On Friday, October 13th, 2017, Ames High School English teacher and department chair, Darin Johnson, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English (ICTE). It is the highest honor that the ICTE bestows once a year to a member who has displayed extraordinary service to promote and support English teachers in their own schools and throughout the state. Darin accepted the award, saying, “I can’t thank the ICTE community enough for the ways you have fed my heart and mind and – most importantly – have repeatedly asked me to share my voice. For this I am truly thankful, and I am truly humbled to receive this award. I thank you for helping me lift my voice.”
Darin has served as an English teacher at AHS for twenty five years. In that time, his primary focus has been on meet the needs of his students. As Erin Miller, ICTE President and former AHS English teacher, describes, “Darin’s continual drive to better his craft, dedication to building relationships with students, and willingness to be a constant innovator has made him an ideal role model for teachers in Ames and around the state.”
James Webb has worked with Darin for most of that time, recognized Darin’s dedication, and nominated Darin for this award. In his nomination letter, James wrote: “Whether it be in the halls of Ames High or through his ongoing commitment to ICTE, many of us have come to regard him as an iconic representation of what a true professional educator looks like.” Fellow AHS English teacher, Joe Brekke, had the honor of presenting the award to Darin at the conference.
This award continues a banner year of recognition for Darin and his work within the ICTE. In addition to his work at Ames High and working with colleagues, Darin is also Website Editor for the ICTE. In August, the ICTE website (http://www.iowaenglishteachers.org) was chosen as one of seven to receive the 2017 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Affiliate Website of Excellence Award, sponsored by the NCTE Standing Committee of Affiliates.
Great job, Darin, for being a leader in the classroom and a leader in your field.