Superintendent Lynn Ubben announced her plan for early-retirement this June after working for the Perry School District since 2009. Her June departure will be a closing chapter on her 41 years working in education. Ubben and her husband Dave Ubben plan to stay in the Perry area after her retirement.
“We’ve been married thirty-nine years and we’ve lived five different places,” Ubben said. “It’s been a fun journey.”
With an educational background dating back to 1976, Lynn Ubben has held a number of titles during her career. Ubben first began her work as a Special Education Teacher at the Fredericksburg Community School District in 1976, later adding “Coach” to her title a year later at North Fayette Community School District.
“I liked the variety of it,” Ubben commented on taking on both roles as a Special Education Teacher and a Varsity Coach. “It gave you different experiences.”
During the years of 1984 through 1998, Ubben expanded her education by completing her Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Special Education at Northwest Missouri State University. While Ubben was only looking to obtain her Masters in Special Education, Ubben’s peers pushed her to take on a larger role after she got the opportunity to teach a class on Special Education to peers who were studying to become a Principle.
“People kept saying, ‘You really need to be a Principal, you need to be somebody that has that background,” Ubben said.
And she did just that.
While continuing her role at South Tama County Community School District, she also received her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education Administration and her Principal Endorsement at Iowa State University. Ubben later became a Principle at Central Dewitt where she had Grand Mile and Elton, two elementary schools that were ten miles apart.
She looked forward to seeing each of the kids, joking that she developed a method to get them to remember her: “Where have you been, Mrs. Ubben?”
She later moved to the Iowa Falls Community School District from 1993-2004. Before she entered the Perry School District in 2004, Ubben landed her first gig as a Superintendent at Windfield-Mt. Union Community School District.
Although Ubben had not planned on leaving, she was interested after she met and interviewed with the Perry School Board.
“When I met the Board, they were fun, I could tell they cared about the kids,” Ubben commented. “They were so impressive.”
Ubben still remembers the board who hired her: Kathy Powell, Dan Wilhelmi, Derek VanKirk, Scott Seeley, Dave Menz.
Ubben doesn’t forget any face and makes a point to let her students know that they are appreciated.
Her passion for education and outreach has allowed her to make close-knit relationships with her students she calls “her kids,” as well as hold a permanent spot in the fan section at sporting events.
“Everyone is welcome and embraced,” Ubben said.
It’s common to catch her cheering for the Bluejays on the sideline of a football team, in the stands of a basketball game, on the bleachers of a swim meet or hugging someone who missed their time by a second on the turf of a track meet.
She won’t miss it. A final speech contest, a state basketball game, a state wrestling tournament. She wants students to know that she’s there and she cares.
“They know I care about them, but they also know that I have high expectations for them,” Ubben said.
Recently, Ubben’s son, Mitchell, wrote her a note expressing his gratitude towards growing up with a mother that put all children first.
“I have always advocated for kids,” Ubben said. “I have spent my whole life advocating for kids.”
Superintendent Lynn Ubben will work for the Perry Community School District until her contract is up on June 30.
“I just think our staff here gives a lot of extra support to our family and kids,” Ubben said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way; it’s been a great experience.”
Ubben looks forward to spending quality time with her family members, Dave Ubben, Molly and Jamie Norton, twin grandsons Jace and Zeke Norton, and son Mitch Ubben.