Iowa Reading Awards & Scholarships

Iowa Reading Association offers many awards and scholarships to deserving individuals throughout Iowa. The following awards and scholarships are available: Service Award, Celebrate Literacy, Iowa Service, Iowa Reading Teacher of the Year, Iowa Reading Administrator of the Year, and Scholarship Winners.

2021-22 Award Application Criteria & Forms

Iowa Reading Association Service Award

Recipient: Diane Bean

The Iowa Service Award may be given for unusual and distinguished service to the Iowa Reading Association. The criteria is admirable service to the Iowa Reading Association in some specific capacity or capacities, requiring special skills, knowledge, and creative effort (eg., as editor, TV producer, founder, etc. on local, state/provincial , national and international levers). Nominee may be a teacher or a school administrator. The results must make a significant impact on the growth of the Iowa Reading Association, on the dissemination of research findings, on the increase of legislation favoring good reading programs or on some other area within the broad field of reading.

Diane Bean receiving award

Iowa Service Award 2020-21: Diane Bean

Iowa Reading Administrator of the Year

In her 25-year plus career Genie has been a second-grade teach- er, a trained reading re- covery teacher/literacy strategist, AEA read- ing consultant, an as- sistant principal and is currently the principal at Glenwood Commu- nity School. She works side by side with teachers in developing read- ing curriculum, presenting staff development, modeling student lessons and even assessing individual deficits when needed to build stu- dent action plans. Genie has high expectations for herself, her staff, and is seen as a forever coach and mentor. Her vision, knowledge, and leadership she has helped her school achieve great success. Genie continues to lead and em- power her teachers with her support, problem solving, and determination to do what is best for kids. No matter what is thrown at her, she displays calm determination, collaboration skills, positivity, vision and leadership keeps her school on the right path to providing what every student needs in order to find success. Genie wants students to thrive as learners, cel- ebrates student success and continuously in- vites students to read with her, demonstrating the importance of reading. Genie O’Grady is an exemplary leader. She created a Book Mo- bile that travels throughout the community in the summer to ensure students can continue to get their hands-on books. Genie has been dedicated to literacy and the education of stu- dents her entire career. Her knack for seeing in others what they don’t see in themselves, going to great lengths to meet students’ needs shows that Genie’s passion for education and students is undeniable. She is a great collabo- rator, leader and administrator. This is why she was chosen as the 2021 Reading Administrator of the Year.

Administrator of the Year recipient, Genie O'Grady

Recipient: Genie O'Grady

Iowa Reading Administrator of the Year Award may be given to professionals other than those teachers of reading who have demonstrated their interest, concern and leadership in promoting reading within their domain.

Celebrate Literacy Award

Recipient: Joan Grothoff

Celebrate Literacy is a project sponsored by the International Reading Association and the Iowa Reading Association. The purpose of this project is to recognize an individual, agency, or institution that has made significant contributions to literacy. This celebration of literacy will familiarize the public with literacy activities actually carried out in local communities and will call attention to work being done by schools in the promotion of literacy as a “universal concern.”

Joan Grothoff

Celebrate Literacy 2020-21 recipient, Joan Grothoff

Iowa Reading Teacher of the Year

For nearly 30 years Michelle has been inspiring people around her to love learn- ing. She has taught second and fifth grades and now is the K-8 literacy coach for MOC-Floyd Valley. Mi- chelle enjoys leading sum- mer workshops for teachers and teaching Online gradu- ate classes for Northwestern  College. Her passion has challenged students to be readers, writers and efficient thinkers. Michelle truly enjoys being an active member of North- west Iowa Reading Council for most of her teach- ing career. She has had a steady presence in the council and is a valuable resource. She has served on the leadership team for multiple years as well as managing the social media sites. She supports learning opportunities and encourages others to join and support the literacy mission. Northwest Iowa Reading is lucky to have her to emulate. Mi- chelle is a tireless supporter of Iowa Reading and has presented sessions about literacy and tech- nology at state conference and been an attendee for many years. When people meet Michelle they immediately can see her excitement for learn- ing and literacy and inspires people around her to love the learning process. Her summer work- shops and Online classes provide ways for edu- cators to think deeply about their practices. The strategies and ideas that Michelle promotes in all her presentations are easily transferred by teach- ers to their own classroom settings. She works tirelessly with teachers at all levels to ensure they are implementing appropriate reading interven- tions. Michelle guides coaches and teachers in a professional and caring manner by being model and mentor. This is why Michelle, Mrs. TG or the Other Mrs. TG has been chosen for the 2021 Teacher of the Year.

2020-21 Iowa Reading Teacher of the Year recipient, Michelle TeGrootenhuis

Recipient: Michelle TeGrootenhuis

The Iowa Reading Teacher of the Year must be members of the local, state and national associations of the International Reading Association. Criteria involves teaching of children , this should be direct teaching of reading, involvement in the International reading Association and professional growth in the teaching profession.

ILA Honor Councils

Recipients: READ, Hardy, and Eastern Iowa Councils

READ, Hardy, and Eastern Iowa

READ, Hardy, and Eastern Iowa Councils (1 year, 33 years, 19 years respectively)

Iowa Reading Association Technology and Literacy Grant

Wendy Matsony at ceremony for the Technology & Literacy Grant

2018-2019 Technology & Literacy Grant recipient, Wendy Matson

Kari Straube at ceremony for the Technology & Literacy Grant

2018-2019 Technology & Literacy Grant recipient, Kari Straube

Recipients: Wendy Matson & Kari Straube

Need some money to help infuse technology skills, apps, programs… into your literacy study? Look no further than the Iowa Reading Association Technology and Literacy grant. Those that apply will utilize technology in their teaching of literacy skills. Some suggestions might be the use of flip or digital cameras, creating interactive white board lessons, creating a blog or webpage, using software to create student books, use of Power Point or Wordle, money for app purchases. Be creative!

Please fill out the online application by September 30, 2019, so funds can be awarded either after the October Board meeting. Questions? Contact Renee Thomas, project chair,


"Grow a Local Council" Grant

Contact: Nancy Wright -

Outgoing Directors

Marlene Reece at ceremony for Out-going Directors

Outgoing Regional Director: Marlene Reece

Marlene Reece was the Central Regional Director.

Clark Goltz at ceremony for Out-going Directors

Outgoing Executive Director: Clark Goltz

Merit Council
2018-2019 Recipients for the Merit Council

2020-21 Merit Council Recipients