The Woodward-Granger Board of Education has hired a new district superintendent of schools: Dr. Matt Adams, currently the chief operations officer (COO) in the Ankeny Community School District.
The W-G board partnered with Grundmeyer Leader Search to conduct a thorough search for a new superintendent, attracting 41 applicants. Eight semi-finalists were interviewed May 6 by the board during a closed session board meeting, and three finalists were identified and invited to meet May 21 with interview teams consisting of administrators, staff and community members.
Based on the feedback of the stakeholders, the school board offered the position to Adams, who immediately accepted the offer.
“I am honored and humbled,” Adams said, “to be asked to serve as the next superintendent of Woodward-Granger CSD. I’m thrilled to start this tremendous journey with the many stakeholders of Woodward-Granger community.”
Adams will formally be named the new superintendent following the conclusion of a background check and board approval at the next school board meeting. He will officially begin his contract July 1.
In his application to the school board, Adams said, “As the Woodward-Granger Superintendent, my concentration will be placed on continuing to provide superior learning tools, securing and retaining talented and passionate faculty and developing and implementing proven and effective programs for our student body to maintain high levels of student achievement. This work cannot be done in isolation and requires a collaborative effort. A strong union must be pledged between faculty, parents, Board of Directors and community partners to strengthen our schools. Likewise, I believe our work should always be anchored in a ‘student-first’ philosophy, and all decisions should reflect that orientation.”
Adams has served Ankeny Community School District’s COO since 2012. His prior experience includes serving as an elementary principal in Ankeny and K-8 principal for Lynnville-Sully Schools. He started his teaching career serving both Seymour and Des Moines School Districts.
In 2011 Adams was recognized with the American Association of School Administrators’ Educational Administration Scholarship Award for his efforts.
As COO in the Ankeny school district, Adams oversaw various departments, including construction, technology infrastructure, food service, safety and security, maintenance and custodial, purchasing and print services. He has also led ALICE training for the entire Ankeny CSD around school safety.
Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Iowa State University in 1994 and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Drake University in 2002.
He went on to earn a specialist and doctorate degree from Drake University, with his dissertation research focusing on superintendent evaluations. Specifically, he was curious to determine whether Iowa school boards had a desire for their superintendents to serve also as instructional leaders, which is one of Adams’ greatest passions.
Adams and his wife, Kim, have three children, Katie, Maverick and Kassidy. Katie followed in her parents’ footsteps and is a teacher in Carlisle. Maverick is working to become a journeyman electrician, and Kassidy will be attending ISU this fall, majoring in biochemistry. Adams hobbies include fishing, hunting and gardening.
“Dr. Adams is a strong instructional leader who has successfully managed district growth and lead professional development for principals,” a statement issued Thursday by the W-G School Board said. “As the Woodward-Granger School District continues to grow, Dr. Adams’ background in forecasting and planning for growth was highlighted as a clear strength. Please welcome Dr. Matt Adams and his family to the district and the Woodward-Granger Ccmmunity!”