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Background, experience

Deb Drahos grew up in rural Van Horne, graduated from Benton Community in 1971, and has lived in rural Blairstown for 20 years. She is married to Mike Drahos, also a Benton graduate, who farms and works at General Mills. Deb is employed as an Executive Officer for the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services in Cedar Rapids. They have four children who graduated from Benton and attended the University of Northern Iowa: Lisa is a Human Resources Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls; Amy is a Systems Engineering Manager at Verizon in Cedar Rapids; Heather is a Special Education teacher at Arthur Elementary in Cedar Rapids; and Brian is a Project Manager with Advanced Technology Solutions in Fairfax. They have nine grandchildren.

Deb previously served on the Benton Community school board for 10 years, between 1990 and 2000. She has continued to volunteer at Benton since that time, serving on the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, and Infrastructure Committees. In addition, Deb is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, a graduate of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce Leadership for Five Seasons program, and a member of the Iowa Corrections Association, American Correctional Association, and American Probation and Parole Association.

Role of school board, future of Benton

“It is important that we all work together to develop trusting, respectful relationships between school staff, students, families and community members. There is no benefit in ‘taking sides’, and being anti-board or anti-administration. We should ALL be FOR quality education and a safe environment for ALL children – no child is more important than another. Benton Community has done a good job taking care of our facilities and making necessary improvements, while keeping our school tax lower than the majority of districts across the state. Our next goal should be to focus on curriculum and strategies to advance student achievement by providing the services necessary for ALL students to succeed. As an example, colleges are still reporting that even with good ACT scores, many Iowa students are still unprepared for core entry-level college classes.

“Through personal experience raising my own children, and my work within the field of corrections, it has become very clear that a quality education is an important part of the strong foundation needed by our children to be successful. Research has proven that those who do not complete high school are much more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty, receive public assistance, go to prison, be in poor health, etc. The emphasis should be on making sure every child stays in school and is well prepared to move on to higher education or a job of their choice, and become good citizens and contributing members of society.

“If elected, I will commit the time needed to be knowledgeable about what is happening within our school district, ask questions, listen to the views of others, and act with integrity on every issue.”

UPDATED August 27, 2009 9:18 AM

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