SL School Board foes face issues

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Aging elementaries, school finance, growing enrollments and English language learning at issue in race

Five candidates are vying for the two Storm Lake School Board seats up for grabs in the Tuesday, Sept. 9 election.

They bring with them varied background experience and opinions on the immediate priorities for the school, from English language education to the need for a new elementary building.

Dan Douglas, Sherice Gibson, Karen Hixon, Jolene Hotovec and Todd Nicholson are running for office. Four of the candidates took part in a Pilot-Tribune pre-election survey. Gibson was unable to participate.


* Dan Douglas is a dentist and has lived in Storm Lake for 17 years. He is married to Wende and has three children: Alison is a high school junior, Heather an 8th grader, and Peter is in the 6th grade. Douglas is a native of Laurens and attended school there until 8th grade and then moved to Orange City where he graduated from M-OC High School. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Iowa.

* Karen Hixon is a University of Iowa graduate with a bachelor's degree in Elementary/Special Education. During her practice teaching she traveled to New Zealand where she was able to compare teaching methods and philosophies. Upon returning from this experience, Hixon moved to Oregon where she established two elementary Resource Centers for Learning Disabled and special needs students for two different school districts. She later moved with her husband to Virginia where she completed her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Effective Learning at Virginia Tech. After graduating, the Hixons settled in Maryville, Missouri where Karen became the Director of Upward Bound at Northwest Missouri State University. Upward Bound is a federally funded program designed to assist low-income and first-generation high school students in their preparation for post-secondary education. When the Hixons began their family, Karen made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom. She has accepted temporary teaching positions at NWMSU and serving as a substitute teacher for the Storm Lake school district for the past three years. Hixon has also served as the PIC chairperson for South Elementary and is currently the PIC chair at the Storm Lake Middle School. She has lived in Storm Lake since 1997.

* Jolene Hotovec has been a resident of Storm Lake for 19 years, moving here in 1984. Her husband, Rick, works for Buena Vista County in Road Maintenance. Jolene works at Trimark Buena Vista Clinic. She lives on an acreage three miles North of Storm Lake in the Storm Lake School District. Hotovec has been employed by Trimark Buena Vista Clinic for 19 years, currently working as an office nurse for Dr. Paul Barber, where she enjoys the opportunity to work with many people.

Learn more about each candidate. Get your copy of the Pilot Tribune 732-3130.

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