photo of Mary Brooks
Mary Brooks

West Des Moines teacher honored
by Drake University

After serving the West Des Moines
Community School District for 30 years, eighth-grade teacher Mary Brooks was
honored with the 2008 Drake University School of Education Excellence in
Education Award.

Brooks, a resident of West Des
Moines, is a drama and communications media teacher at Indian Hills Junior High
School, earned three degrees from Drake: a bachelor’s degree in secondary
education, speech communication in 1974, a master’s degree in secondary
education administration in 1979 and a master’s degree in secondary education,
English curriculum and instruction in 1985.

“Mary practices cognitive
coaching, not only with her student teachers and pre-student teachers, but also
in her relationship with students,” said Phyllis Staplin, director of
curriculum for the West Des Moines Community Schools.

Staplin nominated Brooks for this
honor, on behalf of the district. “She models, demonstrates and encourages
her students, using her theatrical skills to make the most difficult tasks
within all students’ reach.”

Brooks has  been the site coordinator of the
District’s Beginning Teacher Mentor Program since 1996. She is chief judge for
the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, where she has been active since 1972,
previously serving as judge, co-director, auxiliary judge and staff.

Prior to joining the West Des
Moines Community School District in 1978, Brooks taught eighth and ninth grade
communication media for four years at Hoyt Middle School in Des Moines.

For more information about the
Drake School of Education Outstanding Alumni Award, contact Tracy Bainter at