By Andy Goodell
Charlie Becker leads by example.
Becker (BA Political Science; Secondary Education Certification ’76), of Dubuque, Iowa, has done this both in the classroom and as executive director of Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa.
Becker says he tries to lead by example, especially when it comes to remaining dedicated to the job that he loves. Although he was a teacher for a period of time after graduating from the University of Iowa College of Education, Becker soon found a passion for working to help children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. This rings especially true for Becker given the fact that Camp Courageous touches the lives of more than 7,000 campers with special needs each year.
“Here at camp, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of people that have opened hundreds of doors for the camp,” explains Becker. “I'm reminded daily, how fortunate I am to have my health, my family, and my friends. I am fortunate to be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of others.”
As a first-year teacher, Becker had many duties at Central Lee High School, which serves Montrose, Argyle, and Donnellson, Iowa. He taught American government, economics, sociology, served as year book and student council advisor, coached cross country and junior high girls’ basketball and boy’s track and was president of the Teacher’s Association.
As a student at the UI College of Education, Becker says he was challenged appropriately and learned how to handle many tasks at one time. Becker also benefitted from being mentored by the late Dr. John Haefner while he was at the UI College of Education. He says Haefner supported him even after graduation, when he became a teacher in England and the U.S., and was there for him when he left teaching for Camp Courageous.
“I always felt very close to my professors and they generally took an interest in me,” says Becker “Their dedication inspired future teachers.”
Becker is proud of his alma mater. He looks forward to the college’s continued focus on innovation, excellence, and its preparing of teacher leaders for the 21st century.
“The U of I College of Education is staying on the cutting edge,” says Becker. “I'm impressed and feel fortunate to have been a part of a college that shapes the future of millions of lives.”