John Cool was named interim superintendent at Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD) and Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IESBVI) by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa approval at its April 6-7 meeting.
Cool, a long-time former senior administrator at ISD/IESBVI, will begin serving as senior advisor on May 2 before taking over as interim superintendent on July 1. Current superintendent Steve Gettel, who previously announced his retirement effective June 30, 2022, will continue to remain in his role until June 30.
“I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the special schools again,” Cool said. “I appreciate the confidence that Board President Richards has shown in allowing me to fill this important role. My passion has always been to help students find success and become productive members of the communities in which they live. It will be a pleasure and privilege to once again serve with such competent and dedicated employees, as we work together to help our students. I am grateful for this opportunity, and my goal will continue to be to help the special schools continue to provide quality education to all of the students we serve.”
Cool retired from ISD/IESBVI last year after a long and distinguished administrative career. He was first hired at ISD in 1990, serving as Director of Student Life for 22 years. In that role, he oversaw such areas as health services, dormitories, transportation, food services and the sign language program. In 2012, he was promoted to assistant administrator for both ISD and Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School (now IESBVI), where in conjunction with the superintendent, he was responsible for management and oversight of daily operations at both schools, including oversight of employees.
“John is the perfect person to serve as interim superintendent,” Gettel said. “We have worked side-by-side and I know first-hand there is nobody more dedicated to the success of our students than him. His skills, expertise, and institutional knowledge are unmatched and he will bring a level of energy and drive to the role every day that will continue to move our students’ learning forward.”
“John’s background and experience make him uniquely qualified,” said Board of Regents, State of Iowa President Michael J. Richards. “I want to personally thank him for stepping up and agreeing to help with this critical role. Having John and Steve Gettel collaborating again prior to Steve’s retirement in June will allow for a seamless transition.”