Molly Boyle is a perfect example of the extraordinary teachers helping to mold minds and build futures in the Waukee Community School District. Apparently the State of Iowa felt the same way a few years ago when it named her the Iowa Teacher of the Year. Boyle has experienced, long before and ever since that achievement, a "very successful and rewarding career as a teacher."
"I was the stereotypical child who people say will become a teacher," Boyle recalls of her decision to become a teacher. "My earliest memories consist of playing school in my garage with a row of old-fashioned desks, colored chalk, used workbooks, and retired textbooks as my tools.
"When it was time to head to college, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, so I went with what I was good at: teaching. Luckily for me, all those years of ‘practice’ certainly paid off."
After earning her Bachelors from the University of Northern Iowa, Boyle bounced from school district to school district, earning her Masters in Reading from UNI along the way, until she found the right fit at Waukee. "A colleague and former Waukee school board member convinced me I was a perfect fit for Waukee, so I applied and accepted a fourth grade position in 2000."
The pairing could not have been more perfect.
"When it comes to job satisfaction, Waukee is the perfect fit for me," she said. "In my 11 years at Waukee, I have had opportunities to change career paths, move to new buildings, and teach a variety of grade levels. I have found my professional home in Waukee, and I couldn’t be happier with the growth opportunities I have been granted." Boyle currently serves as a third grade teacher at Brookview Elementary and says her favorite moments are when she sees progress.
"There is nothing like seeing a child take pride in him or herself and develop a ‘I can do it!’ attitude," she said.
In fact, she recently had a student show just that kind of growth and excitement about learning.
"I was working on solving algebraic equations involving perimeter and area when one of my students wrote his solution on a dry erase board," she said. " It said ‘We could spend all day coming up with different strategies. I love math!’ This comment made my day."
Boyle says the most rewarding part of her job is watching a student adapt their behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to meeting their own personal goal. In the future, she hopes to see that dedication and commitment in her students continue. "I would like children to show pride in themselves and their contributions to learning, building and maintaining relationships, and reaching personal goals," she added. "I also hope our young people high-quality, creative work and develop perseverance and problem solving skills as they mature."
Boyle currently resides in West Des Moines with her husband, Eric, and their two children, Cameron and Lily. She says that she and her husband both grew up in sports-minded families, so they are raising their children under the same influence.