“It is not often in someone’s career they have the opportunity to work with such an exceptional educator, let alone bestow on them an award for their work,” said Justin Cyboron, elementary and 4PLUS principal for Iowa School for the Deaf. Cyboron presented ISD physical education and health teacher Cody Kerekes with the highest faculty award from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa: the Faculty Excellence Award. Kerekes was recognized Nov. 9, 2022 at a Regent meeting held at Iowa School for the Deaf. Cyboron was a co-faculty member with Kerekes at ISD until his start as principal in August, 2022.
Kerekes started teaching at ISD the fall of 2019. “During that time, she has proven herself time and time again as a valuable asset to ISD,” said Cyboron. “In my 17 years in education, Cody is THE best PE/health teacher, if not one of the best teachers in general.” Cyboron noted Kerekes utilizes the best practices in her room consistently, and has rigorous and clear expectations for her students. She provides students with stability, predictability and transparency. “She is creative, kind, compassionate, prepared and dependable,” he said. “There is power in having strong, Deaf leaders at our school like Cody– someone who students can look up to and say, ‘She’s Deaf, just like me, and if she can do it, I can do it!’”
During school year 2021-2022, Kerekes was one of three lead teachers who filled in when administrators were off campus, planned and executed events, created schedules, assisted in developing the remote learning plan, and offered a positive presence to students and staff. Kerekes has organized Bobcat Friday schedules, in which students work on independent living skills, employment skills, advocacy training and social emotional learning. She has brought in a variety of guest speakers to serve as Deaf role models for ISD students. She has co-sponsored ISD’s Special Olympics teams, served as class sponsor, worked on the Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports team and served on the state leadership group for the deaf and hard of hearing.