Did you know that the new director of the Iowa Department of Education is an Iowa State University alumnus?
Brad Buck, 44, received his master's degree from Iowa State in 1997 and his doctorate in 2006. He's also been an adjunct instructor in Iowa State's principal preparation program.
Buck became the state education director Aug. 30. He brings with him a passion to make a difference, two decades of working as an educator, personal experience of being the father of six children ages 7 to 17, and training about what works and what doesn't.
"One of the things I most appreciated about Iowa State that stays with me today is, they worked hard to present research foundations for what we were investigating but then also discussing the practical part of it," Buck said in a recent interview. "As I've gone through leadership experiences, that has been a good grounding for me and remains important to me so we aren't making decisions in a vacuum. There is research behind it."
Buck describes his leadership style as collaborative and energetic. He said it's a "loose and tight leadership" that emphasizes which things have flexibility and which ones don't.
Debra VanGorp, a clinician in the Iowa State University School of Education, said Buck is the type of leader who builds upon successes and helps to take an organization to the next level.
"He is a 'doer' with lots of energy and creative ideas," she said. "He is willing to tackle challenging situations and make difficult decisions - while maintaining a focus on student achievement."
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