Iowa State Board of Education Members – Michael Knedler, Sister Jude Fitzpatrick, Edgar Thornton (student member), Valerie Kruse, Dr. Brad Buck (Director of the Iowa Department of Education), Diane Crookham-Johnson,  Rosey Hussie (President), Mike May, me, Max Phillips, Lametta Winn, (Missing – Charles Edwards)

On Thursday, March 6, it was a pleasure to be introduced by Isbelia Arzola to the State Board of Education in Des Moines.  During our time together, I shared one of my favorite teaching stories.  One question asked by Mike May was, “If you could change one thing about education, what would it be?”  This required a little thought since so much is currently changing in education. One of the things I would change is for there to be more professional development for teachers and parents on identifying the signs of teenage depression.  In my years of teaching, I have experienced the death of two students through suicide.  Many of us in our district still wonder if there were signs of depression that we missed.  In this information age, students are never away from connections especially through technology.  If there are situations they want to avoid, it is made difficult because of the prevalence of social media.  Teenage depression and suicide are issues we all need to be aware of when working with today’s youth.

On this blog, I want you to learn a little more about the State Board of Education.

According to the Iowa Department of Education website
“The Iowa State Board of Education works with the Iowa Department of Education to provide oversight, supervision, and support for the state education system that includes all public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges, and teacher preparation programs.”  (About, p.1)

Also on the website, the Board’s vision, mission, and guiding principles are defined.  These are:

Their Vision is “Iowa students will become productive citizens in a democratic society, and successful participants in a global community.”  (About, p.1)

Their Mission is “to champion excellence for all Iowa students through leadership and service.”  (About, p.1)

Their Guiding Principles include: (About, p.1)

  • All students can learn at a high level.
  • Students respond best to challenging expectations.
  • Safety and respect are essential to student learning.
  • Educators need ongoing support and professional development to improve student achievement.
  • Improving student performance requires a broad constituency of support.
  • A quality education system is essential to a successful democracy, lifelong learning, and a vibrant economy.

There are ten members on the board, all appointed by our governor.  The term is six years with the student member’s term being one year of service. They deserve our appreciation for selflessly dedicating their time to quality education in our state.

To read more about our State Board of Education, follow this link:  Iowa State Board of Education

“About the Iowa State Board of Education.” Iowa Department of Education. Iowa Department of
Education, n.d. Web. 9 Mar 2014.  <