Community greetings from Union’s new superintendent

The Union Community School District’s new superintendent, John Howard (far right) pictured with his family, (back row, l-r) son Kellen Howard and wife Duana Howard; (front row, l-r) son Kaden Howard and daughter Karlyn Howard. –Photo courtesy of John Howard

It is with great pleasure that I write this introductory piece for the wonderful community of Dysart. Since I took the position as superintendent of the Union Community School District on July 1, 2022, I have spent many hours in Dysart meeting (some) city officials, talking to citizens, touring school and other buildings and generally getting to know the town and its people. In addition, I have met with others who live and/or work in Dysart through individual meetings in my office. Needless to say, I have been very impressed. The citizens I have spoken with or heard from emphasize (and epitomize) the positive characteristics of commitment, comradery, enthusiasm, pride, and a (continuous) willingness to help make Dysart the best it can be every day. I look forward to building/solidifying relationships with all the members of the Dysart community.

Here is a little about me, both professionally and personally. I am beginning my 27th year in education. I was a foreign language/social studies teacher and coach in Essex, Iowa, for one year and then spent ten years at Lynnville-Sully. During most of the time at Lynnville-Sully, I coached football (assistant) and was the head coach for boys’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ golf.

For the last fifteen years, I was the secondary principal first at Kinglsey-Pierson in Kinglsey, Iowa, then St. Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and for the last eight years at Independence Jr/Sr High School in Independence, Iowa.

I have a B.A. from Central College, an M.A. from Drake University and completed my superintendent course work at the University of Northern Iowa. This is my first superintendent position, and I could not be more humbled and prouder to lead this tremendous district.

I have been married for 26 years to my loving wife, Duana. Duana is a C.P.A. and works for Gosseling and Company in Independence. She also does some substitute teaching at the elementary level. We have three children–Kaden, Kellen and Karlyn. Kaden will be a senior at Buena Vista majoring in sports management and business education. Kellen will be a freshman at Loras majoring in mechanical engineering. Karlyn will be the only one left in the house in the fall as she will be an 8th grader.

Again, I am elated to lead the Union Community School District. I look forward to meeting more individuals as the summer winds down and the 2022-2023 school year begins. May we work collaboratively to preserve the great traditions associated with the Union Community School District – both on the academic and extra-curricular “fronts” while also emphasizing a need to improve. Go Knights!