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School Board Election Filing Period Underway

By Staff | Jul 7, 2009

The official filing period for the upcoming school board elections in Iowa opened on Monday, July 6, for candidates wishing to file nomination papers for elections. Nominations will be accepted through Thursday, July 30. Iowans who are passionate about education are urged to consider running for election to their local school boards, in order to ensure a bright future for all children and communities across the state.

The 2009 School Board elections will be held Tuesday, September 8. In Palo Alto County, each of the four school districts will have vacancies for the election on their respective boards, as well as a seat on the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees.

In the Emmetsburg Community School District, the terms of board members Karla Anderson, David VanOosbree, and Kent Egland will be up for re-election.

In the Graettinger Community School District, the terms of board members Kevin Jensen and William Brown, Jr. will be up for election.

For the Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School District, the terms of board members Daniel Geelan, Barry Fischer, and Susan Sikora will be up for election.

In the West Bend-Mallard Community School District, the terms of board members Vera Banwart, Doug Schwartzkopf, and Pat Vonnahme will be up for election.

Voters living in Director District VI of Iowa Lakes Community College will be voting on the seat of Pat Kibbie of Emmetsburg. Kibbie was appointed to fill the unexpired term of John Hand, who resigned in 2008.

Starting this year, school board members will be elected to serve four-year terms. Beginning with this fall’s 2009 election, elections will take place in odd-numbered years. Previously, school board members were elected to three-year terms, so some current board members are completing those terms or may have shorter terms due to the transition between systems. Those elected receive no pay. Experienced school board members say that the rewards of service lie in meeting the needs of children and communities.

Nomination papers for school board seats are available from local school board secretaries. School board candidates must obtain the signatures of at least one-percent of the qualified electors of the district or 50 electors, whichever is less, but at least ten signatures. A free guide for school board candidates, titled “Leaders Who Care,” is available upon request from the local school district board secretary or from the Iowa Association of School Boards (www.ia-sb.org).

Pat Swanson is the secretary of the Emmetsburg Community School Board, while Lisa Chapman is the board secretary for the Graettinger Community School Board. Carla Montag serves as the board secretary for the West Bend-Mallard Community School District and Regina Reynolds serves as the secretary of the Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Board.

Strong leadership in every school district is critical to moving education forward in Iowa. School board members play significant roles in their communities–members must have leadership, vision, and dedication. School board members are locally elected public officials charged with accountability for student learning, determining educational goals, setting policy, overseeing school finances, and other duties. Across Iowa, more than 2,000 men and women serve on 362 local school boards, guiding the education of nearly 480,000 young people at an annual expenditure of more than $4.4 billion.

For more information on school elections, contact the Palo Alto County Auditor’s Office at 852-2924.