Heather Anderson

SchoolBoard MG 9579DISTRICT ONE
4114 Lincoln Place Drive
Des Moines, IA 50312

Heather Anderson teaches 2nd grade at Walnut Hills Elementary School, which is part of the Waukee Community School District. Previously she taught at Cowles Montessori School in Windsor Heights, a Des Moines Public School. At Cowles, she was instrumental in developing an extensive after school program. Programming at Cowles truly followed the child and throughout the years students were exposed to an array of opportunities such as a running club, science clubs, foreign languages (French, Spanish, Arabic), yoga, drama, cribbage, chess, mock trial, student council and computer programming to name a few. She worked with the teachers, parents and community members to offer students opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. Heather collaborated with the city of Windsor Heights, the school district, community members, teachers, parents, students, organizations and local businesses to offer the first ever 5K Run/walk in the district.  She also established a school-wide science fair and environmental day. She wrote and received over 20 grants for the school that provided funding to renovate the greenhouse by adding solar energy, resources/materials for teachers and students, professional development for teachers and staff, and most importantly increased hands-on, real-life learning opportunities for students.  Heather formed a partnership with a very dedicated parent at Cowles, together they wrote grants to implement school gardens and offer many “Healthy” events and activities for the families of Cowles. Due to these efforts in 2010, Cowles became a Farm to School Chapter through the Iowa Department of Agriculture. She worked with local organizations to donate any extra produce from the gardens and established partnerships with local universities.

In 2013, Heather Anderson was one of five finalists for the Iowa Teacher of the Year. That same year she also was the recipient of the Izaak Walton League of Iowa Teacher of the Year. The following year, Heather was honored to receive the 2014 ISEA Excellence in Education Award. She also received  “Outstanding Volunteer Award” from the Iowa Urban Tree Council along with one of her fellow teachers at Cowles in honor of their environmental projects involving the whole Cowles community. 2015 brought Heather another honor she was the recipient of the NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence. During the summer of 2015 as a NEAF Global Learning Fellow she traveled to Peru representing all of the teachers of Iowa. She was able to tour an IB school and rural schools in Peru. Meet with the teachers, students and families of Peru. Heather is a currently sits on the boards of the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition (ICEC), Cherry Glen Learning Farms and is a member of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s Students & Teachers Advisory Committee. She is a founding member of the Iowa Department of Education’s Iowa Outstanding Educators Advisory Council and last year was a presenter at the first annual Emerging Educators Academy a daylong conference offered to pre-service teachers as well as to 1st and 2nd year teachers. Heather is a life-long resident of Des Moines and a product of DMPS herself, her husband teaches at Hoover high school and she currently has five children enrolled at Roosevelt High School.

She earned a BA in Elementary Education from Upper Iowa University, a MA from Viterbo University, and holds credentials from the American Montessori Society and the Iowa Montessori Center.

Member Since: 2015
Term Expires: 2019