Morgan King Wins Iowa English Teaching Award

When Morgan King heard the letter nominating her for the Iowa Council of Teachers of English award read aloud, she teared up.

“Sarah (Hamilton) pointed out things I didn’t even realize I did as a teacher,” King said, “and it made me realize that the things I am doing actually matter.”

There’s been plenty to talk about during King’s three short years at Hoover High School. She started her first year of teaching and directing drama during the pandemic, yet in her second year, she grew her drama program and won several awards. She also managed the summer school program, building relationships and helping students recover 200 credits. And she’s helping to build a new English curriculum.

“Morgan has positioned herself as an emerging leader for DMPS,” said Hamilton. “She is a teacher who takes charge of her learning and is always willing to grow.”

King grew up in Des Moines schools, attending Wright Elementary, Brody Middle School, and Lincoln High School (’16). She attended Simpson College and returned to complete her practicum and student teaching at DMPS. Hamilton said King found her footing quickly.

“Morgan is a go-getter,” Hamilton said. “Always willing to jump in and learn.”

The ICTE Barb Schubert Award is bestowed on beginning teachers who demonstrate exceptional literacy interactions with students and families, utilize a carefully planned, innovative and rich curriculum, and encourage and participate in professional collaboration. King said getting the news couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It felt awesome. I was stressing about grades and getting all my lesson plans started and was feeling a little overwhelmed,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to remember the good you are doing as a teacher because you always feel so behind, so being recognized for the little wins makes all the stress worth it.”

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