down arrowMenu

Spring 2012

The Leading Learner

University of Northern Iowa Educational Leadership Newsletter


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


Drs. Gilson, McNulty and Pace prepare for NCPEA Paper Presentations this summer in Kansas City

UNI’s Educational Leadership programs will be well represented in at the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration Conference in Kansas City, MO this August. Drs. Gilson and Pace will present an overview of UNI’s two-year process of revising and implementing a new principalship program. Pace will also deliver a presentation on how the Day in the Office Principal’s Role Play evolved into his book, The Principal’s Hot Seat: Observing Real-World Dilemmas. Dr. McNulty will


Robinson Attends National Summit

Dr. Victoria Robinson attended the Second National Summit of Educator Effectiveness sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers May 2-4 in Seattle, Washington. She joined a team of five other Iowa educational leaders to address issues such as: connecting the core and educator effectiveness, educator preparation, using InTASC learning progressions for professional learning, role of induction in educator quality, training evaluators, and evaluating teachers in non-tested areas.


McNulty Hosts Illinois Educators, Presents Seminar for Teacher Ed Students

Ideology Counts: Indicators of Successful Social Justice Leadership and the Strategies and Practices that Remedy Injustice in Academic Achievement

The Pre-service seminar was structured as a two-way conversation between students from the College of Education and with teachers who have:

  • Moved a failing high poverty school to a school of excellence even with a 20% increase in students receiving free/reduced lunch
  • Embraced diversity in all its forms to either eliminate or significantly reduce achievement gaps
  • Effectively taught special needs students in an inclusive environment
  • Used assessment data to teach to mastery, to acquire professional development to increase pedagogical capacity, and to adjust instructional materials to the needs of students
  • Employed a balanced reading curriculum/instructional program for all students
  • Differentiated instruction to meet students where they are to get them where they can be
  • Engaged in total school leadership with the utilization of key components of Professional Learning Communities

The conversation in the end was dynamic and informative regarding the concerns and hopes of our young professionals prior to entering the field of educational practice.  Critically, it was understood by all the professionals involved that engagement in effective pedagogical practices is engagement in leadership that can open life opportunities for all students attending our K-12 educational institutions.  Time well spent!


Pace Receives 2012 College of Education Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship

Dr. Nick Pace was been selected as the 2012 recipient of the COE Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship. The annual award recognizes College of Education faculty members contributions to scholarship and research. Pace has two books to his credit, The Principal’s Challenge: Learning from Gay and Lesbian Students  (2009) and The Principal’s Hot Seat: Observing Real-World Dilemmas  (2011). His current book project which traces three principal’s first year on the job is slated for completion in March, 2013.


Leading Learners

Lucas Ptacek is now the Assistant Principal of Northwest Jr. High in Coralville.

Congratulations to Amy Griffin as she begins work as an Intermediate Principal with Gilbert CSD this summer.

Justin Urbanek has been named secondary principal at Dunkerton.

Cedar Rapids Prairie High School has a new associate principal—Erik Anderson.

The Waterloo Community Schools welcomes Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education and Special Education, Dr. Willie Barney from the principalship at East High School.

Troy Smock is the new Associate Principal at Webster City High School.

Central Clay Community Schools in Everly welcome new Elementary Principal & Superintendent Dennis McClain.

Mike Hansen will begin duties as Elementary Principal at Mt. Vernon this summer.

Wapsie Valley welcomes new 7-12 principal Josh Johnson.

Dr. Gail Callahan is transitioning from the principalship at Waterloo West High School to head the district's Office of Advanced Learning.