iowa State Teachers College, she was recognized for her gifts of teaching and leading when the President of ISTC helped plan her promising future as an educator, tapping her as a junior supervisor at the Laboratory School.

She has distinguished herself as a teacher, a curriculum coordinator, an author, a speaker, and a pioneer in program development. With all of her professional accomplishments, Middleton is recognized most, by colleagues and those she mentors as a friend.

The secret of her success lies in putting teachers first, knowing that outstanding teachers make outstanding students. When asked what today's teachers need most, she exclaims without hesitation, "Time to share their profession--time to talk!"

2007 Mentor of the Year---Peggy Ostrander

Peggy Ostrander has taught special education at Clive Elementary in West Des Moines since 1977. She has served as a Direct Instruction Reading Coach for special education teachers in the West Des Moines Community School District since 2004. In addition, she has facilitated a SDMCSD study group entitled, "Preparing the Iowa Teaching Standards Portfolio." A cooperating teacher and mentor since the late 1990's, she is currently mentoring first-year teacher, Abby Boruff.

Peggy has completed both the West Des Moines Community School District's Mentor of the First-Year Teachers' and Second-Year Teachers' trainings. She returned to the Mentors of First-Year Teachers' training this school year.

Pictured (from left to right) myself; Mildred Middleton; Peggy Ostrander; and Abby Boruff.

2007 Mentor Program Leadership of the Year---Jan Olson

A key force in designing and implementing the Enhancing Educator Excellence Induction Program for the Sioux City Community School District, Jan Olson has served as the full-time coordinator for seven years. The program has trained more than 150 mentors, is a valuable resource to beginning teachers, and now includes a "Teachers in Transition" component for career teachers new to the district.

As a former classroom teacher, school counselor, and district/state administrator of career development, Jan is a strong advocate for quality classroom teaching as well as comprehensive standards-based school counseling programs. She hs chaired the School Counselor Standards Writing Committee and currently serves on the district's Performance Review Committee.

Pictured (from left to right) Mildred Middleton; Donna Walsh, Sioux City EA president; Jan Olson and me.

Congratulations to both Peggy Ostrander and Jan Olson!

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