(Des Moines, Iowa) The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) announces the appointment of a key leadership position. Jason Sodders was recently selected as the superintendent of the Boys State Training School (BSTS) in Eldora, effective January 7, 2022. Sodders currently serves as the school's deputy and interim superintendent.

DHS conducted a broad search and extensive interview process, which included DHS leadership, the Office of the Attorney General, the BSTS Citizen's Advisory Board which is comprised of the Hardin County Sheriff and the Hardin County Attorney; and numerous BSTS team members, including front-line staff.

"After a thorough search and interview process, my team and I came to the same conclusion that Jason was the right choice to lead the Boys State Training School," said DHS Director Kelly Garcia. "We need someone who understands the youth on campus and someone who understands the evolution of the school-where it has been and where it's heading. The school is undergoing a number of changes and we need a leader who can see the facility through this transition, while keeping BSTS positioned to meet the challenging needs of the youth we serve."

Sodders has a long history with the school. He began working for BSTS in 2000 as a youth services worker. He was promoted to counselor in 2014; and to security director in 2018. In 2020, Sodders was appointed deputy superintendent; and in August 2021 as interim superintendent.

Sodders' goal as superintendent is to strengthen BSTS' ability to serve youth with challenging backgrounds and needs, while enhancing safety. "I want to ensure consistency and stability within the facility to attain that goal," he said. "A focus on staff and youth safety is primary while we work to continue therapeutic initiatives to positively impact the population."

Sodders holds a bachelor's degree in psychology with minors in sociology and criminal justice from Upper Iowa University. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He lives in Eldora and is deeply committed to the community.

The Boys State Training School opened in 1873 and provides individualized treatment, rehabilitation, and education programs for young men 12 to 18 years old who have been adjudicated delinquent.