David Voves’ car is easy to spot in the Charles City School District parking lot with its orange Wartburg license plates reading “BST4YRS.” But for the high school math teacher turned instructional coach, those “best four years” have continued to multiply in the lives of others, as he strives to create a positive and transformational learning environment for Charles City students and his fellow educators.

From an early age, Voves has felt a calling to be an educator. After graduating from Wartburg in 2007 with a degree in math education, he began his career as a high school math instructor at Charles City High School, fueled by his enthusiasm to help all students learn difficult concepts, even using musical techniques in his teaching. He flipped his whole general math curriculum into a self-paced class and recorded tutorials to help students master each skill. A lover of learning, Voves completed his master’s in education leadership at the University of Northern Iowa in 2011, then completed his instructional coach certification at UNI and the Central Rivers Area Education Agency. He dove deeper into his passion for education and helping others discover their purpose when he was appointed as an instructional coach for the Charles City School District. In that challenging new role, Voves has worked with confidence, care and innovation in multiple disciplines to help teachers be better educators. He also has created courses to help teachers earn renewal credits in emerging subjects like growth mindset and trauma-informed practice.

Additionally, he is an active faculty sponsor for National Honor Society, coordinates the annual Freshman Retreat, and is on the board of the Community Excellence in Education Foundation, where he collaborates with teachers to write grants and bring innovation to their classrooms and has been instrumental in establishing the Comet Hall of Fame. He also is an avid supporter of Wartburg College, encouraging many young people to become Knights, and serves on the college’s advisory board for the Department of Education.

“David has been a cheerleader and a coach for so many,” writes a nominator. “He believes God has provided gifts to everyone and those gifts should be valued and honored wherever possible.” Voves has worked to properly honor retirees in the school district, no matter their job, by researching each person’s career, preparing fliers for recognition, and arranging for meaningful gifts. He also has helped arrange an Honor Retreat and a Purpose Retreat as part of professional development. Voves’ faith in God and belief in the value of others comes out in the little things, too, like driving to get Panera bagels in Cedar Falls before school for his colleagues, creating handmade Christmas ornaments for school staff and organizing staff meals. “His contributions to staff engagement and camaraderie make him an essential part of the team at CCHS and have had a profound positive impact on our entire district,” wrote another nominator. Another colleague described Voves’ cornerstones as building relationships and celebrating successes.