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ISEA Leaders

President: Tammy Wawro

Tammy Wawro, a teacher on release from Cedar Rapids, was elected the Iowa State Education Association's (ISEA) president in April 2012 and reelected to a second term in April 2015 by member delegates who attended the ISEA's annual meeting in Des Moines. Tammy has been involved in a variety of association roles throughout her career. She received National Board Certification in 1999. Tammy received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1995, a master's degree in educational technology in 2002 and her EdD in Teacher Leadership from Walden University in 2015.

Tammy was a trainer for the National Education Association's (NEA) Family School Community Partnership and a presenter for the Center for Collaborative Solutions. She was named winner of the Mildred Middleton Mentoring Leadership Award in 2006. She served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Council on Educator Development which was established by the Iowa General Assembly to study the efficacy of Iowa’s current statewide teacher and administrator evaluator systems. Tammy also served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Assessment Task Force which was commissioned by the General Assembly to study the state’s assessment needs and to recommend a new state assessment for public and accredited nonpublic schools.

Tammy is married with three children, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.



Executive Director, Mary Jane Cobb

Mary Jane Cobb has devoted her career to advocating for others. As the director of cooperative education at Douglas MacArthur State Technical College she worked with students to find appropriate work-study placements to help launch their careers. She also taught job search skills and was active in the Alabama College and Co-op and Placement Association.

For over 20 years Mary Jane has been working for educators as an association staff member. She worked as a UniServ Director with the Alabama Education Association in both rural and urban school settings. She advocated for teachers and education support professionals in the public pre-K- 12 schools, community and technical college faculty, and university support staff. Mary Jane joined the staff of the National Education Association where she worked as an Organization Specialist in the Government Relations arena.

Mary Jane assumed the role of executive director of the ISEA in 2008.

She holds a master’s degree in public administration with course work in education and human resources from Auburn University at Montgomery, in Alabama. Her Bachelor of Arts degree in government was awarded by Campbell University in North Carolina. She earned a certificate in Organization Development from the National Training Laboratories Institute, a leader in the fields of innovation in organization and leadership development, interpersonal skills and human development, group dynamics, and diversity and inclusion. The Certified Association Executive (CAE) Commission of the American Society of Association Executives conferred the CAE credentials on Mary Jane in 2013. 

The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.



Vice President: Mike Beranek

Mike Beranek was elected vice president of the ISEA in April 2012 and reelected to a second term in April 2015. A third-grade teacher at Western Hills Elementary School in West Des Moines for 29 years, Mike has served as the ISEA's representative on the NEA Board of Directors 2009 to 2012. He's been active in the association as a member of the ISEA Executive Board and numerous other committees. Mike is a member of the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation, ISEA’s representative to the Iowa Reading Resource Center (IRRC), and a member of the State Data Longitudinal System Advisory Committee. Mike was the proud recipient of the Disney American Teacher Award for 2001, being cited for his innovative classroom projects and activities.


ISEA Treasurer: Tom McLaughlin


Tom McLaughlin, a 26-year educator serving as a second term member of the ISEA executive board representing Southwest Uniserv Unit was  re-elected as ISEA Treasurer for his third term in May 2015.  As Treasurer, Tom has worked to build financial literacy work sessions with ISEA Business Services for the ISEA Executive Board and is working to improve the ISEA local treasurer’s training across the state.

Tom, is a drama teacher in Council Bluffs and has been a passionate association activist throughout his career, including serving as an NEA liaison to Americans for the Arts and to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. He is the current NEA’s Arts Education Caucus National Vice-Chair, a two –time NEA’s Fine Arts Caucus National Chair, and served on the NEA Fine Arts Caucus Executive Board. Tom served two terms as the Southwest Uniserv Unit president and was the immediate past president of his local. He is currently a chief negotiator/contract maintenance/grievance chair in his local. He serves numerous other committee roles at the national, state, and local levels. Tom was honored by his colleagues as Kansas State Drama Teacher of the Year. 



NEA Director: Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown is a sixth-grade teacher at Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines. He joined ISEA as a student member and has remained active in a wide variety of roles at the local, state and national levels. Josh was elected as one of Iowa's NEA Directors in April 2013 and was relected in 2016 at the Delegate Assembly in Des Moines. Josh enjoys serving the members and students of Iowa. Go to Josh’s Facebook page at to provide input, find calls-to-action, and see highlights of issues and topics of importance to members and students.



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