The president of the nine-member State Board of Education says the group wants to have a more “public” role.
Gene Vincent of Carroll has been on the board for 11 years and is currently in his fifth year as president of the group that oversees state policy for K-through-12 schools as well as community colleges. “We have so much talent to offer off of this board and we can just be ambassadors for education,” he says.
The board invited the two major party candidates for governor to meet with them this past week. Vincent told both Democrat Chet Culver and Republican Jim Nussle the state Board of Education had been under-used. “I just want to — in the next couple of years — try to get this board more visible,” Vincent says.
The chairman of the Iowa Business Council and an executive of The Pella Corporation are members of the state Board of Education as well as the former superintendent of Catholic schools in the Des Moines area. Vincent, the board’s president, is a commodities broker who has served on the Carroll School Board. “I think we have a group that can carry the message,” Vincent says.
Board members introduced themselves to both Culver and Nussle on Thursday and asked both candidates how they would view the role of the Board of Education if they’re elected governor. Culver said he’d rely on the board’s advice. Nussle said he’s someone who believes in “collaboration” and would seek out their ideas for improving Iowa education.