“What the best and wisest parent wants for his child, that must the community want for its children.”—John Dewey, educator and philosopher
Public schools bring communities together. They are centers of community pride and unite citizens in a common goal—to ensure all students have access to a high-quality education. All citizens, whether they have children in school or not, have a vested interest in public education. All citizens have ownership and oversight of their public schools and can influence policies and practices through their locally elected school boards.
The 2017 Iowa school board elections are Tuesday, September 12. The school board election is your opportunity to have a voice in the future of our school system.
In the North Tama school district, local voters will head to the polls to elect four community members to the board of education on September 12. Rod Zobel is running for re-election to the Director District 1 board seat. In Director District 2, David Calderwood is running for re-election. Incumbent Robert Cue and Mona Larsen are the candidates for Director District 3. In Director District 4, Kennan Seda and incumbent Cheryl Popelka are the candidates.
I want to personally thank all of these candidates for their interest in helping the North Tama County Community School District be the best it can be. We truly appreciate their willingness to serve!
School board members are unpaid volunteers. They face complex and demanding challenges, yet few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities. I hope that all North Tama citizens appreciate the vital contributions of our board members for the crucial role they play in the education of our children.
Their job entails an endless string of meetings and school functions to attend; reams of reports, agendas, proposals and other information to read and study; and a host of difficult decisions to make. We’ve been blessed to have wonderful school boards over the years, and we truly appreciate all of those who have served on the board or placed their name on the ballot as a candidate for the school board.
Voter turnout for school board elections in Iowa has been historically low in recent years. The Iowa Secretary of State’s office reports that the statewide voter turnout average was 6.5 percent in Iowa’s last five school board elections. Let’s show the rest of Iowa that North Tama is different – that the citizens of the North Tama County Community School District support their schools and want a voice in the future of education in this community. Mark your calendar and be sure to vote!
Polls will open at 12:00 noon and will close at 8:00 p.m. on September 12. Polling places for North Tama’s school elections are the Fire Station in Clutier and the North Tama Activity Center in Traer. If you’ve never voted in a school election before, you should be aware that in a few cases, your polling place is not at the same location where you vote for city, state, and federal general elections. To be sure, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.iowa.gov/ or contact the Tama County Auditor at (641) 484-2740. The auditor’s office can also help with any questions you may have about absentee voting.
I encourage your feedback on this column, along with any questions you may have. These SUPERINTENDENT NEWS & VIEWS columns, in addition to my blog and Twitter postings, are part of my plan for open communication with the community as a part-time superintendent with duties in another area school district. If you’ve missed any of my columns or would like to re-read or share them with your friends and family, you are welcome to visit my blog at http://redhawksupt.blogspot.com/where they are all posted. You are also welcome to follow me on Twitter (@DavidRobertHill) where I will occasionally post updates or other information not found on the blog.