Ames School Board election profiles 2021: Rolf Duvick


Rolf Duvick is one of seven candidates running for the Ames School Board on Nov. 2. 

Finn Mcnally

Editor’s note: Version of article was published with the incorrect name of Rolf Duvick. It is since been corrected. The Daily regrets this error.


Rolf Duvick is running for Ames School Board with a focus on improving the district’s academic standing. He is one of seven candidates running for the position Nov. 2.

Duvick has lived in Ames for 37 years. He is currently the president and owner of Total Insulation Mechanical Inc. 

Duvick said his interest in the school board is because of his kids. He has six children who have graduated from Ames High School and a seventh who is a second-grader. He also has two grandchildren who will eventually go through the Ames school system.

He is also interested in serving on the school board because Ames High School was rated the best in Iowa when his older kids were growing up, and he believes the schools have declined since then.

“A lot of the problems we see now, we didn’t see back then,” said Duvick. “I’m running for school board because somebody has to. 

The problems that Duvick sees are a lack of disciplinary action and dropping test scores.

“There’s a lot of confidence and trust in our school district that has been eroded,” said Duvick, “It’s due in large part to the direction that the school board has been allowing the administration to take us and it’s a de-emphasis on academic excellence and more of a greater emphasis on what I would consider to be a social engineering program.”

Duvick cited Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as part of this. The three topics are often discussed together as part of corporate workplace initiatives. Duvick says that if you asked 10 people the definition of equity, they would all give different answers. 

“There’s no cohesion of purpose in the district,” he said. “There has to be a district-wide understanding of what this is and it needs to be understood why it’s important and how it’s gonna be implemented and why, for what purpose. The whole DEI program or thought process.”

Duvick said when in-person classes resumed in February, the schools were not focused on catching students up, and students were being taught unnecessary material. 

“The district just felt that it was their prerogative to go ahead and do whatever they wanted without communicating to the parents or the community at large,” said Duvick. “Prior to that, however, too, parents got a look at what was going on in the classroom and what was being taught, and they didn’t like that much either.  

He said this was the final straw that caused what he described as an avalanche of parents wanting to open enroll in other districts, homeschool their children or move to a different district. 

Duvick is endorsed by Ames Deserves Better, a local political action committee (PAC). Duvick has said his campaign is not in any way financially supported by the PAC. Ames Deserves Better is an organization for social responsibility, financial stewardship and academic achievement. 

The City and School Board Elections will be held Nov. 2, 2021. Voters can click here to learn more information about polling locations and voter registration.