A long-time chemistry teacher in an Iowa college town has been named the 2018 Iowa Teacher of the Year.
Ames High students and staff gathered for a midday assembly. That’s when Aileen Sullivan was recognized as the state’s Teacher of the Year. Sullivan, who is 43 years old, has been teaching chemistry at Ames High since 1996.
Governor Kim Reynolds, who was present for the ceremony, said Sullivan is a “model teacher.” Sullivan creates a laboratory environment in her chemistry classroom. She says it encourages students to collaborate and experiment. That leads to real-world, hands-on learning rather than “regurgitation” of facts, according to Sullivan.
As Iowa’s Teacher of the Year, Sullivan will be able to take a year off from the classroom and be paid to serve as a sort of teaching “ambassador” in other schools, colleges and organizations in Iowa.