The deadline is approaching for nominations for the annual “Iowa Teacher of the Year” award. The Iowa Department of Education sponsors the award, and spokesman, Phil Roeder says it was established in 1958. He says anyone in Iowa can nominate someone for the award, it can be a fellow teacher, a parent, a business person, a former parent, “anyone who feels a teacher is worthy of statewide recognition.” Nominations are due by April first.

Roeder says there is a form on the department’s website where you name the teacher, their subject area, and then lay out why you think they are worthy of the recognition. Roeder says a committee of judges will go over the nominations. Roeder says the committee includes members of the Department of Education, members of several education organizations and the current teacher of the year.

They will review those nominations over the late spring and early summer. The 2012 Iowa Teacher of the Year will be named in the fall. Roeder says they usually do an event with the governor to announce the winner and they try to make it a surprise for the winner. The 2011 Teacher of the Year is Waukee’s Molly Boyle, who teaches at Brookview Elementary School.

The 2010 Teacher of the Year was Sarah Brown Wessling, an English teacher at Johnston High School, was also recognized as the National Teacher of the Year. Roeder says they typically have 25 to 30 nominations each year. Nominations are due by 4:30 on April first. Go to the Department of Education’s website at: www.iowa.gov/educate, to find the nomination form.