Founder and Executive Director
Recognized as one of Iowa’s most progressive leaders of intervention strategies in education, Dr. Cynthia Knight brings an outstanding set of credentials to Iowa Net High Academy/Jordahl Academy. Dr. Knight received her BA from the University of Iowa, MAE from the University of Northern Iowa, and her Doctorate from Capella University She
Recognized as one of Iowa’s most progressive leaders of intervention strategies in education, Dr. Cynthia Knight brings an outstanding set of credentials to Iowa Net High Academy/Jordahl Academy. Dr. Knight received her BA from the University of Iowa, MAE from the University of Northern Iowa, and her Doctorate from Capella University She has addressed the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Alternative Education Association, and the Iowa Association of Alternative Education. Dr. Knight has served as a college professor for Viterbo University, Upper Iowa University, and Iowa State University.
Prior to launching Iowa Net High Academy/Jordahl Academy, Knight served for seven years in the Iowa Department of Education where she structured programs in special education, math, science, social studies, language arts/reading. She was co-chair of the state’s Instructional Decision Making initiative, served on the co-teaching task force, behavior supports task force, Every Student Counts and Every Learner Inquires teams. Prior to the Iowa Department of Education, Dr. Knight taught in small and large school districts in Iowa and Texas.
Concerned with the need to identify and provide innovative techniques to dropouts or students who have exhausted the school’s educational offerings, Dr. Knight opened Iowa Net High Academy in 2011. As the founder, and Executive Director of the academy, Knight has developed strategies and techniques that identify individual learning styles and then prescribes an optimal cognitive learning path for each individual. Utilizing personalized online learning techniques, local partnerships, and service-learning, 84 % of Iowa Net High Academy’s students have earned their high school diplomas. Every graduate is employed or going to college. Seeing the dropout crisis growing and the need for quality education for students who have no public school to call home, Knight created the Jordahl Academy in 2017.
In addition to Iowa Net High Academy/Jordahl Academy, Knight also served as Mayor of her hometown, Union, Iowa, plays piano and is the choir director for her church, Community Church of Union, and has a tea room that accepts free-will donations for the Jordahl Academy, Ivadel Ruth’s Tea Room. Service to her community and to those who need a little help is her passion.
Don Jordahl was an instrumental force in the realization of this academy, named in his honor. He understood the need for an innovative approach to learning in an environment rich with technology and full of possibilities. Dr. Knight met Don on a plane ride, a conversation began around hopes and "what ifs." The rest has been a decade of transformational education across the state of Iowa through a school without walls and now the opening of Jordahl Academy. We all wish Don was here to see his mentoring and encouragement come to fruition. You are in our hearts always.
Donald H. Jordahl