Becker, Smith and Winfrey win Ames School Board seats

Voters casting their ballots during the Nov. 2 elections at Perfect Games. 

Josue Aceves

With over 14,000 ballots cast, Amy Erica Smith, Kelly Winfrey and Brett Becker will serve on the the Ames School Board.

The three candidates sworn in will take part in hiring the new superintendent and Ames principal for the high school. Smith secured the most votes at 20.70 percent. Winfrey had 19.52 percent and Becker 17.40 percent of votes cast. 

Smith, who earned 5,523 votes, said she believes the turnout of the election is a testament to how concerned the people are about the district, she said in a phone interview. 

“They want to make sure that we maintain local control over our district, and that we make sure the district remains an inclusive, supportive community for all our kids and all of our families,” Smith said Tuesday after the election.

Smith said the number one issue the school board faces is hiring the next superintendent. She intends to hire a superintendent who can help deal with problems such as teacher morale and staffing. 

“I want people to feel like they have a role in the community and I want us to be able to work together,” Smith said. 

After the election Dryer said is glad he ran and the most important task the new board faces is hiring a new superintendent.

“That is probably the biggest job they have right upfront here is hiring that leadership because that leadership will impact everything that the school does for the upcoming years,” Dryer said.

Dryer also said he was happy the City of Ames had so many people vote. 

“I can certainly live with the will of those who came out and voted,” Dryer said. 

The Iowa State Daily did not receive an immediate response from Ames School Board candidates Tom Purl, Rolf Duvick and Kira Werstein. 

Winfrey earned 5,190 votes. She said the new superintendent should be someone who can challenge the issues Ames is facing and someone who celebrates diversity. 

“I am someone who is direct and will try to address all the things I talked about in my campaign in terms of inequity and climate and find actionable steps to solve our problems,” Winfrey said Tuesday evening.

Becker, who earned 4,625 votes, said he wants to be able to support his community and staff members better. Becker said he will continue to advocate for broad based education that is inclusive to all students. He also said he wants to support teachers, mental health professionals, counselors and educational assistants by allowing them to do what they were hired to do.  

“I think it speaks to the importance that Ames residents place on the schools, the students are our system, and how important education is to them,” Becker said after the election.