Two Ames High Teachers earned recognition from the Iowa Business Education Association (IBEA) this year at their annual conference. Ames High Business Teacher Vicki Hales was named the 2019 Outstanding Secondary Business Educator and Teacher on Special Assignment Vonda Junck awarded this year’s Distinguished Service to Business Award.
Hales has taught business at Ames High since 2015 and is continually pushing the boundaries of what it means to provide real-world experience for students. Ames High Principal Brian Carico said, “She is a born leader and has an inner drive to not only make herself better but make the people around her better as well. I have never seen a teacher work with such tenacity. When you step into her classroom, you immediately know you have stepped into a special atmosphere where students are engaged and excited about learning.”
In addition to teaching core classes, Hales serves as the DECA Advisor at Ames High, which has been recognized as the largest chapter in the state for the past two years. She is also the Business Engagement Collaborative (BEC) Advisor that provides students an opportunity by placing them in a real business world setting.
Providing real-world experience has always been a focus of Hales and this is something that resonates with students. One student said that she was “one of the most influential teachers in our growth and development. She is an amazing mentor and resource for us. She guides us in a way that encourages us to freely think while teaching us how to recognize possible mistakes.”
Junck is a 26-year veteran of the Ames Community School District and has been instrumental in coordinating career and technical education as well as the mentoring and induction of new teachers. Hales, her nominator said, “Vonda is a former elementary teacher who transferred into a TLC role. In this role, she has demonstrated her passion and support for CTE in a variety of ways. She is quick to recognize the value of the courses we teach and puts extra thought into how she can best provide support. It is hard to find a non-CTE teacher who works harder for the sake of our program like she does.”
The Iowa Business Education Association held its annual fall convention at the Des Moines Holiday Inn & Suites in Des Moines on September 29-30, 2019. IBEA is a statewide professional organization for business teachers that promotes business education to students, parents, and businesses within the local communities of its members. This state organization is affiliated with the National Business Education Association and the North Central Business Education Association, which provides curriculum materials, standards, and benchmarks, and legislative representation for business teachers throughout the country and eight-state region.