Mentor Program

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

The program is designed to enhance, not supplant the established local/district/state mentoring programs. The mentor relationship is tailored specifically to the individual teacher and teaching situation. The information shared ranges from “survival” to “mastery” skills needed to be successful in the arts classroom, and provides for networking with other first-year and veteran teachers throughout the state of Iowa.

Program innovations include: identification of first-year teachers, assignment of both “active” and “observation” mentors (area-specific), development of a communications network to assist the mentoring process, development of a first-year teachers symposium, and the awarding of scholarships to join professional organizations and attend state conferences.

Our program activities include:

  • Fall Symposium for First-Year Arts Educators
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Scholarships for attending conferences or paying dues.

Are you a first-year teacher? Interested in becoming a mentor? Let’s get connected!

Contact a Mentor Chair for your arts area:

Art Educators of Iowa
First-year art teacher contact person:
Erin Almelien, mentor chair
Pekin Community Schools
319-695-3705 (school) 

Iowa Bandmasters Association
First-year band teacher contact person:
James L. Fritz, mentor coordinator

Iowa Choral Directors Association
First-year vocal teacher contact person:
Jill Wilson, mentor chair
Luther College

Iowa Communication Association
First-year speech/drama teacher contact person:
Sarah Schaefer, mentor chair

Iowa Educational Theatre Association
First-year speech/drama teacher contact person:
Helen Duranleau-Brennan

Iowa Music Educators Association
First-year general/classroom music teacher
contact person:
Martha Kroese, mentor chair

Iowa String Teachers Association
First-year string/orchestra teacher contact person:
Michelle Mentz, mentor chair
Dubuque Community Schools

Interested in knowing more about our program? Would like a presentation for your organization?

For overall questions about the program
please contact:

Iowa Alliance for Arts Education
Leon Kuehner, mentor co-chair

Iowa Alliance for Arts Education
Elizabeth Fritz, mentor co-chair