On Tuesday, four new school board members will be elected in Iowa City Community School District. Little Village conducted interviews with all seven candidates, asking each the same set of questions to allow voters to see how the candidates compare to each other on the important issues facing the district. Voters will also be deciding whether to approve on the ICSSD $191.5 million bond proposal and Little Village has collected letters from the community expressing support and opposition.
J.P. Claussen wants to make sure the teacher’s perspective is represented when policy is being created in the Iowa City Community School District. Claussen taught special education at West High School for 10 years, and is now an educator working in the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit. He was also president of the local teachers union, the Iowa City Education Association, from 2006 to 2008.
Janet Godwin wants to bring her leadership experience, both as a board member of various local community organizations and as chief operating officer of ACT, to the Iowa City Community School District. Godwin is running for one of the three school board seats with a four year term.
Shawn Eyestone wants to bring the analytical and people skills he has learned managing a high-tech laboratory to the Iowa City Community School District. Eyestone, the manager of the High Throughput Quality Control Department at Integrated DNA Technologies, is running for the opening on the school board created when LaTasha DeLoach resigned in July. If elected, Eyestone would serve for the remaining two years of DeLoach’s term.
Laura Westemeyer wants to bring her experience as both a business owner and someone who has worked with children with special needs to the Iowa City Community School District. Westemeyer founded the Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City, which provides services and therapy for children with special needs. She sold the center to ChildServe, an Iowa chain of child therapy facilities, last year.
Ruthina Malone wants to bring her experience as both an administrator and as a parent of an Iowa City school student to the Iowa City Community School District. Malone is the department administrator for Psychological and Brain Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa.
Karen Woltman wants to bring her experience as a mother of three children in public school and her long-time involvement with education issues to the Iowa City Community School District. For the past eight years, Woltman has written extensively on schools and education policy on her blog, Education in Iowa.
Charlie Eastham wants to bring the analytical skills he learned working in a lab, and the insights he’s learned as a community activist, to the Iowa City Community School District. Eastham retired in 2007 from the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, and in 2015 he received the Isabel Turner Award from the Iowa City Human Rights Commission in recognition of his work to advance human rights.
Little Village received 17 letters about the Iowa City school district bond question and has compiled them for easy access.