Les Omotani

Virgil S. Lagomarcino Laureate

By the College of Education

For meritorious service and/or distinguished achievement in such areas as business and industry, education, and health.

Les OmotaniLes Omotani
B.Ed. Social Studies, English 1976
M.Ed. Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision 1980
Ph.D. Education 1992

Since joining West Des Moines Community Schools as Superintendent in 1995, Les Omotani has built a dynamic learning community in which people of all ages are actively involved in creating a world class future. Under Dr. Omotani’s leadership, inspired by Peter Senge’s “Systems Approach to Thinking,” West Des Moines has become one of the nation’s leading school systems. He accomplished this goal by shaping innovative alliances, including first-in-the-nation school partnerships with IBM and Xerox to develop state-of-the-art district technology, and a commitment to systematic planning.

Les earned top dissertation awards from his ISU department and the Iowa Association for Supervisions and Curriculum Development, and has written three student textbooks and many professional journal articles. He serves on national boards for several education, business, and civic organizations.

Perhaps most importantly, Les has a big heart. His friends frequently observe Les performing spontaneous acts of kindness, like spending hours listening to a troubled co-worker’s child on a moment’s notice. His sincere, prestigious service to education brings true honor to Iowa State.