Stop us if you’ve heard this before — we have amazing educators here at Gilbert Schools, and we celebrate them every chance we get.

And this week, the entire state celebrated two of our own as well.

We are so happy and proud to inform you that Gilbert Middle School eighth-grade Language Arts teacher Lauren Stephens and district librarian Lynne Reid were both honored with prestigious awards from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English (ICTE) at the organization’s fall conference in Johnston on Thursday.

Stephens received the Middle School Teacher of Excellence Award, while Reid accepted the Friends of Literacy Award.

As you can guess, both were thrilled.

“Winning this award is an honor knowing it comes from a community of educators who have supported me in every stage of my career,” Stephens said. “I’m so lucky to have incredible students who challenge me to be a better version of myself and I’m so grateful for the excellent educators I get to work with every day.”

“This award means so much to me,” Reid said. “Gilbert Community Schools has given me the opportunity to create and implement new programs, the flexibility to work with students and teachers in all grades, and the encouragement to investigate other ideas and programs.”

The Middle School Teacher of Excellence Award presented to Stephens is given to a middle school Language Arts teacher who utilizes a carefully planned and rich curriculum, implements innovative philosophies in the classroom, and actively participates in professional collaboration.

Stephens actually nominated Reid for the Friends of Literacy Award, which is presented to a non-classroom educator who encourages exploration and engagement in literacy pursuits by removing barriers for students and providing resources to help them grow as readers and writers.

Congratulations again to both of our award-winning educators. Your dedication, hard work, and support of our students is noticed on a daily basis. And now educators from across the state understand what we get to see every day.