Independence principal tapped to lead Union


The print edition headline of this article incorrectly states Howard is the superintendent of Independence Community School District. The headline has been corrected in the online version. The Telegraph apologizes for the error.

The Union Community School District Board of Education has named Independence Community School District 7-12 grade principal John Howard as the district’s next superintendent.

Howard, 47, was chosen out of a field of three finalists that also included North Tama County Community School District Superintendent David Hill and Burlington Community School District’s North Hill Elementary Principal Mark Taylor.

In a video message by Howard posted to the district’s Facebook page on Thursday, April 14, Howard shared he plans to move to the area with his family which includes his wife and daughter. Howard also shared that his daughter will attend Union schools.

“I’m very excited and humbled about the opportunity to become the superintendent for the Union Community School District,” Howard said in his video message.

According to an April 12 press release from the Union school board, Howard previously served as a principal and curriculum director at Saint Edmond Catholic Schools in Fort Dodge where he helped develop and execute the school’s long-range strategic plan and create a systematic plan to improve communication with students, parents, and staff. He also piloted the first one-to-one technology program in the history of the Diocese of Sioux City.

Earlier in his career, Howard was a high school principal in the Kingsley-Pierson Community School District – a consolidated rural public school district based in Kingsley which is located in northwest Iowa. He was also a Spanish teacher in the Lynnville-Sully and Essex Community School Districts.

Howard has served as a varsity boys’ and girls’ head basketball coach, head golf coach, and assistant football and basketball coach.

Howard holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Drake University and a

bachelor’s degree in political science from Central College, as well as an advanced studies certificate from the University of Northern Iowa.

As part of his April 14 video message, Howard shared his initial goal for the district is to “continue the great things that Union has going for it – tremendous staff, excellent students, outstanding community support.”

Howard shared two more goals he has as the next superintendent: to provide leadership for the district into the future and to ensure his daughter has a quality education in Union schools.

Union’s Board of Education worked with Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the

superintendent search – a process that included a community-wide survey which asked district residents to provide their input on the qualities and characteristics they would like to see in the district’s next leader.

Finalist interviews for superintendent were held on April 11, in La Porte City. In addition to school board members, interview teams consisted of members of the Dysart and La Porte City communities, teachers, support staff, administrators, and students.

Howard will officially begin serving as superintendent of the Union Community School District on July 1, 2022.