For Ashland Ridge and Southeast Elementary AELP (Ankeny Extended Learning Program) teacher Kimberly Haack, teaching was always one of her top three choices for a profession.
“I started college thinking I’d be music teacher,” she says. “During my freshman year I decided wanted to be a classroom teacher instead.”
After attending the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and early education with a music minor, Haack then received her master’s degree from Viterbo University and a Talented And Gifted Endorsement from Drake University.
From there, Haack began her career in Waterloo as a general music teacher, then taught in Hudson for a couple years, and Johnston for one year before finally landing in Ankeny, where she has been for the last 13 years.
Haack began in Ankeny as a classroom teacher at Northeast, teaching fourth grade for five years and second grade for two years.
“During my last year teaching second grade, I had some students that had some extreme needs beyond the normal second grade curriculum,” she says. “I started doing some differentiation and got really interested in taking classes. I then got my TAG endorsement.”
Haack then began working as an AELP teacher, first at Ashland Ridge, and now also Southeast with fourth and fifth graders.
“There are lots of different services kids can qualify for depending on need,” Haack says.
Haack resides in Ankeny with her husband Darin (former Ankeny High School band teacher, and current assistant principal at Centennial High) and their two daughters. Emily and Genevieve.
Having a sense of humor is one of Haack’s greatest strengths as a teacher.
“I’m not afraid to put myself on their level by being goofy,” she says. “Because of that, they understand that it’s OK to make mistakes. Although we have really high standards and expectations, it’s not about being perfect. Its about holding themselves accountable and working hard and trying to push their thinking.”