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May 23, 2022

Celebration of Excellence

Celebration of excellence

The Ankeny Community School District held the inaugural Celebration of Excellence on Tuesday, May 17 at the FFA Enrichment Center. With 11 total finalists, this special event was held to honor outstanding education professionals who have made an impact on their students and colleagues. These individuals were nominated by parents, students, and staff as part of an open-nomination process and selected through an anonymous review of the submissions. Remarks were delivered by Dr. Erick Pruitt, superintendent of Ankeny Schools.

Meet Deborah Cote-Glander, Ankeny Community School District’s Teacher of the Year and Kim Bolte, Support Staff of the Year.

Teacher of the Year: Deborah Cote-Glander, Ankeny High School

Ankeny High School math teacher Deborah Cote-Glander was named Teacher of the Year. Her nomination read “She is an outstanding educator that demonstrates excellent pedagogy as she serves her students, school, and community with skill and the most up-to-date educational practices. She is an outstanding teacher and lifelong learner. This teacher utilizes effective instructional methods and assessments including technology and best practices. She’s available for students for extra assistance if needed, taking personal interest in the overall success of each one. She cares deeply about her students and all of the students in the building. She has implemented a daily time of developing interpersonal and relational skills as she has students engage in brief prompted dialogue with fellow peers as they enter class. She greets students by name and understands the importance of students feeling connected and safe. She uses trauma informed practices in her classroom where each student is valued, respected, protected, and treated with dignity. Discipline is done with compassion and restorative practices. As a valued team member and school leader she’s been asked to serve in various leadership positions including most recently for the hiring of strategic staff members. Her voice is valued among her peers as an excellent educator who works diligently to accomplish strategic school goals while upholding the school mission. Students and staff alike see how this teacher builds culture at Ankeny High School. She has been affectionately nicknamed the plant lady and has spent much of her own resources to create beautiful spaces at school where students and staff can relax and enjoy a bit of nature. She has gifted many plants over the years to her fellow educators to assist them in creating a warmer environment in their classrooms. She is a gifted educator and inspiring leader.”

Support Staff of the Year: Kim Bolte, Ankeny High School

Ankeny High School associate Kim Bolte was named Support Staff of the Year. Her nomination read “This staff member is new to Ankeny this year but she is a long time supporter. She joined the associate team and has been a positive, caring, goes out of her way staff member for students and adults alike. She is volunteering her time to help with the musical, she tackles some of the toughest plans and does it while building others up. She is truly a gift to our school and our community and we are lucky to have her.”

In partnership with the school district, the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce and the Weidenmann Family Foundation hosted Ankeny Celebrates Education. This ceremony included all educators within the city of Ankeny, and was held directly after the Celebration of Excellence. The event featured appetizers from local restaurants and drawings for a wide array of fantastic prizes.

On behalf of the Ankeny Community School District we are proud of our staff members, their high standards, hard work, and dedication throughout the field of education.