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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Three vie for two school board seats in Cherokee

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Laura Dawson
Three candidates will be on the ballot for the two seats up for election on the Cherokee School Board during the Sept. 11 election. Since all seats on the Cherokee School Board are at-large, the two candidates with the highest vote totals will win the election. Terms are for three years. There will also be a vote on the renewal of a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy on the ballot.

Laura Dawson is seeking reelection to her third term.

"I think we all need to donate time to public service," Dawson said, "This is close to my heart and is my way of giving back to the community."

Larry Goodchild
Dawson sees declining enrollment as the biggest challenge facing the district. She also noted that there are more federal and state regulations to follow with fewer resources for the district.

Dawson said that there have been some difficult decisions made in the last few years because of declining enrollment.

"It's always difficult to make cuts because it means cutting people. Fortunately, we've been able to use attrition to reduce staff," she said.

Sue Parker
Dawson said the community has been supportive of education and of extra-curricular activities. She said the extra-curricular activities are an important part of education.

"I believe the school district is committed to providing the best education possible with the resources we have. The district has a good reputation," Dawson said.

Dawson is a Certified Public Accountant, a partner in the CPA firm of Burkhardt and Dawson. She is a 1978 graduate of Washington High School in Cherokee, went to Iowa State University for two years and then the University of Northern Iowa where she graduated.

Her son, Andrew, is a freshman at Wayne State University in Nebraska, majoring in business, and her daughter, Elizabeth, is a freshman at Washington High School.

Sue Parker is seeking a first term on the board.

"I've been on the District Leadership Team for a few years and have long had an interest in education," Parker said, "I believe that education is one of the most important things we can do for our children."

Parker has been getting involved in school related activities since her children were in kindergarten.

Parker noted that there are some tough decisions that need to be made by the school board. She said that the financial challenge is always there and the board needs to keep within a budget while providing the best education possible.

"It's important to keep both the students and the staff motivated to do well," Parker said.

She said that she has a willingness to learn the processes of the board and that her experiences with the DLT can be useful.

"The students of the district have a lot to be proud of and I want that to continue," Parker said.

Parker is a cytologist for Siouxland Cytology.

She is currently involved in the Music Boosters, Friends of the Library and the CRMC Auxiliary.

She graduated from Wahlert High School in Dubuque in 1975, went to Mount St. Claire Jr. College and then the University of Iowa where she received a degree in Cytology.

Her husband, Dr. Wesley Parker, is a family practitioner.

They have two children. Allie is a junior and Nick is a sophomore at Washington High School.

Larry Goodrich is seeking his first term on the school board.

"When I was teaching, I loved my job. I miss the kids and believe I have something to contribute," Goodrich said.

Although Goodrich has taught many years, he acknowledges that he has some things to learn about the school board. "I'll keep an open mind going in and plan on learning a lot. Above all, I will keep the kids number one in the decisions I make," he said.

Goodrich cited declining enrollment as the biggest challenge facing the district. He expressed the hope that enrollment will stop declining.

"The kids of this district have treated me very well. If I can, I'd like to help them out," Goodrich said.

Goodrich is originally from Rd Oak and graduated from high school in Creston in 1962. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and started his teaching career as a high school science teacher in Titonka, Iowa, in 1970 where he also coached high school basketball and football.

He started teaching eighth grade science in Cherokee in 1977 and stayed in that position until retirement. He coached a variety of middle school sports, preferring coaching at that level so he could have more time with his family.

His wife, Joyce, is a fifth grade teacher at Cherokee Middle School.

Their oldest child, Stacey, passed away in November.

Kelsey is a teacher in Council Bluffs. Garth works at the Blackhawk County Youth Center in Waterloo.

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