Driven by love, concern for all kids

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For 12 years I served our community as the founder and owner of the Children’s Center, providing therapy services for children with special needs. As I built the Center, I learned a great deal from the families we served. I saw their tireless dedication to their children and we created programs to support their work.

I also have worked to support the immigrant families in our community. I have heard their stories of trauma, and have seen their strength to hope that life would be better in America.

My purpose for running for the ICCSD school board is driven by my love and concern for all of our children. We need to address the growing community concerns related to our district’s leadership, such as the fact we have received three federal and state department of education censures in less than six years, and we have a confirmed school climate that is abusive toward staff, students and parents/guardians. As school board members, we need to ensure ICCSD represents the positive values of our community and the families the district serves.

ICCSD families and stakeholders should not be fearful of asking the administration questions or requesting changes to policy. We should have open communication, with community members able to ask anything without fear of retaliation.

I want to ensure services are provided to all of our students, which can only happen if we change the current retaliatory culture within our district. We have a lot of work ahead of us to rebuild trust within our community.

My ability to listen to all stakeholders, as well as my strong relationship with many immigrant and special needs families, will be instrumental in rebuilding trust with marginalized groups as they know I share their concerns and will work to resolve them.

• Laura Westemeyer of Iowa City is seeking a four-year term on the Iowa City school board

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