Helen Finken Award
This award recognizes teachers in their first three years of teaching Social Studies, who have demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in Social Studies Education. This award is given in memory of Helen Finken, an outstanding teacher and long time member and officer of ICSS. Nominees must have three or fewer years of teaching experience. They must submit two lesson plans and examples of Iowa Teaching Standard #8. They must be a member of ICSS. Recipients will be required to lead a session at the conference at which they receive the award. Recipients receive an award and registration for the conference at which they will receive the award, plus ICSS and NCSS membership for one year. Applications (lesson plan 1 and lesson plan 2) must be completed no later than May 31st.

For more information, contact awards chair:
Kimberly Heckart
401 76th Ave SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

First Name Nominee *
Last Name Nominee *
Street Address Nominee *
City *
School District *
Email Address *
Teaching Assignment *
Helen Finken devoted her life to teaching and learning in the area of social studies. She was a teacher, mentor, to students and teachers, and colleagues. She taught in the Iowa City Public Schools, served as Social Studies Coordinator for the district, served as an adjunct professor at Coe College and as an instructor at the University of Iowa. She was the Iowa Director for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. In this capacity, she taught workshops relating to China and Japan, and led study groups to China. She was Iowa coordinator for the National Geography Bee. Helen was both creative and skilled in the art of developing meaningful and challenging curriculum. She was energetically involved in many professional organizations and wrote educational materials for Newsweek. Helen seized every opportunity to learn, develop, and share. She appreciated the unique, and searched for the unknown and undiscovered. Helen was named Iowa Teacher of the Year by the state of Iowa. The Iowa Council of Social Studies awarded her the John Haefner award for outstanding teaching, continuous learning and exemplary service to the social studies profession. Helen’s greatest contribution to her colleagues and her profession is the powerful example she set for how to live life to the fullest each day as a teacher, as a life-long learner and builder of positive, vibrant educational communities. One of the great joys in her life was to help students and teachers grow and develop. She created the support system and searched for the opportunities that would allow other teachers to become master teachers and effective leaders in the field of social studies. *
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