Cardinal Superintendent Wins Arts Advocacy Award


Joel Pedersen, superintendent of Cardinal Community School District, is the 2015 Iowa Fine Arts Administrator of the Year as selected by the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education and School Administrators of Iowa.

“I am honored to represent the state of Iowa as the Arts Administrator of the Year. I have been pleased to watch our arts program at Cardinal grow stronger in the past years as a result of vision and determination. As our arts program grows, our students gain. Students who are involved in the arts are more motivated, have higher engagement levels and have greater self-esteem. Allocating resources to support our arts programs has helped us to see greater student involvement and success for our students. We have a great staff in our arts department who have helped me keep the arts program focused on improvement,” Pedersen expressed.

With Pedersen’s encouragement, the district brought back a spring musical and added a fall play. Additionally, the art club was resurrected as well as materials and instruments purchased for the band. These are a few of many examples demonstrating the support granted by Pedersen to the district’s fine arts programs.

A May ceremony at the state capitol will recognize Pedersen and six additional Administrators of the Year for their contributions to educational leadership in Iowa.

Colleagues nominated Pedersen for this award, and its criteria are set by the Alliance. Applications must demonstrate how the nominee’s leadership contributes to the development of the arts in a school or district.