2023 School Board Elections

Get on Board horizontal logoInterested in serving on your K12 or community college school board? 

The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) provides information for community members who are interested in serving on their local K–12 or community college school board. School board members are elected by their local communities in an election held the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years.


School Board Candidate Webinar Series

IASB is pleased to offer a complimentary recorded webinar series to assist candidates in navigating school board elections. Watch recordings now!
  • Running for the School Board 101: Essential Tips for School Board Candidates
    Air Date: Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2023
    In this initial webinar, candidates unpack what serving on a school board entails and how to prepare for meaningful board leadership. IASB staff share practical insights about the authority of the board, common misperceptions about the role of the board, essential factors that impact school finance, and expectations for board work. We examine critical information that impacts decision-making for candidates and offer options to access and utilize this knowledge. The session concludes with a glimpse into candidate filing details and a sneak preview of upcoming IASB webinars for candidates who want to dig deeper into these and related topics of interest. View the presentation PDF.

    Watch Recorded Webinar
      • The Building Blocks of Effective Relationships with Your Legislators
        Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023
        Are you ready to make an impact during the legislative session? Join IASB’s government relations team for this free webinar to learn quick and simple ways to establish a relationship with your local legislators. Our staff experts will share proven strategies to help build and maintain this important relationship—whether you’re a newer advocate, or experienced, you will take away new tips and tricks. In addition to IASB staff, we’ve invited board member advocates to co-present so you can hear from your peers what has worked well for them, even in years when legislation isn’t always a win for public education. 

        Free for all IASB members.

        Register Now
      IASB develops a toolkit each election cycle that can help interested citizens understand school boards in Iowa and their role, qualifications and steps to become a school board candidate, rewards of school board service and more. Invest in the future—get on board.

      School board members are elected by their local communities in an election held the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years. The next few regular school elections will take place on the following dates:

      • Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
      • Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2025
      • Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2027

      IASB Get on Board Elections Toolkit

      Board Secretary Checklist
      Guide for School Board Candidates
      Key Dates
      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
      Educational Opportunities for School Board Candidates & New Board Members
      Sample Questions for Candidate Forums
      Board Member Testimonials
      Informational Animated Video: Filing Basics 101

      Iowa Secretary of State's School Elections Resources

      Visit the Iowa Secretary of State's (SOS) school elections website for a variety of resources including:

      Candidate's Guide
      Affidavit of Candidacy
      Nomination Petition
      School Secretary's Guide
      School Secretary Planning Worksheet


      Iowa Board of Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Resources

      Visit the Iowa Board of Ethics and Campaign Disclosure website for information on topics including:

      Political advertising disclaimers
      Permitted and prohibited corporate activity
      Independent expenditures/in-kind contributions
      Duties of a committee treasurer
      Civil penalties
      Out-of-state contributions
      Prohibition in use of public funds for political purposes
      Guidelines for campaign fundraising

      Ask Me icon For questions, email Tammy Votava.

      Key Dates for November 2023 School Board Elections

      If you are preparing for the fall school board elections, these key dates can help.

      Aug. 28: Candidate filing begins.
      Sept. 21: Candidate filing deadline by 5 p.m.
      Sept. 26: Candidate withdrawal deadline by 5 p.m. (last day for candidates to withdraw by filing a written request with the school secretary).
      Nov. 7: School election day. Polls are open from 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
      Nov. 13 or 14: Tier 1 canvass of votes for all school districts: first Monday or Tuesday after the election, unless these dates fall on a legal holiday, then it pushes back one day. This is the only and final election canvass for school districts located within one county.
      Nov. 20 or 21: Tier 2 canvass of votes for districts whose boundary lines fall within multiple counties: second Monday or Tuesday after the election, unless these dates fall on a legal holiday, then it pushes back one day. This is the second and final election canvass for those districts.
      Dates vary: No date is legally specified for the organizational meeting. It is the first regular meeting or a special meeting held before the first regular meeting following the final canvass. During this meeting, the board organizes for the new term.

      Review the differences between an Annual Meeting and Organizational Meeting and when these meetings should take place with the school elections change from September to November in odd-numbered years.

      Why School Board Members Serve

      IASB asked current Iowa school board members why they serve on their local boards. While we found there are many reasons why they are willing to give their time and commitment to serve their communities, there is one that remains consistent no matter who you ask—they serve to make a difference for the children in their district.  

      Headshot: Armel Traore dit Nignan
      “I found early on in my American journey that serving one's community is a great way to belong, so I found ways to be involved in every community I lived in from then on, serving in a variety of ways. The opportunity to influence the educational outcomes and personal growth of students in your community alone is reason enough and ultimately the most important. Being associated with such dedicated professionals is humbling.”

      Armel Traore dit Nignan, Board Member, Waukee Schools

      Headshot: Amy Grau
      “The most rewarding aspect of board service is witnessing student success and to see each graduate achieve their goals as they make plans for the future. I ran for school board to make a difference in the educational programs offered and to create opportunities for all students. Being involved in the decision-making process and planning for the future of our schools has been incredibly rewarding.”

      Amy Grau, Board President, Corning Schools

      Headshot: Chad Crabb
      “I have always believed that education is the foundation for a successful life and career. From PK-12, we lead and govern the people and systems that give our students opportunities with lifelong impact. Serving your community as a school board member provides many intangible rewards. Yes, you put in a lot of hours for which you do not get paid a dime, but if you are a service minded leader who cares about the education of all students in your community, it is absolutely worth it!”

      Chad Crabb, Board Member, Southeast Polk Schools

      Headshot: Nate Gruber
      “For me, serving as a school board member is an opportunity to advocate on behalf of those who may otherwise feel unheard and unrepresented in district decisions. Working toward having diverse school boards is important because the experiences of minority and underrepresented groups can be so different from that of others. Having a seat and a voice at the table provides these groups the opportunity to give input on the decisions that affect our students and community.”

      Nate Gruber, Board Member, Cedar Falls Schools

      Headshot: Staci Heaberlin
      “I enjoy being a school board member because I know our goals and accomplishments are for the well-being and education of our students in our district. It is very rewarding when are able to offer programs for our students that will make them successful in the future, no matter what path they choose. I enjoy communicating with parents, community members, and students while also seeking input from all stakeholders in our district to keep us successful!”

      Staci Heaberlin, Board President, Murray Schools

      Headshot: Nate Clayberg
      “I want to be a part of the planning and strategy to help deliver a quality learning experience for everyone in our building. Being of service to the district is very rewarding when you can see construction projects finished and when you see students graduate and move onto their next steps. Sometimes we forget as a board the impact we have on students and families. When we remember why we are here and who we serve it makes the job so much easier.”

      Nate Clayberg, Board Vice President, Jesup Schools


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