Gayle Allensworth of Red Oak is Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year


Gayle Allensworth, principal of Inman Primary and Washington Intermediate schools in the Red Oak Community School District, has been named the 2018 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

“Mrs. Allensworth epitomizes what every school wants and every child needs from a school leader. Individuals who work with her describe her with words, such as ‘total dedication,’ ‘positive change’ and ‘students first.’ Although already a top Iowa school leader, Gayle continues to seek opportunities to learn and grow, providing an excellent model for her students and staff. She is an outstanding choice to represent all of the state’s elementary principals,” said SAI Executive Director Roark Horn.                      

“I am truly honored to receive an award that cumulatively represents all of the dedication and success our elementary staff and students are having! We have worked so hard as a team to strengthen our school culture, build structures and processes that impact learning and sustain effective collaborative processes to continue to grow. To be recognized for our work is rewarding beyond measure,” Allensworth expressed.           

She has served as a principal in Red Oak since 2011. Prior to that, Allensworth was a co-teacher of second-chance reading and special needs for grades 9-12 at Red Oak High School. Her career began as a kindergarten and K-6 special-needs teacher in the Council Bluffs Community School District. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s in special education and an advanced endorsement as a special education consultant—all from the University of Northern Iowa. She also received her degree in educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State University.

She was nominated by her peers, selected by a committee of Iowa elementary principals, and will be recognized at a governor’s awards ceremony in May and the association’s annual conference in August. The National Association of Elementary School Principals will also honor her as a National Distinguished Principal this fall in Washington, D.C.