Sara Russell, a 19-year veteran teacher at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, is the Iowa Department of Education’s 2022 Teacher of the Year. Gov. Kim Reynolds made the announcement Friday at the high school. “Outstanding educators like Sara ensure our students are well prepared for careers and education beyond high school,” Reynolds said in a press release. Russell, 43, is a social studies teacher who leads student-centered, hands-on learning. Russell was chosen from five finalists, who included Dawn Arnold, a mathematics teacher from Benton Community High School, Van Horne; Kelli Kovarik, language arts teacher at North Fayette Valley High School, West Union; Elaine Menke, an instrumental music teacher at Lakewood Elementary, Norwalk; and Staci Mercado, an English teacher at Central DeWitt High School, DeWitt.