Barb Schwamman, superintendent of the Osage Community School District and Riceville Community School District, was a nominee for the 2019-20 Iowa Superintendent of the Year award sponsored by the School Administrators of Iowa.
Nominated for the award by her peers, Schwamman will be recognized by the association, along with Cardinal Community School District Superintendent Joel Pedersen who was recently selected as the recipient.
“SAI is pleased to recognize school system leaders who are dedicated to creating meaningful change for the students they serve and their communities,” said Roark Horn, the association’s executive director.
"I was surprised when I was contacted by SAI about the nomination, but humbled and honored to be recognized by my peers for the work happening at Osage and Riceville," Schwamman said. "This is a reflection of the quality teaching and learning being done by the outstanding staff members, along with the dedication to our students."
The Osage Community Schools have recently undergone major renovations and construction projects, while adding innovations of Iowa BIG North and a K-12 Computer Science Pathway. Riceville Community Schools make up a small but growing district that is also updating facilities, including the recent approval of the Wildcat Activity Center. The school will use the center during the day and it will be community accessible for wellness at night and on weekends.
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When asked what the biggest highlight(s) of being a superintendent in rural schools in Iowa was Schwamman said, "The highlights have been seeing the student successes that have occurred in the classrooms and in extracurricular activities. These things do not happen without great efforts by all our staff members.
"Being in a rural school has given me many opportunities to learn many different things and to become involved in the community."
Schwamman earned her superintendent endorsement through the University of Northern Iowa, principal endorsement through the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy, master’s degree from Viterbo and bachelor’s from UNI.
She currently serves on the Iowa High School Athletic Association Board of Control, Rural Schools of Iowa Legislative Committee, Central Rivers Advisory Committee, Osage Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Osage Kiwanis and Osage Development Corporation. She mentors principals through the IPLA program and is an adjunct professor for Drake University. She was honored nationally with the 2018 Computer Science Teachers Association Administrator Impact Award.
"Schools are great assets to rural Iowa," Schwamman said, "and we will continue to give our students the best opportunities possible in Osage and Riceville Community School Districts."