Carlson is new ‘pal’ in Keota
KEOTA — While Nathan Carlson only took over his role as principal for Keota Junior High/High School last Friday, he said that he had spent a lot of time in the district over the summer getting to know the teachers he will be working with during the coming year.
After exploring 22 applications, meeting with four candidates and having an in-depth discussion with two, Keota School Superintendent Mark Schneider in June recommended Clear Creek Amana health teacher Nathan Carlson as the new principal for Keota High School. In addition to serving as the Keota principal, Carlson will also spend 20 percent of his time serving as the dean of students at Mid-Prairie High School.
“I was looking for that next challenge in my professional life,” Carlson said. “Keota had the opportunity – they were looking for a principal. I really enjoy trying to influence a positive education. This is a little bit larger scale than being just a teacher.”
Carlson said that Keota reminds him of his hometown of Winfield-Mount Union. The school is all in one building and shares teachers throughout the grades. He said that so far he has been impressed with the passion of the teachers that he has met.
“To me it was his experience with small schools that put him in first place,” Schneider said. “He grew up in a small rural community and taught in one for several years. He is the one with the most experience about how a small district functions.”
Carlson said he taught for one year in the Louisa-Muscatine School District and six years in the Columbus Community School District. He had also served as athletic director while at Columbus. Carlson graduated from Wartburg College and finished his master’s at Drake University.
He said that his goal is to help continue the educational success that Keota has been achieving.
“Keota’s test scores are amazing,” he said. “I have been wowed every day I have been here by the staff and teachers and the great education they provide the community. I want to make sure that continues and find ways to build on it.”