While an Iowan was named as the National Teacher of the Year last month, another contest is placing an Iowan among the country’s top five teachers. Don Dye, who teaches English at Belmond-Klemme High School, will be honored next week on the ABC-TV program “Live with Regis and Kelly” in New York City. Dye says it’s a thrill to win the recognition.

Dye says out of the thousands of nomination letters that were sent to the show, the list was whittled down to ten, and then the ten were narrowed to five by an on-line vote — and Dye is among the five. He says the entire process was kept secret from him until the top ten were named on national TV last week.

“When they announced it, I was just thunderstruck,” Dye says. “It didn’t even soak in right away what was going on until my friends came out with balloons and then I put the pieces together. It’s just awesome and it’s so humbling to be selected as one of the top five in America.” Dye has been teaching since 1971 and has been at Belmond-Klemme 37 years. He has no plans to retire and says he loves his job.

“My students have always been fantastic to me,” Dye says. “They’ve treated me so well over the years and the people in Belmond are absolutely remarkable people. It’s a wonderful community with just fantastic people.” Dye will leave Monday for New York and will appear on “Regis and Kelly” next Thursday, May 20th.

In March, Sarah Brown Wessling, an English teacher at Johnston High School, was named the National Teacher of the Year. She got to visit the White House and met President Obama. It’s the first time since 1958 an Iowa Teacher of the Year was named the National Teacher of the Year.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City