Leading in Literacy: Area native to receive Iowa Reading Administrator of the Year award

Brian Sammons

Reading is more than just a subject in school - it’s the foundation for all learning and life skills.

That devotion to literacy is why Brian Sammons - an area native and longtime educator - was recently awarded the Iowa Reading Association’s Reading Administrator of the Year award.

Sammons, who is a native of New Hartford, spent 15 years of his career teaching at Aplington Elementary, before he took a position as Principal at Grundy Center Elementary back in 2015. Since then, he’s made it a priority to promote reading at the school - acknowledging how his career at A-P helped prepare him to be a leader in literacy.

“I’m very lucky to have started my career at A-P,” Sammons said. “I worked with great teachers and administration that really gave me opportunities to lead, and I feel like that really contributed to where I am today.”

At Grundy Center Elementary, Sammons has implemented a number of initiatives to promote literacy, including: hosting principal book talks, where he reads and discusses books with students, and by hosting regular author visits to get kids excited about books. Sammons has also been instrumental in organizing the school’s Mock Caldecott Awards, where students read and vote on which book they think should win the Caldecott Award each year.

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