I am an accomplished educator with a diverse and extensive background in the field of education, spanning from classroom teaching to leadership roles in various school districts. I have dedicated my career to enhancing the quality of education for students, implementing innovative instructional strategies, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
My educational journey began at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, where I pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Elementary Education, Special Education K-6 Mult-Cat & BD, and Special Education 7-12 BD from 1992 to 1996. This foundational education laid the groundwork for a lifelong commitment to supporting students with diverse needs.
Following my undergraduate studies, I embarked on a path of continuous learning, earning a Master of Science Degree at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, from 2003 to 2005. This graduate program further deepened my knowledge and expertise in education.
In 2006, I continued to expand their educational horizons by completing an Administrator Endorsement program at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA, which was followed by an English Language Learner Endorsement from the same institution in 2008. These endorsements equipped me with the necessary skills to take on leadership roles within the education sector.
In 2011, I pursued a Certificate of Advanced Studies at Iowa State University in Ames, IA, further honing my skills and expertise in the field of education. My dedication to professional growth continued with the completion of a Doctorate in Education at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, from 2014 to 2017. This doctoral program equipped me with a deep understanding of educational theory, research, and leadership.
I began my career teaching special education and then served as a general education elementary teacher for 6 years. As I built an educational foundation, I turned my career focus to school administration, taking on roles of increasing responsibility in various school districts. In Fall 2008, I served as the Assistant Principal at the East Early Childhood Center within the Storm Lake Community Schools in Iowa. In this role, I worked on implementing Creative Curriculum GOLD online and transforming the playground into an innovative nature playground. I also partnered with Head Start on a family diversity day and successfully achieved NAEYC accreditation for the early childhood site.
From Fall 2008 to Summer 2011, I continued my tenure in the Storm Lake Community Schools, this time as an Assistant Principal at the elementary and high school levels. I was instrumental in the transition to a Professional Learning Community (PLC) process, fostering collaboration among teachers from multiple elementary buildings. I also led Cooperative Learning training and played an integral role in integrating technology into the high school curriculum. In addition, I worked to establish a homeroom process focused on building positive relationships with high school students.
In Fall 2011, I was named Principal and Curriculum Director at the Alta-Aurelia Community Schools in Iowa. Here, I was responsible for assisting in the leadership of the District Leadership Team, analyzing data, and driving the Response to Intervention (RTI) process. I also established an Elementary Leadership Team to promote collaborative leadership at the elementary level and initiated the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) strategies. During my time in that school district, we expanded the partnership with Head Start, enriching early childhood offerings in the community.
From Fall 2013 to 2018, I served as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and assessment in the Fort Dodge Community Schools in Iowa. In this capacity, I played a pivotal role in developing professional development plans, ensuring compliance with state regulations, and fostering the implementation of the Iowa Core curriculum. I was dedicated to providing resources to administrators and teachers to support their ongoing professional growth and the implementation of best practices.
Since Fall 2018, I have held the position of Superintendent of Schools at the Storm Lake Community Schools in Iowa. In this role, I have been leading school improvement efforts, emphasizing equitable and culturally responsive practices, and managing instructional and managerial teams. I also engage in community research to ensure that school improvement initiatives meet the needs of all families in the community.
Throughout my career, I have consistently demonstrated a passion for education, a commitment to the success of students, and a dedication to improving the educational experience for all. My diverse background, which includes classroom teaching, administrative leadership, and a strong commitment to professional development, has made me a valuable asset to the field of education.
Past AASA Iowa Superintendent of the Year Winners:
2023 Iowa Superintendent of the Year: Dr. Kristen Rickey
2022 Iowa Superintendent of the Year: Noreen Bush
2021 Iowa Superintendent of the Year: Russ Adams
About the Award:
The Superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student and AASA, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.
State-level winners are selected on the following criteria:
- Leadership for Learning
- Community Involvement