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School of Education

June 1, 2019

Dear Hiring Committee Chairperson:

Please accept this letter as an indication of my highest regard for Kara Paulson, who is seeking school leadership roles. I
have gotten to know Kara as her advisor for the past two years, and I have found her to be among the finest teachers and
aspiring administrators with whom I have worked in my role as a professor at Drake University. She has proven herself as
an exemplary master teacher and respected leader in her building, a true lifelong learner with a deep desire to continually
improve and hone her professional practice. Kara is a thoughtful, intelligent, resourceful, and culturally proficient educator
with a great passion for collaborating with faculty, families, and other stakeholders to ensure that all students can succeed.

Based on Kara’s work during her time in our program, I would rate the quality of her work and the level of her engagement
as among the most impressive I have seen. She has a high degree of empathy and excellent communication skills that she
employs effectively to develop positive, respectful relationships with colleagues and students alike. I believe Kara
represents the best of the future of our profession, an assessment that is shared by her other professors and mentors.

Further, I believe that Kara has displayed a high level of readiness to step into building and district administrative roles,
due to her extensive background, skill set, and experiences related to leadership functions, such as using data and evidence
to determine areas of need with regard to student learning, and a research-based, collaborative problem solving approach to
effectively address these needs. Through a similarly impressive set of skills, dispositions, and actions, I believe she is well
positioned to enact her vision of excellence through:
• A deeply student-centered philosophy of learning and leadership, and a gift for building collective capacity of
teachers, students, parents and other stakeholders to bring it about.
• Direct involvement or leadership of significant initiatives, including Professional Learning Communities, Positive
Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and modeling/building project-based learning environments.
• Knowledge and training in special education.
• Membership on her building’s Instructional Leadership Team, along with training, competencies, and experiences
in professional development, cognitive coaching, planning and scheduling, hiring, mentoring, and involvement in
the Iowa Department of Education’s Self-Assessment of MTSS Implementation for her school.
• Optimizing educational resources and efficiency through knowledge, training, and practice in a systems approach
and continual improvement strategies and tools.

In addition to the aforementioned skill set, Kara possesses a wonderful set of interpersonal skills. She is kind, authentic,
and welcoming in nature, and models integrity and professional ethics. She is also poised in her response to high-pressure
situations, a valuable quality for any school administrator. As such, I submit that Kara Paulson is well positioned to
provide exceptional service as an educational leader, and would recommend her without reservation. If I can elaborate,
please do not hesitate to contact me at (515) 271-2082 or at


Dr. Randal Peters

Associate Professor
Drake University School of Education