Derrick Joel – the son of Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel – has been chosen as superintendent of Raymond Central Public Schools.

The Raymond Central Board of Education unanimously chose the younger Joel over three other finalists to succeed Superintendent Paul Hull.

Joel is now principal of North Polk High School in Alleman, Iowa. He started his career in education as a teacher at Tri County Public Schools in DeWitt.

From there, he became a teacher for Ankeny Community Schools in Ankeny, Iowa, then an assistant principal. He then became principal at North Polk and still lives in Ankeny.

The other finalists for the Raymond Central job were Waverly High School Principal Ryan Ricenbaw, Beatrice High School Principal Jason Sutter and Springfield Platteview Community Schools Director of Student Support Services Angela Simpson.

Harriet Gould, president of the Raymond Central School Board, said Joel met all the criteria both the board and a community survey had identified as important.

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“We were looking for someone who would move our district forward, take us that next step,” she said. “Someone very interested in students being first ... just overall he seemed to have the energy, the dedication, the skill set that matched what we were looking for.”

Also, Gould said, the district he works for in Iowa is similar to Raymond Central in that it is rural, has multiple school sites and is close to an urban area.

Like his dad, Derrick Joel earned his undergraduate degree from Doane College. He earned his Master of Education from Iowa State University and his superintendent specialist license from Drake University, where he is finishing his doctorate.

Steve Joel, a New York City native, came to Nebraska to play football at Doane. He was superintendent at Beatrice Public Schools and Grand Island Public Schools before taking the helm at LPS.

The younger Joel and his wife, Kari, have two children, Jackson, 4, and Charlotte, 1, and are expecting their third child.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist.


Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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