The announcement was made by McKenzie Snow, Director of the Iowa Department of Education, in an early morning assembly at Hoover High School, where Mincks has dedicated herself as an English Language Learner teacher. Addressing the assembled staff and students, Snow highlighted the significance of the Teacher of the Year title, emphasizing its long-standing tradition of recognizing educators who prioritize students’ well-being and development.
Since 1958, the Iowa Department of Education has singled out one teacher annually, honoring individuals who are deeply committed to placing students at the core of their educational endeavors. Snow described the ideal recipient as someone who not only challenges and empowers students but also collaborates closely with their families to ensure holistic success. This exceptional educator embodies a passion for continual learning, setting high standards for both themselves and their students.
In a momentous announcement, Snow revealed that the distinguished educator was among them, inviting Ann Mincks onto a stage specially arranged for the occasion, alongside Hoover Principal Qynne Kelly.
Both Kelly and Des Moines Superintendent Ian Roberts commended Mincks for her outstanding character and profound impact as an educator. Roberts expressed awe at Mincks’ selection from a pool of over 30,000 teachers across 1,300 schools within 328 school systems, hailing her achievement as nothing short of remarkable. He emphasized her dedication to understanding each student’s unique journey, aligning with the district’s core beliefs.
As Mincks ascended the platform amid resounding cheers and applause, she graciously acknowledged the honor while humorously acknowledging her initial reluctance to embrace the role for which she was being recognized.
Her humility shone through as she expressed gratitude for the recognition, albeit finding it slightly amusing. Despite her attempts to avoid embodying the stereotypical image of a celebrated teacher, Mincks’ dedication and impact have unmistakably earned her this remarkable accolade.