Agnes Samuelson


"Perhaps no Iowa woman has had more impact on education and the teaching profession than has Agnes Samuelson."
— Iowa State Education Association, 1976


Agnes Samuelson, an influential force in Iowa education for over 30 years, was born in Shenandoah in 1887. She served as state Superintendent of Public Instruction—then an elective office—from 1927 to 1939 and was also president of the National Education Association and executive secretary of the Iowa State Education Association. As Page County Superintendent of Schools, Samuelson gained national recognition as an authority on providing services to rural schools and the need for school consolidation. She urged adoption of the current school-aid formula that provides equal education for all Iowa children regardless of the property wealth in their home district. A Des Moines elementary school was named for Samuelson after her death in 1963 at age 76. Samuelson was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1976.