CEDAR FALLS — On July 1, 2013, Andy Pattee officially began his duties as superintendent of Cedar Falls schools.
He left his job as superintendent of schools in Charles City to lead the charge in Cedar Falls. He is a Humboldt native and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1998. He also has a doctoral degree in education from Drake University.
What drives you?
Like most people, I am driven by positive relationships, collaboration and a focus on excellence. On a deeper level, as an educational leader, I am motivated by creating engaged learning opportunities and richer experiences for students and staff members. I strive to be a servant leader, helping the system improve for the sake of our constituents. I am excited and driven by working within a system of multiple external and internal components helping ensure all elements are working toward the same goals and high levels of success. Our community school district is one of the foundational cornerstones of our great city of Cedar Falls and surrounding regions. With collaborative and forward thinking systems, we can make certain our community stays vibrant and continues to grow for generations to come, and that is certainly a strong motivational factor.
What is your biggest accomplishment in 2018?
The Cedar Falls Community School District had several accomplishments during 2018. A few include Aldrich Elementary opening for the 2018-19 school year as the district’s seventh elementary building, Center for Advanced Professional Studies expanding and providing enhanced partnerships and opportunities for students and business/industry, having three students receive perfect scores on their ACT, recognized as being one of only two school districts in the state of Iowa named to the Advanced Placement Honor Roll, expansion of our computer science/coding curriculum to all K-12 students, enriching essential standards through our learning based grading process to ensure all students know what must be learned and which skills must be exhibited for success, and being named a Top 10 District in Iowa by Niche and U.S. News & World Report, to name a few.
What are your goals for 2019?
Our goals are to continue to focus on excellence and enhancing our student, staff and community opportunities for enhanced learning, collaboration and growth. As we continue to increase student enrollment, we know we still have facility challenges that need to be addressed.
The high school facility limits educationally what we can provide, and safety and security must be addressed. Additionally, we continue to explore how can we provide greater collaborative partnerships with the city of Cedar Falls, UNI, Cedar Falls Utilities, etc. as we look at both efficiency and quality in our services.
We will explore the expansion of our CAPS program, ongoing and deeper use of technology allowing students to showcase their critical thinking and analytical skills, and provide greater enrichment activities to all students.
What makes the Cedar Valley a great place for business/education?
I believe what makes any place special is the people. We have passionate, caring, innovative and creative people who want, expect and are willing to work for excellence. From quality of life, cultural and community events, business/industry diversity, UNI experiences, educational quality, recreational opportunities and location, it is a tremendous place to raise a family. When you have a place where parents want to raise their children, you have a thriving and sustainable community that spirals toward unrelenting success because you will continue to attract and retain people. This allows our region to continue moving forward with innovation and excitement.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned in your career journey?
I think this is twofold. The power of collective thought and unwavering focus on integrity and fairness can have dramatic and impactful influence on change. Change is challenging as it moves people past the known, current state. Having a collective commitment from a divergent group of individuals to create a path toward a better tomorrow has to be accomplished together, but must also be for the betterment of everyone in the system, community, etc.