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Betts Honored with Hall of Fame Recognition

The Charles City Community Schools would like to congratulate Don Betts, director and teacher at Carrie Lane High School, on his recent induction into the Iowa Association of Alternative Education (IAAE) Hall of Fame.

Don Betts, director and teacher at Carrie Lane High School

A pioneer in the progression of alternative education in Iowa, Betts served for many years on the board of the IAAE and has acted as a guide and mentor to countless teachers and schools throughout the state over the past quarter-century. This year, his lengthy efforts to create an alternative schooling environment for younger students led to the founding of the FLEX online branch of Charles City’s Innovative Campus for upper elementary, middle school and high school students.

The IAAE Hall of Fame honors those who have made significant contributions to the field of alternative education, ranging from specific innovations to research, publications and an ability to engage and inspire students, colleagues and the greater community. Teachers, counselors, supervisors, administrators and other educators are eligible for nomination on an annual basis.

“Don’s legacy blows me away every time I think about it,” said Josh Dean, a teacher at the Innovative Campus and a colleague of Betts. “There are hundreds of kids throughout the world whose lives are forever changed for the better because they have met this amazing man. He has literally been the difference between life and death for many of our kids.”

Matthew A. Heffron, a 2011 graduate of Carrie Lane High School, credits Betts with helping him decide to stay in school.

“I went from not wanting to attend school to going in at 6 a.m. to have morning talks with Mr. Betts,” said Heffron. “The talks were about family, school, life and generally everything. Mr. Betts pushed every single student to make sure he not only got the best out of them, but that they got the best out of themselves.”

In nominating Betts for the IAAE Hall of Fame, students and colleagues alike pointed to his ability to build community and connect with students on a personal level.

“Don Betts and Carrie Lane High School have been successful because of the family culture he has created with his students,” said Dan Caffrey, juvenile court liaison officer at Charles City High School. “Don does an amazing job of providing opportunities for his students to get connected in our community, as well as perform community service projects. His wisdom and culture building are second to none.”


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