David Welter ’76

David Welter '76What role can a liberal arts education play in the workplace? David Welter ’76 says it was perfect preparation for him in education, a career that saw the Cornell alum honored as the 2012 Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

Welter has been principal of Holmes Junior High in Cedar Falls since 2000 following stops in administration, teaching, and coaching in Sioux City, Iowa State University, and elsewhere in Cedar Falls. In addition to being honored in the State Capitol in Des Moines, this fall he was recognized in Washington, D.C., by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Not one to waste time, while on Capitol Hill he plans to interact with other winners to “pick their brains on effective strategies” and meet with members of Congress regarding education issues.

Four years at Cornell, honing skills such as problem-solving, analytical reasoning, collaboration, leadership and perspective taking in multiple disciplines, were essential for his success.

Welter liked history and thought about law at first, but had no career path in mind. Classmates provided diversity and experiences that helped him mature, but faculty provided “aha” moments.

In particular, William Heywood and the Rev. Richard Thomas fueled his passion for history and education. Professor Melvin Hetland convinced him that, with his growing interest in leadership and mentoring, education was noble and necessary.

“I decided this would allow me to continue pursuing things I most enjoyed, while incorporating them into a career in which I would enjoy going to work every day,” Welter said.

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