CEDAR FALLS — Two members of the Board of Education whose terms are up this fall won’t be running to retain their seats, but others have filed to fill their positions in the Sept. 12 election.
Susan Lantz and Doug Shaw are not seeking re-election to the Cedar Falls Community Schools’ board. Jim Kenyon, who is halfway through his four-year term on the board, earlier announced that he is stepping down after the election.
Lantz has served on the board since 2004 and Shaw is finishing his first term.
“This has been a really hard decision,” said Lantz, a former teacher and volunteer whose five children went to district schools. “It’s been such an honor to serve.”
However, she added, “It’s time for me to move on,” noting she will continue volunteering with the Cedar Falls Community Schools Foundation. “I’m with the school foundation almost full-time.”
Choosing not to run for re-election “was a gradual decision” for Shaw, a mathematics professor at the University of Northern Iowa. “It was an amazing experience,” he added, “and I think people that care about education should do it.”
Joyce Coil, 60, of 3723 Pheasant Drive, is seeking re-election. Her term is also ending, but she has filed for Kenyon’s seat.
In the fall of 2015, she came up short in a six-way race for four at-large seats on the board. Coil then won a February 2016 special election to fill former board member Jim Brown’s seat after he was elected mayor of Cedar Falls.
“My tenure would have been up in two years,” said Coil, referring to the seat she lost in 2015 while explaining her reasoning in filing for the two-year term. The longtime board member had served eight prior terms when she was defeated.
“For me, it’s finishing out what I started. I still believe we have things that I would like to be a part of.” She particularly noted the hopes of district officials to pass a bond issue referendum and build a new high school, replacing the current one. Coil works as the hospice development coordinator for the Allen Hospital Foundation, for a Cedar Falls dentist and as a researcher for Amperage.
Three other candidates have filed to run for the three four-year terms, but are not competing with Coil to finish Kenyon’s term. They include Jim Moody and Eric Giddens, both of whom have run once before for a seat on the board, and newcomer Sasha Wohlpart.
“I’m a firm believer that education is a cornerstone of any community,” said Moody, 42, of 1702 Walnut St. He is “invested in Cedar Falls and, with my past experiences of serving on Planning and Zoning (city board) and many other boards, I just believe I can bring many positive attributes to the board.” Moody, who has been on the district’s facilities and bond issue committees, is a partner with Safety Solutions where he works as a private consultant in construction and other industries.
“I am passionate about education and its connection to our community and community development,” said Giddens, 43, of 1416 Madison St. “I am also very fiscally responsible and interested in being at the table when decisions are made about taxpayer dollars.” The former junior high school teacher and current program manager at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI is also concerned about environmental sustainability and believes “our school system should be a leader in that.”
Wohlpart, 45, of 2303 Oxford Lane, is running because “I believe in the transformative power of education for students and communities.” The former high school and university teacher and environmental educator — now a homemaker and community volunteer — said, “I know what it is to be in a classroom and the exciting opportunities that exist there.” She praised the district’s educational system, adding, “I look forward to and want to be part of that tradition in Cedar Falls.”
As of Monday morning, fewer candidates had filed for two other metro education boards in the Sept. 12 election.
Shanlee McNally is seeking re-election to her at-large seat on the Waterloo Board of Education. Mike Kindschi, Director District 1 board member, previously announced that he will not run for another term. No one has filed for that position or the Director District 4 seat currently held by Angela Weekley.
On the Hawkeye Community College Board of Trustees, Joan Webster-Vore of Hudson has filed for re-election to the Director District 7 seat. John Allan of Cedar Falls previously announced that he is running for the Director District 9 seat. Trustee Dave Krejchi is not planning to seek re-election to the position.
No one has filed yet for the three other Hawkeye seats up for election. Those seats and the people that hold them are Director District 3, John Schuller of Grundy Center; Director District 4, Gene Ficken of Independence; and Director District 5, Bruce Clark of Waterloo.
Anyone who wants to file for these or for the school or community college boards that serve their communities must do so by 5 p.m. Aug. 3. Nominating petitions and an affidavit of candidacy must be turned in to the office of the school or community college board secretary.