TLC Grant Helps Teachers Meet the Needs of All Students


Waukee Community School District shared how the Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) grant is helping the district meet the needs of all students with Governor Terry Branstad and Ryan Wise, director of Department of Education on November 9.

Waukee Community School District was one of 74 districts in Iowa to be awarded the TLC grant for the 2015-16 school year. The district now has four teacher leadership opportunities: instructional coaches/strategists, instructional mentors, building mentors and curriculum leaders.

This year Waukee Community School district welcomed 16 new special education teachers to the district. The positive impact the strategists have had in supporting more than 500 students with special needs is immeasurable.

“As special education instructional strategists we strive to help teachers make learning authentic for students, to awaken the passion and purpose for our teachers and students and to empower our teachers to create a culture of contributors,” Kelli Palcic said.

Because of this grant, each first year teacher has the support of an instructional mentor and all new-to-Waukee teachers are supported by building mentors.

Kristin Grotewold, secondary instructional mentor, and Drew Cumings-Peterson, first year Waukee High School English II teacher, shared how these new roles are improving education:

“Being the consummate teacher, Kristin gives me courage instead of answers. When I started at Waukee, I had feelings that all new people have. I looked up to the members of my department. And I saw areas for improvement. I respected the traditions and reputations of the school. But I knew there were things I wanted to change. Kristin helped me organize and prioritize those feelings. She did it with empathy. And without judgment,” Cumings-Peterson said. “In a political climate filled with valid debates on the most efficient use of money, Kristin is the best gift anyone’s given me to maximize the success of my students.”

Waukee Community School District’s TLC vision is to improve student learning and influence a culture of leadership. These new roles have allowed an increasing number of teachers to utilize and develop leadership skills collaboratively with peers and promote student learning across the district.

560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701