Anhalt seeks re-election to Cedar Rapids school board

Retired teacher seeking second term on board

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Gary Anhalt, who holds one of three at-large seats on the Cedar Rapids Community School District's school board, filed for re-election Tuesday morning.

A retired elementary teacher who worked for 40 years in the district, Anhalt was elected to the board in 2009 and said he is running for his second term "to continue the work that we've started."

"Most of the term has really been consumed with flood recovery and some of the problems that resulted as part of that. Reorganization, looking at facilities and all of that, and I think there’s a lot of work yet to do," he said.

The Cedar Rapids resident said his run isn't motivated by one particular concern but named declining enrollment, staff turnover and 21 century education as the biggest issues that the district will face in the next four years.

"I think we’ve tried to do that the last few years, having a very uniform and even across the district way we deliver education," Anhalt said, noting that the hiring of Associate Superintendent for Innovation, School Improvement and Technology Trace Pickering is a strong step down that path. "Certainly what we've done in the past is good, but I don’t think it necessarily served all students. So we can look at different offerings. Not only will that attract students, I think it will also attract staff, maybe teachers who are looking at different options for delivery."

He called being the lone vote against closing Polk Elementary School one of his proudest achievements from his first term.

Anhalt occupies one of three board positions up for the Tuesday, Sept. 10 election. He follows Keith Westercamp, who represents District 3, as the second candidate and board member to officially enter the race.

Nancy Humbles, the board's District 2 director, has not yet filed for re-election. She, like Anhalt, joined the board in 2009.

The filing period for the election began on July 8 and runs through Thursday, Aug. 1. The deadline for candidates to withdraw is Tuesday, Aug. 6.

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