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Excellence in teaching award leaves UIU alumna humbled

Sue Meggers ’90 remembers feeling very surprised and humbled when she was presented with the ‘Excellence in Science Teaching Award’ at the 2013 Iowa Academy of Science meeting. Acknowledged for her “persistent drive to help every child succeed and facilitate authentic hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning,” Meggers said becoming a teacher wasn’t something that she chose; the profession chose her.

“My decision came about as a natural evolution of my love to learn,” she said. Meggers graduated from Upper Iowa University Des Moines Center with a degree in elementary education with endorsements in science, language arts and special education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo.

 Meggers currently teaches seventh- and eighth-grade science at Interstate 35 (I-35) Secondary School in Truro, Iowa. She has previously taught elementary, K-8 special education, secondary reading strategies, secondary technology and seventh- and eighth-grade math, all at I-35 schools.

Some of her fondest teaching memories include the times when students can vividly recall their class projects and concepts learned long after they’ve graduated. “I also enjoyed mentoring a Cybermission team to a second-place finish at a national regional competition where they won $12,000 in 2008, and a State of Iowa honorable mention team,” she said. “I was also named the favorite inspiring teacher of a recipient of the Governor’s Excellence in Education Award. More importantly, 90 percent of our students at I-35 are proficient in science on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.”

Meggers’ teaching philosophy is: Teach with the attitude of change driven by need, engaging children through hands-on inquiry-based learning.

“I appreciated the willingness of Upper Iowa University faculty and staff to work with me as an adult learner and accepting that my previous educational experiences were valuable to my UIU degree program,” she added.

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