Social worker hopes to bring skills to Iowa City School Board

Coralville resident Lori Roetlin has launched a campaign for a four-year seat on the Iowa City school board.

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IOWA CITY — Coralville resident Lori Roetlin announced this week she will be seeking a four-year term in the upcoming Iowa City school board elections.

Roetlin, 42, currently works at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she has been employed for the past 17 years as a social worker. She has experience with children and families through her time as a social worker, something she expects to help her during her campaign and if becoming elected to the board.

“I have gained a great deal of experience working with children and families, as well as with group dynamics and conflict resolution,” she said in an email. “My education, training, and experience also deal with people in somewhat stressful situations. Being able to bring a calming tone to discussions of emotional topics is a strength that I have developed.”

When it comes to priorities in the district, Roetlin said in a news release she will focus on increasing educational opportunities, working with district and community members to form a “common sense” redistricting plan, use data-driven approaches for making decisions, and promoting more cooperation and communication.

“All of these things are connected,” she said. “Insufficient funding makes good stewardship of resources absolutely critical. Good information, utilized with common sense, informs decisions and approaches that will help the district manage growth and the needs of all students without being overly disruptive to other students.”

Which, she said, in turn creates better cooperation between administrators, teachers, board members, and the community.

In terms of equity across the district, Roetlin said she does not believe there is one solution to solve all of the issues at hand.

“Students and families face different barriers and have different concerns,” she said. “My approach is to look separately at each population where the educational outcomes are the most challenged, and talk to the teachers and staff in those buildings, as well as the families, to determine what would be the best way to serve those students.”

She also said she thinks this approach is applicable when it comes to learning in the classroom.

“I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to success for all our children,” she said. “I support trade skills courses being offered as we want to be sure to provide the best opportunity to success for every student, including those that are not college bound.”

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