Baxter high school science teacher, Anna Brown, is the 2021 Excellence in Education Award winner; the award is sponsored by the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). Brown was selected among a field of educators nominated by co-workers, students, parents, and community members because of the difference she makes every day in the lives of her students.
Brown is also the ISEA’s nominee for the NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence where she will be honored at a national banquet in Washington, D.C.
“The Excellence in Education Award is truly about recognizing the educators who work hard on a daily basis and rarely get the recognition they so richly deserve,” Mike Beranek, President of the ISEA, said. “The nominations we receive are a testament to the dedication and compassion educators have for their students and the communities in which they live. Showcasing how many educators go above and beyond to help shape the lives of their students is what this award is all about.”
Brown is a joyful teacher, colleague, union member and community activist and she shares her joy and passion for science with her students. As a 17-year veteran, Brown knows how to make it count in a classroom full of teenagers who can be tough to engage; she works hard to make learning science thrilling. Brown believes science can be learned through a mix of fun, personal interest, and curiosity. Building miniature catapults to knock down fake snowmen and making parachutes to study air resistance are examples of a day in Brown’s class. She knows that engaging her students in content requires her to get them to see themselves as scientists and engineers instead of passive observers. Brown’s goal is to create opportunities for her students to see science in application instead of just reading about it in a textbook.
Brown is currently serving her second year as a mentor to new teachers at Baxter and is a part of the Building Leadership Team. She is loved and respected by students and colleagues alike and has a boundless reserve of patience for teaching and learning.
“It’s clear that Anna’s creativity, passion, and work combine to make a tremendous impact in her classroom and beyond,” added Beranek. “The Excellence in Education Award supports educators like Anna who are invested in the lives of their students and go way beyond what is expected to make an exceptional experience.”