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Spring 2011

The Leading Learner

University of Northern Iowa Educational Leadership Newsletter



The Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education at UNI has opened a search for an Assistant/Associate Professor of Educational Leadership.  The tenure track position will begin in August 2011.  To receive full consideration, applicants are asked to submit materials by March 2, 2011.  For more information, view the posting at




Dr. Gilson provided a roundtable discussion at the February 14, 2011 Association of Teacher Educator's (ATE) national conference in Orlando, Florida. Gilson's presentation, entitled "Educational Law, Past and Present: Preparing our next school leaders", was provided as part of a special interest group for professors of educational leadership from around the country.

Dr. Robinson attended the 4th Annual National School Administration Management (SAM) Conference in San Antonio, Texas on January 28-29, 2011. She has been a Data Collector for SAMs in Iowa.

Dr. David Else coordinated the Iowa Superintendents Finance and Leadership Consortium (ISFLC) workshop in West Des Moines on February 15-16, 2011.

Dr. Robinson has a chapter in the book Connecting Teaching and Learning: History, Evolution and Case Studies of Teacher Work Sample Methodology (2011) Rosselli, H., Girod, M., & Brodsky, M. (editors), Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Dr. Pace has signed a book contract to develop a text using video highlights from the Day in the Office Principal's Role Play.

Dr. Robinson published an Opinion Editorial article entitled "I am Just a Teacher" in the Chicago Tribune on November 21, 2010.  The article can be viewed at

Dr. Pace is preparing a presentation based on the 5 Lessons for Leaders from his 2009 book: The Principals' Challenge: Learning from Gay and Lesbian Students. He will be presenting with UNI Student Karla Quandt, a Matthew Shepard Scholar, at the 26th Annual Risky Business Conference on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at the Scheman Center on the campus of Iowa State University.  The presentation will focus on how LGBT students can help themselves navigate high school, as well as how teachers, counselors, and administrators can provide valuable assistance.

At the end of October 2010, Dr. Pace received the 2010 Iowa Friend of Civil Rights Award based on his research and book exploring the school experiences of LGBT students, and his work in the UNI Minorities in the Leadership of Education (MILE) program for future school leaders of color, and 2008 DVD co-produced with Dr. Vickie Robinson focusing on changing demographics in Iowa school districts.

 Award Reception

Friends of Iowa Civil Rights Award Ceremony, October 2010. Pictured: George Belitsos, CEO of Youth & Shelter Services (Organization Winner), Michael Bowser, Board Member of Friends of Iowa Civil Rights, Kimberly Baxter, Board Member of Friends, Dr. Nicholas Pace (Individual Winner), Former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus (Guest Speaker & Former Award Recipient), and Jerry Tormey, Master of Ceremonies and Board Member of Friends of Iowa Civil Rights.



Amy Griffin, a December 2010 graduate of the UNI Educational Leadership Department and the School Administration Manager at Fair Oaks Middle School in Fort Dodge, Iowa, was selected among 20 other SAM/Principal teams to attend the National Conference in Orlando, Florida last January.  This conference was for any SAM/Principal teams across the country. Amy's principal is Jess Matsen and their Time Change Coach is Keith Sersland who meets with them monthly to analyze their data and promote instructional leadership.  Conference attendees experienced seminars that gave new ideas in order to increase the principal's instructional time to increase student achievement and had two speakers who were also authors (The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change  by Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley). This convention was an excellent networking opportunity and allowed opportunities to meet other SAM/Principal teams and gain knowledge on effective strategies. More information on the SAM Project is available at



Amy Kortemeyer, Elementary Director of Teaching and Learning at Linn-Mar Community School District in Marion, IA, recently won national award from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).  Kortemeyer was one of seven in the nation to receive the Educational Administration National Scholarship Award.  "AASA's Educational Administration Scholarships were created in 1949 to provide incentive, honor and financial assistance to outstanding graduate students in school administration who intend to make the school superintendency a career. The scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each for outstanding graduate students are named for each of AASA's seven former executive directors" (AASA Website).  Kortemeyer won the Paul B. Salmon Award.  Recipients were honored at AASA's National Conference on Education on February 18, 2011, although Kortemeyer was unfortunately unable to attend due to a conflict.  She is currently enrolled in the University of Northern Iowa's Superintendent's Licensure Program and received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa and her master's degree in Elementary Reading and Language Arts from the University of Northern Iowa. For more information about AASA or the award, visit



Dr. Victoria Robinson recently mailed over 500 letters to UNI Educational Leadership alumni seeking memories of students' experiences in the program to celebrate the past, reconnect with former classmates, and launch the future.  Any interested alumni should send comments or stories to or mail them directly to Victoria Robinson, University of Northern Iowa, 514 SEC, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0604.  These responses will be added to the Educational Leadership website as the department honors the past and launches the future.



The UNI Writing Center is now offering writing assistance via Skype tutorials.  This initiative is aimed to help current students who are distance learners and are unable to be on campus during the business day.  If you have questions about the service or would like to set up an appointment, please call the Academic Learning Center at 319-273-2361 or email  The service is by appointment only.


COLLEGE OF EDUCATION OFFERS LEGAL ISSUES WEBINAR                                                    

UNI's next free professional development webinar for educators is at 3:30 p.m. (CT), Thursday, February 24. "Legal Issues: Truth is stranger than fiction," presented by UNI faculty Dewitt Jones and Tim Gilson, addresses the top legal issues facing educators today and suggestions for staying out of court.  For more information about these free webinars and to register for this presentation, visit

"Hot Topics in Education: Professional Development Webinars," are brought to you by the College of Education. These free one-hour webinars taught by faculty and staff will be offered once a month through May on a variety of national hot topics in education.



Kay Spratt, a current UNI graduate student in the Educational Leadership program and a new lead teacher at Edison Elementary, began researching the history of her new school this fall. Spratt located a forgotten letter that Edison wrote to the school in 1913, thanking them for naming the Waterloo elementary school after him.  The historic find has led Spratt to become an advocate for displaying the history of the elementary school.  For more information about this story, see the Courier online article at


LEADING LEARNERS                                                                                                                                  

Amy Sandvold was hired by the Cedar Valley Catholic Schools as principal for the new Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta Middle School.  Sandvold, a graduate of the UNI Educational Leadership program, was the principal at Sacred Heart for the past three years. For more, visit

Ryan Williamson is a graduate from the UNI principalship program and is currently in the EdD program.  Ryan and his wife recently had a son named Taye Quentin Williamson, born 9 lbs 1 ounce.  The family is all doing well.


"Education is the mother of leadership."

-Wendell L. Willkie


The Educational Leadership Faculty at the University of Northern Iowa develop and nurture reflective Leaders of Learning, Service, and Change who positively impact school improvement and student achievement.


Comments and input can be sent to Dr. Nick Pace at