Education

Cedar Rapids teacher named to governor's first 'Teachers Cabinet'

Jordan Young, 27, has taught history at Washington High School for six years

Jordan Young, a member of Gov. Kim Reynolds'
Jordan Young, a member of Gov. Kim Reynolds' "Teachers Cabinet" and a history teacher at Washington High School, in his classroom at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Washington High School teacher from Cedar Rapids has been tapped as a member of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ first “Teachers Cabinet.”

“The goal is to get teacher input on the changes that are happening in education,” Washington history teacher Jordan Young said of his appointment. “ ... I see it as a great opportunity to have a voice, and to be able to see however I’m able to help. I’m excited to be a part of the process.”

Young, 27, has taught at Washington High School in the Cedar Rapids Community School District for six years.

He said he hopes to share insights about working in a more urban school with Gov. Reynolds, acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Iowa Department of Education Ryan Wise.

“This is a pretty big school for Iowa, so I have experience teaching in an urban school,” Young said. “I went to this school, so I’ve seen the changes — how things have changed or stayed the same — over a period of time.”

Young, who also is an assistant coach for football and track, said Superintendent Brad Buck asked him to join the cabinet.

Reynolds still is seeking nominations for members of the Teachers Cabinet, according to a news release from her office. Nominations can be submitted via email to govteacherscabinet@iowa.gov until Oct. 15.

The teachers will meet with Reynolds, Gregg and Wise quarterly to give input on issues such as personalized learning, bringing “real-world work-based” opportunities into the classroom and the state’s teacher leadership program.

In the release, Reynolds said she hopes “to hear from teachers about how to better connect the classroom to future careers” as she promotes the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.

The first Teachers Cabinet meeting is yet to be scheduled, Young said, though it’s expected in November.

Young is one of seven members of the cabinet so far. The others are:

l Language arts teacher Laura Gilbert-Harwood of Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School in Waterloo,

l Welding instructor Sheila Graham of the Career Academy in Pella,

l Instructional coach Joni Readout of Central Decatur Junior-Senior High School,

l Dual-language teacher Vanesa Sanchez of Denison Elementary School,

l Industrial technology teacher Greg Smith of Davenport West High,

l Elementary instructional coach Shelly Vroegh of Norwalk Community School District.

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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