Members of the Board

Laura A. Stevens, Chair
Okoboji CSD, Teacher

Laura Stevens has taught for 27 years and most currently teaches 5th grade Language Arts and Math at Okoboji Middle School. Prior to that she held several Special Education positions in Iowa and South Dakota: preschool handicapped itinerant teacher, K-12 Resource Room, K-6 Behavior Disorders, K-6 Resource Room, 7-8 Resource Room. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and her masters in Behavior Disorders at Morningside College in Sioux City. She has also taught college classes in special education and learning strategies and has presented at middle school, special education, and differentiation conferences. She is a faculty advisor for The Builders Club – a student service organization. She has served on several leadership boards and committees for her school district, community, and the surrounding area.

Richard E. Wortmann, Vice Chair
Ottumwa CSD, Teacher

Richard E. Wortmann, appointed to the Board in 2009, teaches science at Ottumwa High School in Ottumwa, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Science Education. Before that, he graduated from Davis County High School in Bloomfield, Iowa.       

Mr. Wortmann has taught high school science for 10 years, been Science Department Chair for 3 years, long term member of the National Science Teachers Association and the Iowa State Teachers Section of the Iowa Academy of Science. He has also served on the Iowa State Education Association Political Action Committee.

Sara Arnold
Cedar Rapids CSD, PACT Resource Specialist

Sara J. Arnold, appointed to the board in 2014, is a 2nd-5th grade PACT (Program for Academic and Creative Talent) Resource Specialist for the Cedar Rapids Community School Distric . She was raised on a farm near Vinton, Iowa. After graduating from Luther College in music education, she received her graduate degree from Drake University in Educational Leadership. She taught music education for 12 years and has been with the PACT department (talented and gifted) for 3 years. Sara has served as a teacher leader for her district and the Iowa State Education Association. She is currently serving as a member of the Teacher Leadership Initiative with the National Education Association, working with fellow teacher leaders from around the US. Sara J. and her husband, David, enjoy making music together with their children, Emma and Parker.

Dr. Brad Buck
Iowa Department of Education, Director

Dr. Brad Buck has been appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to serve as director of the Iowa Department of Education. Buck, a longtime educator and school administrator, was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. He is a first-generation college graduate in his family.  Buck began his career in education in 1992 as a middle school science teacher in the Ankeny Community School District. He taught for five years before taking on a number of administrative roles in the Waukee, Hudson, and North Mahaska school districts. Most recently, Buck was superintendent of the Saydel Community School District in Des Moines.  Buck is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he received a Ph.D. and a master’s degree, and the University of Northern Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology.
He lives in Urbandale with his wife, Traci, and their six children.

Dan Dutcher
Waukee, Public Member

Dan Dutcher was appointed to the Board of Educational Examiners in March, 2013 and currently works at Knapp Properties in West Des Moines, IA as a consultant. Mr. Dutcher started his real estate career at the then Bankers Life Company (now Principal Financial Group) in 1977 and has held a number of senior management positions at several Des Moines real estate firms and has been actively involved in a number of well known real estate projects in the Des Moines metro area. Mr. Dutcher has been actively involved in his community being past member of the Waukee Planning and Zoning Commission and the Waukee City Council. Mr. Dutcher and his wife Mary have four adult children-three of which are involved in education.

Brenda Garcia
Muscatine, Public Member

In 2003, Brenda Garcia returned to Iowa from New York City, settling down in her hometown of Muscatine. After working for two Fortune 500 companies, she became an entrepreneur, operating an agency providing State Farm Insurance & Financial Services. She is an active community member, having served and currently serving, on a number of Boards and organizations: United Way, American Red Cross, the Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Services of Iowa, Rotary, Muscatine Community College Business Department Advisory Board, Naace, and National Association of Financial Advisors.

A first generation immigrant, Iowa schools afforded Brenda the opportunity to become the first in her family to achieve post-secondary success, graduating with a B.B.A., Marketing and an International Business Certificate from The University of Iowa in 1991. She is passionate about education and giving back. She has established an annual scholarship program through the Muscatine Community School Foundation and has awarded numerous scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Once a high school intern, Brenda offers internships through her business to high school students and Muscatine Community College students. She is also a dedicated Muscatine School Board member. In 2012, Brenda was appointed to the Board of Educational Examiners.

She is a proud parent of her two very active elementary school daughters.

Dr. Larry D. Hill
Thompson, Administrator

Dr. Larry D. Hill is the former Superintendent of Schools for the North Iowa Community School District, serving in that role from 1997-2009. He was born in Iowa, graduated from Forest City Community Schools, and attended Waldorf College and Mankato State University majoring in social studies/physical education/driver education. Hill did his graduate work at Drake University earning his doctorate in Educational Leadership. Hill has taught students ranging from Kindergarten through college seniors. Starting his teaching and coaching career at Baxter Community Schools and Thompson Community Schools, he has also been a driver education instructor at numerous school districts in central and northern Iowa. Dr. Hill's experiences include being an elementary principal, curriculum coordinator, middle school principal, school improvement consultant for AEA 2 and Superintendent. He has served as an adjunct professor for William Penn University and Waldorf College. As an active leader statewide, Hill has served on the DE Early Childhood Advisory Committee, character education committees, Educational Leadership Preparation Program Review Committee, as well as presenting for School Administrators of Iowa, Iowa Association of School Boards, AEAs, Department of Education, and several national character education conferences and conventions. Hill was selected Iowa's Superintendent of the Year in 2005 and traveled from Puerto Rico to Virginia to California presenting and visiting schools. He has served locally as a church leader, Lions Club officer, Early Childhood Iowa president, Winnebago Foundation board, local ambulance volunteer, and the Thompson city council. Dr. Hill and his wife have established the Midwest Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Mary K. Overholtzer
Winterset CSD, Teacher

Mary K. Overholtzer, appointed to the board in 2012, is the 7-12th grade talented and gifted educator with the Winterset Community School District . She was raised on a farm near Wheatland, Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State University in elementary education, she received her graduate degree from Drake University in the Models of Effective Teaching and in Administration. She has served in the Wheatland, Creston, Keokuk, Grand Valley, and Mount Ayr Community School Districts. Mary K. and her husband, John, enjoy supporting Christian and Christiana’s activities. The whole family keeps busy with school, college, community, and farm activities.

Dr. Andy R. Pattee
Cedar Falls CSD, Superintendent

Dr. Andy Pattee is the superintendent of the Cedar Falls Community School District starting in 2013. Prior to Cedar Falls, he served the Charles City Community School District for 5 years. He received his BA from the University of Northern Iowa and continued his education with Drake University where he received his Doctoral Degree in 2011. Dr. Pattee graduated from Humboldt High School and was employed previously by the Oskaloosa Community School District as a teacher and administrator. As a career educator, he has served on many local, regional, and state committee’s and boards to continuously explore better opportunities for the students of Iowa.

Dr. Jay B. Prescott
Des Moines, V.P. for Student Affairs, Grand View University

Jay Prescott, appointed to the Board in 2013, is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Grand View University.  He was born and raised in Northwest Iowa and has spent the last 25 years in education in the Des Moines area. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Westmar College, a Master of Science in Education from Drake University, and his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University. Jay also attended the Harvard Institute for Educational Management (IEM), Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Institute for Graduate Education in Cambridge, MA. Jay spent ten years as a high school teacher, guidance counselor and coach in Clarion, Urbandale and West Des Moines. He was also an associate principal at Valley Southwoods High School, West Des Moines for eight years before going to Grand View. Jay has spent the last eight years as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Grand View University. Jay currently resides in Urbandale with his wife Tami and their three children.

 

Erin Schoening
Council Bluffs CSD, Reading Interventionist and IB Program Coordinator

Erin Schoening has taught in the Council Bluffs Community School District for 14 years. She attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in K-8 reading education. Her past teaching experiences include kindergarten teacher, first grade teacher, literacy strategist and Reading Recovery teacher. She currently serves as a reading interventionist and as the International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator at College View Elementary. As part of the new Teacher Leadership and Compensation program in Iowa, Erin was selected as a Program Leader for the work she does as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Coordinator.  Erin also teaches reading methods courses for pre-service teachers at Buena Vista University’s Council Bluffs office.  

Erin’s husband, Devin, is a K-12 Instructional Technology Coach for Council Bluffs Community Schools. They have two daughters who attend College View Elementary.

Dr. Anne M. Sullivan
Des Moines CSD, Administrator

Anne M. Sullivan currently serves as Chief of Human Resources for Des Moines Public Schools. She was appointed to the Board of Educational Examiners in 2013. Anne has served as an elementary teacher, elementary principal, associate superintendent, superintendent and associate professor of educational leadership. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, and master’s degree from Iowa State University and her doctorate from Drake University in education administration.
Anne has served on the state-wide task force for the review of school administrator evaluation, co-lead for the Teacher Quality state-wide task force, Midwest Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) board member, Rural Education Task Force, and the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women Board of Directors. She was published in the Journal of Research on Educational Leadership for a study of the superintendency in Iowa as well as presented the research at the University Council of Educational Administrators national conference. Anne has also served as an adjunct instructor in educational leadership programs over the last fifteen years.

Anne has two daughters who attend high school in the Des Moines School District.