FMSCD Board will have three new members in 2024

Hope withdraws petition to seek her third term on board


FORT MADISON – At least three of the current Fort Madison school board of directors will be replaced at the end of the year.
Current Fort Madison Community School District directors Dianne Hope, Lois DiPrima, Carol Ross, and Josh Wykert all have seats up for election during the Nov. 7 election, but only Wykert, the current board president, has filed papers to hold onto his position.
Hope had filed papers to seek her third four-year term, but at Monday’s regular board meeting she informed the board she had rescinded her application after seeing that four candidates had submitted their nomination petition.
"I presented a letter to Dr. Slater that I’m withdrawing my petition for candidacy. We have four good candidates here,” Hope said.
“It’s been a great eight years, but it’s time to take a little bit of a break. It was something I had to think hard about and was concerned that we wouldn’t have four candidates, but we’ve done a lot of good things.”
Wykert thanked Hope for her service and her leadership roles, including serving as president and vice president of the board since her election in 2015.
“It was a tough decision and emotional,” she said.
She said she is happy to step aside with students in a better place with the facilities improvements that are underway.
Hope helped usher the district through COVID-19, free breakfast for all students, and free admittance for students to extracurricular activities.
She said the Professional Learning Communities that Superintendent Dr. Erin Slater brought to the district have helped increase the focus on the student as an individual. Hope said those enhancements are starting to produce results.
“We are on our way to being nationally accredited in professional learning."
Slater also thanked Hope for her support over the years.
According to the Lee County Auditor’s office, in addition to Wykert, Amy Thacher, Keith Hehr, and Kelly Nelton have all turned in papers for the board. All positions on the board are at-large, and since there no other candidates filed and neither Ross, DiPrima, or Hope are seeking re-election, Wykert and the three new candidates would, in all-likelihood, be seated in January unless a successful write-in campaign yielded more votes than one of the four on the ballot.
In other action, the board:

  • approved a new policy that requires licensed employees of the school to notify administration of any student wishing to be identified by a gender, pronoun, or name that is inconsistent with information provided at registration. The superintendent is then required to notify the parents and give them an opportunity to amend the information provided at registration. The new policy is following Iowa legislation that was passed in the spring.
  • approved change orders for construction at the high school in the amount of approximately $250,000 to improve the east parking lot.
  • approved the 7th and 8th grade 2025 Splash into Science trip.
  • approved participation for the FFA in the National Convention in Indianapolis
Fort Madison Community School District, board of directors, dianne Hope, Josh Wykert, Candidates, gender, policy, votes, news, education, Pen City Current, Lee County, Iowa, Erin Slater,


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