Stacey Cole named Iowa Superintendent of the Year

The School Administrators of Iowa named UF alumna Stacey Cole (Ed.D, ‘17) the state’s superintendent of the year.

Cole has served as the superintendent of the Storm Lake Community School District in Iowa since 2018. She also has worked as a director of education services, principal and assistant principal in Iowa’s K-12 education system. 

Cole was honored with this title due to her determination, dedication and love for all the students she serves, according to School Administrators of Iowa Executive Director Lisa Remy in a press release

“She inspires countless students, teachers, and community members to show up as their best selves. Dr. Cole exemplifies educational stewardship,” Remy wrote.

Cole decided to join the education field after wishing there were more advocates in the field for her cousin who struggled in school growing up. 

“I had a cousin who didn’t fit into any box as he grew up. The education system was one of many that he didn’t fit into. I watched him grow up and always wished for him to have advocates within the education system,” Cole said. “He inspired me to enter education and be an advocate for kids who need something a little different than their peers to succeed.”

Aside from UF, Cole obtained degrees from Iowa State University, Buena Vista University and Morningside University. 

Cole believes in order to succeed in education, you have to be flexible. Teachers need to be willing to be lifelong learners and be able to shift directions if needed — a skill she learned as an EduGator, she said. 

“My biggest takeaway from my time at UF is that in education we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. When we disagree, we have to be willing to listen to others as if we are wrong. We have to be willing to hear their genuine concerns and perspectives,” Cole said. “If we want to serve people who have different lived experiences than us, we have to be willing to take in truths that might seem outside of our realm of understanding.”

Stacey Cole, Ed.D