Cardinal Schools Named Top Workplace for Third Consecutive Year

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A school district in southeast Iowa received an annual award which named it a top workplace in the state.

The Cardinal Community School District was awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by The Top Iowa Workplaces and The Des Moines Register. It is the third year in a row the school district has been honored.

Joel Pedersen, Cardinal Superintendent, says the award is more about the staff members of Cardinal Schools that had to endure a difficult year due to the pandemic.

“I appreciate all of our employees and the countless hours they put in to help kids and families,” Pedersen Says. “And Particularly in this year where stress was pretty high with covid…i’m just proud of our employees and their dedication.”


Top Workplaces are awarded based on a number of criteria which include workplace values, employee appreciation, employee development, retention, pay, leadership, and more. Workers are anonymously surveyed to measure the above standards.

Pedersen says he is open to any ideas and in many cases, employees come up with solutions for various issues that arise. He also mentioned programs based on finances and physical/mental health that can bring down stress levels.

Pedersen says maintaining a work/life balance is key and admitted it’s something he struggled with. However, he wants his employees to have a healthy life outside of school.

“We come give our best effort at work and then when we get away from work, we try to recharge,” Petersen says. “Hopefully we can do activities outside of school as a school family and have a lot of fun. I think you just really have to strive for that work/life balance which is becoming more difficult in the area of education with all we are being asked to do.”

In a press release, Pedersen said having a thriving team of educators is key to Cardinal students getting the education that they deserve and have come to expect.

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