Three candidates run for open Ames Community School District school board seats


Lissandra Villa/Iowa State Daily

Candidates for the Ames School Board answered questions during an open forum at the Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation on Sept. 8, 2013. Pictured from left to right are Mike Espeset, Tim Rasmussen and Bill Talbot.

Lissandra Villa

Three candidates are running for three open positions in the upcoming Ames Community School District school board election. Unless a write-in candidate pulls forward, Mike Espeset, Tim Rasmussen and Bill Talbot will be elected to fill the seats.

The board is made up of seven members and broken down into several committees to oversee three focus areas, which are teaching and learning, finance and facilities in the schools within the Ames Community School District. These schools include five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.

“Wanting to participate in the vibrancy of the community I think is probably the reason [school board elections] would matter to an Iowa State student,” Espeset said, noting some graduated ISU students have children attending the schools.

Additionally, the ISU community interacts with the Ames school district regularly because of student teaching, and the two entities collaborate in other ways as well.

“We’re open to input from Iowa State at any time. One of the greatest examples is the technology committee … that included a number of people from Iowa State to bring us their wealth of information in education and on technology to get to this one-to-one program,” Talbot said.

One of the projects the school district recently completed is distributing computers to the high school students. Espeset said the $1.4 million project was approved in the spring, allowing for the devices to be purchased in the summer and handed out for use this fall.

The elections is set for Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

for any registered voter living within the Ames school district.

The three seats are available because Espeset and Talbot’s current terms, as well as David Putz’s, have expired, giving Rasmussen the opportunity to run.

“I would have run in the past, but I couldn’t because we were living outside of the district boundary.” Rasmussen said. “Last September, we moved back into town and this is my first opportunity to run for this position, so that’s why I’m here today.”

The terms are four years long. If elected, Espeset, Rasmussen and Talbot will serve in those positions as members of the board until 2017. The positions are not paid.

The district also has several construction projects in the works, including an elementary school, which will replace one of the five the city currently has.

Espeset said the district has approximately 4,000 students.

According to the Story County website, voters can go to any of the following election polling places on Tuesday: State Forest Nursery on Duff Avenue, University Baptist Church on Mortensen Parkway, Heartland Baptist Church on Grand Avenue, Bethesda Lutheran Church on Northwestern Avenue, Somerset Clubhouse on Aspen Road, Collegiate United Methodist Church on Lincoln Way and the Christian Reformed Church on Ontario Street.