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Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Thursday she is appointing her first Governor’s Teachers Cabinet to give teachers a more prominent voice in education policy decisions. The teachers will meet quarterly with Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise to offer their advice about how to better prepare all students for the knowledge economy, elevate the teaching profession and strengthen the direct line of communication between the governor’s office, schools and communities.

Gov. Reynolds named seven members to the cabinet and is seeking nominations for up to eight additional teachers by Oct. 15. Cabinet members will discuss issues like personalizing learning for every student and exploring how to provide teachers more opportunities to blend real-world work-based projects into the curriculum. The first cabinet meeting will be held this fall.

“We are looking for ways to better support the critical work teachers are doing across the state,” Gov. Reynolds said. “We also want to hear from teachers about how to better connect the classroom to future careers. With the goal of 70 percent of our workforce with education or training beyond high school by the year 2025, teachers are the front line of Future Ready Iowa.”

“Conversations about issues like how to deliver high-quality computer science instruction statewide - including ensuring access for rural students as well as urban students - will help us make more informed policy decisions,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said.

Please submit nominations for the Governor’s Teachers Cabinet by Oct. 15 at Tell us in 250 words or less why you are recommending your nominee. Anyone may nominate teachers, including school administrators, community leaders, parents and students. Self-nominations are welcome. Cabinet members will serve for one year.

The first seven members of the Governor’s Teachers Cabinet are:

  • Laura Gilbert-Harwood, Language Arts Teacher and Theater Director, Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School, Waterloo, McElroy Trust 2017 Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • Sheila Graham, Welding Instructor, Career Academy of Pella,  Pella Community School District, 2017 American Welding Society Howard Adkins Instructor of the Year
  • Joni Readout, Central Decatur Junior-Senior High School Instructional Coach, Central Decatur Community School District, Iowa 2017-18 Milken Educator Award Winner
  • Vanesa Sanchez, Elementary Dual Language Teacher, Denison Elementary School, Denison Community School District
  • Greg Smith, Davenport West High Industrial Technology and Project Lead the Way Teacher, Davenport Community School District, 2017 Kemin I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award
  • Shelly Vroegh, Elementary Instructional Coach, Norwalk Community School District, Iowa 2017 Teacher of the Year
  • Jordan Young, Cedar Rapids Washington High School History Teacher, Football and Track Coach, Cedar Rapids Community School District