Retired teacher Yates running for Iowa City school board

Longtime City High employee also was union president

  • Photo

CEDAR RAPIDS — Tom Yates, a longtime City High School teacher and former teachers union president, is running for the Iowa City school board, he said this week.

Yates, 61, retired from City High in 2011 after teaching language arts there for 31 years. He also was president of the Iowa City Education Association from 2009 to 2013.

Yates said the school board has been “dysfunctional” and too dependent upon district administrators for information. He said being retired would give him more time to gather information before making decisions.

In addition to mentioning the dysfunction of the board, Yates said also criticized the way school board meetings are run.

“I feel that the public has been shut out to some extent,” he said.

Yates said he would bring an understanding of the Iowa City Community School District as a whole, noting that his children attended schools on the district’s west side while he was a teacher at City High on its east side. He said he would support a mandate to revisit boundaries, also known as attendance zones, in the district every three years.

The Iowa City school board election on Sept. 8 could include two open seats.

Current board member Jeff McGinness said in April he will not run for reelection. And board member Orville Townsend said he would not run this fall when he was appointed to the board last year.

Board members Patti Fields and Marla Swesey also have expiring terms this year.

Parents Jason T. Lewis and Brianna Wills already have announced bids for the board.

Like what you're reading?

We make it easy to stay connected:

to our email newsletters
Download our free apps

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.