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WATERLOO (KWWL) - The Waterloo Community School District is one of 39 school districts selected for first teacher leadership systems, a state program that will be available to every Iowa school district during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Waterloo Schools Spokesperson Tara Thomas says Waterloo was awarded $3.5 million dollars through the legislature's new program, the most awarded to any district in the state. Thomas says the money has allowed them to hire and train more staff.

Director of Professional Development and Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) Stephanie Mohorne says teacher mentors meet with new teachers at least twice a month. The mentor teachers in Waterloo have been teaching for anywhere between seven and 20 years, and they're helping teachers straight out of college or with only one year of experience.

Mohorne says she has high hopes that TLC will help keep new teachers from burning out and the mentors benefit by getting a stipend. More than 100 teachers in Waterloo are in leadership roles, some of which are roles that were already in place before TLC.

During the 2013 legislature, the program was designed to allow “top teachers” to take more of a leadership roll. As the Iowa Department of Education explained in a press release in March, “new teacher leadership systems across Iowa will allow teachers to work in greater collaboration with colleagues and learn from each other instead of operating largely in isolation in their classrooms”.

The teacher leadership systems will be phased into all Iowa schools during the next three years.

The following schools were selected for the 2014-2015 school year:

  • -Benton

  • -Bettendorf
  • -Burlington

  • -Cedar Rapids

  • -Colo-NESCO

  • -Council Bluffs

  • -Davenport

  • -Delwood

  • -Dubuque

  • -Earlham

  • -East Marshall

  • -East Union

  • -Gilbert

  • -Greene County

  • -Hudson

  • -Humboldt (in collaboration with Twin Rivers)

  • -Johnston

  • -Le Mars

  • -Linn-Mar

  • -Marshalltown

  • -Mount Pleasant

  • -Muscatine

  • -North Polk

  • -Norwalk

  • -Oelwein

  • -Ottumwa

  • -Panorama

  • -Pella

  • -Rock Valley

  • -Roland-Story

  • -Saydel

  • -Sioux City

  • -Southeast Polk

  • -Twin Rivers (in collaboration with Humboldt)

  • -Van Meter

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