Wednesday, August 26, 2015

School Board Election on September 8

A school board election is coming up on September 8th, and I want to remind you to get out and cast your vote. Voting is one of the most important rights we can exercise as citizens and your voice needs to be heard! Tanya Higgins will not seek a second term while Karyn Finn, incumbent and current Board Member will run for reelection. Joining Karyn on the ballot is David Ball. Learn more about your school board candidates below. There is no doubt you will be impressed with the passion they share for education and the enthusiasm they have for board service!

Karyn Finn, Incumbent Board Member, Candidate for School Board

Karyn Finn
Where did you grow up, educational background and current work?
I grew up in New Orleans, LA with all the ethnic, cultural, food and music diversity that the Big Easy has to offer. I met my husband in NOLA followed his developing career and eventually moved to Hudson, Iowa in 1999.  I have a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education-Athletic Training (Tulane University), an Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology (Hawkeye CC) and a Master of Arts in Community Health Education (University of Northern Iowa). Currently I am the Director of Pediatric Integrated Health at Lutheran Services and  Adjunct Instructor at University of Northern Iowa.

Tell us about your family?

My husband, Kevin, and I moved to Hudson 16 years ago with three children. Two of our children have graduated from Hudson (Juliann ‘12 & Ryan ‘14) and Carmen is currently a Senior at Hudson. In May 2015, Juliann graduated from Iowa State University (Journalism & International Studies) and Ryan is in his second year (AFROTC and Engineering) at ISU.

What drew you to Board Service?
As a mother of three and current school board member, I know our public schools are essential to building a strong community and educating our children for the future. I am running again because I value the high quality educational opportunities that are available in Hudson. I am a dedicated public servant and community member who has been an advocate  for children and families for many years in Music Boosters, Early Childhood Iowa Diversity Committee, American Heart Association and was appointed in 2015 by Governor Branstad to the Iowa Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge for education in Iowa?
Our biggest constraint right now is the timely commitment by the state to financially support the public education programs in Iowa as stated in the Legislative Code. In order to meet educational needs, staffing, curriculum, etc.  timely support allows efficient and responsible planning by schools to accommodate the mission and vision of school district.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge for education in Hudson?
I believe our greatest challenge is to continue to have competitive educational program preparing students for the 21st century while preserving the values and lifestyle of a rural community like Hudson.  My Grandfather from Mexico always said ‘get an education; it is something that can open doors and can never be taken away.’ It was a true statement then and is especially true now in preparing our children for the future: forward-thinking innovative education will be the key.

What do you hope to accomplish by serving on the Board?
I am proud of participating in our District’s accomplishments over my past four years. The Board has made tough decisions that  resulted in a fiscally sound budget, 99% graduation rate for several years and  lowering property taxes for the property owners in our district. I will to continue to support a strong local community school district in Hudson. I am also the first Latino elected in Hudson and Blackhawk County.

Dave Ball, Candidate for School Board

Where did you grow up, go to school, college (degrees earned), and where to you work? 
David Ball
I Grew up in Dubuque, Iowa where I graduated from Wahlert Catholic High School. I served 3 years as an M.P. in the U.S. Army. Post-secondary education includes: Associate of Arts from Kirkwood Community College, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Political Science from Mount Mercy University and Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Public Policy from Iowa State University. For the past 24 years I have worked in higher education with 11 of those years spent currently at Hawkeye Community College as the Director of Admissions, Student Life and Athletics.    

Tell us about your family. 
My wife Lisa and I moved to Hudson 6 years ago. We have three adult children. Ryan is an administrator for Humana Insurance Corporation, Emily is Regional Director of Junior Achievement and Drew is an attorney in Chicago. 

What drew you to Board service?
I served on a school board for several years in a district much the same size as Hudson. I feel this experience can benefit the District. Hudson has been a great place to live and I feel it is my responsibility to get involved in the community.

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing education in Iowa?
Equitable and sustainable funding continues to be a challenge and one that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Integrating technology into the curriculum continues to be a topic schools districts need to stay on top of as well. 

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing education in Hudson?
In the short term, how to preserve classrooms with the most efficient students to teacher ratio in the face of overall declining enrollment numbers.

What do you hope to accomplish by serving on the Board?
I hope to offer an objective and unique point of view. I work closely with 27 schools within our geographic region and have been exposed to best practices from around the area as well as the state. I hope to lend that knowledge and experience to the School Board team.

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