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Monday, May 8, 2023
Good Monday Morning to You!

May is School Board Recognition Month, and this year's theme is “Developing Iowa's Future Together.” The stated goal is to celebrate the work of school board members who are partnering with the school community, students, families and citizens.

Ever wonder how many people currently serve on school boards in Iowa? The answer is more than 2,000 (1,857 K-12, 79 AEA and 124 community college board members). These folks receive no compensation for their work and volunteer countless hours on board-related duties each month. With that service comes a great deal of financial responsibility. Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school board members oversee $6.57 billion statewide in Iowa public schools for 486,475 students. AEA board members oversee $393.2 million and provide special education, media and educational services to public schools.

Liz Brennan is the president of the Iowa Association of School Boards, a nonprofit organization representing Iowa's 327 public school districts, nine area education agencies and 15 community colleges.

“School board members serve to make a difference for students and ensure they have the building blocks needed for future success,” Brennan says. “They are committed to student achievement first and foremost, but also tend to the foundational elements, such as the budget, policies and district culture to make informed decisions impacting the entire community.”

I concur. And although we may not all agree on the directions that our local school boards are taking, we all do have the right to vote and select whom we want to represent us. Unfortunately, a lot of people complain, but very few vote.

I have written in the past how the political pendulum has swung very hard in one direction, even in our public schools, and it is now swinging very hard in another. Hopefully, it will balance in the middle at some point. Meanwhile, regardless of the varying opinions on school funding, transgender rights, books that should or should not be banned, and parental involvement, we should take the time to recognize the school board members who were selected via open elections to hammer out those decisions and create policies that will continually improve the educational opportunities for our youth.

And if you really want to make a difference and have your voice be heard, you can run for a school board seat, too.

Have a marvelous Monday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Children’s Store

1. Janes – Family Shop

2. Once Upon a Child

3. The Learning Post


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

Rain chances diminish as we move into the morning. We stay warm this week, and it appears we'll then stay mostly dry through Thursday. Better rain chances Friday and into the weekend.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

2400 Heatherwood Drive, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Beautifully updated 1.5 story home with over 2, 000 sq ft. The home has new carpet and paint. First floor boasts master and additional bedroom to go with an updated bathroom. Upstairs has two additional bedrooms with a second full bathroom. You'll enjoy a freshly landscaped property with covered patio.

See More Homes For Sale

Two weeks ago,McDonald's admitted that French fry sales have been dipping for two years. Fries have long been considered Mac’s profit maker, but consumers have been giving them up to cope with inflation. Wall Street was undaunted, as McDonald's' stock hit one all-time high after another following the admission. They are also, by far, the most popular fast food chain in America, and in Iowa.

Noah's (2400 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines) May special is manicotti, served with salad and yeast rolls for $10, carryout or dine in, lunch or dinner.

Mondays are prime rib days in Des Moines. Christopher's (2816 Beaver Ave., Des Moines) has a super special on them for dinner and Chicago Speakeasy (1520 Euclid Ave., Des Moines) has one for lunch and another for dinner.

— Jim Duncan


FROM KCCI: Close Up: Recapping the 2023 Iowa legislative session

DES MOINES, Iowa — The 2023 Iowa legislative session is over. On this episode of Close Up, we discuss what lawmakers accomplished over the last four months. The session was full of controversial bills, some of which became laws. We'll tell you what Republicans and Democrats said as they left the statehouse. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Victim in Sunday morning shooting has died

DES MOINES, Iowa — The victim who was critically injured in a shooting on Sunday morning has passed away from his injuries. At around 7:35 a.m. officers with the Des Moines Police Department responded to a shooting in the 6300 block of Urbandale Avenue. When first responders arrived to the scene they located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound.....READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Sudanese-Iowans watching the crisis in Sudan unfold, concerned about loved ones

DES MOINES, Iowa — As Sudan is on the brink of collapse, Sudanese-Iowans in the state are worrying about their loved ones abroad.  Ekram Kachu is a Sudanese pastor here in Des Moines. She's recently been spending a lot of time praying for those caught in the crossfire during the conflicts happening in Sudan. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

On May 8 in history ...

1988: Crime. Stella Nickell is convicted on two counts of murder by a Seattle, Washington, jury. She was the first person to be found guilty of violating the Federal Anti-Tampering Act after putting cyanide in Excedrin capsules in an effort to kill her husband.

1945: V-E Day. On May 8, 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine during World War II.

1976: "Welcome Back Kotter." In 1975, John Sebastian, former member of the beloved '60s pop group the Lovin’ Spoonful, was asked to write and record the theme song for a brand-new ABC television show with the working title Kotter. As any songwriter would, Sebastian first tried working that title into his song, but somehow the rhymes he came up with for “Kotter”—otter, water, daughter, slaughter—didn’t really lend themselves to a show about a middle-aged schoolteacher returning to his scrappy Brooklyn neighborhood to teach remedial students at his own former high school. So Sebastian took a more thoughtful approach to the task at hand and came up with a song about finding your true calling in a life you thought you’d left behind. That song, “Welcome Back,” not only went on to become a #1 pop single on May 8, 1976, but it also led the show’s producers to change its title to Welcome Back, Kotter.

Read more at History.com.


Hands-on learning about animals

FFA members benefit from Animal Learning Center

By T.K. West

Students of the Southeast Polk FFA have been involved with the Animal Learning Center located at the Iowa State Fairgrounds since its inception. The program is open to all high school students. The only requirement is that students must take an agricultural course so that they have working knowledge of animal agriculture. Although the program is ran by the Southeast Polk FFA, if there are students from neighboring schools who want to participate, the district has also helped them gain hands-on experience.

“I believe programs such as this are important to students at the high school level for many reasons. It gives students exposure. Many of my students do not have animals at home. By participating in this program, it opens their eyes to fields they may not have considered,” says Southeast Polk High School Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor Taylor Brittain.

... Read more in the April issue of Altoona Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: Bill Cowher, Domhnall Gleeson, Enrique Iglesias, Joe Bonamassa, Philip Bailey, Sir David Attenborough, Toni Tennille

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What do you call a chicken that is staring at a lettuce? CHICKEN SEES A SALAD (CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD!) - Gail Tomlinson, Rex Post

Today's Riddle

Who did the zombie take to the prom?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

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