Oskaloosa School Board Candidate Shelly Herr
Oskaloosa News sent out an email to all candidates with the exact same questions. Our question is in bold text, with the candidates answer following just below in normal text.
First and Last name.
Your education level and where did you attend?
I attended American Institute of Business and majored in Accounting. I am also a graduate of the Leadership Iowa Program.
What other training that you believe makes you qualified for the school board?
I have served on other volunteer boards in the past including:
Kids Corner Childcare Board
William Penn Advisory Board
Indian Hills Business Advisory Board
Leadership Iowa University Board of Directors
In my role as HR Director and a member of the Executive Team at Musco I think I can bring an understanding of what businesses are looking for in their employees.
I also have experience in all of those roles in setting policies, setting vision and direction, listening to people and bringing them together to solve problems and get things done.
How long have you called Oskaloosa home?
I moved to Oskaloosa in November of 1985 after graduating from the American Institute of Business. My husband Stan and I have called Oskaloosa home for nearly 28 years. We’re raising our four kids in Oskaloosa. Our oldest, Bryan, graduated this past May and is attending Kirkwood Community College; our daughter Lauren, is a junior and son Jaon is a freshman at Oskaloosa High School; and our youngest, Ethan is a 6th grader at Oskaloosa Middle School.
How do you believe your service on the school board will make a difference to the school system and the community?
I have kids in the district, my role at Musco provides me opportunities to recruit new families to move to our district and also let’s me be involved in hiring students after they complete their education. I think I can bring some valuable perspectives to the table as a parent and as a business person.
I’d like to focus on making sure we’re a district that is at the forefront of preparing our kids for what’s next, be that a job or college as they leave our halls. I think I can help focus on achievement and will act as a board member who listens and values diversity in thought about how we achieve our goals.
I’m good at helping bring people together towards a common goal and value the good discussions that can happen as you discuss and debate different schools of thought. Those are things that help make a board effective and productive and assures better end decisions.
Some of you are running for the first time, other have in the past or are currently serving, but what moment made you realize you wanted to serve? How do you believe you will be able to impact the school district and make a difference with that?
My decision to run for the board probably started during my time in the Leadership Iowa Program — a statewide leadership development program put on by the Association of Business and Industry. As I listened to some of the speakers we had, I realized I have a strong interst in education and workforce readiness. As I talked with my classmates, some of whom were serving on boards currently, I began to think that this may be what I do as my next step in community service and leadership.
I think I have traits of a good board members such as
1. a good listener
2. open minded and I ask questions,
3. committed to learning and someone who will commit time to get up to speed with the issues
4. someone who works well with others and seeks to find common ground. ( Boards only make progress together.)
5. Kids first focused
Those are all qualities that I think that will make me able to work effectively with a variety of individuals no matter what the issue that we’re facing may be.
Recently at the school board meetings, the subject of the good conduct policy came up. What are your thoughts on the current policy, and why do you believe your opinion is the correct one for the district?
I’d be in favor of looking at it again to make sure we’re as clear as we can be in our expectations.
As I understand it, I think the board and administrators intent in changing the policy was to broaden what is covered by the code. I think it’s been rolled out and there are some questions that have been brought on what exactly is covered. For example, the issue of traffic tickets has come up as being potentially covered under the new language and anyone I’ve talked with on the board or administration staff is not in favor a kid who is in an accident, or gets a ticket as they are learning to drive would not administer that as a violation — so let’s be clear and modify the wording and see if we can improve it further.
We owe it to our kids to have our expectations as clear we can and we owe it to our administrators to give them a well crafted tool to use in their role of administering the policy fairly and consistently.