Seven candidates vie for school board positions

From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, registered voters voted at polling places across the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD).

Bess Frerichs, Online Managing and Feature Editor

School Board members oversee the school district by setting school policy, hiring and evaluating the superintendent, monitoring the district’s financials and keeping the focus on students’ learning. The candidates for this year’s election were Charlie Eastham, Shawn Eyestone, Paul Roesler, Michael Tilley, Julie VanDyke, Stephanie Van Housen and Lisa Williams. Only four of them will be elected to School Board.

Shawn Eyestone and Paul Roesler are incumbents, or current members of the school board up for reelection.

Election Results

Shawn Eyestone, Paul Roesler, Lisa Williams and Charlie Eastham were elected to the School Board.

Candidates Rundown

Charlie Eastham has previously served on the Iowa Community School District Equity Committee. He ran to fix the academic gap between students of color and white students. Eastham has served on many boards and commissions and works with The Black Voices Project, Johnson County Interfaith Coalition and Johnson County Affordable Housing Coalition.

Shawn Eyestone is the District-wide Parents Organization (DPO) representative for North Central Junior High and Treasurer for Liberty High’s Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO). He ran to fix problems with overcrowding and lack of resources at schools. Eyestone wants to help students who are below grade level, are above grade level, have learning disabilities, have physical disabilities or have ESL barriers.

Paul Roesler is currently the Vice President of the ICCSD School Board. He ran to improve and adjust to the under funding of education in Iowa. Roesler also plans to help the switch between superintendents after Steve Murley announced he would be leaving the district. If re-elected, Roesler will be the most senior member on the school board. He has served on the Insurance Committee, the Safety Committee and the World Language Review Committee.

Michael Tilley has served as the Secretary and the DPO representative for Lucas Elementary for two years. He ran to make the educational system more inclusive for students of color, low-income students and differently-abled students. Tilley wants to hire teachers and administrators of color and teach students about implicit bias and how to have discussions about race. 

Julie VanDyke is the Secretary for Hills Elementary’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). VanDyke is very outspoken in the school board meetings she attends. VanDyke wants a community-driven hiring of the new superintendent.

Stephanie Van Housen is the former homeless liaison for the ICCSD. She was controversially fired for what some believe was due to her strong advocacy for homeless students. Van Housen wants to hire a superintendent who is focused on equity and improving the knowledge of students.

Lisa Williams is the attorney coach for City High’s Mock Trial Team. She ran to advocate for greater funding for the district’s programs and to help overcrowding. Williams plans on improving the achievement gap for students of color and low-income students and improving the relationship between the schools and the community.

Story updated 11/6.