Superintendent Search

Keokuk Board Provides Update on Superintendent Hiring Process, Names 3 Finalists

January 11, 2023

KEOKUK, IA — The Keokuk Community School District Board of Education would like to provide an update on the superintendent hiring process. The board recently met with staff at Grundmeyer Leader Services to review the candidate pool and select the superintendent finalists.

The position was posted and resulted in eight candidates, including three from outside the state of Iowa. The pool included six male candidates, and two female candidates. Three of the candidates hold a terminal degree (Ed.D. or Ph.D.), while five others hold specialist/six-year degrees.

All eight candidates were presented to the board in a closed session. After a review of candidates’ application materials, references, licensure verification, social media, and community survey results three candidates were selected for formal interviews that will take place on January 19th. These three candidates have ties to or presently reside in the Keokuk community. The finalists selected are Gary Benda, Dr. Kathy Dinger, and Adam Magliari.

Benda currently serves as shared superintendent of Starmont and West Central Community School Districts with previous superintendent experience at Columbus Junction School District. In this role, he has developed and implemented in-service training to district staff in positive behavior intervention and supports, professional learning communities, and gradual release of responsibility practices. Benda began his administrative career in Keokuk CSD, serving as the high school associate principal and middle school principal. He is pursuing an Ed.D. degree from the University of Northern Iowa, to be completed summer 2023.

Dr. Dinger was born, raised, and graduated from Keokuk High School in and continues to reside in the community. For the past ten years, she has served as the superintendent of Bushnell-Prairie City School District in Illinois, where she is responsible for all functions related to the leadership and governance of its schools. She has been responsible for overseeing multiple school renovation projects as well as implementing key initiatives like standards based grading, new programs for students, and increased student enrollment following several years of decline. In addition, she presently serves as an adjunct professor within the College of Education at Western Illinois University, where she earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership in 2018. Previously, Dinger served as director of curriculum and instruction, and principal in the Libertyville School District in Illinois.

Magliari is the current high school principal of Keokuk CSD, where he leads Tier II and Tier III intervention efforts along with data-driven curriculum implementation. Previously, Magliari was vice principal of Keokuk Middle School after serving as an elementary and secondary teacher for 11 years. Adam is active in the community and has been a champion for promoting a strong collaborative school culture focused on student well-being. He is anticipating an Ed.D. degree from the University of Northern Iowa this year with a dissertation focused on understanding the modern-day teacher shortage.

The board will conduct formal interviews with the finalists Thursday, January 19th. The new superintendent will officially begin leading the Keokuk Community School District July 1, 2023.