Mason City teacher receives state education award | Education

Mason City educator Tracie Dedor was recently named first in her class.

Dedor, a first-grade teacher at Hoover Elementary School, has been named the recipient of the 2022 Excellence in Education Award from the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). She was selected from educators nominated by colleagues, students, parents and community members because of the difference she has made with students, a press release said.

As the winner, Dedor is nominated for the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence from the National Education Association (NEA). According to a press release, all California Casualty winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, for the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education gala in February 2023.

Five recipients are selected for the Horace Mann Awards for Excellence in Teaching and each receive $10,000. The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence selects one of five to receive $25,000 in cash and a gift.






Mason City teacher Tracie Dedor does an educational dance with her first grade class.


Abby Koch



“Tracie is an asset as a teacher in Mason City because she embodies the qualities we value in our teachers. She truly cares about the students and does everything she can to ensure they have a great school experience. successful,” said Hoover director Sarah Grimm.

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Dedor is in his 21st year of teaching, having taught in Chicago, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines before landing in Mason City.

As a child, she said she would pretend to teach her stuffed animals, and having good educators in her life pushed her to become a teacher in real life.

One educator who stands out in Dedor’s memory is a Sunday school teacher she had. “A particular lady at the church taught Sunday school and asked me to help her, and I really appreciated the way she did it,” Dedor said.

All of these experiences have shaped the way Dedor teaches. One aspect she likes to focus on is the uniqueness of each student.

“I would say my philosophy is to get to know each child as an individual, to know their likes, dislikes and who they are,” Dedor said.

Dedor allows students to share their cultures and family traditions with others. She says these times are good for teaching individuality, and she says students “light up” when given the opportunity to share what makes them unique and gain self-confidence.

All of his students are called “scholars” to help them believe in themselves.

“We learn to read, write, add, subtract and count money, and it’s a lot and it can be difficult. We just have a main philosophy of not giving up,” Dedor said.

Dedor took student education to the next level by dressing up as familiar characters from children’s books. One day she dressed up as Miss Nelson from “Miss Nelson Has Disappeared!” by Harry Allard. Dedor then spent the whole day in the role of Miss Nelson.







MC Tracie Dedor 2

Hoover elementary school teacher Tracie Dedor was recently named the recipient of the Iowa State Education Association’s 2022 Excellence in Education Award.


Abby Koch



“Tracie’s creativity, passion and hard work combine to make a huge impact in her classroom and beyond. The Excellence in Education Award supports educators like Tracie who are invested in the lives of their students and go above and beyond to provide an exceptional experience,” said ISEA President Mike Beranek in a press release.

“We are so fortunate to have so many great educators in Mason City, and we congratulate Tracie on receiving this incredible award celebrating her hard work as a teacher,” Grimm said.

Dedor said she was honored to receive the award and people noticed what she did. She added that she believes all teachers should be recognized for their unique qualities.

“Every day is a new adventure, and it takes all of our teachers to help these kids grow,” Dedor said. “I am grateful to be able to be part of their life and their village.”

Dedor will be honored at ISEA’s Summer Leadership Conference in August.

Photos: A look back at the Mason City High School homecoming festivities

Abby covers education and entertainment for the Globe Gazette. Follow her on Twitter at @MkayAbby. Email her at [email protected]

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