Mitchellville, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced Krystal Colbert, a 16-year veteran teacher, as the Iowa Department of Education’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. And two of the finalists were from our part of northwest Iowa.

Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo says that the Teacher of the Year award honors outstanding teachers who have made an impact on their students and colleagues. She says that Colbert is a life-long learner, teacher leader, and a Lighthouse team member working to build leadership and life skills in students. She says Colbert’s 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.”

Colbert, who is a second-grade teacher in the Southeast Polk Community School District, says students who believe in themselves will be successful in school.

Two teachers from our area were among the finalists. They were Lori Brandt, a special education teacher in the Sioux Center Community School District, and Levi Letsche, a high school mathematics teacher from the Sheldon 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 education and act as liaisons to schools, higher education, and organizations across the state.

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