Rotary Club of Des Moines Names Educators of the Year

Five Des Moines Public Schools teachers have been named Educators of the Year by the Rotary Club of Des Moines for the impact they make on their students and their school.

Nominated by their school principals, each winner received a cash award of $1,000 and a travelling plaque during a ceremony and luncheon on March 31, 2011 at the Wakonda Club.

Two elementary school teachers were named Elementary Educators of the Year. They were Kitty Crandell, Capitol View Elementary School Title Reading teacher, and Tricia McCarty, Stowe Elementary School fourth grade teacher.

“Kitty Crandell is an outstanding person who always puts the needs of others first,” said Marcia Johnson, Capitol View Elementary School Principal. “She has dedicated her professional life to her students, working hard to be sure that each of them knows what it feels like to be successful. Kitty is a wonderful gift to our Capitol View students and staff.”

“Tricia McCarty is a teacher who makes an extraordinary and lasting impact on the lives of the students she serves,” said Dawn Vetter, Stowe Elementary School Principal. “Quiet spoken and calm, she creates an environment where each child is invited to belong and inspired to learn. Her students describe her as a caring and reflective thinker — a teacher who is always learning. Mrs. McCarty makes a difference in the Des Moines schools.”

Hiatt Middle School sixth grade reading teacher Jenie Olson was selected as the Middle School Educator of the Year.

“Jenie Olson has been instrumental in making positive changes at Hiatt,” said Joy Wiebers, Hiatt Middle School Principal. “She is extremely caring and very passionate about teaching, and comes to work every day with a positive attitude. Jenie makes efforts to build positive relationships with not only our students, staff, and parents, but also the entire Amos Hiatt Community.”

Brubaker Elementary School teacher Sara Halbur, who teaches autistic students, was named Special Education Educator of the Year.

“Sara Halbur is the type of teacher that sees every child as a child that can and will be successful,” said Mike Lord, Brubaker Elementary School Principal. “She solves problems and prepares support for every individual’s needs and has made a huge impact on all of the children she works with. The Brubaker community appreciates all Sara does for our students.”

Lincoln High School ninth grade world history teacher Jeff Mullin was named High School Educator of the Year.

“Jeff Mullin is not only an exceptionally competent teacher, he is an inspiration to both his students and colleagues as well,” said Joan Roberts, Lincoln High School Principal. “Lincoln High School is indeed proud and happy to have one of our own receive this fine honor which he so richly deserves.”

The Des Moines Independent Community School District is Iowa’s largest provider of public education serving the individual needs of more than 33,000 students in 66 schools with more than 5,000 dedicated teachers and staff. For more information about Des Moines Public Schools visit

The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.