Gary Hatfield from Cedar Rapids is Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year


Gary Hatfield, principal of Taft Middle School in Cedar Rapids, has been named the 2014 Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

SAI Executive Director Dan Smith remarked, “Gary Hatfield’s desire is for everyone in the building to be a learner, and he has helped bring that about with a system of learning supports for students and teachers. Higher achieving students now have expanded opportunities for challenging courses, and students who need extra assistance have structures in place to aid in their growth. Teachers also have professional development activities, Professional Learning Communities and opportunities to observe instruction.” 

Hatfield expressed, “I couldn’t be more proud of the Taft Community. We understand that it takes a collaborative network of individuals to ensure our students get the top-notch education they deserve. Each day we strive to provide a quality education for all students while educating the whole child in an atmosphere of respect for self, others and the school environment. 

“We are firm believers that growth is always possible. This recognition will serve as an additional motivator for our school as we look to continuously improve our academic, social and citizenship programs. We look forward to watching many more Tigers succeed both in our hallways and in their lives after Taft,” the school leader added.

Hatfield has served as Taft’s principal since 2008 and previously as an associate principal at Roosevelt Middle School. He began his career as a math teacher at Wilson Middle School. He received his bachelor’s degree in math from Iowa State University and master’s degrees in middle school math education and educational administration from the University of Northern Iowa.

A committee of Iowa middle level principals selected Hatfield, and he will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the State Capitol in May. This selection makes him eligible for National Middle School Principal of the Year sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife.