Pella Educator Receives Recognition for Leadership


Lowell Ernst, director of K-12 instruction for the Pella Community School District, has been named the 2016 Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

“Many schools across Iowa, including Pella, are involved in implementing systems to help students become complex thinkers. In Pella, this means equipping them to solve problems, work through conflict, make decisions, innovate, and take action. This focus on helping kids apply what they have learned to what they will face in life is key to our students being successful in their careers, family, and communities,” Ernst stated.

“I have had an opportunity to witness Lowell Ernst’s outstanding leadership in professional development, school improvement and curriculum. Not only is he a leader in the district, he is also recognized in the state by his work on the State Assessment Task Force and the Collaborating for Iowa Kids partnership,” said Roark Horn, SAI executive director.

Ernst has served in his role since August of 1998 and was previously an associate high school principal in the Glenwood Community School District. He began his career as a grades 6-12 science teacher at what was then known as the Dow City-Arion Community School District. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in science education from Morningside College and a master’s in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

“We are blessed to have a community that supports education through public-private partnerships that are essential to preparing our students for life after school. These partnerships are what make it possible to support our system pillars of promoting excellence, building caring relationships, and developing every child's potential. The commitment of everyone in our community is what helps prepare our kids for promising futures,” Ernst added.

He was nominated by his peers, selected for the award by a committee of Iowa central office administrators and will be honored May 13 at an awards ceremony at the state Capitol.