DES MOINES -- Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow announced today that Ann Mincks, a 15-year teacher, is the 2024 Iowa Teacher of the Year during an assembly at Hoover High School in Des Moines. The Teacher of the Year award recognizes exceptional teachers who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and who have made a significant impact on student outcomes and their fellow educators.

“Each day, Iowa’s outstanding teachers, like Ann Mincks, provide students with what they need to meet high expectations and realize their incredible potential,” Snow said. “Ann is an expert in meeting the needs of students who are English language learners and leverages the Science of Reading to best support students. On behalf of Governor Reynolds and all of us at the Iowa Department of Education, we thank Iowa’s dedicated educators and congratulate Ann on this honor!”

Ann Mincks

Mincks, 39, teaches English to English language learning high school students, many of whom are newcomers, in the Des Moines Community School District. She comes from a family of teachers and has helped to increase literacy proficiency at her school through the use of evidence-based, effective literacy instruction grounded in the Science of Reading.

“I believe our actions as educators matter,” she said. “I want students to have an experience that truly breaks down the walls of the classroom and connects students to their future successes in a career and as a community member.”

The finalists for the 2024 Iowa Teacher of the Year include:

  • Daniel Black, a music teacher in the Council Bluffs Community School District
  • Thomas Braverman, a special education teacher formerly in the Iowa City Community School District
  • Rachel Evanoff, a science teacher in the Dubuque Community School District
  • Tiffany Herr, an elementary school teacher in the Norwalk Community School District
  • Brenda Kaufmann, an elementary school teacher in the North Tama County Community School District   
  • Nicole Schroeder, an elementary school teacher in the Saydel Community School District  

The Iowa Teacher of the Year award was established in 1958. The annual program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Honorees serve as ambassadors to schools, higher education and communities across the state.

Watch our interview with Ann Mincks on our YouTube channel.

Photos from the event will be uploaded to our Flickr album