SCHOOL BOARD: Three Incumbents Running

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There are 10 candidates running for four open spots on the Des Moines School Board.

That includes three incumbents hoping to keep their seat on the board.

The Des Moines School Board has seen it all. From a scandal that brought down a superintendent to declining tax revenue.

Three board members helped guide the district through the challenges and hope to continue by winning another term.

“I want to be around the horseshoe to make sure we`re making the right decisions for our kids and how that ultimately impacts our community,” says incumbent Teree Caldwell-Johnson.

Incumbent Connie Boesen says the district is heading in the right direction.

“There are a lot of great things going on in the district we see all academic indicators going up, we have the achievement gap narrowing, and graduation rates are going up, and in the best financial condition we’ve been,” says Boesen.

Incumbent Joe Jongewaard says he’s running for re-election because there is more he wants to see happen.

“I think there is more to do for the students so they can have a fantastic education, we need to turn the page and move forward from where we are,” says Jongewaard.

Jongewaard was just appointed to the board last year.

He says the board can do better by hearing both sides of an issue before making a decision.

He also wants to see more resources in the classroom.

“We need to put the resources we have and put them towards the kids, we have 20 million dollars more in ending balance this year than we had last year.  That money shouldn`t be piling up in an account somewhere it should be in the classroom,” says Jongewaard.

Caldwell-Johnson has served on the board since 2006, if re-elected she wants to focus on legislative priorities and making sure students are given the right tools to succeed.

“I think the whole notion around student achievement and the minority achievement gap is something that is critically important to me.  I also think the whole notion around how we better adapt our systems to meet the growing needs of students in poverty and also our large ELL population,” says Caldwell-Johnson.

Boesen was first was elected in 2003.

Her goals include getting additional funding for the English Language Learners Program and providing more resources for the city’s youngest learners.

“I’ve been an advocate since I got on the board for preschool and lobbying additional federal funding and local grants to expand our preschool even before the universal preschool.  I think we still need to strengthen that,” says Boesen.

There are four seats up for grabs on the Des Moines School Board next week’s election.

Five candidates; Rob Barron, Connie Boesen, Joe Jongewaard, Heather Ryan and Shane Schulte are vying for two at-large seats on the board.

In district two; Touissant Cheatom and Edward Linebach are competing for the open seat.

In district four; Darlene Blake, Terre Caldwell-Johnson and Joel Doyle on the ballot.

Election day is next Tuesday, September 10th.

Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

To meet the other seven candidates click here and here.