The challenges, rewards, experiences and community are just a few of the aspects of becoming superintendent for the Colfax-Mingo School District Erik Anderson is looking forward to in the coming year. Having been a teacher, dean and principal, Anderson is ready for the next step in his career.
Anderson is coming to Colfax-Mingo after serving as principle at Cedar Rapids Prairie High School in the College Community School District. The Jasper County Tribune previously reported the school board selected Anderson for the position at a special meeting Feb. 28 taking over for Jim Verlengia.
Anderson starting teach in 1994 in Council Bluffs, where he also met his wife. He then taught in Pocahontas before moving to Cedar Rapids Prairie to be closer to family. In 2009, Anderson became the dean of students before moving up to principal.
“I always enjoyed being in education ... superintendency is an opportunity to affect a larger community and be able to support a larger community from a systemic piece and so I have just been really excited for an opportunity like that,” Anderson said.
Being a superintendent can be seen as a kind of challenge when you have a wide range of issues to attend to. That aspect of the position was appealing to Anderson, who likes to take on new challenges.
“I enjoy that new challenge that comes up and so I wanted to see what was available when I was teaching ... It has just kind of grown from there to look at that next challenge and that next opportunity to be able to grow yourself,” Anderson said.
Being the superintendent offers a very broad point of view about what is going on within a school district. Anderson mentioned he learned that about the post as he advanced throughout his career.
“Your view becomes broader each step and you see more components of how it all fits together ... I just enjoy that challenge of being able to see them all fit together,” Anderson said.
There have been some accomplishments Anderson has been a part of during his career in education such as passing bond issues and setting up structures that ensure kids are at the forefront.
“I feel like our team that we had there (Cedar Rapids Prairie) did a really nice job of making sure that we focused on what’s best for kids and keeping that at the center of all decision making,” Anderson said.
Anderson does have a vision for how he would like to see the Colfax-Mingo Community School District. He wants to celebrate the greatness that the school district has achieved over the years.
“To find ways to celebrate the great things that are happening here,” Anderson said. “Having the high school be nominated as one of the best high schools in the state of Iowa is a step in that direction and making sure that kind of information about Colfax-Mingo is what people know.”
Like most professionals, Anderson has set goal, not only for himself, but for the district as he begins in the new role. He wants to make sure the priorities of the school district are taken care of and that the public is fully understanding.
“The first step and goal for myself is to learn as much as I can about the community,” Anderson said.
New in the community, Anderson has been on the job since July 1 but has also taken the time to be present at city events to learn about the area he will be serving.
“The people here are amazingly gracious and helpful and caring and thoughtful we have been very impressed with that,” Anderson said.
One other thing Anderson has been impressed with is the services that are available within the community with places like Quarry Springs and the Chichaqua Valley Trail that runs through Mingo.
“Just being in those and seeing those are amazing facilities to be able to have in our communities,” Anderson said.
Anderson wants the community to know that he hopes to hear from students, parents and community members as he starts his tenure as superintendent.
“I am always approachable and I look at myself as having an open door policy,” Anderson said.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org