With the announcements of April Armstrong, incumbent Michael Cooper, Tuyet Dorau, Anne Johnson, Jean Jordison, Josh Kaine, Jeffrey Manthey, and Sarah Swisher running for three school board seats, the make-up of the school board could shift dramatically at a time when the boundaries of the schools are being discussed for revision, the budget is currently $4-6 million dollars in the red, and a new high school is scheduled to be built. For a non-partisan race, this one is shaping up to be anything but.
April Armstrong (R) is a Weber Elementary and Northwest Junior High parent who was on the Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) that recommended the closure of Roosevelt Elementary.
Tuyet Dorau (D) is a Coralvillian who wants to focus on helping the district overcome its $6 million budget shortfall and eventually build a third high school in the North Liberty area. She also wants to also look at settling the district's boundary issues and plan further ahead than five years.
Anne Johnson (I) is a North Libertarian who recently helped lead a petition drive to encourage the school board to work toward the third high school. The mother of a Penn Elementary third-grader and a 4-year-old son, she said she has been attending school board meetings in recent weeks and offering her opinion regularly. She said along with working on the third high school and the district's budget issues, she wants to work on improving communications between the board and the public.
Jean Jordison (R) has been on the district's Comprehensive School Improvement Plan Advisory Committee which was selected by Superintendent Lane Plugge.
Joshua "Josh" Kaine (D) is a Dad and member of the We Love our Neighborhood Schools group and is "hoping to represent those of us in the community who feel strongly about the value of smaller neighborhood schools. Supporting historic preservation, with an emphasis on obtaining a better balance of tax dollars spent on new vs. older schools. Working for greater transparency in communications with the public from the board and the district, including an emphasis on seeking public input well before plans are written."
Jeffrey Manthey (I) also a North Liberty resident wants to focus on the budget, boundary changes across the district, crowding at West High and disparity of students receiving free- and reduced-priced lunches in the district.
Sarah Swisher (D) co-chaired the Yes for Kids campaign for the $39 million bond referendum in 2003 said she wants to, among other things, promote income and social equity in the schools and expand the number of volunteers working in the district. She also is a local labor leader for the SEIU and a former county chair for the Democratic party.
John Deeth (D) has a different take. Well worth the read.
Note: Thanks to a tip from an anonymous comment I received, I updated this story to correct the party affiliation for Tuyet Dorau who I listed initially as Independent. I've also added links to other sources with more info about the candidates.