Local educator wins top honor for excellence

Meredith Skala honored for her great work with students

DES MOINES, IA (08/09/2017) (readMedia)-- Meredith Skala, a teacher at Hopewell Elementary in Bettendorf, is a 2017 Excellence in Education Award runner-up. The award is sponsored by the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). Skala was chosen among a top field of educators-all nominated by colleagues, students, parents, and community members-because of the difference they make every day in the lives of Iowa's students.

"This award is truly about recognizing the educators who work hard on a daily basis and rarely get the recognition they so richly deserve," said Tammy Wawro, President of the ISEA. "The nominations we receive are a testament to the dedication and compassion Iowa educators have for their students and the communities in which they live. Clearly, Iowa educators go above and beyond to help shape and, in many cases, to help change the lives of the students they teach," Wawro added.

Meredith teaches a diverse classroom of elementary students who love her creative and energetic environment. She navigates the variety of needs in her room with grace and expertise supporting all students with equal time, energy and a positive mindset. She tasks her students to reflect, to clarify and to infer which are all challenging concepts for third graders but nonetheless, concepts under Meredith's guidance, her students rise to succeed in. She is a highly active member in her school community, working on building committees and teams and is well respected among her colleagues for her high standards, work ethic and personal commitment. Quite simply, education is Meredith's passion. She has a magical way with her classroom allowing her students to come to school wanting to learn, helping them make connections and providing them with an environment that is rich with support and love.

"It is clear that Meredith's creativity, passion and work all combine to make a tremendous impact in her classroom and beyond, and we applaud her achievement," said Wawro. "The Excellence in Education Award celebrates educators like Meredith who are invested in the lives of their students and go beyond what is expected to make an exceptional experience for them," added Wawro.

Now in its 17th year, the Excellence in Education Award honors educators around the state who make a difference in the classroom. Nominations are solicited beginning in January through March.

Skala received a $100 gift from the ISEA during an awards ceremony and banquet on Monday, July 31, at Prairie Meadows Convention Center in Altoona, courtesy of the ISEA.

The winner of the 2017 Excellence in Education Award is Kim Pelzer, a teacher at Tipton Elementary in Tipton. Pelzer received $1,000 courtesy of the ISEA. Other runners-up also honored included Doug Renkly, an art teacher in the Harlan Community School District in Harlan; Marilyn Rippy, a music teacher at South Tama Elementary in Tama; and Consuelo Steel-Cherry, a para-educator at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids. All runners-up received $100 courtesy of the ISEA.


The ISEA is a professional organization made up of educators who are dedicated to supporting and protecting a quality education for all Iowa students.