Pedersen Named 2020 Iowa Superintendent of the Year



Joel pictured with his family: sons Reece & Grant and wife Jamie

Congratulations Cardinal Superintendent Joel Pedersen for being named the 2020 Iowa Superintendent of the Year! 

See release from Iowa Association of School Boards

Joel Pedersen, superintendent of the Cardinal Community School District, has been named the 2019-20 Iowa Superintendent of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

SAI Executive Director Roark Horn said, “Joel is a leader who exemplifies what amazing things can be accomplished when the culture of a learning community is laser-focused on its students. At Cardinal—due in large part to Joel’s influence—they see everything through a lens of ‘Why not?’ It takes a great leader to build and continuously inspire this environment. His ability to facilitate this is why Joel is an outstanding representative as Iowa’s Superintendent of the Year.”

“It is an honor to be named the 2019-20 Iowa Superintendent of the Year. An achievement like this is not mine alone; my students, staff, team, and community deserve the recognition because without their support I would not be where I am today. With dedication and determination, we lead together so that all kids will succeed. Thank you to them and thank you for this honor,” Pedersen expressed.

Prior to leading the Cardinal district beginning in 2010, he was middle school principal at Davis County Community School District in Bloomfield. He began his career as a fifth grade teacher at Chariton Community School District. A graduate of Buena Vista University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Pedersen also earned his master’s in education administration and specialist’s in educational leadership from Drake University.

He was nominated by his peers and selected for the award by a committee of Iowa superintendents. Administrator of the Year award recipients will be honored at a governor’s awards ceremony in late spring and SAI’s Annual Conference next summer. He will also represent the state in the National Superintendent of the Year Program sponsored by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.


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