Decatur School Board names Iowa City Chief Operating Officer as superintendent finalist

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 2, 2015
David Dude. Photo provided by City Schools of Decatur

David Dude. Photo provided by City Schools of Decatur

This story has been updated. 

The City Schools of Decatur Board of Education has named a finalist to be the school system’s next superintendent.

The School Board has named David Dude (pronounced doo-dee), the current chief operating officer for the Iowa City Community School District, as its top finalist.


Phyllis Edwards announced her resignation in March and her contract ends Dec. 31. She is currently in negotiations for a job with the Georgia School Boards Association.

Board Chairman Garrett Goebel said, “We are confident we have found the right leader for city schools of Decatur.”

The board will consider approving Dude’s contract on Oct. 19.

City Schools of Decatur has issued the following press release concerning Dude’s selection:

Dr. David Dude Named City Schools of Decatur Superintendent Finalist

The City Schools of Decatur Board of Education is proud to announce that Dr. David Dude has been selected as the finalist for Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Dude is from the Iowa City Community School District where he serves as the Chief Operating Officer responsible for nearly all aspects of operational efficiency and effectiveness in the district. As Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Dude helped academic and curricular initiatives prosper by transforming infrastructure, technology and operational support. After designing and implementing a district-wide technology initiative, he led the district’s Facilities Master Planning process, leading to the adoption of a 10-year plan which includes three new 500-student elementary schools and a new 1500-student comprehensive high school.

The Board selected Dr. Dude following a robust national search facilitated by consulting firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA). A key component of the search was soliciting input from stakeholders regarding the characteristics the new Superintendent should possess. HYA met with 360 stakeholders including students, staff, parents and community members and received nearly 700 responses to the online survey.

More than eighty-five applications were received from thirty-eight states. Current superintendents represented 20% of the applicant pool and assistant superintendents, chiefs and deputy superintendents represented 25-30% of the pool. The Board reviewed applications and selected applicants to interview. Semi-finalist candidates were selected and invited back for a second interview with the Board. A community panel interviewed the semi-finalist candidates and provided feedback to the Board.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the staff, students, parents and community members for taking the time to share input to inform this process,” said Board Chair Garrett Goebel. “Also, thank you to the members of the community interview panel for the many hours of work to provide valued feedback. We are confident that we have found the right leader for City Schools of Decatur.”

CSD also released more biographical information about Dude.

Dr. David Dude (pronounced DOO-dee) comes to City Schools of Decatur having served for over 19 years in numerous capacities as an educator and educational leader.

Most recently, he worked as Chief Operating Officer of the 13,500-student Iowa City Community School District. Responsible for nearly all aspects of operational efficiency and effectiveness in the District, Dr. Dude helped academic and curricular initiatives prosper by transforming infrastructure, technology and operational support. After designing and implementing a Districtwide technology initiative, he led the District’s Facilities Master Planning process, leading to the adoption of a 10-year plan which includes three new 500-student elementary schools and a new 1500-student comprehensive high school. Dr. Dude looks forward to galvanizing stakeholders in Decatur around a compelling, student-focused vision as the District continues to address facility issues and other challenges resulting from rapid growth and success.

Prior to his tenure in Iowa City, Dr. Dude served as Chief Technology Officer in Kansas City, MO, and provided technological leadership and development within Iowa’s state testing program at the University of Iowa. Dr. Dude’s career as an educational leader is rooted in his 11 years of teaching high school math. His work also is informed by his experiences leading summer camps, teaching talented and gifted elementary and junior high students, instructing at the community college level, and teaching future educational leaders in the University of Iowa graduate programs.

Dr. Dude graduated cum laude from Cornell College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Secondary Education. He earned an M.A. in Educational Administration and an M.A. in Educational Measurement & Statistics, both from the University of Iowa, after which he earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy & Leadership Studies, also from the University of Iowa.

David and his wife, Amanda, have three children ages 4, 6, and 9, currently in pre-school, first grade, and fourth grade. His family enjoys playing with their new golden retriever puppy, Luna, expanding their musical horizons, reading, spending time in the outdoors, and exploring and learning through new adventures.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the pronunciation of the superintendent finalist’s name. This story has been updated with the correct information. 

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  • Charles

    Thank you, Decatur, Georgia! We have been longing for someone to take “Dr. Dude” (pronounced Doodie) off our hands for a few years now. His arrogance, willingness to skirt the rules for his special favorites, his rudeness to parents and teachers, and above all, his shocking hubris have made him one of the most hated individuals in Iowa City. I would hate it if my children grew up to be like him.Thank you, thank you, for taking this genuine Doodie off our hands. He can start tomorrow if you’d like.

    • Mary Sue

      Sounds like sour grapes or like someone who didn’t get their way. Dude may not be loved by all but no administrator ever is in Iowa City. Many if not most parents here think they know better than any administrator or school board member. It has to be a nightmare to try to do your job on a daily basis. Parents meddle in every single facet of school operation and life, to the Nth degree. They come to school board meetings and go to the microphone with allegations, flat out lies and sometimes complete idiocy — and they spout it as fact. But that’s ok because they are mostly PhDs. (EYE ROLL) Even some school board members try their hardest to make staff members look stupid. Dysfunction junction. You can’t blame a guy for searching out opportunities where he can do what he’s trained for.

      Dude was hired at a time when this district was a big fat mess because it was operated by a bunch of old townies and cronies who protected the status quo for decades. Our district changed and saw fast growth. He was among a team of new hires who have tried to set some basic operating procedures. Before then, it was fly by the seat of your pants and do what the most powerful and elite in town want done. Now that things are changing, those are the same kinds of parents who say things like Charles.

      • Charles

        No sour grapes here. The condescension and negativity expressed toward parents (as though we should not be involved in our children’s education) and “even some school board members” is exactly what concerns so many Iowa City parents. We value transparency and we want to have a voice that is heard, not dismissed (“eye roll”) or stamped out as “meddling”. Dude appears to care more about his own ego than he does about educating our kids. He lacks humility and is unwilling to admit errors. He may have a PhD in education administration, but his classroom experience is limited and he has never been a school principal. His lack of practical, hands-on experience is reflected in his weak abilities as an administrator, and in his often unpleasant, contentious interactions with parents and the public. Like many involved in K12 education in Iowa City, I am glad to see him go.

        • Mary Sue

          Yes, good luck getting any decent replacements in a town where helicoptering is a daily routine and you are smarter than any teacher or district employee. No one wants to work here because of people like you and Dude is just the first departure. Are you living with the illusion that things will now get better?? Stay tuned.

          • Charles

            Iowa City schools have excellent, hardworking, devoted teachers, experienced building principals, and a supportive, engaged community who just elected a new school board. A few problematic upper-level administrators have been working to leave for several years and one finally found a place that would take him. If others will follow soon, that will be good for our community and our kids, though I worry about the communities in which they land.

            I am sad to see how much you despise Iowa City, and your belittling attitude toward parents. Dude had the same attitude, which is why it is better that he moved on. Some of us love it here and work hard to make our community better on a daily basis. Wishing you peace and a new location you appreciate.
            Good luck Decatur!

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