Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 17, 2018

Harter named Cardinal Teacher of Year

By Andy Hallman Ledger News Editor | May 29, 2018
Photo by: Andy Hallman/Ledger photo Cardinal science teacher Jerald Harter, left, receives the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award from Cardinal superintendent Joel Pedersen and Linda Booth, secretary/treasurer of the Druzilla F. Clark Educators Foundation.

By Andy Hallman,

Ledger news editor


Jerald Harter was named the Cardinal Teacher of the Year May 18 during the Druzilla F. Clark Educators Foundation’s second annual awards presentation at Fairfield Golf & Country Club.

Harter has taught for 30 years, the past eight of which have been at Cardinal.

“I came to Cardinal about three days before Joel [Pedersen] was hired as the superintendent,” he said. “Joel played baseball with my brother Dustin 35 years ago in the Babe Ruth League in Ottumwa. They were both excellent baseball players.”

Before coming to Cardinal, Harter worked for the Moravia school district. At the time, it was quite a drive because he was living in Pekin’s school district, which his son Chris attended.

“Cardinal talked to me a few times, and I said that if the right thing ever shows up, I’d love to go there. It’s a great school,” Harter said.

Harter was away on a Moravia school trip to San Antonio, Texas, on top of a water slide, when the president of Cardinal’s school board called him to tell him about a job opening.

“I found out they had an opening in both science and for a volleyball coach,” he said. “Things were perfect. The great thing about it was that it allowed my son to open enroll from Pekin, and now he goes to Cardinal.”

Harter said he loves to see how kids grow from sixth grade through their graduation from high school.

“I love to see how they mature emotionally and learn how to act,” he said. “I love to be able to teach kids science all four years of high school and see them love science more and more. If you make it interesting, they’ll keep coming back. I want the kids to beg to come back.”

One thing Harter has noticed during his teaching career is more girls taking his upper-level science classes than years past, and now more than half of his students in those classes are female.

Harter is the head volleyball and boys track coach. The Comets sent seven track events to the state meet earlier this month. Pedersen said he believes that is the most in the school’s history.

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The Druzilla Clark Educators Foundation was begun by a young man who had Mrs. Clark as his elementary teacher many years ago. Mrs. Clark stayed connected with the donor through his school years and on throughout his life and career. Because she helped him so much throughout his life, he promised he would do something very significant in her name to help other educators become successful and significant in the lives of their students as Mrs. Clark did with him.

The primary goal of the donor is to help seek out and promote high quality educators in both the Fairfield and Cardinal schools.

The DFC Educators Foundation will distribute a total of $56,000 to first-year teachers in both districts for successful completion of their contract year and to each “Teacher of the Year” in both districts for outstanding service to their students. In all, 28 teachers received $2,000 each.

The foundation’s donor wants to honor today’s dedicated teachers and encourage them and others in this profession toward excellence in the teaching profession.



The Fairfield teachers receiving awards are:

Jennifer Clements (middle school math)

Mark Eberly (middle school social studies)

Mark Eubank (high school social studies)

Orfa Foss (fifth grade)

Ashley Henkel (middle school math)

Miranda Hills (third grade)

Emily Morris (middle school science)

T.J. Rausch (second grade)

* Shawn Klehm (Teacher of the Year, middle school special ed)



The Cardinal teachers receiving awards are:

Katie Orwig (kindergarten)

Lauren Dursky (second grade)

Bethany Harp (second grade)

Hailey Legrande (fourth grade)

John Lawrence (elementary physical education)

Danele Isenhower (elementary special ed)

Brook Lunsford (elementary music)

Aimee Sivak (elementary at-risk coordinator)

Lori Rowland (elementary special ed)

Lindsey Albert (fifth grade)

Rachel Veatch (middle school special ed)

Marissa Maas (sixth grade)

Andrea Tedrow (special ed)

Tyler Archer (middle school special ed)

Brandon Stuhr (high school math)

Clement Peneueta (9-10th English)

Quinn Vesely (high school physical education and at-risk coordinator)

Dylan Hastings (8-9th science)

* Jerald Harter (Teacher of the Year, science)

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