Across Dallas County, 22 residents, including current incumbents, will be vying for open seats in next Tuesday’s (Sept. 10) school board election.
Candidates who are looking to fill those seats are encouraged to consider the needs of their respective schools Waukee Superintendent Dr. David Wilkerson said.
"School board members are entrusted with one of the most important responsibilities that can be assigned to any group of citizens-that of helping to shape the education of the community’s young people," he said. "As part of that role in the community they need to be supportive of the school, listen to their constituents and serve as liaisons between the school and community." As community members, West Central Valley Superintendent David Arnold added board members should also take into consideration the needs of the students.
"The result has been a complete transformation of our district’s facilities, curriculum and the overall positive environment within our school community," Arnold said. "They (the board) represent views and perspectives from the various corners of WCV (West Central Valley), and when they come together they discuss issues important to themselves, but (also)…for the students of WCV as a whole."
Responsibilities of school board members include adopting a balanced annual budget, issuing financial reports, adopting the school calendar, negotiating contracts with employee unions, approving curriculum materials and constructing schools.
Establishing a vision for the community’s schools that reflects a consensus of the board, community and staff is what Woodward-Granger Superintendent Brad Anderson hopes to find in the candidates and why he’s encouraging community members to vote.
"Schools often partner with community leaders and share community programs (library), safety awareness/programs (fire/drug/disaster), and a variety of other resources (food pantry, immunizations) in the best interest of all students within community," he said. "In addition, local schools continue to educate the citizens of tomorrow. For these reasons alone, all families in the community need to become involved with their local school boards and elect individuals who will continue to educate, collaborate and communicate these critical efforts."
Even non-school related community member should be aware of how a board functions, Arnold added.
"Local school boards provide for the overall educational needs of its students," he said. "Students often work within their community with work skills taught within the school environment. The student’s ability to become a productive employee and active citizens may impact their community and its citizens, even those citizens that do not have students enrolled in the district."
Adel-DeSoto-Minburn Superintendent Greg Dufoe also said those residents without students enrolled at A-D-M consider running for open seats because they have a passion toward the district.
"There are many people without children in school who are passionate about our district and help to make it a great place," he said.
Candidates running for open seats include:
Rod Collins and Kelli Book for two open A-D-M School Board seats;
Kyle Baxter for two open Perry School Board seats;
Brian Gordon, Mark Smith, Liz Thompson, Rebecca Trimble for three open Van Meter School Board seats;
Sarah Bowman, David Cunningham, Dale Finnegan, Wendy Liskey, Patrick Nehls, Mary Thomas Scheve and Nancy Umsted for four open Waukee School Board seats;
Harry Light, Nyle Godwin, Martin Doud and Jenyse Belden for open West Central Valley seats; and,
Colleen Sharlau, Michael Musich, Kelly Squires, Rebecca Carroll for open Woodward-Granger School Board seats.
Polling locations are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and determined by residents’ respective school districts. A map of school districts in Dallas County can be found at http://geodallas.co.dallas.ia.us/downloads/SchoolDistricts.pdf.
Polling places for those in their respective districts include:
A-D-M Community School District-Adel Library, 303 S 10th Street in Adel and DeSoto City Hall, 405 Walnut St. in DeSoto;
Perry Community School District- McCreary Community Building, 1800 Pattee St. in Perry;
Van Meter Community School District- Van Meter United Methodist Church, 100 Hazel St. in Van Meter;
Waukee Community School District-Waukee School Administration Building, 560 SE University Ave. in Waukee;
West Central Valley Community School District-Zion Lutheran Church, 309 Marshall St. in Dexter, Menlo Community Building, 417 Sherman St., in Menlo, Redfield American Legion, 1116 Thomas St. in Redfield, and First Congregational Church, 224 N Division St., in Stuart; and,
Woodward-Granger Community School District- Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 1910 Locust St. in Granger and Woodward United Methodist Church, 108 W 5th St. in Woodward.
Any questions on polling locations can be directed to the Dallas County Auditor’s Office at 515-993-6914.