Learn more about Joel Pedersen

Cardinal superintendent selected as next Chief Administrator of Central Rivers AEA

Central Rivers Area Education Agency (CRAEA) is pleased to announce that Joel Pedersen, currently superintendent at Cardinal Community School District, has been selected as the agency’s new chief administrator. Pedersen will succeed Sam Miller, who is retiring from the agency in August. Miller has led the agency since 2015. 

Joel Pedersen, Chief Administrator

In his new position, Pedersen will oversee over 500 full and part-time staff members who provide special education and school improvement services along with technology and media support for over 62,000 students and 5,000 educators throughout 18 counties of north central and northeastern Iowa.

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome Mr. Pedersen to his new role,” said Dr. Debra Rich, Central Rivers AEA board president. “He brings an incredible amount of experience, passion and skill that will continue to move our agency forward in service to children, families and educators in the 18 counties of Iowa that we serve.”

“I know the AEA’s power firsthand,” said Joel Pedersen. “I am excited and humbled to begin working at Central Rivers AEA, learning more about the agency and finding ways to contribute my skills to the team. I look forward to working alongside such a talented and committed staff.”

Prior to coming to Cardinal Community School District in 2010,  Pedersen previously held positions as principal and director of special education services at Davis County Community School District. He taught numerous elementary grades and coached various sports during his time as a teacher. 

Pedersen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Buena Vista University; a Master of Science degree in Education Administration and Educational