May is School Board Recognition Month

School Board Recognition Month is celebrated each May. Serving Perry have been, from left, Vice President Jim Lutmer, President Jim Baxter, the late Marjean Gries, Linda Andorf, Kenia Alarcon and Superintendent Lynn Ubben. Gries' son, Casey Baldwin, was appointed Monday to fill his mother's seat until the September elections. The board wished a photo including Gries be published to honor her dedication to the Perry School District, both as a board member and retired teacher.

Each May the Iowa Association of School Boards celebrate a month of recognition for the volunteer services provided by boards of education across the state. All 1,893 board seats in Iowa are locally elected and non-salaried positions.

There are currently 333 school districts in Iowa with five-member (219) or seven-member (114) boards. Each director serves a four-year term, either from distinct district boundaries or in an at-large capacity, with elections held the second Tuesday of each September in odd-numbered years.

Men hold 63 percent of board seats and women 37 percent. As of October, 2016, those boards serve the interests of communities in which a total of 485,147 students are enrolled in K-12 schools. The budgets for those districts was estimated, for the 2015-16 school year, at $5.6 billion.

In addition to local school boards, Iowa is divided into nine area education agencies (AEAs). Each are governed by nine members serving four-year terms, with those directors chosen by local school board members. The AEAs help local schools with special education and media and educational services.

Education in Iowa is also guided by 15 two-year community college boards. Such boards may have either five or nine members directly elected by local residents at the same time as local school board elections. Like other boards, the Community College members serve four-year terms.

Men hold 57 percent of the 79 AEA board seats and 72 percent of the 124 CC board seats. There are 10 nine-member CC boards, three with seven members and one each with eight members and five members.

Elected members of the Perry Community School District Board of Education include President Kyle Baxter, Vice President Jim Lutmer and Directors Kenia Alarcon and Linda Andorf. Casey Baldwin was appointed by the board Monday to fill the remainder of the term of his late mother, Marjean Gries. That seat, and the one held by Baxter, will be up for election in September.

Ann Wilson of Carroll serves as District 3 board member for Heartland AEA in Johnston. Wilson serves the ADM, AC/GC, Audubon, Carroll, Coon Rapids-Bayard, Exira-Elk Horn/Kimballton, Glidden-Ralston, Panorama, Perry and Waukee school districts.

Perry, along with Ballard, Boone, DC-G, Johnston, Madrid, Ogden, United, Woodward-Granger and portions of SE Valley (formerly SE Grand-Webster) form District 2 in the DMACC area. Fred Greiner is the current representative from D2 on the nine-member DMACC Board.



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