Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 20, 2018

School Board candidate survey - Catherine Glinsmann

Sep 07, 2017

Editor’s Note: The Journal sent a candidate survey to all of the school board candidates. The responses will appear in the paper in the next couple of days. These areDistrict No. 2 candidate Catherine Glinsmann’s answers.

1) How long have you lived in the Washington Community School District?

I’ve lived in the Washington Community School District for 31 years.

2) Have you worked for the school district, have a relative working there or children enrolled in the district? I taught in the WCSD for 34 of the 36 years I’ve been a teacher. I retired in May of 2016, along with 21 other educators. For my first 15 years of teaching I taught in an Early Childhood Preschool Special Education classroom working with children with disabilities. The next 11 years was in a kindergarten classroom and then the final 10 years I worked as an English Language Learners teacher at the kindergarten through second-grade level. I also have two grown sons who went through the WCSD.

3) Why are you running for a position on the school board?

I’ve spent 57 of my 62 years in a classroom, and education is a huge part of my life. For my 36 years of teaching my main goal was to provide the best possible education for my students. Now that I’m retired I miss that connection to the educational field and felt a need to somehow reconnect. When the position in my precinct opened up I thought that this would be a perfect way to become a part of the school district that has been so important to me. For years I wondered why there weren’t retired teachers on the school board. Who better to serve than those of us who have spent eight hours a day, 200 days a year for decades in the classroom? We know firsthand the needs of the students and teachers. In addition, I’m a firm believer in lifelong learning, and being a member of the school board would allow me to learn some new skills. This excites and intrigues me.

4) What are some of the issues you’ve heard about across the state with education happening?

My main concern with issue is the lack of educational funding. For years I’ve attended the legislative briefings as our local Washington Education Association’s president and chief negotiator. I’ve listened to the legislators’ rhetoric about “doing whatever they can” for us, but then they turn around and won’t give us adequate funding. Iowa needs to step up and offer competitive wages for our teachers if we want to recruit and retain quality teachers.

Another issue we need to watch closely concerns the changes in Chapter 20 and the Collective Bargaining Reform. Our district has lost teachers to other districts in the state that retained their contracts for the next 3-5 years. This should be a wake-up call to us to see that we need to make sure that we proceed cautiously in developing an equitable handbook that is created by all interested parties, or even consider returning to a comprehensive master contract. Over the years I’ve worked closely on many committees with the school board and with the various superintendents, and I’d like to believe that we had a good working relationship. I feel that I can bring this experience to the table with me if I am elected.

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