Jess Burger is Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year


Jess Burger, principal of Hoover Elementary School in the West Branch Community School District, has been named the 2016 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

“I have had a chance to personally witness her outstanding leadership,” said Roark Horn, the association’s executive director. “Under her guidance, staff members are participating in Professional Learning Communities, a Big Brothers Big Sisters program and Operation Backpack have been implemented to serve students’ needs, and the school’s early literacy program has been recognized at the state level,” Horn emphasized.              

“It is an amazing honor to be recognized among the many great elementary principals in Iowa. I am so fortunate to work in a district with an incredible vision and passion for student success. The leadership that our staff demonstrates at West Branch Schools makes accomplishing great things for students a true team effort. This award is a reflection of the hard work of countless educators.  I would also like to thank the numerous school leaders who have mentored and supported me in my journey,” Burger commented.                

Burger has served as Hoover’s principal since 2007. Prior to that, she was an elementary principal and curriculum director at MFL MarMac Community Schools in Monona. She began her career as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Tri-County Community Schools in Thornburg. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central College and her master’s 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.

SAI, a statewide organization founded in 1987, represents more than 1,800 Iowa educational administrators. SAI's mission is to support, encourage and develop Iowa’s educational leaders and learners.