STEM Teacher Awardees
Iowa has amazing teachers across the state and we have seen what an important asset they are to Iowa's children, parents and community.
On behalf of the Northeast Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Board, we congratulate all of our past recipients of the IOWA STEM Teacher Award in the Northeast Iowa STEM Region;
Lisa Chizek, previously a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher and STEM coordinator at North Tama Elementary School, had created a STEM Expert Day where she brought in professionals from various STEM fields to educate her students on their jobs and how STEM is a part of it.
Lisa is now an adjunct professor at Iowa State University fostering the next generation of STEM teachers. Lisa also serves on the Northeast Iowa Regional STEM Advisory Board and in the past has served as Board Chair.
Dirk Homewood, math and PLTW teacher at Cedar Falls High School (CFHS). Dirk dedicates his time to STEM efforts by connecting the school district with the many STEM related businesses in the area. His work has led to Cedar Falls High School earning the title “Official PRIME Site” by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation.
Dirk continues to teach math and PLTW at CFHS and continues to be part of the SME PRIME program. In 2018-19, CFHS was among 25 SME PRIME high schools across the nation that were selected to participate in the General Electric Additive Education Program's introduction to additive manufacturing.
Chelsie Byram, previously a science teacher at Dike-New Hartford High School in Dike, started the FIRST Robotics Team at Dike-New Hartford and sponsored the Outdoor Adventure and Science Club that planted 30 trees in the city of Dike.
In 2020, Chelsie was hired by Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA) as their newest Science and Talented and Gifted consultant. She now consults with teachers throughout 20 school districts within the Central Rivers AEA region.
Stacey Snyder, the Expanded Learner Program and Gifted Resource Teacher at Orange Elementary School in Waterloo, is a part of numerous state and national professional organizations and serves as a leader in science education. She currently serves as the coach for the FIRST Lego League Junior and FIRST Lego League teams at Orange Elementary.
Stacey continues to teach at Orange Elementary. In 2019, Stacey received the Gold Star Award for Outstanding Teaching which recognizes exceptional teachers in Black Hawk County, Iowa. In December 2019, Stacey was selected as one of 45 Grosvenor Teacher Fellowships. She spent six days on and around Antarctica during a Lindblad Expeditions trip on the ship National Geographic Explorer.
Ann Gritzner, science teacher and Project Based Learning teacher leader at Central Community High School, has been in education for 25 years and became a Project Based Learning Lead Teacher in 2014, working to strengthen Central Community School District’s work-based and project-based learning.
Ann continues to engage students in work-based and project-based learning and is now leading the Clayton County BEST program at Central Community School District.
Ann Arnold, a mathematics teacher at the Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque, uses hands-on curriculum and strategic partnerships to help create a curriculum that shows her students the value of her lessons in multiple ways. She uses art and home design to show students how geometry exists outside of the classroom. In her robotics course, her students complete a project with increasingly difficult tasks, culminating in a competition. While they build their STEM skills, they also learn collaboration, communication and how to persevere.
In May 2020, Ann's robotic team kept Dubuque kids active during quarantine by providing STEM kits to parents when they picked up lunches from school for their kids. Ann also continues to show her students how math exists outside the classroom at the Alternative Learning Center.