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Meet the Clarke School Board candidates

Brian Crawford

Brian and his wife Molly have been married for 21 years and have four great kids. Gabriel a 2017 graduate of Clarke and a corporal in the US Marines, Cady a 2019 graduate attending Northwest Missouri State, Jenna a freshman and Ashlyn an eighth grader at Clarke.

“I am running for the Clarke School Board as I am vested in future of this community and school district. When the students succeed, we all succeed,” said Crawford.

Crawford intends to focus on three major things, fiscal responsibility, student skills and safety.

Two things that Crawford loves about Clarke Schools is Clarke’s inclusivity of all students and the positive relationships formed between students and teachers.

Doug Gay

Gay is married with two children, a daughter in second grade and a son in Kindergarten at Clarke. Originally from Florida, he moved to Osceola in 2007. He currently manages the Osceola Hy-Vee Fast and Fresh Express and serves Ward 1 as a City Councilman.

Gay is running for Clarke School Board because of the “many issues” of the past few years; he wants to be actively involved in the decision making process to ensure that his children and all Clarke students recieve the best education with as little disruption as possible.

“Leadership is the ability to see things that need changed, the resolve to put your decisions into action, while at the same time being willing to compromise when necessary,” said Gay. “But, at the same time, you should be willing to look at both sides and then make the best choice for the majority of who the decisions would affect.”

Two things Gay loves about Clarke Schools is the pride and community support for the school and the dedicated staff that support one another and unite to work together.

Lori Helgevold

Helgevold currently lives in Osceola with her husband, Dale. They have three children all of whom have or will graduate from Clarke- Damon 2015 grad, LeeAnn 2017 grad and Landi a senior, 2020 grad. She works with eight school districts in south central Iowa in her posisiton at Green Hills AEA, primarily with special education.

She plans to support the teachers, staff, faculty and students by making appropriate educational decisions and maintaining a financially stable district. Being a transparent board is important to Helgevold as well becasue the community members/taxpayers need to feel they are always aware of what is happening in the district.

“When things get tough, the tough get going. Sometimes this means hard decisions need to be made and that can be a very difficult situation,” said Helgevold. “I feel I can be an active participant in these situations.”

Two things that Helgevold loves about Clarke Schools are the supports for students/teachers/staff by the administration and the community efforts in making Clarke a “top notch” district.

Shawna Henry

Henry and her husband Tyler have two children, Taylor, a Junior and Bridgette, an eighth grader at Clarke. She works for Cactus Family Farms and is a sub associate at Clarke Elementary.

“I want to make sure our students at Clarke are getting the highest quality of education that they can receive and our teachers are getting the support they need to help our students succeed,” said Henry. “I am a positive role model and I love to giveback to our community.”

Two thing Henry loves about Clarke Schools is the big hearts and dreams that the staff have for the students and how welcoming and willing to help others the staff at the schools are.

Bert Houge

Houg and his wife Angie have three daughters, Taylor, a 2017 Clarke graduate, Rili, an eighth grader at Clarke and Aubri, in 3 year-old Preschool.

Houge is running for Clarke School Board to be an ear for the teachers and staff of Clarke Community Schools. He feels it’s important to really listen to teachers and do what he can to fulfill their needs to better the learning environment for students.

Houge understands that being on the board means to be one voice of seven but that the seven are a unit there to better the community.

Two things that Houge loves about Clarke are the teachers and the community support.

“Without the teachers at Clarke I wouldn’t be who I am today,” said Houge, a Clarke graduate himself.

MacKenzie O’Hair

O’Hair and her husband Patrick have three children, Liam, a third grader at Clarke, Everly, in preschool and two-year-old Irelynn. She is proud to say they are a farm family.

O’Hair is running for school board because the future and well-being of the community is very much dependent on the success of the school and the work the school board does is vital and has the ability to impact the community in a huge way.

“If elected, I will seek to ensure that community members have ample opportunities to make their voices heard. I will push for more transparency in school board proceedings, and I will push for policy changes that increase citizens’ opportunities to participate,” said O’Hair. “On a personal level, I am someone who is approachable, responsive, service minded, and genuinely passionate about helping our school succeed.”

The two things O’Hair loves about Clarke are the people and the districts innovative and responsive support to the community’s needs.

Wendy Short

Short resides in rural Clarke County with her husband and three boys; ages eleven, nine and seven.

Short is running for School Board because she believes that with teamwork and perseverance, Clarke can become a high achieving school district; a district that will provide a quality education, endless opportunities for students and ensure future growth for the community.

“If given the opportunity to serve on the Clarke Community School Board, I will work hard to ensure fiscal responsibility and transparency within the district,” said Short. “I do not have all the answers, however, I assure you that I will strive to make educated decisions that will positively impact our students, teachers and our school district.”

Two things Short loves about Clarke are the people and the sense of community surrounding the district.

“We are proud to be a part of the Clarke Community School District family,” said Short.

The School Board Candidate Forum will be held 6 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Chamber Main Street/ CCDC board room, 115 E. Washington St. The event will be moderated by former State Representative Rob Taylor. This forum is free and open to the public.

Clarke Community School Board elections are Nov. 5. 

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