Four new members elected to Ames school board

Rakiah Bonjour

New members Alisa Frandsen and Lewis Rosser, and returning members Lucas Deardorff and Rodney Briggs, were elected to the Ames School Board on Tuesday night. Four spots were open on the seven-member board.

Frandsen, who earned 1,803 votes, wants to do the best she can to serve students.

“It is the board’s responsibility to serve these goals long-term,” Frandsen said.

Understanding a wide variety of needs and challenges exist in the district and supporting the staff within it is one way Frandsen plans to accomplish her goals during her four-year term.

“The next four years will be very exciting and I’m excited to get to work,” she said.

Rosser earned 1,305 votes for his election to the Board. According to the Ames Tribune, Rosser is “committed to smaller class sizes in our schools.” Rosser also told the Tribune that varying curriculum for students with various skill levels is important for the schools.

“Ames Community Schools need to meet the diverse learning needs of all students in our schools,” Rosser said.

Deardorff plans to build a new high school and pool facility during his next term. He plans on forming a committee to go in to the community and see if anything having to do with renovations would be supported. Apart from the restorations, Deardorff said other challenges he could face for this term are the community’s financial situation and declining enrollment.

“There is nothing we can actively do [about enrollment declines],” Deardorff said. “The best thing we can do is look at the community and great educational opportunities we can create.”

Deardorff has a “strong credit and financial analytical background,” which helps him guide others to decisions. There are two properties he’s looking at selling, and he wants to use his financial background and relationship within the Ames community to move forward.

“We had a great Board that accomplished a lot,” he said. “We have some great new members coming in.”

Deardorff earned 1,324 votes.

Briggs earned 1,206 votes for his reelection. He said one of the biggest issues to focus on over the next four years is the aging Ames High School. This is something he would like to look firmly at in the next two years.

“The biggest part would be finding what is in need within the building,” Briggs said. “The building was built in the 1960s and it just can’t handle modern technology. We will have to look into the costs for sure [for renovating the building], but there might be better opportunities in building a new school, it is just hard to say right now.”

Overall, Briggs is looking forward to his new term. “I’m thankful I have an opportunity to continue serving my community. Every decision comes down to serving students, parents and the staff. We have to keep those three perspectives in view.”

The next regular meeting for the new Board will be held Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Ames High School Multipurpose Room.