Originally from Des Moines, Anne Kenney graduated from Drake University with a degree in elementary education. After graduation, Kenney first taught fourth grade at Brubaker Elementary located in Des Moines. She would later go on to earn her master’s degree in elementary education from Viterbo University.
“Growing up, I always had really good teachers. Seeing them and seeing how they interacted with kids really inspired me to become a teacher,” Kenney says.
After 11 years at Brubaker, Kenney accepted a position with the Southeast Polk School District in 2013, where she became the Title I math teacher.
“As Title I math teacher, I helped supplement Iowa CORE,” Kenney states.
She remained at the position for a year before transitioning into her new role as an instructional coach.
This past year, the district received a Teacher Leadership Compensation Grant through the State of Iowa. This grant was used to create one instructional coach position at each Southeast Polk School.
As an instructional coach, at Willowbrook Elementary, Kenney mentors teachers who are in their first and second year of their profession. She currently has four new teachers she is mentoring. Kenney also assists teachers at Willowbrook by helping analyze data and brainstorming alternative teaching methods in order to help these teachers determine which areas students need improvement.
To accomplish this, the students take a pre-test at the beginning of the year followed by a post-test at the end of the year in order to see not only what areas need improvement, but also what the children have learned throughout the school year.
“I wanted to try something different and take on more of a leadership position,” Kenney states, regarding her transition. “In this role, my job is to support the teachers.”
As for her future at Southeast Polk, Kenney plans to become more involved in different areas needed not only at Willowbrook but in the district as well.
In her free time, Kenney loves spending time with her husband and two kids, Karah and Ava. She is also a big Iowa State University football fan and enjoys supporting their team by purchasing season tickets.
“I think I always wanted to become a teacher,” Kenney says. “I love working with kids and helping them reach their potential. And, as a child myself, I always played school with friends, my brother and his friends.”