Candidates in local contested City Council and School Board races share their views prior to November 7 City/School Election

Waukon City Council - At-Large

Lansing City Council - At-Large

New Albin City Council - At-Large

Allamakee Community School District - District #3

Eastern Allamakee Community School District - At-Large

Eastern Allamakee Community School - District #1

Tuesday, November 7 is scheduled as the City/School Election to determine which candidates will be elected by voters to leadership positions at the most local levels of government and guidance. A Notice of Election with polling sites and a complete list of candidates and offices for this year’s election was published on Page 24 in the October 25 print edition and e-edition of The Standard. Polling sites will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, November 7.

In an effort to help inform voters prior to their venture to the polls November 7, The Standard issued a questionnaire to each of the candidates in the contested races on this year’s election ballot, with the exception of the Postville community which has its own newspaper. The series of questions asked and each candidate’s returned responses to those questions can be found throughout this week’s edition, most of them beginning on this week’s front page.

Lansing City Council At-Large challenging candidate Corey Richards could not find the time to return replies or a photo during his busy season at his business. Neither New Albin City Council At-Large incumbent candidate Dale Mauss nor Eastern Allamakee Community School District Board of Directors District #1 challenging candidate Tom Martin returned replies or photos, despite attempted contact by email and by telephone.

The questionnaires were sent to candidates who are vying for a position that has more candidates running for that position than the ballot instructions indicate to vote for. For example, there are three candidates running for the Waukon City Council At-Large seat in this year’s election but the ballot instructs voters to vote for no more than one.

Each of the five mayor seats up for re-election this year within Allamakee County have just a single unopposed candidate listed on the November 7 ballot. Three of those five candidates are currently incumbent mayors, with City of Lansing Mayor Melissa Hammell and City of New Albin Mayor Alberto Whitlatch not seeking re-election this year but being replaced by unopposed candidates Michael Verdon and Thomas Feuerhelm, respectively, on this year’s ballot. Otherwise, current mayors in Waukon (Arvid Hatlan), Waterville (Dave Monserud) and Harpers Ferry (Jerry Valley) are all seeking re-election unopposed.

The Waukon City Council has three seats up for election this fall, with all three of those seats having current incumbent candidates on this year’s ballot but only one of them having a contested race between officially declared candidates. Multi-term incumbent John Lydon is running unopposed in Ward 2 and David Blocker is the lone candidate listed to fill a vacancy in Ward 3, having served in that position since August of this year after previous Ward 3 councilman Arvid Hatlan took over the office of Waukon Mayor.

The lone contested race for Waukon City Council comes in the At-Large position currently held by Andrew Sires, who is seeking re-election this year. Challenging Sires for that seat will be Jean Brink and Nicholas Engrav.

Three other communities also have contested races on this year’s ballot for city council positions. The City of Lansing has two at-large council seats up for election this year with three candidates vying to fill those seats. Incumbent Ian Zahren will be joined by newcomers to the city government scene, Benjamin Ghelf and Corey Richards, in seeking those Lansing City Council seats.

The City of New Albin also has more candidates than open seats on this year’s city council ballot, as three at-large seats are up for election this year. Four candidates are vying for those three council seats, including incumbents Alexie Grotegut, Dale Mauss and Maria Stahl, along with challenger Nathan Darling. Jill Mathis is on this year’s ballot running unopposed for the City Treasurer position in New Albin.

The City of Harpers Ferry has three at-large council seats on this year’s ballot and just enough candidates to fill those three spots. Thomas Diggins and Daren Kaeppel are both incumbent candidates, and Russ Walker will be a newcomer to the council, if elected.

The City of Waterville has five at-large seats on this year’s election ballot, but there are only four candidates vying for those seats. Robbie Burrett, Jaclyn Hilleshiem and Jodi Van Iten are all incumbent candidates, with Bethany Dundee the only other name listed as a Waterville City Council candidate on this year’s ballot.

City of Waterville voters will also cast their decision on a public measure that will change the City’s Code of Ordinances regarding the Library Board of Trustees. That change will result in the board consisting of  four members to be appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council and one member that resides at an unincorporated Allamakee County address, appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors.

The City of Postville has three at-large seats on its city council up for election but a whopping eight candidates seeking election to those seats. Incumbent candidates Devorah Klein-Mahr and Larry Moore are each seeking re-election, and are joined this year by newcomers Laurie Moody, Nechama Yehuda, Rachel Sugar, Jennifer Valdez, James Johnson and Gloria Bass in each vying for one of those three council seats up for election.

The three school districts located in Allamakee County will also have seats on their respective boards of directors up for election this year, with all three school districts each having at least one contested race. The Postville Community School District has three at-large seats up for election, with incumbents Travis Koenig and Eric Meyer both seeking re-election and Teresa Berg, Laura Roman Hernandez and Maria Vazquez each new to the ballot in seeking one of this year’s three school board seats.

The Eastern Allamakee Community School District has three seats up for election on its board of directors, with two of those seats featuring contested races and District #2 Director Tony Becker running unopposed in his re-election bid. At-Large incumbent Kelli Mudderman is facing a challenge in her re-election from Joseph Manning, and District #1 incumbent Bobbie Goetzinger is likewise being challenged by Tom Martin.

In the Allamakee Community School District, there are three director seats up for election, with District #2 incumbent Erik Helgerson running unopposed in his bid for re-election. District #4 has Kelly Deeney listed as the lone candidate seeking to replace Brent Beyer, who is not seeking re-election to that seat. The lone contested race for the Allamakee Community School District Board comes in District #3, where incumbent Beth Shafer is being challenged by Cristina Smith.

All polling locations for this year’s city/school board elections are the same as the polling locations for general elections. Sample ballots and additional election information can all be viewed online at


What has motivated you to seek a seat on the Waukon City Council?

Brink: I was born and raised in Waukon and have deep roots in the area. This being said, I want to be on the city council because I would like to be a voice for the majority. I feel like the voice of the minority is always taken into account over what’s best for the city as a whole.
It seems in recent years our community has had a hard time hiring and keeping good police officers. We as a community ask the men and women in blue to put on a flak vest and a weapon and to keep all of those in our community safe, not knowing what the day will bring or if they will be in harm’s way. I believe our law enforcement should be paid a living wage. I also believe there have been recent decisions that have taken power away from the city council as a whole, and therefore from the people.

Engrav: I am running because I want to have a positive impact on the future of Waukon so we can continue to be a great community to live and work in.

Sires: I have lived and worked in Waukon for the last 33 years and I am grateful for all this community has given me throughout my years in Waukon. I just want to give up some of my time and energy by serving this great city on its city council. I have already served a two-year term by running in 2021 to fill a vacant term. My first two years on council have been a great learning experience, and I would like to take that experience with me into the next four years.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges faced by the City of Waukon and what does your candidacy offer in addressing those challenges?

Engrav: Waukon is facing several challenges in the upcoming years. One of the biggest challenges we face in the near future is how to retain and attract new businesses while keeping the small-town character that we all love. We also have to find ways to continue improving the community without going further into debt. I won’t pretend to have all the answers, but what I will do is work hard to come up with solutions and take accountability for the votes I make.

Sires: I believe that city budget and funding is always an issue/challenge, in all levels of government.  The council, city manager, and business office work diligently to make sure the city budget is fiscally sound.  I have been part of a council that is overseeing many great things happening in our great city, and much of that is tied into the city budget. Some of the funding for the city budget is out of the council’s hands. We rely heavily on what happens at the State level. It can be very complicated and frustrating at the same time. We have great people working daily with budgets and new funding sources and this is an area where I continue to grow and educate myself.

Brink: I feel like we should be making sure that our city ordinances are being adhered to by all, not just some. It should not matter your social status when it comes to maintaining your home or parking on the street in the winter. We need to make sure the nuisance abatement is followed by all and if it isn’t then there should be consequences.
Waukon is a unique city and while it is a good idea to learn from other cities, we should not base our decisions for Waukon off of what is being done elsewhere. We need to make sure there is accountability and make sure projects are completed to standard before checks are written.
The city council has recently given budgeting over to the city manager and I think that was a wrong decision. As a city council member, I would try to make frugal decisions in this economy while still maintaining the balance of moving our city forward into the 21st century.

What do you feel are the greatest attributes the City of Waukon has to offer, and how can those attributes be retained or even built upon to further benefit the city and its residents?

Sires: As a council we are continuing to build up and maintain city infrastructure. Previous councils invested in a new sewage plant. We continue to improve city streets. Downtown Main Street is busier than it has been in years. New businesses have come to town and some with older buildings are revitalizing their storefronts.
Technological improvements are being made with fiber optic coming into town. Our school system is one of the best in the state. High school students can achieve college credit through NICC right here in town just across the street from the high school. That is huge, just ask parents whose students use that community asset. We have one of the best city parks in the area and I have had discussions about a bike/walking trail around the town and think that would be awesome.
These are just some of the things that benefit our city, Waukon. We can continue to build on these attributes by following the path that we’ve been on and stick with the plan we have in place. These are things that I believe are important to keep Waukon growing towards the future.

Brink: I have had multiple patrons come into my business and tell me how warm and inviting the people of our city are, and I believe this to be true. We are a great community and have a lot to offer anyone coming to live in or just passing through. Our city is like a family. We may fight amongst ourselves or argue and complain, but let someone else come in and we rally.
I personally know the willingness of the citizens of our city to help others in time of need. When anyone in the community needs help due to a catastrophic event, the people are willing to do what it takes to help, and not with just money and goods. The people here give their time and that is the most valuable of all assets.
We live in a beautiful community that cares about its people. I would like to contribute my abilities to the city council in order to ensure our city maintains its beauty, uniqueness and growth.

Engrav: Waukon’s greatest attribute is that it’s a great place to live with a strong sense of community. As I have personally experienced, we help each other in times of great need. It’s safe, we have a great school system, it’s affordable for a working-class family to have a great life, and we have some of the best outdoor recreation in the whole country, in my opinion. I can’t think of a better place to live.


What has motivated you to seek a seat on the Lansing City Council?

Ghelf: I am running for city council because I’ve lived here for the last 12 years, and utilized the local businesses my whole life living in De Soto, WI. As a homeowner and parent, I want to keep this town a great place to raise a family. I have the experience in public safety and community service necessary to be an effective council member.

Richards: No reply.

Zahren: I ran for city council because I was driven by a belief in my ability to contribute positively to our community. As I assumed my role on the city council, I discovered a deep passion for the work - a passion rooted in problem-solving, in lending an ear to our community’s diverse perspectives and needs, and in crafting effective solutions. Witnessing the remarkable power and ingenuity of small communities, Main Street businesses, and our town’s residents has been truly inspiring. I am humbled and honored to serve as a teacher, volunteer, and dedicated city council member in this exceptional community.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges faced by the City of Lansing and what does your candidacy offer in addressing those challenges?

Richards: No reply.

Zahren: Lansing’s challenges mirror those of small towns across Iowa, with growing expenditures and inflationary pressures straining revenues. Increasing interest rates amplify the costs of municipal projects, burdening city budgets. These issues cannot be solved by a singular councilperson. Electing leaders who foster innovation and collaboration with private and public partners and other citizens is vital to ensure that our quality of life and infrastructure needs are met.
In my 10 months on the council, I’ve partnered with nonprofits and municipalities for grant writing training, stewarded a tax abatement ordinance for new housing development and improvements, and helped raise and distribute over $115,000 from RAGBRAI for local services and infrastructure projects. My candidacy brings a creative, collaborative, and solution-driven approach to community growth and resource enhancement.

Ghelf: I believe the biggest challenge, like many small communities, is a budget. I currently work for the highway department in Wisconsin. I am currently in charge of a Department of Transportation (DOT) project that requires me to track and keep a budget and a timeline. I will implement the ups and downs I have learned from this project to benefit future DOT projects, along with the City of Lansing.

What do you feel are the greatest attributes the City of Lansing has to offer, and how can those attributes be retained or even built upon to further benefit the city and its residents?

Zahren: Lansing stands as a shining example of resilience and vitality, thriving thanks to its proactive citizens dedicated to preserving the exceptional quality of life that both its residents and countless visitors treasure. Our town beckons visitors with its outdoor recreational opportunities, warm small-town charm, and a unique sense of civic togetherness. Lansing is living proof that even in small places, extraordinary feats can be accomplished.
The spirit of community and civic engagement runs deep in our veins. Whether it’s hosting the renowned RAGBRAI event, breathing new life into forgotten spaces, organizing half marathons to support our dedicated EMS, Police and Firefighters, or the work of volunteers at the food shelf - it all encapsulates what makes small-town America an unparalleled haven. It’s a place I am proud to call home.
The recent recognition as an ‘Iowa Great Place’ by Iowa Economic Development is a testament to the incredible accomplishments possible when communities like ours unite to address challenges and support one another. Lansing’s prosperity will undoubtedly continue to grow, fueled by our shared commitment to working together and electing civic leaders who can inspire us to solve problems and showcase our finest assets.
The people of this town and the achievements they’ve accomplished fill me with immense pride. It’s an honor for me to contribute to this community in any way I can. Lansing, with its unwavering community spirit and dedication to progress, serves as a reminder that when we commit to working together, we can accomplish truly remarkable achievements.

Ghelf: Lansing has many great attributes, and I think the one overlooked the most is its employees. We need to keep a living wage for the employees, without them the streets wouldn’t be safe, the day-to-day business wouldn’t function and the city would be put into a bad situation. I believe by budgeting correctly we can achieve a livable wage and retention of the current employees to keep them employed and residents of the town we call home.

Richards: No reply.


What has motivated you to seek a seat on the New Albin City Council?

Darling: We like the quiet, laid-back style that comes with living in a sma1l town. The security of knowing your neighbors, and trusting that your children will be raised in a town where we look after each others’ kids is very important to me.
We have a lot to be proud of in New Albin. I’ve lived nearly my entire life here, as did my dad, grandpa and many generations before them, and we have worked hard to make a good life for our families. I believe I am a good candidate for city council. I will always try my best to be fair and open-minded, and offer my ideas and opinions for the betterment of our town. There is always something more that we can do to improve things in our community and I look forward to being a part of that.

Grotegut: Since moving back to New Albin, I have been very passionate about improving the city. I have gotten involved in many different organizations that have the goal of improving our city/school. I would say that the most motivating thing that has me seeking a seat on the council is that I see the issues New Albin is facing (declining population, lack of housing and a need for street/infrastructure improvement) and feel that my passion/drive will help problem solve these issues.

Mauss: No reply.

Stahl: Originally, to be honest, it was to fill a vacancy and was for a shorter term. I thought if nothing else I would do my best for that short period and then not seek election thereafter. But I quickly realized that it takes a lot longer than a few months to even begin to understand the process and the role, so I did put my name in at the next election to hold my seat for the remainder of the term I was filling. Now that time also is up, and I have just gotten started on some things that I would like to see through to completion, so I am seeking re-election.
New Albin is my home, and I intend to make it my home for a long time to come. I want it to be sustainable and strong as a community, and that means stepping up to contribute my time and best judgment in leading it with the rest of the city council. I have a strong business background from my professional life and education, and I bring that  to my decision-making on the city council.
No one should seek a council seat to push through a personal agenda. I have seen people try that, intending to push the City into changes that will benefit them personally. That’s not why I’m here. I benefit if my community benefits, and my community benefits if all voices are heard. We also do our best to anticipate what the voices of future generations will be saying and plan for their best interests as well. A great example is the replacement of our outdated wastewater treatment center with something that’s pretty cutting edge right now, yet can also be scaled as our community changes over the decades to come, and protect our home and our waterways for future generations.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges faced by the City of New Albin and what does your candidacy offer in addressing those challenges?

Grotegut: In my opinion, I feel the biggest issue New Albin has is declining population/housing. If elected, I hope to continue researching housing opportunities that can be brought to New Albin. There are many valuable resources in our corner of the state, it just takes time and effort. Young families are the future of our city and the need to improve what we have here is important in attracting them to New Albin.

Mauss: No reply.

Stahl: Limited housing is one of our greatest challenges. Ideally, young families would join our community to add their strengths to ours, their children to our schools, their energy, their volunteerism, even their taxes, but if there is nowhere for them to live they are not going to be able to do that. Our geography limits our stretching out to new space, situated as we are between the bluffs and the Mississippi wetlands, so we have to use what we have carefully. Given the opportunity, I intend to work with the County and State resources available to us to add clean, safe, affordable housing units to the town’s inventory. This takes great cooperation between public and private interests and investors. City government has influence here helping to connect all the right people.
Regarding our existing properties, I advocate for clean, safe housing in our town by carefully considering building permits to assure that they have a positive impact on the neighborhoods and adjoining properties. I favor enforcing our city codes when it comes to the safety and cleanliness of personal property in town.
There are few employment opportunities right here at home, but with Acentek’s investment in fiber Internet service to New Albin, we are seeing more opportunities for people to work from their homes while earning big-city wages. This was a huge positive change for New Albin. I want to see that kind of progress in the future.

Darling: I would say that the main two challenges I see in New Albin are improving the poor condition of our city streets and the completion of the new sewer plant. Both of these items come with a large price tag, but we need to finish what has been started with the sewer system and we deserve to drive on streets with no potholes.
Finding more grant money to assist in helping pay for these would keep the residents of New Albin from having to pay even higher property taxes. We all know they have gone up drastically, and there must be a way to find alternative sources.

What do you feel are the greatest attributes the City of New Albin has to offer, and how can those attributes be retained or even built upon to further benefit the city and its residents?

Mauss: No reply.

Stahl: I am biased, but I believe New Albin has the best location of any small town that I can think of! We are in the lovely Driftless region, we are right on one of the world’s great rivers, and while we are close to two other states with all they have to offer, we are lucky enough to live in Iowa! Iowa is a fiscally strong state, in better shape than most, and our taxation is lighter than our neighboring states.
Another of New Albin’s assets is the families who have called this place home for generations. Many of those current family members are committed to leaving things better than they found them. Their loyalty and energy is invaluable to the community. They provide a foundation on which all of us can build. How we build on that foundation is by seeking opportunities for sustainable innovation, whether it be businesses interested in investing here or hiring our people, strengthened infrastructure for our city like better water sourcing, or providing innovative healthcare choices and emergency services, or allowing our schools to grow and change to meet the needs of 21st-century students, employees, innovators, and leaders. We cannot coast. This takes effort and wisdom and energy. I’m glad to be a small part of it.

Darling: We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. This town has many successful businesses, some relatively new, and some that have been in the same family for generations. The kids are getting a good start to their education at New Albin Elementary School, and it is part of a great school district. There are countless churches available and several scenic parks to enjoy.
Our Community Center serves New Albin in so many ways. The emergency services are outstanding, and the Way Station is always offering assistance to those in need. The kids (and parents) love the new Splash Pad area, and the basketball court. I would like to find more ways to attract people who are passing through to stop and visit our businesses, or to like what they see in New Albin and want to live here too.

Grotegut: I think that New Albin’s greatest attribute is the live-ability and quality of life our residents have living here. Living in New Albin is a special experience. Our kids can play in the yard, our neighbors know our name/story and we always know we have a community rallying behind us in a time of need.
I recently had a conversation with someone that moved here with her family. I asked how she was liking New Albin and she smiled and said, “everyone is just so nice and welcoming here.” That gives me great pride that people that move here feel immediately welcome and included. Continuing to improve our city and what it has to offer is very important to maintain this quality of life we have here.


What has motivated you to seek a seat on the Allamakee Community School District Board of Directors?

Shafer: I was born and raised in Waukon, Iowa and think that a strong community starts with having a strong school. I graduated from Waukon High School and feel the education I received prepared me and my classmates to achieve whatever goals we set for ourselves. It is important to me that Allamakee Community School District (ACSD) continues to provide this valuable education to our current students so that they can thrive in the 21st century.
I have a personal interest in continually improving the quality of our school system. Waukon has a school we can all be very proud of. This has not happened overnight and has required an administration and a board working together to achieve a vision of a successful school district. We have been fiscally responsible and used our money wisely. I want to be a part of the success of ACSD for years to come. I want to continue to build on what I’ve learned over the past four years to make our schools the best they can be.

Smith: My husband and I have made Waukon our residence for the past 17 years (in January) and our three sons graduated from WHS. Our youngest just graduated last year, giving me a recent experience with the education system of ACSD. Our sons were very different in their educational experiences, affording me a unique view of our Waukon schools and learning experience, accordingly.
I have attended three years of school board meetings and become more familiar with our school district and all those who attend. As a result of this, the desire grew for me to become more involved, and I decided to run for a school board position.
My parents were missionary-teachers and founded the city of Umuarama, Brazil in 1955 (now population 117,095 - 2022 census) and began schools from elementary-college; they were the administrators and teachers of the same and involved with the design and building of the schools. It is this educational environment of both public and private schooling and city development that I was born into, which greatly influenced my life regarding the value of an education and serving the public.
I observed in one generation people’s lives changed spiritually, educationally, and economically - which enabled them to achieve better wages and jobs, and helped them become better, more productive citizens. Now, as a parent and citizen of Waukon, I wish to carry on that tradition of education by serving on the school board.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges faced by the Allamakee Community School District, or education, in general, in the state of Iowa, and what does your candidacy offer in addressing those challenges?

Smith: There have been many challenges since COVID, the primary ones being how students were affected academically, mentally, and socially. Having worked for 25 years as a youth leader, I am familiar with the challenges facing them today, and have compassion for students and a desire to assist where I can as a school board member.
Also, there seems to be a mistrust of public-school education and school boards across the USA at present, due to much politization. My focus will be to promote traditional education and not woke social issues while representing parents and residents of our school district fairly on the school board. My candidacy offers conservative values, faith-based decisions, and a commonsense approach, working together with the board and administration for the betterment of our schools, students, and community.

Shafer: There are many challenges faced by school districts across the state of Iowa, including our own district. Several of these include the mental health and well-being of students, staffing shortages and school funding.
Mental health has a big impact on academic success. ACSD must continue to recognize this and prioritize programs that support this issue. During my time on the board, we have increased the number of guidance counselors from two to three. In addition, we also have  a Social Worker and a Student Success Coordinator on staff. It is important, as a school board member, to make sure funding is provided for these important staff members. Having them allows dedicated staff members time to focus on social emotional learning competencies and prepare lessons as part of our curriculum to improve the mental health of our students.
Staffing shortages are another area of concern. Teaching is not an easy profession. Attracting and retaining good, quality teachers is a huge challenge. I feel the school board has done a good job in compensating our staff members (bonuses during COVID pandemic) for the work they do. We have also been forward looking in offering some early retirement packages to retiring teachers. This has allowed us to know who is retiring early in the hiring process so we can attract and offer contracts to new and relocating teachers.
Funding is a challenge faced by all school districts. And although we do not have any control over what we receive, we do have control over how we spend it. It is imperative that members of the school board and the administration team work together to spend the money we receive wisely.

What do you feel are the greatest attributes the Allamakee Community School District has to offer, and how can those attributes be retained or even built upon to further benefit the school district and its students?

Shafer: The schools that I went to and graduated from over 30 years ago hardly resemble the Waukon schools of today! Allamakee Community School District has improved over the years and will continue to do so. Some of the many wonderful attributes include: teachers and staff members that care, second-to-none facilities, college and career readiness programs and a forward-looking administration team.
We have teacher leadership teams at Waukon that are looking out for all of our students - from those that need helping catching up to those who need to be pushed to go further. Our teachers meet in teams every week to learn and grow from one another - they are fantastic and help to shape our students to become not only college and career ready, but also the best citizens they can be.
Our facilities are incredible. With the HVAC systems in all of our buildings, there were no cancellations this fall due to stifling hot weather.  Our athletic courts, fields, courses, etc. are the envy of northeast Iowa and our janitorial staff takes pride in keeping them, as well as the schools, in tip-top shape.
Waukon High School offers classes and job shadowing through NICC to help our college-bound students get college credits and save huge amounts of money. We also offer welding and construction classes for our students interested in these career paths. In fact, we have recently joined the Skills USA organization (a career and technical school organization) that allows students to compete in regional and state competitions.
Our administration team is always looking ahead and offering suggestions to the board on improvement. We have administrators who think outside of the box and care about doing the best for our students and staff.
In closing, I would like to be a part of the ACSD Board of Education for another term so I can continue to be a part of making sure we are fiscally responsible with our money and help our school and students be the best they can be.

Smith: I am very positive on what ACSD offers - there are many programs available to assist educational or financial needs, extracurricular programs, after-school programs, principals and teachers that work hard to see students succeed, dual enrollment with NICC and home-schoolers, and a community that cares for one another. I am an avid supporter of the Fine Arts & Music Department.
One of the areas that can be built upon even more is to promote vocational education in addition to college preparation. The need for vocational training (i.e., welding, automotive services, carpentry, etc.) is increasing in our country, and that training should be expanded in our school system.
Another important issue for me is for all departments to be treated equally in our school.
Lastly, my candidacy offers encouragement and support to the administration, principals, teachers and staff as I know how essential it is to work together and accomplish great things as a team.
Our children are worth our time and efforts, for they are the future generation, and we must do everything we can to help prepare them. Thank you for your careful consideration of voting for me on November 7.


What has motivated you to seek a seat on the Eastern Allamakee Community School District Board of Directors?

Manning: My wife and I are both EACS graduates, and we are raising two young daughters in the community. I would like to help maintain and preserve our schools, because our community has pride in the accomplishments and success our schools have.

Mudderman: I enjoy contributing to our community and helping provide a quality education for our children. We have one of the best schools in the area and I would like to continue maintaining that tradition.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges faced by the Eastern Allamakee Community School District, or education, in general, in the state of Iowa, and what does your candidacy offer in addressing those challenges?

Mudderman: I feel the biggest challenges we face as a district today are the lack of homes available for families to purchase or rent and not having more daycare options for our families that need this service. The board has been actively discussing these issues and we continue to brainstorm on them.

Manning: Funding constraints are always a challenge to small rural districts. We need to focus on what is truly in the best interest of our children while dealing with budgetary constraints found in an aging demographic. Focus on educational fundamentals as a first priority. Live within our financial means. Affirm parents’ rights and responsibility to determine what is/is not appropriate for the school to include in the district’s curriculum and extracurricular activities. Thoroughly understand and implement Legislative actions and changes effective for K-12 education.

What do you feel are the greatest attributes the Eastern Allamakee Community School District has to offer, and how can those attributes be retained or even built upon to further benefit the school district and its students?

Manning: “It takes a village to raise a child.” That quote is one of the best ways to describe one of EACS’s best attributes. The small town care and support our students receive from the community is unmatched. With the Lansing and New Albin communities in full support of our schools, this will continue to greatly benefit our students.

Mudderman: I believe that one of our greatest attributes that EACS has to offer is Quality Leadership.  Students perform better when the principal, teachers and school board members provide a strong leadership.


What has motivated you to seek a seat on the Eastern Allamakee Community School District Board of Directors?

Goetzinger: I’m seeking re-election because I believe that as a school board member, my ultimate responsibility to our community is to keep our doors open and to keep our school financially responsible to ensure that. This requires that we have excellent staff, both in our offices and in our classrooms. The administration staff does everything from crunching numbers and  filing reports, to hiring our teachers and coaches.
I believe it’s the school board’s responsibility to be confident in the staff we have in place to make these decisions. After all, we expect nothing less than the best for our students, and the students are really what this is all about. I have attended multiple IASB conventions over the years to further my understanding and commitment on being an effective school board member.

Martin: No reply in time to meet the print deadline.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges faced by the Eastern Allamakee Community School District, or education, in general, in the state of Iowa, and what does your candidacy offer in addressing those challenges?

Martin: No reply in time to meet the print deadline.

Goetzinger: As a school district whose enrollment is declining nearly every year, we need to be sure we continue to function efficiently, which means our staff taking on additional responsibilities. We are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful staff that are willing to do that. We’ve also been fortunate to be able to take advantage of the sharing agreements that the State offers.
Promoting our school and community is key and a role I believe the school board should play, along with our entire staff. Our current school board’s highest priority is to follow the Iowa laws that have been put in place as well as keeping all students safe and provide a well-rounded education. We do have an opportunity to work in growing enrollment in working with community resources to add housing and daycare options. This will benefit our community and school district immensely and hopefully keep/bring families to our district.

What do you feel are the greatest attributes the Eastern Allamakee Community School District has to offer, and how can those attributes be retained or even built upon to further benefit the school district and its students?

Goetzinger: Some great things happening in our community, where do I begin? We have updated buildings, remodeled sports complexes and amazing staff and students. Our test scores of our students are high, as well as graduation rates.
One of the biggest attributes we have as a district is that we are a small school and community. Our community members are always willing to lend a hand when needed and really care for everyone here. As a small school, our kids have the opportunity to join multiple sports teams, extracurriculars and college courses. We have  music classes, FFA, speech, and drama they can participate in.
We also have groups that have formed out of the school involving our students such as a trap shooting team that was new last year to our district. What a great group to add to this area with so many hunters in our district. Another group recently added to the community is The Breakfast Club in Lansing at a local church to meet for Christian fellowship and prayer. All of these extracurriculars, sports and groups combined with a good education is what, I believe, will help our students be the best version of themselves and to succeed in life after graduation. We plan on being around here as a district for a long time!

Martin: No reply in time to meet the print deadline.