Education

Incumbents Roesler, Eyestone keep Iowa City school board seats, and newcomers Williams, Eastham join

Equity, diversity, hiring new superintendent are priorities, 4 winners say

Anna Manternach of Iowa City reviews her ballot before turning it in with 4-year-old Nora at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
Anna Manternach of Iowa City reviews her ballot before turning it in with 4-year-old Nora at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
/

IOWA CITY — School district voters picked incumbents Tuesday, re-electing Paul Roesler and Shawn Eyestone and adding Lisa Williams and Charlie Eastham to the Iowa City Community School District board.

Seven candidates were on the ballot for four at-large seats on the seven-member school board.

The new members will join J.P. Claussen, Janet Godwin and Ruthina Malone on the board.

Election results: Complete results from the Iowa City school board election

The board has had a high rate of turnover, and no incumbents ran for re-election in the last election.

Roesler, first elected in a special 2016 election, is the most senior member of the board.

Williams, 40, an assistant U.S. attorney, led in balloting with almost 75 percent of the vote. She said she values those board incumbents.

“They have a wealth of knowledge I think I can learn from,” she said.

Roesler, 43, works at Scheels. He said he thinks the new members will work well with the ones now serving.

“The members that were elected and the members that are staying on will be a strong cohesive unit,” he said.

Roesler and Eyestone, 47, an analytical lab manager, agreed that hiring the district’s next superintendent will be one of the most important tasks facing the board.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Current Superintendent Stephen Murley announced last month he will leave the district at the end of his contract in June 2021. Iowa City is the fifth-largest school district in the state with about 14,000 students.

“One of the first things will be figuring out the process — who will be involved in it, who gets to weigh in,” Eyestone said Tuesday night. “A lot of voices need to be heard. And we need to continue the work on our long-term vision. That will help shape the choice of who the new superintendent is.”

Williams said making sure diversity is central to the search process will be key priority for her.

“To me, it’s really important that we get a diverse slate of candidates, that we talk to the search firm about how they will put together a diverse crop of candidates,” she said. “And we need to put together a really diverse cross section of the community so they can give us input.”

Eastham, 77, is retired from University of Iowa Health Care, where he worked in health care information systems. He said his first priority is updating the district’s comprehensive equity plan.

“I think we have to set a vision for the district that works to get an instructional program that works for all students,” he said.

School board terms are four years, and members are unpaid.

The other three candidates on the ballot were Stephanie Van Housen, Julie VanDyke and Micheal Tilley.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.