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Krystal Colbert named Iowa Teacher of the Year

The second-grade teacher, Krystal Colbert was honored at Mitchellville Elementary.
Credit: Iowa Department of Education

MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa — Krystal Colbert has been named the 2023 Iowa Teacher of the Year

The second-grade teacher was honored in a ceremony Monday morning held at Mitchellville Elementary. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds was present at the assembly, awarding Colbert, the 16-year veteran teacher, as Iowa's Teacher of the Year. 

"I am proud of the amazing work Krystal Colbert is doing to make a difference in the lives of her students and the impact she is having on the education system in our state,” Reynolds said.

The Iowa Teacher of the Year Award was first established in 1958 and is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education. Ann Lebo, Director of the Iowa Department of Education says the award honors outstanding teachers and Colbert is just that. 

"Krystal is a life-long learner, teacher leader and a Lighthouse team member working to build leadership and life skills in students," Lebo said. "Her focus on supporting each student’s learning style and her ability to see challenges as opportunities for growth will help advance our education system as we move forward.” 

Southeast Polk Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Dirk Halupnik said in a statement:

"We are all so proud of Krystal and the outstanding work that she does every day.  She truly cares about all of her students and helps each of them to reach their highest potential. This is an exceptional honor for Krystal and the entire Southeast Polk community."

Honorees go on to serve as ambassadors to schools, higher, education and organizations throughout the state.

"Here at Mitchellville, we are teaching our students that positive self-affirmations, healthy habits, and having a growth mindset are essential in reaching their highest potential,” Colbert said. “We are affirming to our students every day that they are loved and valued and that we care about their success.” 

The finalists for the 2023 Iowa Teacher of the Year were:

  • Lori Brandt, a special education teacher in the Sioux Center Community School District.
  • Levi Letsche, a high school mathematics teacher from the Sheldon Community School District.
  • Amy Phillips, an elementary teacher in the Marshalltown Community School District.
  • Corrine Schalk, an elementary teacher in the Cedar Rapids Community School District.
  • Katie Weldon, a middle school mathematics teacher in the Norwalk Community School District.

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