A Passion for Excellence in Education

Michele Dickey-Kotz receives the 2024 IACTE “Outstanding Leader/Educator Award”

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Faculty

April 25, 2024 | Jennifer Smith

Finals week is rough on students, faculty and staff—passing by the professors’ offices, you can catch snippets of them going all-in to wrap up the semester, make sure everything goes somewhat smoothly, and everyone gets through in one piece.

Meeting Michele Dickey-Kotz, EdD, in the hallways of the Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education, chances are high of witnessing her passion for education spring promptly into action. Amid her concern for the students in the finals week rush, she only briefly returns to her office, where a new trophy decorates her desk: it recognizes her tireless work and service of decades as “Outstanding Leader/Educator.”

When the Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education called for nominations in this category of the 2024 IACTE Awards, Education Department Chair Tanya Coffelt, EdD, immediately had someone in mind. She initiated and submitted a nomination for Dickey-Kotz, who was now presented the award on the occasion of the IACTE Spring Conference in Ankeny.

The coupling “Leader/Educator” chronicles Dickey-Kotz’s biography perfectly. It encompasses her commitment to both the classroom and the boardroom—at all intersections where education is lived, trained, delivered, developed, accredited and advanced, from the Lamoni School Board over her 33 years of dedication to Graceland University to national advocacy in academia, research and policy. Dickey-Kotz feels highly honored by the recognition, but needs to place this very special trophy aside again for now and run: her students need her right now on this stressful last stretch of the semester.

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About the award:

The Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education represents the public, private and community college programs that prepare teachers in Iowa. The Outstanding Leader/Educator Award honors individuals who contribute in significant ways to the development of quality pre-service and in-service teachers in the state, sending an important message to educators and the public that Iowa truly exemplifies best practice in teacher preparation and development. The Iowa Outstanding Leader/Educator Award honors persons who have met one or more of the following criteria:

– Fostered the development of teacher education throughout a career in the PreK-Grade 12 setting and in institutes of higher education.
– Contributed to teacher education through research, program development or publishing.
– Served as an advocate for teacher education preparation in Iowa or at the regional or national levels.
– Demonstrated a significant service to Iowa teacher education programs and the wider academy of teacher education preparation. [Source: IACTE]

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