Maquoketa 8th-grade teacher is Iowa's teacher of the year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Maquoketa 8th-grade teacher is Iowa's teacher of the year

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MAQUOKETA (AP) -

A Maquoketa middle school teacher is Iowa's 2014 teacher of the year.

Gov. Terry Branstad announced Friday that Jane Schmidt won the award. Schmidt, an eighth-grade literacy and language arts teacher at Maquoketa Middle School, has worked in education for 33 years.

Besides teaching in the classroom, Schmidt is a teacher mentor and began a new role this fall in which she works on curriculum and gauges the effects of teaching practices across the school district.

Schmidt says teaching has "always been my passion, and it's always given me purpose."

The finalists were Aaron Maurer, of Bettendorf Middle School; Kari Murray, of Carlisle High School, Jon Parrott, of Urbandale Middle School; Kristi Wickre, of Smouse Opportunity School in Des Moines; and Elaine Wolf, of Central Campus in Des Moines.

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