The Waukee Community Schools Foundation awarded its annual Award for Teaching Excellence to Mindi Heitland. Heitland is the School-to-Work Coordinator at Waukee High School, and has been with the district for 11 years.
Heitland is an innovator. She created the top internship program in the state, a full ten years before the work-based learning movement gained popularity. She co-authored the first online courses at the high school, leading to increased course offerings from the Business department.
Heitland is a leader. She plays a big role in the areas of college and career readiness, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the Waukee district. She served several years on the high school Building Leadership Team, the high school Advisory Planning Committee, the secondary study committee, and currently serves on the Waukee APEX Advisory Board. Heitland is so well-known in the field of study, she is regularly called upon by other school districts and state officials to offer advice and insight. She was even selected to present a training session on work-based learning at the National Science Teacher Association in Atlanta.
Heitland has integrity. She created Waukee High School’s intern program by networking and maintaining relationships with business partners throughout the Des Moines metro area. She has given thousands of students career advice and coaching. Some of those students are now returning to the program as business leaders, hiring the next generation of interns.
The fellow teacher who nominated Heitland said, “Mindi is an avid learner and implements best practices within her classroom… She continuously thinks ahead to support what is best for students, while invariably keeping the mission and needs of the district in mind.”