Iowa Council for the Social Studies

2017 Annual Conference

Keynote: Mary Beth Tinker

Mary Beth Tinker grew up in Iowa, where her father was a Methodist minister. In 1965, saddened by news of the Vietnam War, Mary Beth and other students wore black armbands to school to mourn the dead and call for a Christmas truce. For that, they were suspended. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the suspensions in court, leading to a landmark 1969 Supreme Court ruling for students’ rights in “Tinker vs Des Moines” that neither teachers nor students "shed their constitutional rights... at the schoolhouse gate." Since then the Tinker ruling has been cited in more than 6,000 cases involving students’ rights. 

Mary Beth lives in Washington DC, but travels the country on a “Tinker Tour” to promote civics education, student journalism, youth rights and youth voices. She is a Registered Nurse with master’s degrees in nursing and public health


Call for Proposals for the 2017 Annual Conference

This is a call for proposals for the Iowa Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference. The conference will be taking place October 2, 2017 at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona. The theme for this year's conference is: Meeting the Challenge: Bringing the Standards to Life! The Iowa Council for the Social Studies welcomes presentation proposals from educators at the elementary, middle, high school and post-secondary levels addressing the teaching of social studies from a wide range of perspectives. Proposals will be accepted through June 1, 2017. If your presentation is accepted you will be contacted in July 2017. If accepted, we will provide a projector and screen, but you will need to supply any other presentation materials.

Questions? Contact ICSS at icssonline@gmail.com.

Submit your proposal here.


Mission Statement
ICSS promotes, supports and provides leadership to improve social studies education.

Vision Statement
​Our vision is to be the premier organization of Iowa Social Studies professionals, ensuring that all students have a high quality Social Studies education.

Why Join ICSS?

  • ICSS Newsletter shared electronically each month during the school year, provides timely information regarding ICSS, lesson ideas, tips and opportunties for Iowa social studies teachers.
  • ICSS Annual Conference provides professional development in Social Studies curriculum and instruction
  • To represent the social studies profession.  
  • Advocacy tips
  • Questions?? Contact Todd Hospodarsky at icssonline@gmail.com 
Join us



ICSS has been recognized as a Gold Star Council by the National Council for Social Studies based on the following criteria:

  1. Have democratic procedures for the election of officers.

  2. Have demonstrated professional activity, such as workshops, conferences, and generally, programs that promote the social studies within their region.

  3. Have actively participated in NCSS programs, such as brokering, submitting nominations for NCSS awards, attendance at the Summer Leadership Institute and legislative networking .

  4. Have actively participated in social studies legislative advocacy efforts at state and/or at Federal level by: responding to NCSS legislative advocacy calls, disseminating calls to council members, building relationships with legislators, having an active legislative liaison, and developing a legislative advocacy plan.

  5. Have contributed to NCSS fundraising efforts, such as the First Timer Scholarship Fund for the NCSS Annual Conference, the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education, or the Christa McAuliffe "Reach for the Stars" Award Fund

  6. Have 100% NCSS membership of council officers.

  7. Have a specific plan for increasing NCSS membership in their state and underrepresented groups in their council.

  8. Have shown an increase in the number of joint members.

  9. Submit affiliation materials by deadline.

ICSS Executive Board members Dwight Herold and Catherine Mein accept the Iowa Council for the Social Studies reward as an NCSS Gold Star Council.

Upcoming events

  • No upcoming events

The Iowa Council for the Social Studies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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