Superintendent Finalists Announced

Superintendent Finalists Announced
Posted on 01/28/2022
Superintendent Announcement Earlham Board of Education Names 4 Finalists for Next Superintendent
January 28, 2022

EARLHAM, IA — The Earlham Community School Board has announced four finalists in its search for the school district’s next superintendent.

The finalists are Brett Abbotts, Joshua Heyer, John Howard, and Steve Kaster. Each possesses a strong background and experience in recruiting teachers and staff, effectively managing district resources, promoting communities of care, and meaningfully engaging with families and community members.

Abbotts currently serves as principal of Roosevelt Elementary in the Council Bluffs Community School
District. There, he has implemented a school improvement plan designed to raise student achievement and enhance social-emotional learning for all students. He has also focused on recruiting and retaining high- quality teachers and staff, as well as creating an environment in which students, families, and staff feel valued and respected. Previously, Abbotts was an assistant principal, athletic director, and special education director in the AHSTW Schools.

As the junior high principal of Winterset Community Schools, Heyer has focused on student growth and achievement while establishing a five-year vision for school. He co-facilitated a district shift to a personalized professional development model for staff, navigated the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and developed processes to improve a multi-tiered system of support for all students. Heyer previously served as instructional coach and 5-8 principal in the Saydel Community Schools, where he also was a industrial technology teacher. He also taught in the Johnston and Waukee School Districts.

Howard is currently the 9th-12th grade principal in the Independence CSD. His leadership has encompassed all aspects of school administration, including student achievement, discipline, curriculum and instruction, budgeting, strategic planning, facility management, human resource management, organizational change, and parent relations. Howard previously served as a principal and curriculum director at St. Edmond Catholic Schools in Fort Dodge.

Kaster serves as the secondary school principal for Interstate 35 CSD in Truro. In this role, he has developed and implemented a systemic classroom walk-through process, implemented a one-to-one technology program, established a building leadership team, and created a K-12 at-risk position and program. Kaster previously was a teacher and activities director at Interstate 35 CSD, and was also a middle school industrial technology teacher in the Johnston CSD and Norwalk CSD.

The School Board has been working with Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the search. The process has included a community-wide survey, asking district residents to provide their input on the qualities and characteristics they would like to see in the district’s next leader. The board conducted a first round of interviews on January 26.

As a next step, the board and stakeholder interview teams will conduct final interviews with each of the four finalists on Friday, February 11. The board plans to then discuss the candidates and reach a final decision soon after the formal interviews.

The new superintendent will begin serving the Earlham Community Schools effective July 1, 2022.