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Background, experience

Tricia Schutterle, 40, and her husband Wayne and three children in Benton Community: Morgan (11th grade), Whitney (8th grade), and Ethan (5th grade)

She has an A.A. degree from Kirkwood Community College in Early Childhood Education and B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Mount Mercy College with endorsements in Pre-K Through 3rd Grade Including Special Education and K-8 Reading

She is currently teaching Title I Reading in the Linn-Mar Community School District

She belongs to the Iowa Association of School Boards, Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, Mount Mercy S-ISEA, ISEA, International Reading Association, and the Iowa County Conference Board. I have served on the Benton Community Board of Education since 2007.

She has also volunteered as a Norway PTO President for three years and was the Norway Elementary Playground Improvement Chairperson for Phase I and II.  She has been a classroom volunteer at Norway Elementary and spent a year on the Benton Communication Team.  She has also served on the 2003 Department of Education team, 2003 Fix Our Roof committee, 2005 Benton P.R.I.D.E citizens committee, two Norway principalship hiring committees, and the 2009 Van Horne/Keystone principalship hiring committee.  She said, “By taking part in these district-wide groups, I have been able to form relationships with staff, parents, and patrons throughout the district.”

Her family attends Grace Lutheran Church, Blairstown.

Role of school board, future of Benton

“Where Benton is today: I believe Benton Community is a school with amazing potential to become a cutting edge district.  My children have had fantastic teachers who were truly invested in their successes and support them during their challenges.  During my years on the school board, the board has initiated a new computer lab and library at the Van Horne Center, additional classroom space at the Keystone center, and a multimillion dollar addition at the Atkins Center. Financially speaking, Benton continues to have one of the lowest tax rates in the area while continuing to maintain four elementary buildings and a middle school/high school.  Educationally speaking, the district’s preschool program continues to be a wonderful opportunity for our district’s youngest students. At the elementary level, children have the opportunity to read at their instructional level through guided reading groups. At the middle school level, Second Chance Reading has been implemented to support readers who may struggle and staff have increased the use of technology through the use of SMART boards and a mobile computer lab at the high school level. 

“Where Benton is going in the future: IASB and the Benton Community school board have worked together to create three specific goals to guide the direction of the district. The board’s first goal is to promote quality teaching. The board has supported and encouraged professional development of all K-12 staff, collection of reading and math data, and the creation of K-6/7-12 Leadership teams and an Iowa Core Curriculum team. The board’s second goal is providing a resource-rich learning environment for all students. This has been accomplished by providing funds for guided reading books, increased technology, and building improvements. The board’s final goal revolves around providing educational information to the community. The board has requested monthly presentations highlighting various aspects of the district. The board supported the increase of parent/school communication through the Iowa School Alerts and the increasing information provided on the district website.   

“Challenges facing the school: Benton Community is no different than any other school district in the country as we navigate how best to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind.  Our middle school was placed on the School In Need of Assistance list last year, but we are working to determine how best to serve the needs of those students. All Iowa schools are currently facing the challenge of aligning with the standards and benchmarks of the Iowa Core Curriculum. Fortunately, Benton Community is ahead of the curve when it comes to matching our district benchmarks with the state’s mandated standards.

“As a whole, this board needs to get back on track towards a goal of student-centered education. The board also needs to move forward once a vote has been taken.

“What I would like to see done in my term on the school board: During the next four years, I will support challenging curriculum for all types of students. I will support using many types of formative assessments to guide instruction at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. I will support teacher participation in quality professional development. I will also support the administrators creating a plan for holding teachers accountable for using what they’ve learned in the classroom. I will support fiscal responsibility by keeping taxes down while still balancing the budget.   

“Over the past two years, patrons of my district have told me they didn’t want a “yes girl” on the board and I have taken their direction to heart. Before EVERY board meeting my routine has remained the same. I spend hours reading the board packet jotting down questions; researching what other schools are doing by reading their board minutes and policies; talking to board members from other districts; and reading many educational/school board journals to remain current both as a board member and a teacher. I have never voted based on a personal agenda and I will continue that philosophy in my next term. I will continue to rely on research and facts to make my decisions. In addition to researching agenda items, I believe being a teacher has made me a better board member because I could share information about current practices in nearby districts with board members and administration. I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue on the Benton Community Board of Education.”

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UPDATED August 25, 2009 5:00 PM

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