May 21, 2020

Area Educators Honored as PBIS People of the Year 2020PBIS

The Iowa Department of Education announced 17 individuals across Iowa as recipients of the 2020 Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) People of the Year.

The four honorees in the Grant Wood AEA services area include:

Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is a Multi-Tiered System of Supports framework for behavior. The framework supports teachers as they monitor prevention and intervention practices. PBIS/MTSS is an every-education decision-making framework addressing the "whole child." The framework supports the academic and social-emotional-behavioral needs of students.

The educators nominated demonstrate leadership within their buildings and districts around the implementation and sustaining of PBIS.

Join us as we celebrate the 2020 PBIS People of the Year with excerpts from their award nominations.


Debra Brokaw, School Counselor,  Midland Middle/High School, Midland Community
Debra Brokaw

Debra's coworkers recognize her outstanding efforts around the implementation and refinement of PBIS efforts within the Midland Schools. 


Carol Guenther, building principal, at Midland Secondary, said, "Although our building has been working towards our implementation of PBIS for nine years, it is under Deb's tenure that we have made the biggest strides. She pushes the team to be more organized, more efficient, and more data-driven. She's helped us to streamline our meetings to get the most out of our time together. Deb consistently drives the team to use data to make decisions and to measure our effectiveness."


"Deb consistently reaches out for resources to benefit the work of the team," Guenther continued. "Everything Deb does is about meeting the needs of our students and their families."

Marti HurstMarti Hurst, School Social Worker, Grant Wood AEA

Marti is an integral part of Grant Wood AEA's success with PBIS from the beginning of initiating the framework.

She regularly attends PBIS training and has trained educators, provided coaching, and examples of implementation strategies. Marti skillfully builds relationships and is open and willing to pitch in and do the work. She attends training with teams and learns and coaches side by side with educators. Her efforts have helped schools implement and receive recognition from the Iowa Department of Education.


Marti attends meetings and supports the use of data and action planning for all students. She is passionate about advocating for all students, which is evident when you hear her share school examples. She has been crucial in ensuring that PBIS is systematic, modeled, supported, and implemented with fidelity. 



Roger Teeling, Elementary Principal, Lisbon Community
Roger TeelingMr. Teeling passed away on April 21, 2020. He was the Lisbon Elementary principal for 15 years.

Roger was passionate about PBIS. He initiated the PBIS team at Lisbon Elementary and led educators to implement best practices for all students and staff.


He visited other schools to learn about their PBIS implementation practices. And he often welcomed school teams to Lisbon Elementary so they could experience PBIS in action. 

Roger's goal was always to do what was best for students and staff. His support for PBIS was authentic and genuine. 


Lindsey StarmerLindsey Starmer, School Counselor, Excelsior Middle School, Linn-Mar Community

Lindsey is an integral part of Excelsior's success with PBIS from day one of implementation. She has taken the lead in connecting PBIS to the school's work through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and High Reliability Schools (HRS). Lindsey does this by helping teachers build a systematic process for identifying students in need of Tier 2 academic support through the Data Day meetings. This process helps to ensure students are getting the intervention that best fits their needs at an early stage.

Lindsey is a leader in trying new learning strategies as Excelsior staff continues to improve their system of support. She has worked to build Social Academic Instructional (SAIG) groups and lessons, and trains others in delivering these lessons to students who need them. 

Lindsey ensures that PBIS at Excelsior is systematic, and the interventions are not dependent on a few individuals. Everyone takes an active role in PBIS thanks in large part to her behind the scenes work on building the interventions. Her leadership in team meetings and professional development ensures everyone understands the process and feels comfortable.

Category: The Linker