C.F.: No to Van Zyl

The superintendent of the Fort Dodge Community School District will not be leaving his position for a post in Cedar Falls.

Doug Van Zyl learned late Wednesday afternoon that he had not been chosen for the superintendent job in Cedar Falls, according to Jennifer Lane, FDCSD director of communications and community relations.

“He expressed that he is happy here at the Fort Dodge Community School District,” Lane said in an email, “and looks forward to continuing to work with our staff in providing a quality educational experience for our kids.”

Humboldt native Andy Pattee was chosen for the postion, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Pattee is currently the superintendent of the Charles City and Riceville school district.

Van Zyl, who has been the superintendent for Fort Dodge schools since fall 2010, was one of four finalists being considered for the Cedar Falls post.

The Cedar Falls Board of Education met privately Tuesday for four hours but ended the meeting without deciding who to hire.

Board President Deon Senchina told the Courier that no decisions had been made, and another meeting hadn’t been scheduled.

Besides Pattee and Van Zyl, the other candidates were Thomas Van Soelen, associate superintendent of schools in Decatur, Ga., and Cedar Falls High School Principal Rich Powers.

The board earlier had planned to make a decision by late May so the new superintendent could start work July 1.

Van Zyl holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary and physical education from Northwestern College in Orange City, and a master’s degree in educational administration from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. He completed his doctorate in 2011 at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

Prior to coming to Fort Dodge, Van Zyl had served the Harrisonville Community Schools for the five years, three of those as superintendent. Prior to being named superintendent at Harrisonville, Van Zyl was the district’s assistant superintendent. He has also been a teacher and assistant principal in Texas and an assistant principal at Independence, Mo.

Van Zyl replaced Linda Brock, who resigned as superintendent in May 2010.