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Iowa Week: Who's running the show?

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

To many educators, the teacher shortage is not an outcome of the pandemic, but the result of years of build-up only exacerbated by the past couple of years. Brydie Criswell, the founder of The Good Earth Nature School, shares with Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe the growing problems in public education that eventually pushed her to her limit.

Later, Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek discusses the struggle to fill all positions in education and the impact of a 2017 law that restricted union bargaining.

The Superintendent of Osage and Riceville school districts Barb Schwamman talks about how the districts share more than just a superintendent to weather the staff shortage. And Des Moines Education Association President Joshua Brown talks about some ways they've been successful in retaining and recruiting staff.

This episode was originally produced October 2022.


  • Brydie Criswell, founder of The Good Earth Nature School
  • Mike Beranek, president of the Iowa State Education Association
  • Barb Schwamman, superintendent, Osage and Riceville school districts
  • Joshua Brown, president of the Des Moines Education Association
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.