Cedar Rapids school board will fill Gary Anhalt’s seat by appointment

Gary Anhalt was first elected to the Cedar Rapids school board in 2009. Anhalt died unexpectedly on Feb. 4, 2021. — Cedar Rapids Community School District

The Cedar Rapids Board of Education decided during a special meeting on Monday how to fill the vacancy created by the death of board member Gary Anhalt.

The vacancy will be filled by appointment, and the individual appointed will hold the seat until the next school board election on Nov. 2.

Anhalt died earlier this month at the age of 74. His family said he was found outside while running his snowblower, the Gazette reported.

Anhalt had a career in education that spanned decades, starting with teaching science and physical education in Cedar Rapids. He launched the soccer program at Cedar Rapids schools and coached at Washington High School for more than 20 years. He was a founding member of the Iowa Soccer Coaches Association and a member of the Iowa Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame.

Anhalt was also a former president of the Cedar Rapids Education Association (CREA).

“Our hearts are heavy tonight after learning that former CREA President, CRCSD School Board Director Gary Anhalt passed away today,” CREA posted on Facebook on Feb. 5. “Gary was an incredible advocate for students, educators and families throughout his career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Anhalt retired in 2009 and was elected to the Cedar Rapids school board as an at-large member that same year. He was reelected to the board in 2013 and 2017.

"We are missing our dear friend and colleague, Director Gary Anhalt, tonight. We will be honoring Director Anhalt’s life…

Posted by Cedar Rapids Community School District on Monday, February 8, 2021