CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Educational Leadership Legacy Award is given annually to a UNI alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated educational leadership core values. This year's award goes to Erik Anderson, principal of Cedar Rapids Prairie High School (CRPHS). The award is being presented at a CRPHS staff meeting at 10 a.m., Friday, June 5.
Anderson was nominated by CRPHS staff and students for his exemplary leadership in learning, promotion of positive change and having a focused vision for a better future for the high school. According to students, Anderson has helped transform the school into a place that "shines with energy and pride. Mr. Anderson did this the moment he stood up in front of 1,000 students and inspired us all with only three sentences, 'Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of Prairie.'"
At the start of his principalship, Anderson began an initiative called "Our Kids," which is a celebration of the staff and their strengths. "Our Kids" was a "cultural shift of believing that all of our kids could learn at high levels, and that we could do amazing things to support this learning," said CRPHS teachers.
Anderson is a two-time graduate of UNI and has worked at CRPHS since 2000. He started as a math teacher and department head, served as the assistant football coach for several years, and become the associate principal and is currently the principal.
Nominations for the Educational Leadership Legacy Award are submitted by school board members, community members, teachers, students and other staff who know of a UNI alum of the principalship, superintendency or doctoral programs.