Principal's Message

Sara Bennis

Sara Bennis

Administration, Cardinal Elementary

Phone: (563) 652-5157
Email Sara Bennis

Hello! I’m Sara Bennis and I have the privilege of working alongside the amazing staff at Cardinal Elementary as the Building Principal. Along with this role I get to meet and greet an abundance of smiling young faces eager to learn and grow as they enter our doors at Cardinal Elementary. I also enjoy meeting with the many families and community members who have been influential and supportive in the work we do at Cardinal. I am honored to serve in this role and look forward to the opportunities ahead!

A little about myself. I grew up in Eastern Iowa, the daughter of a school teacher and a manufacturer who also served in the US Army. I have two sisters, 4 nephews, and one niece on my maternal side. After graduating high school I attended the University of Northern Iowa for my undergraduate. My graduate program for School Leadership comes from Dordt University. I have been in education for over 20 years as a Title 1 Teacher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade teacher and served as the instructional coach at Cardinal for 6 years. Along the way I married a farmer/landscaper from Delmar, Iowa where we live with our middle school twins, Drew and Reagan. Through marriage I gained two more sisters and a brother (spouses as well) plus 7 nieces and 1 nephew. When I am not watching the twins in their numerous activities I enjoy spending time with my family and continuing on in my fitness journey. Something unique about me is that I was born at 11:25pm on 11/25. One day I hope to experience skydiving. I have loved being a part of the Maquoketa community for the past 7 years and enjoy the many great things and people Maquoketa has to offer.

At Cardinal Elementary we work to complete the mission and vision of the Maquoketa Community School District, ensuring all students and staff are learning at high levels by developing a culture of collaboration and communication that supports continuous improvement for all. We have collaborated to create and establish three core values that we reflect on as we plan instruction and multiple other opportunities for our students. They read as follows:

  • At Cardinal Elementary, we value the importance of making ALL students feel like they are loved, heard, and seen.

  • At Cardinal Elementary, WE value and believe in the development of the whole child which includes academically, physically, and socially/emotionally.

  • At Cardinal Elementary we value collaboration and teamwork within our building, families, and community, as we synergize to achieve our goals.

My personal purpose in leadership is to challenge others (young and matured) and myself in seeking innovative ways to lead that will create a world that is better when we exit than it was when we entered. I believe we all have genius inside us and I am passionate about helping others to discover their gifts and talents while also encouraging them to share these with those around them in leadership roles. Relationships are key to our success and we hold them at a high value as we get to know more about our learners, staff, and families. Please stop in anytime you have questions, concerns, or just want to tell us more about yourself or learn more about us. You can also contact me at (563) 652-5157, or Email Sara Bennis.

“Leadership is about communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” 

~ Stephen Covey