Kristen Rickey, University of Iowa College of Education alumna and superintendent of the West Delaware Community School District, has been named the 2022-23 Iowa Superintendent of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.
She was nominated by her peers and selected for the award by a committee of Iowa superintendents. Iowa’s Administrator of the Year award recipients were also honored at SAI’s Annual Conference. She will also represent the state in the National Superintendent of the Year Program® sponsored by AASA, the School Superintendents Association.
Rickey graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Master of Arts degree in Special Education in 1993 and completed her doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies in 2005.
“There are so many people in Iowa doing such positive work in education, and I am just one of many. I am very pleased to be able to represent the field and shine a spotlight on some of the great work happening in our schools and communities,” says Rickey.
Rickey has served as the district superintendent and director of special education since 2011. Prior to her time as superintendent, Rickey served as principal at McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids, and began her career as a special education teacher.
“I have always loved school and learning; from the time I was very young and continuing today. As I grew older and started college, I pursued some other career avenues, but my heart kept drawing me back to school and teaching,” say Rickey. “I have loved this work, no matter what role or position I have served, and I truly feel it is a gift to be able to be a part of it.”
Rickey says that her time at the College of Education helped give her a comprehensive understanding of education in the state and country.
“I enjoyed the variety of classes not only in education but in law, biology, social sciences, and many others. I also enjoyed a variety of field experiences that helped me to understand different school systems and student populations,” says Rickey. “Having this breadth of experience has helped me to better understand the complexities of education and hopefully has enabled me to contribute more effectively.”
Rickey believes it is a gift to be in the field of education, even during challenging times.
“The importance of this work and the people make it a joy to come to work every day. Not only do we have an opportunity to truly impact lives and futures, but we have the privilege of doing so by working collaboratively with a variety of people who feel the same way,” says Rickey. “It is during the challenging times that you are reminded that you are surrounded by amazing colleagues and community, and these are the times I feel most supported.”