School Board Election 2015
This post was frequently updated with information about the Sept. 8, 2015, WDMCS school board election. (Final Update: Sept. 21, 2015)
School board elections will be held this year on Tuesday, Sept. 8. There will be four seats on the ballot.
The school board represents the parents and citizens of our community. In the West Des Moines Community Schools, school board members are elected at-large, or represent the entire school district. They receive no compensation for their service.
Each school board member is elected for a term of four years. Terms are staggered to ensure continuity of leadership.
Key Election Dates – 2015
The following are a few key dates for in the school board election process. Please see the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office website for more information.
- Monday, July 6: First day to file nomination papers with the board secretary.
- Thursday, July 30: Last day to file nomination papers. Deadline is 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Aug. 4: Last day candidates may withdraw. Last day written objections to nomination papers or eligibility of candidate may be filed.
- Tuesday, Sept. 8: School Election Day.
Public School Board Candidate Forums
UPDATED Sept. 2 — Coverage of both forums is online.
- Historical Valley Junction Foundation & West Des Moines Education Association Forum, August 1, 2015 from 9:30-10:30 a.m., West Des Moines Community Center, 217 5th Street, West Des Moines. A video of this forum is available online.
- WDM Chamber of Commerce Forum, Aug. 31, 2015, from 7-9 p.m. The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce invites area residents to meet the eight candidates running for four seats on the West Des Moines Community School District’s School Board. The Des Moines Register’s coverage of the forum is available online.
UPDATED Sept. 2 — Links to the Des Moines Register’s candidate coverage have been added.
The filing period for school board candidates ended at 5 p.m. on July 30. The following individuals have filed nomination papers:
- Incumbent David J. Brown, 5870 Highland Circle, West Des Moines, is vice president of compliance at Principal Financial Group. He is a graduate of Valley High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in German from Lawrence University and his law degree from the University of Iowa. Family: Wife Julie; three children – Ross is a 2010 graduate of Valley; Keegan is a 2012 graduate; and Chase is a sophomore at Valley.
- Incumbent H. Milton Cole, 2001 S. 40th Court, West Des Moines, is a retired Episcopal priest. His undergraduate studies were in sociology and anthropology at The College of William and Mary in Virginia and social welfare at Virginia Commonwealth University; his master’s degrees are in early childhood and elementary education from The University of The District of Columbia and in divinity from The New York General Theological Seminary; and his doctoral studies are in higher education at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Family: Wife Mary; three children – George is a graduate of Valley High School; Leah is a senior at Valley; and Mary-Scout is a sophomore at Valley.
- Liz Cox, 4802 Plumwood Drive, West Des Moines, is Principal owner of Due North + Associates. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Dakota. Family: Husband Thomas; three children – Megan Cox is a 2014 graduate of Valley High School, Emma is a senior at Valley, and Sam is a junior at Valley.
- Michele Dahlen, 617 34th St., West Des Moines, is a financial consultant Wells Fargo Consumer Lending Group. She received her accounting degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. Family: Husband Matt; three children – Grace is a junior at Valley, Grant is a freshman at Valley Southwoods, and Greta is a seventh grader at Stilwell.
- Melinda Dunnwald, 5837 Meadow Valley Court, West Des Moines, received her bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Iowa State University and her master’s degree in business communication from the University of St. Thomas. Family: Husband Jeff; two children – Dayna is an eighth grader and Drew is a seventh grader, both at Stilwell.
- Judy Jesse, 13533 Village Court, Clive, is a retired teacher, administrator and university clinical supervisor. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Iowa, and her doctorate in K-12 administration with a superintendent endorsement from Drake University. Family: Husband Bob.
- Jill Johnson, 213 S. 31st St., West Des Moines, is an associate professor of education at Drake University. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education and her masters in early childhood education from the University of Iowa, and her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, literacy education from the University of Minnesota. Family: Husband Tom Johnson; two children – Jack is an eighth grader and Caton is a seventh grader, both at Stilwell.
- Incumbent Andi Lipman, 316 46th Place, West Des Moines, is an attorney. She is a graduate of Valley High School. She received her bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Iowa. Family: Husband Jeff; four children – Arielle is a 2010 graduate of Valley, Dani is a 2015 graduate, Meier is a junior at Valley, and Asher is a fifth grader at Western Hills.
Dr. Kevin Carroll is not seeking re-election.
A candidate must be an eligible elector in the school district at the time of the election. An eligible elector must be a citizen of the United States, be a resident of Iowa, and be at least 18 years old.
Each candidate must file an affidavit of candidacy and nomination petitions with the school board secretary. The affidavit of candidacy and nomination petitions must be filed together or they will be rejected.
The minimum number of signatures required for a petition is 50. Petitions may be signed only by eligible electors within the school district
Completed nominating petitions and the affidavit of candidacy may be turned at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, between July 6 and no later than 5 p.m. on July 30.
Please see the following websites for additional information: