Mr. Joel Pedersen has been a strong leader in the areas of building positive school culture and reducing bullying behaviors from several schools in Southeastern Iowa. While at Davis County Middle School, his leadership in the areas of promoting positive school culture and bully prevention were stated as chief reasons for his selection as the 2010 Iowa Middle School Principal of the Year. Mr. Pedersen has been the Superintendent of the Cardinal Community School District in Wapello County for the past three years, where he has lead the district to make great strides to enhance school culture. Although the Cardinal CSD was not initially selected as a recipient of the Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools Grant, Mr. Pedersen decided to have Cardinal participate as a non-funded member in the program. Through Mr. Pedersenís leadership and focus on the issue of school culture, Cardinal has shown substantial gains on the Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools Survey over each of the past three years. Mr. Pedersen understands the powerful connection between positive school culture and student achievement. He is leading Cardinal CSD to be one of the first schools in the state of Iowa to achieve Safe School Certification.
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