Iowa Lakes Instructor Named Adult Education and Literacy Educator of the Year

(Spencer, Iowa) Diane Jackson, a high school equivalency instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College, receives the 2021 Archie Willard Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Educator of the Year.

The Iowa Department of Education created the award in memory of Archie Willard, whom many consider the grandfather of Iowa’s adult education and literacy programs. The award recognizes educators who embody the values and principles that Willard demonstrated in his life, including advocating, developing, implementing, and teaching adult education in Iowa.

“Diane is an outstanding AEL Instructor, and she comes to the campus every day with the mindset to help her students be successful. With the pandemic, Diane was a natural fit to help draft and deliver distance learning to our students, allowing them to obtain their High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED),” Steve McCauley, AEL Programmer.

During the 2021 AEL Virtual Summer Conference, Jackson was honored for her continued exemplary service in the Adult Education field. Jackson, who has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central College and a Master of Arts degree from Ottawa University, has worked at Iowa Lakes for three years tirelessly, helping many individuals overcome obstacles and ultimately obtain their HSED.

One of Jackson’s former students, Jarett Rodriguez, said, “I worked closely with Diane. She has been amazingly supportive throughout my whole educational experience so far, even beyond HiSET.”

Before working at Iowa Lakes, Jackson served as a Title 1 Reading Teacher, Librarian, and Technology Director at a large high school in Phoenix, AZ, before returning to Iowa to serve at Prairie Lakes AEA as the technology director.

“Diane brings her passion for education every day and meets each student where they are and helps them develop their plan for success,” said Jolene Rogers, Executive Director Community & Business Relations.  “She leads by example and collaborates with other instructors to serve all students across the college campuses to attain their high school equivalency diploma and identify the next steps on their education and career plan. I’m so proud of Diane and the work she’s accomplished and people she’s inspired.”

The next AEL orientations at Iowa Lakes will take place September 7-9.  If interested in registering or learning more, please contact Steve McCauley at 712-852-5226 or smccauley@iowalakes.educreate new email.