Joy Kelly of Bettendorf is Assistant Principal of the Year


In this interview, SAI Executive Director Dan Smith talks with Joy Kelly regarding what's happening at Bettendorf High School, the rewards of her role and the leadership she strives to provide.


Joy Kelly, associate principal at Bettendorf High School, is the 2014-15 Iowa Assistant Principal of the Year as named by School Administrators of Iowa.

SAI Executive Director Dan Smith expressed, “As a leader, Joy Kelly is driven by what is best for students and how best to support them. With teaching at the forefront of all she does, she views every interaction with staff and students as learning opportunities. She has played a key role in launching the 1:1 iPad initiative and restructuring student counseling services, in addition to other countless contributions.”

Recipients are selected using the Iowa Standards for School Leaders, which focus on

  • a vision of learning;
  • the presence of a school culture and instructional program that is beneficial to student learning and staff professional development;
  • a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment;
  • work with parents and the community;
  • fairness, integrity and ethics; and
  • an understanding of the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context in which we operate.

Kelly commented on her selection, “Any time someone is being honored it is a testament to the collective teamwork and effort of the administration and entire staff.”

A committee of Iowa assistant principals selected Kelly for the award. She will be recognized at a State Capitol ceremony in May 2015 and at SAI's Annual Conference August 5, 2015. As Iowa’s recipient, Kelly is now a candidate for National Assistant Principal of the Year, an award sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She will have an opportunity to attend a recognition program in Washington, D.C., in the spring featuring professional development and networking activities with peers from around the nation.

Kelly began her career teaching social studies at Linn-Mar Community School District in Marion, Iowa. She also served as principal of Iowa City Regina Junior/Senior High School and came to Bettendorf as associate principal in 2003. She has a bachelor’s degree in U.S. History from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa.