By: Claire Quigle
Happy “Where Do You Work” Wednesday, Hawkeyes! Meet alumna Chris Bergman (Talented and Gifted Endorsement and Superintendent’s Certificate).
Bergman has been working in schools for the past 30 years. Throughout her career, she has served in several school districts, including West Des Moines, Waukee, Johnston, and currently Clarinda. At these schools, she occupied several roles, including a teacher, business partnership executive director, and is now going into her second year as being the superintendent for the Clarinda Community School District.
Bergman said that the University of Iowa College of Education will always have a place in her heart.
“Engaging in the Superintendent's Certificate program at the University of Iowa has been a blessing,” says Bergman. “At each and every turn, the professors cared, supported, and shared their expertise. Whether I had a personal or professional question or celebration, I could always be sure my team would be with me in spirit.”
She also said how well the university’s coursework has helped her throughout her career.
“The Educational Leadership coursework prepared me for flexible, creative leadership in an unprecedented time,” says Bergman. “The learning focused on social, emotional, behavioral, and academic skills, dispositions, habits, and mindsets necessary in today's world.”
In addition to the support of her colleagues and professors throughout her first year as superintendent, she credits her family for being another positive support system. Bergman said she has a family of learners who all ask reflective questions and stretch her thinking through one another’s perspectives.
As superintendent, Bergman finds happiness in the fact that she gets to work with other people and that she can incite positivity.
“Serving, supporting, and collaborating with students, staff, business partners, and the community brings joy to each of my days,” says Bergman. “People are organizations' greatest asset. My role is to identify strengths, build capacity, invite shared leadership, and hone creativity. Creating a culture with a students-first mindset has been my passion across my years in education.”
Although Bergman has many responsibilities, one of her top priorities is the students she serves.
“At the end of the day, if I have made decisions in the best interest of students, I feel great reward,” says Bergman.
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