Decision day for school district patrons

Tuesday is school board election day

Two days away and Central Iowa voters will go to the polls and choose their favored school board candidates.

In the Marshalltown school district voters have five options to choose from during Tuesday’s election. Incumbent candidates Bea Niblock, Mike Miller and Ben Fletcher are running to retain their seats. Challengers Laura Eilers and Karina Hernández are vying for a place on the board.

Fletcher is the only one running for his two-year seat, while the other four candidates are vying for the three remaining seats; each of those seats comes with a full four-year term.

Niblock is the school board president, and won her seat in 2013 after retiring from her 17-year position as Anson Elementary principal. She had previously been a principal at West LIberty and Chariton schools, and was a school teacher before entering an administrative role.

Miller is the president and CEO of Racom and started on the board in January of 2016 after being selected to fill a vacancy. The 1986 Marshalltown High School graduate has two children in the district, and has experience as a Marshalltown City Council member, president of the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA board and president of Marshall Economic Development, formerly known as MEDIC.

An Emerson Project Management engineering manager, Fletcher is the most recent member of the current board, having been selected in October of 2016 to fill a vacancy. Because of the timing of his selection, this is Fletcher’s first election, and he will have to run again in 2019 to retain his seat.

Eilers is an attorney with Peglow, O’Hare and See P.L.C., with experience practicing in family law, criminal defense, real estate law and more. She and her husband have a 2-year-old daughter who is set to enter Marshalltown Schools when she’s old enough.

Eilers is also a member of the Marshalltown Water Works Board of Trustees.

Hernández is an Every Child Ready coordinator at Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA), and was previously an English language learning (ELL) tutor at the district. Through programs like Munch and More, Rogers University, Pre-K Camp and others, Hernández is still involved closely with the district.

She has two children at the district, while her oldest graduated last year. Hernández also volunteers at the high school’s 4-H Leadership Club.

Voting locations for the Marshalltown School Board election are as follows: Marshalltown Public Library at 105 W. Boone St. for Ward 1 voters, Malloy Hall of the Iowa Veterans Home at 1301 Summit St. for Ward 2 voters, Fisher Community Center at 709 S. Center St. for Ward 3 voters and First Baptist Church at 700 E. Olive St. for Ward 4 voters.

A complete map of Marshalltown’s wards can be found at under the link labeled “Marshalltown Ward & Precinct Map.”

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all Sept. 12 school board elections.

Area roundup

Voters in the West Marshall, East Marshall and Green Mountain-Garwin school districts also have choices to make this Tuesday.

April Coulter is the only incumbent candidate at West Marshall, where a total of three seats are up this year. The challengers for those seats include Hunter Wilkening, Sue Goodman and Jason Walker.

Polling locations for the West Marshall School Board election are as follows: Clemons Fire Station for Precinct 1 voters, Melbourne Recreation Center at 613 Main St. in Melbourne for Precinct 2 voters and State Center City Hall at 118 E. Main St. for Precinct 3 voters.

A competitive race is also under way at GMG, with four candidates vying for two open at-large seats. There are also candidates running for districts within GMG.

There are two incumbents in the at-large race: Ann Jackson and Patrick Cornwell. Challenging for those seats are Dino Baldazo and Randy Sienknecht.

The sole candidate in the GMG District 1 race is Kyle Hall, while the only candidate for District 2 is Nathan Holven.

There are two polling locations for the GMG School Board election: Precinct 1 is located at Garwin City Hall at 205 Main St.; the Precinct 2 location is at the Green Mountain Lions Park Building.

East Marshall has a single candidate in this year’s school board election. District 4 incumbent Craig Mommer is running unopposed, while District one has no candidate filed.

Polling locations for the East Marshall School Board election include the Le Grand Area Community Building at 206 N. Vine St., Gilman City Hall at 128 N. Main St. and at Laurel City Hall, 102 N. Main St.

For more information on the Sept. 12 school board elections in Marshall County, visit


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or