Social studies colleagues, 

Welcome to the 2019 Best Practices in Social Studies Institute!  This is the sixth year of the Best Practices in Social Studies Institute.  Our goal in offering the institute is to ensure ongoing access to professional development in social studies across the state. This year’s institute focuses on helping support implementation of Iowa’s new social studies.  Over the course of the next two days, you will have the chance to attend over 40 different sessions.  Each of these sessions are connected to a best practice in social studies education and also support the new standards in some way- whether it be modeling a pedagogical practice or supporting new content required by the standards.   

A special thanks to all of the individuals and organizations who made the institute possible. Without their support each year, the institute would not be possible.  A special thanks to Johnston Schools for letting us use their facility for this event. Additionally, thanks to Social Studies.com for providing refreshments each morning of the institute. 

Here are some other important pieces of information regarding this year’s institute:

Institute Structure
The institute offers two strands- an elementary and secondary strand. On June 19th, secondary teachers will attend an all-day workshop with keynote speaker Joel Breakstone. On June 20th, secondary teachers will attend breakout sessions. Elementary teachers will attend breakout sessions on June 19th and an all-day workshop with keynote speaker Noreen Rodriguez on June 20th.

Getting to Johnston Middle School

The address of Johnston Middle School is 6501 NW 62nd Ave. Johnston, IA 50131. You can access directions by going here.


Parking is free and readily available. 

Best Practices
Why is this institute called the best practices institute? In 2014, the Social Studies Leadership Team identified ten best practices in the teaching and learning of social studies. Since then, the institute has connected each session offered to one of these best practices. You can view the best practices rubric here.

License Renewal Credit 

You can register for ONE license renewal credit by going to here. In order to receive the credit, you must fully attend the institute (sign in both days) and submit a one page reflection paper to stefanie.wager@iowa.gov no later than July 12, 2019. Follow instructions in the link to register and complete the assignment. The credit costs $25.00. Grades will be submitted around August 2019 with transcripts available on www.iseatranscripts.org shortly after that. 


Guest Network

Password: Win4dragons


You will have an hour and 15 minutes for lunch each day.  Here are some nearby restaurants: 

  • Hy-Vee (5750 Merle Hay Rd.)
  • Panera (5525 Merle Hay Rd.)
  • Bandit Burrito (5340 Merle Hay Rd.)
  • Culver’s (8660 Plum Dr.)
  • Jethro’s (5950 NW 86th St.)
  • El Mariachi (5825 Merle Hay Road)


Please share what you are learning at the institute by tagging @IADeptofED and/or using #iasocialstudies. 

Other Professional Development Opportunities this Summer

Several other organizations are planning free professional development opportunities for social studies teachers this summer. See an extensive list of national opportunities here and a list of Iowa opportunities here. Many of these offer license renewal credit, resources, and free breakfast or lunch.


Your feedback is important to us. At the end of the institute, please take a moment to complete the short survey found here.

Thanks for all you do each and every day in classrooms across Iowa.

Create a profile to get included in the attendee directory.



6th history
avatar for Becca Ashby

Becca Ashby

Lourdes Catholic School
5th Grade Teacher
avatar for Julie Bauer

Julie Bauer

John F. Kennedy Catholic School
Teacher-8th gr
avatar for Peter Bissinger

Peter Bissinger

West Des Moines Community Schools
7th grade social studies teacher
avatar for Joel Breakstone

Joel Breakstone

Stanford History Education Group
avatar for Emily Chyma

Emily Chyma

South Tama County High School

Sharon Collins

4th grade Teacher
avatar for Andrea Compton

Andrea Compton

Grant Wood AEA
Literacy Consultant
avatar for Elizabeth Dinschel

Elizabeth Dinschel

National Archives and Records Administration at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Archivist and Education Specialist
avatar for Jenny Durham

Jenny Durham

Centerville CSD
Teacher Leadership

Kristin Ebeling

Clear Lake Community Schools

Joel Flack

Northwest Junior High, ICCSD
Global Studies Teacher

Betsy Gale

Woodbine and Boyer Valley School District
Instructional Coach
avatar for Dianna Geers

Dianna Geers

Grant Wood AEA
Teacher Librarian
avatar for Alex Glade

Alex Glade

Heartland AEA
Social Studies Consultant
avatar for Chad Guge

Chad Guge

North Scott Schools
avatar for David Harms

David Harms

Iowa Falls-Alden High School

J. Van Hemert

6th Grade Social Studies
avatar for Adam Hines

Adam Hines

Central Springs Middle School
Tech. Integration Coach
avatar for Marla Huebner

Marla Huebner

Sioux Central Community School
Sioux Central Community School

Andrew Kleeman

HS Social Studies Teacher
avatar for Jeff Kluever

Jeff Kluever

The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center
Assistant Director, Programs

Jody Konrad

Bergman Academy

Lisa Kruse

St. Ansgar Schools
2nd Grade Teacher
avatar for Nicki Kuiper

Nicki Kuiper

Orange City Christian School
Middle School Math Teacher; Curriculum Coordinator
avatar for Julie Lange

Julie Lange

Kenendy Elementary
Technology Coach
avatar for Elaine Larson

Elaine Larson

National Geographic
Regional Director - Educator Network
avatar for Pat Lehmann

Pat Lehmann

Keystone AEA
Social Studies Consultant

Tammy Luhring

Dike New Hartford Schools
avatar for Heidi Lung

Heidi Lung

Iowa Museum Association
Univ. of Iowa, Director Museum Studies

Julie Malone

Boyer Valley
avatar for Catherine Mein

Catherine Mein

Ballard Schools
avatar for Kimberly Meller-Angus

Kimberly Meller-Angus

Ankeny School District
Middle School Social Studies Teacher and 2018 Iowa History Teacher of...
avatar for Patty Miles

Patty Miles

Iowa Valley CSD
Instructional Coach

Jill Muenchrath

Westwood Community Schools
Social Studies Teacher
avatar for Erin Vaughn Murphy

Erin Vaughn Murphy

Linn-Mar Schools
8th Grade Teacher
avatar for Pam Nichols

Pam Nichols

Norwalk Schools
Instructional Coach

Jill Norton

avatar for Leslie Pralle Osborn

Leslie Pralle Osborn

Prairie Lakes AEA
Instructional Technology Consultant

Jon Parrott

Urbandale High School

Glenda Paulson

Fort Dodge CSD
avatar for Jamie Petersen

Jamie Petersen

K-12 Tech Integrationist/Data Coach
avatar for April Pforts

April Pforts

Iowa Department of Education
Education Program Consultant

Ann Powers

St. Ansgar Community Schools
Instructional Coach/Curriculum Coordinator
avatar for Becky Robinson

Becky Robinson

Spencer Middle
SS Teacher/Teacher Leader&Strategist

Heather Runde

Thomas Jefferson Middle School
avatar for Kelly Schloss

Kelly Schloss

Heartland AEA
avatar for Rhonda Schmidt

Rhonda Schmidt

West Des Moines Community Schools
Curriculum Lead

Nicole Schroeder

MS Social Studies

Cindy Sellers

Lewis Central
avatar for Marleta Smith

Marleta Smith

South Central Calhoun
K-3 GT/Tech Integration
avatar for Cathy Stakey

Cathy Stakey

South Hamilton Community Schools

Allison Ster

Upper Iowa University
avatar for Mike Sterner

Mike Sterner

Oskaloosa Middle School
avatar for Renee Thomas

Renee Thomas

Van Buren Elementary
6th Grade


avatar for Darla Slater Vander Weil

Darla Slater Vander Weil

Sioux City Community Schools
avatar for Janet Wills

Janet Wills

Southeast Valley
avatar for Carla Wood

Carla Wood

Perry Middle School
6th Grade Social Studies
avatar for Tyler Youngers

Tyler Youngers

Northwest AEA
Instructional Tech Consultant

Judith Zeka

Le Mars Community High School
Curriculum and Instruction Teacher Leader

Mark Zeka

Remsen St. Mary's High School