Innovation in Education - Iowa City area awards

The 2023 Innovation in Education awards, presented by the Iowa City Area Business Partnership and the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD), honor the educators, students, classroom programs, and organizations that model the future of K-12 education in Johnson County, IA.


Nominate a student, teacher, faculty & staff member, program, or organization that deserves an award for their innovative and collaborative work in K-12 education!


NOMINATION DEADLINE: March 31st at 5pm

Thank you to all who made a nomination! Nominations are now closed for 2023.

Join us to celebrate the winners!


Mark your calendar for Wednesday, April 26th at The Englert Theatre to present the awards and recognize our outstanding educators, students, and programs.

This event is free and open to the public! Doors open at 5:30pm and the program begins at 6:00pm.


  • The Inspire Award is given to a teacher that inspires, excites, and influences students to learn through exceptional, unprecedented or extraordinary programs and/or creates an innovative, future-focused classroom.

  • The Spark Award is given to an administrator who goes above and beyond in order to create a learning environment where all students have a chance to succeed, and all instructors feel the freedom to innovate.

  • The Student Innovation Award recognizes students for their achievements and efforts to go above and beyond during the 2022-2023 school year. The ideal candidate demonstrates a growth mindset, empathy and a desire to uplift others.

  • The Administrative/Support Staff Excellence Award recognizes the exemplary service of a dedicated administrative assistant or employee who fosters a positive learning and supportive environment at his/her school.

  • The EdTech Company of the Year Award recognizes an Iowa City area-based education technology company that has demonstrated or facilitated classroom innovation, has supported the growth of the Iowa City area as an education technology hub, and has given back to our community. To qualify, the company must be a member of the Business Partnership or an investor in the ICAD Group.

  • The STEM Innovator Award showcases the creative innovations of a program that facilitates enhanced problem-based teaching and learning. This award specifically focuses on the uniqueness of the “program actions” that promote teacher innovation, increase student interest and drive performance and/or achievement. Recipients of this award must have completed STEM Innovator training through the University of Iowa.

  • The Impact Award is given to a school group that embraces three core goals: to inspire, innovate, and achieve. Their pursuit of these first three goals culminate to realize a fourth: IMPACT on teachers, students, and their community. This program exceeds all others in its ability to impact students and teachers through inspiring, innovative, exceptional, unprecedented and/or extraordinary program components.

  • The Innovation in K-12 Mental Health Award recognizes a program, group, or leader that addressed the extensive challenge of stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues in K-12 students. They address unmet needs and create innovative approaches to reduce stigma, increase access to care, improve equity in mental health, enable early identification/prevention, or enhance intervention.

  • The Early Childhood Innovation Award recognizes outstanding childcare providers and programs for their commitment to building the foundation children need to make the best possible start in life. They are committed to tackling the ever-changing challenges and demands of providing accessible and high-quality childcare through creative problem-solving and collaboration.


The Innovation in Education Awards are an initiative of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership and Iowa City Area Development (ICAD).

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