SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The 2021 Teacher of the Year for the Sioux City Community School District (SCCSD) is Todd Siefker, a Spanish teacher at West High and the Sioux City Career Academy.

He teaches AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, and Spanish II and also coaches freshman Boy’s Basketball and Girl’s Tennis for West High.

His colleagues state that he’s a master of balancing his teaching responsibilities, extracurricular leadership roles, volunteerism, and family.

He’s also described as the embodiment of a hard-working teacher that juggles many responsibilities effortlessly while always demonstrating kindness and respect for others.

One of Siefker’s nominators said, “Todd’s passion for life helps him make personal connections with anyone that he comes in contact with, and in turn, he earns respect from those surrounding him. He makes it a point in everyday life to let people know he truly cares.”

SCCSD said that in the classroom, his students are eager to learn and engage because he works attentively to help all of them embrace not just the Spanish language but many aspects of the Spanish culture and literature.

An example that the school district provides is when students create projects such as videotaping themselves reading children’s books in Spanish in Siefker’s AP Spanish classes.

They mention that those videos are then shared with detained children at the border.

The school district said projects like the videos help students see the value in their work and learning, while also teaching noteworthy lessons about respect, empathy, and making a difference in the world.

Another one of Siefker’s nominators said, “Inspiration is something that Todd exhibits every day, in every setting. As a lover of language, Todd can often be seen performing raps, poetry, and narratives for his classes, the faculty, the entire student body, and even the community. He never shies away from the opportunity to use his language to inspire others. It is this willingness to speak out, to relate to others, and to share his experiences and passions that make Todd an individual who countless students, faculty members, and community members have looked to for inspiration.”

The Sioux City Community School District said Todd Siefker has made a tremendous and positive impact on his students, colleagues, and the District.

They mention it’s a great honor to recognize him as the 2021 Sioux City Community School District Teacher of the Year.

While he is an astute teacher of the Spanish language, his impact is so much greater than that. His students develop genuine connections with him and see him as a lifelong mentor. His teaching methods inspire curiosity and enthusiasm. And, his colleagues echo sincere sentiments of respect and admiration.

From the Sioux City Community School District

Siefker has been a teacher with SCCSD since 2004. Before that, he worked abroad teaching literature in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. and ESL in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico.

He holds a master’s degree in teaching from Morningside College, a master’s degree in teaching 7-12 Spanish education from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Northwestern College.