Iowa City teachers union endorses 4 for school board

2 incumbents, 2 newcomers backed in Nov. 5 election

Iowa City Education Association President Brady Shutt facilitates a discussion with his students in his AP U.S. Governme
Iowa City Education Association President Brady Shutt facilitates a discussion with his students in his AP U.S. Government class at Liberty High School in North Liberty in January. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The union representing Iowa City teachers and paraeducators endorsed four candidates — Charlie Eastham, Shawn Eyestone, Paul Roesler and Lisa Williams — for the Iowa City school board this week.

Seven candidates are running for four at-large seats on the board. Elections are Nov. 5.

Candidate Michael Tilley received an “honorable mention” from the Iowa City Education Association.

Other candidates on the ballot are Julie VanDyke and Stephanie Van Housen.

Although union President Brady Shutt said in a news release the overall field of candidates is impressive, the union’s four picks stood out for their “strong public support of teachers, students and staff.”

Eyestone and Roesler, the only incumbents in the race, have shown commitment to teachers by voting to preserve permissible items in their contracts, the union stated. In addition, both supported the board’s legislative priorities to increase state aid to schools and to undo 2017 changes to Iowa’s collective bargaining law that stripped public employees of the right to bargain most issues except pay.

Eastham, who won the union’s endorsement when he unsuccessfully ran for the board in 2017, would “bring a vital component and voice” to the board. Eastham is on the school district’s equity committee and a member of the Black Voices Project and the Johnson County Interfaith Coalition.

First-time candidate Williams stood out for her experience as a federal prosecutor and veteran, and she took a “teacher-centered” approach to issues of class size, preparation time and teaching demands.

Tilley “has the potential” to be an insightful board member, the release noted.

Board members Phil Hemingway and Lori Roetlin, whose terms expire this year, are not running for re-election. Terms on the board are for four years, and board members are unpaid.

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