A military veteran that’s now teaching business education classes in north-central Iowa is the first recipient of the Teacher of the Year award for Iowa’s Troops-to-Teachers Program.
Kyle Teeselink is working at Manson Northwest Webster High School after spending 22 years as a weather forecaster in the U.S. Air Force. Principal Shawn Holloway says the 42-year-old Teeselink isn’t the typical first-year teacher.
"What we got was a guy that was a first year teacher, but came with a wealth of knowledge from other areas that he brings into the classroom," Holloway said. "Like all first year teachers, there’s been growing pains, but he’s done an outstanding job."
The Troops-to-Teachers Program allows eligible military veterans to receive federal funding to pursue a teaching certificate. Holloway says Teeselink commands a lot of respect from his students.
"That experience from the military, I think, just right away gives credibility to his position (as a teacher)," Holloway said. Holloway says Teeselink doesn’t bark orders at his students, but instead, leads by example. "He’s not a ‘raise your voice’ type of guy, but he has high expectations of his classes," Holloway explained. "He’s very much a professional."
Teeselink was recognized during Memorial Day services at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Manson. This is the first year Iowa has had a stand-alone Troops-to-Teachers program. Previously, the state worked with Missouri.