Winners announced for 2022 Innovation in Education

Johnson County organizations honor area educators and students

IOWA CITY – Winners of the 2022 Innovation In Education Awards have been announced by the Iowa City Area Business Partnership and Iowa City Area Development Group. The Business Partnership and ICAD will team up on April 27 to present the Innovation in Education Awards in-person at the Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City. The ceremony will feature seven awards, all in an effort to recognize growth and innovation in area schools.

The event will be hosted and presented by leaders of both organizations, Kate Moreland, President of the Iowa City Area Development Group, and Jennifer Banta, Vice President, Advocacy & Community Development for the Iowa City Area Business Partnership.

Winners of the awards include:

  • Student Innovation Award:
    Cassady JacksonClear Creek Amana High School 
    Recognizes students for their academic achievements and efforts to go above and beyond. The ideal candidate demonstrates a growth mindset and a desire to uplift others.


  • Spark Award:
    Katie Christiansen, Tamarack Discovery School
    Joy Kelly, Regina Catholic Education Center
    The Spark Award is given to an administrator who goes above and beyond in order to create a learning environment where all students have a chance to succeed, and all instructors feel the freedom to innovate.


  • STEM Innovator Award:
    Amanda Solomon, North Central
    The STEM Innovator Award showcases the creative innovations of a program that facilitates enhanced problem-based teaching and learning. This award specifically focuses on the uniqueness of the “program actions” that promote teacher innovation, increase student interest and drive performance and/or achievement. Recipients of this award must have completed STEM Innovator training through the University of Iowa.


  • Administrative/Support Staff Excellence Award:
    John Bacon, Iowa City High School
    Heidi Gartelos, Liberty High School
    Karen Smith, ICCSD

    The Administrative/Support Staff Excellence Award recognizes the exemplary service of a dedicated administrative assistant or employee who fosters a positive learning environment at his/her school.


  • EdTech Company of the Year:
    Higher Learning Technologies

    The Ed Tech Company of the Year Award recognizes an Iowa City area-based education technology company that has demonstrated or facilitated classroom innovation, has supported the growth of the Iowa City area as an education technology hub, and has given back to our community. To qualify, the company must be a member of the Business Partnership or an investor in ICAD Group.


  • Impact Award:
    Melissa Nies, Liberty High School
    Andrea Zabibu, South East Junior High
    Marty Jimmerson, West Branch Community School District
    The Impact Award is given to a school group that embraces three core goals: to inspire, innovate, and achieve. Their pursuit of these first three goals culminate to realize a fourth: IMPACT on teachers, students and their community. This program exceeds all others in its ability to impact students and teachers through inspiring, innovative, exceptional, unprecedented and/or extraordinary program components.


  • Inspire Award:
    Christine Mons, City High
    Jan Smith, Liberty High School
    Tiffany Roiseland, Liberty High School
    Dena Cavanaugh, Shimek Elementary School
    Christine Sobocinski, Willowwind School
    Robert Crawford, City High School
    The Inspire Award is given to a teacher that inspires, excites, and influences students to learn through exceptional, unprecedented or extraordinary programs and/or creates an innovative, future-focused classroom.

The 2022 awards are made possible by Lead Sponsor Midwest Dental; and supporting sponsors Pearson, GreenState Credit Union, University of Iowa Health Care, Dr. Suzanne Stock, Orthodontist, and University of Iowa College of Education.