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West side parent seeks second School Board term

BY GABRIELLA DUNN | AUGUST 29, 2013 5:00 AM

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After four years of working on contested issues, Tuyet Dorau has announced she would like another term on the Iowa City School Board.

Dorau was elected to the board during the last election, in 2009. This year’s election will take place on Sep. 10.

If re-elected, she said, she will continue to be open to input from the community as she makes decisions on the board.

“[I want to] seek community input and incorporate that input into my decision-making process,” she said.

Dorau first came to Iowa City as a child refugee from Vietnam. The Daily Iowan previously reported she said this provided her with a unique perspective on the socioeconomic levels in the schools.

During her term, she aided in decisions that drew both high praise and criticism from the community, including the diversity policy and the revenue-purpose statement. She also voted in favor of equal educational opportunity at both high schools and pushed for more financial oversight of the district.

“[During my last term I] developed a reputation for being someone for looking at the district as a whole instead of looking at it on a segmented level, or one particular area of our community,” she said.

For this coming election, Dorau’s platform is based on five primary issues. She wants to focus on education while empowering children, faculty, and staff.

She also aims to remove barriers in meaningful and effective ways and engage in long term planning for sustainable growth. She said she wants to embrace and incorporate community input and ensure transparency and good stewardship of taxpayer investments.

Her platform differs from what she ran on in 2009, where she focused on developing long-term solutions for the entire district, with contingency plans to address funding a third high school. She emphasized the importance of keeping areas safe for children who walk or bike to school.

Superintendent Steve Murley said members of the new School Board will focus largely on, among other issues, plans for new facilities in the district.

These plans include a facilities master plan, which is currently underway. The plan is a $250,000 project for the modeling and re-modeling of facilities in the district.

“New board members will be part of the mapping for how those dollars are spent and where they are spent,” Murley said. “That will be a huge undertaking.”

Murley also highlighted focusing on educational programming.

“Right now, regardless of the school you go to, education programming is very similar.”

If re-elected to the position, Dorau’s said she hopes for this coming term to correlate closely with these concerns.

“We spent a lot of time on building the facilities and not a lot of time on education, and I think that is what we need to focus on,” she said.

Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville, a friend of Dorau’s, said she is an asset for the district.

“She has been the most knowledgeable, balanced, and consistent member on the Iowa City School Board,” he said. ”Some leaders are good managers and some have good vision for the future. I think she has good visions for the schools both financially and academically.”

Jerry Arganbright, the principal of West High School said the complexity of the district calls for a partnership between all aspects of it.

“It’s very important in our community that there is a lot of collaboration to solve challenges and provide quality education,” he said. “The Iowa City Community School District is one district and not separate municipalities.”


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