The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education’s Model of Excellence Mentor Program has been in existence for over 10 years. This program that focuses on mentorship for beginning arts teachers is administrated through the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, and funded by the Iowa legislature and matching grants.

The components of the beginning arts teacher mentoring program include: identification of beginning teachers, assignment of “active” and “observation” mentors (area specific), development of a communications network to assist the mentoring process, a webinar series, and the awarding of scholarships to attend professional conferences.

The IAAE’s Model of Excellence Mentor Program is designed to enhance, not supplant the established local/district/AEA/State mentoring programs. The mentoring program is discipline-specific. The information that is made available to the beginning teacher through this program ranges from “survival” to “mastery” skills needed to be successful in the arts classroom.  The information is tailored specifically to the individual teacher and teaching situation, and also provides for networking with other beginning and veteran teachers throughout the state.

Please find the contact information for all arts mentor chairs below. Each individual organization is ready to help your beginning arts teacher. By working together, we can make a difference!

Are you a first-year teacher or supervise a first-year teacher?

Contact a Mentor Chair for your Arts area:

Art Educators of Iowa
Maddie Maddock, Advocacy Chair
Samantha Goss, Higher Education Chair

Iowa Bandmasters Association
Brad Jensen, IBARD Chair,
Ted Schacherer, Mentor Coordinator,
Russ Kramer, Mentor Chair,

Iowa Choral Directors Association
Julie Schnieders, Mentor Co-Chair,
Luke Lovegood, Mentor Co-Chair,

Iowa Thespians Association
Helen Duranleau-Brennan, Mentor Chair,

Iowa Music Educators Association
Michelle Swanson, IMEA Mentor Chair, michelle.swanson@uni.ed

Iowa String Teachers Association
Tabitha Rasmussen, Mentor Chair,

IAAE Board Representative
Jennifer Gaesser,

For overall questions about the program please contact:

Iowa Alliance for Arts Education
Leon Kuehner, Mentor Co-Chair, (641) 425-0959,
Cassidy Noring, Mentor Co-Chair,