CF superintendent earns top honors

By Morgan Moe 2005

There is a man in Cedar Falls who doesn’t like being in the limelight, but recently he’s been thrust into it.

Cedar Falls Schools Superintendent Dan Smith was recently awarded the Iowa Superintendent of the Year because of the nominations from many of his peers for his hard work and dedication in Cedar Falls School District.

“I mostly feel very humbled by it, though I’m not really a person enjoys being in the spotlight,” Smith said.

Smith has done many things to make Cedar Falls Schools stronger and better; however, he credits ht entire school administration staff on the great improvements.

“Students are achieving as well as they’ve ever achieved. We’ve developed better facilities and a better ability to adapt to change. We do have to work each and every day to do even better,” Smith said.

Director of Elementary Education Jan Ott, one of Smith’s peers, said she is overjoyed with the honor of his award. “The first thing I thought when I heard he had won was, ‘Yes, it’s about time,'” Ott said.

Ott has nominated Smith in previous years, and she said she thinks Smith is very worthy of such an award. “I’m extremely excited about it, and I think it’s an honor for the whole school system,” Ott said.

Director of Secondary Education Dan Conrad has known Smith for four years and is still amazed at how knowledgeable Smith is about his job and the district. Conrad said that Smith deserves this award because “it’s a great award for a great leader.” Conrad also said he is very impressed with Smith’s organizational skills and amazing knowledge of the things going on around him.

Conrad said that another great thing about Smith is that “he works hard to hire good people and then allows those people the ability to do their jobs. He doesn’t meddle.”

Clair Brooks, personnel director at the central administration office, has known Smith for over 20 years. “When I wrote the letter (of nomination), I centered that supporting letter around one word: integrity, which Smith demonstrates in every way,” Brooks said. “Without a question, he (Smith) was a perfect choice.”

Smith began his education career as a teacher in Ohio and then went on to be a principal in western Iowa.

He ten became superintendent in Knoxville, Iowa, and following that was superintendent in Dunkerton, Iowa. From there he came to Cedar Falls, where he has been serving the district since 1990.

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