Meet Your School Board Candidates

The regular school election will be held on September 10, 2013. Seven candidates will be running for one of the four Waukee Community School District board positions open for election this year.

Strong leadership in every school district is critical to moving education forward in this state. School board members play significant roles in their communities – members must have leadership, vision and dedication. School board members are locally elected public officials charged with accountability for student learning, determining educational goals, setting policy, overseeing school finances and other duties. School board members are elected to serve four-year terms, with elections taking place in odd-numbered years. Those elected receive no pay. Experienced school board members say the rewards of service lie in meeting the needs of children and communities.

The filing period for school election candidates was Monday, July 8 and end on Thursday, August 1 at 5 p.m. Nomination papers were delivered to the county auditor on Friday, August 2.

Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce Presents: School Board Election Forum Sept. 3

Get to know the candidates running for the open seats in the upcoming September 10 School Board Election. The Waukee School Board Election Forum will be held on Tuesday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Prairieview Theatre Arts Building in Waukee.

For more information:
Phone: 515-978-7115

About the Candidates

Sarah Bowman

Address: 510 SE Jonas Circle  Waukee IA 50263
Age: 33
Years in the District: 2
About the Candidate: My husband David (an Iraq War Vet) and I live in Waukee with our four boys, William (7), Sean (4), Brendan (3) and Henry (11 months). I am an Iowa native and my family owns a Century Farm. I graduated from DMACC with an Associate of Arts Degree and Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English. I have worked at the Iowa House of Representatives, as Communications Director for a National Senatorial campaign, the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, at Principal Financial Group, and Communications Director for a National PAC. I am currently working out of my home as a Public Relations Consultant. My family attends St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee where I volunteer by teaching Faith Formation classes. I want to be on the Waukee Board of Education because I have four boys and feel I am fully invested in the district.

 David Cunningham

Address: 14622 Hawthorn Drive
Age: 55
Years in District: 21 years
About the Candidate: My wife Janice and I have three children, Brendan, Alyssa and Patrick that have all attended Waukee Schools. I am a Certified Financial Planner™ with HJN Advisors and have more than 20 years of professional experience in the financial services field. I have served on various boards, most recently as Waukee Band Booster President, where I started Celebration in Brass at Waukee held in July that attracts close to 3,000 spectators. I am interested in becoming a school board member because every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in school and we can accomplish this by providing a world class education where each student has a chance to discover, and develop, his/her passion for learning and success.

Dale Finnegan

Address: 855 SE Westwoods Dr, Waukee
Age: 50
Years in the District: 13
About the Candidate: I moved to Waukee in 2000 with my husband Geoff Graham and our three daughters, Kealan, Sydney and Samantha. I was home with the children until 9 years ago when I began work as an assistant teacher in the 4 year old classroom at Westview Church Preschool. Since our arrival here I have been involved in my children’s classroom activities, sports programs and girl scout troops and I have enjoyed gardening in my yard and fitness activities at the YMCA and on the local trails. I would like to become a member of the Waukee School Board so that I can contribute in a positive way to the children, families and communities that surround me. Since my arrival here I have been focused on supporting my own children in their journey through school and I am now at a place where I can look outward and apply some of my own experience to work with the board in making sure all our children have the opportunities they need for growth.

Wendy Liskey

Address: 7557 Dakota Circle, West Des Moines
Age: 42
Years in the District: 11
About the Candidate: The next decade will be important and challenging for the District as it works to accommodate rapid growth. As a mom with two children in Waukee schools, I want to be a part of this process, helping to guide decisions that will impact students for many years to come. I’ve been involved with Waukee schools since 2006, serving on the 2012-13 Boundary Committee; the 2013 Secondary Study Committee; as Brookview PTO Vice-President and Staff Appreciation Chair; and as District PTO Secretary. I work part-time as a Missions Assistant at Lutheran Church of Hope and my faith is an essential part of who I am.

Patrick Nehls

Address: 3880 Rose Glen, Waukee
Age: 41
Years in the District: 16
About the Candidate: I grew up in Clive and graduated from Valley High School. I met my wife, Rebecca, while attending Central College in Pella. I received my MBA from Drake in 2001. We have two children, a 10th grade daughter and a 7th grade son. I currently work at GuideOne Insurance as an Information Technology Manager. I’ve served on the Waukee Community School Foundation for the last four years and have been the organization’s president this past year. I have had the pleasure of getting to know administrators, principals and teachers in our district. We have an incredible district with exceptional leadership at all levels. I am running for school board to help continue to build upon the successful foundation of the district and to be a part of the organization that carries this district through the challenges of continued growth and ever-changing technology trends into a brighter future for our students.

Mary Thomas Scheve

Address: 14771 Wildwood Drive, Clive, Iowa
Age: 52
Years in the District: 35
About the Candidate: My husband Ray and I have 3 children: 2 teenage boys and one daughter that just graduated from Waukee. I have been VP/CFO at August Home Publishing Company for the past 13 years. I enjoy volunteering through St. Boniface church, my kids’ many sports, music and drama activities, Waukee Scholarship Foundation and ISU Alumni Association. My children will be 4th generation Waukee graduates, and I am a 3rd generation Waukee School Board director.

We all have talents to contribute to our community in one way or another, so I chose to use my strengths in finance to help as our school district’s financial obligations explode along with the population. That financial responsibility must be balanced by what will always be my lifelong commitment to the Waukee school community to get the best teachers and state of the art education for our kids for generations to come.

Nancy Umsted

 Address: 50 NE Sunrise Drive, Waukee, IA 50263
 Age: 48
 Years in the District: 1 year
About the Candidate: My husband and I are parents of three boys, two of whom are currently enrolled in college. I have two bachelor’s degrees in business (one in Management/HR and one in Accounting) and I have an MBA. I have spent most of my work career in manufacturing labor relations and human resources and the past several years as business office manager. I am interested in running for the Waukee School Board because I have approximately 7 years of Iowa School Board experience in a smaller school district.  As a board member, I worked hard to learn as much as I could about the school management and finance processes by attending as many of the IASB training and meeting opportunities as possible. I am also very interested in contributing to student achievement and district fiscal responsibility. While I have not been in this district very long, I believe my experience will allow me to ‘hit the ground running’ with regard to board member responsibilities and protocols.
560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701