Eyada, Galvin hope to unseat incumbents in school board election, call for students to pay attention

Asia Porter | Editor-in-Chief

Three seats are up for grabs in the school board election on November 7.

With only two incumbents in the race, current President Matthew Steele and member Connie Yingling, at least one newcomer will earn a seat come November. Attorney Charles Galvin is hoping to be that one.

With the 2018 renovation projects on the horizon, Galvin said his main concern is the future (prioritizing stability within the district both financially and among the student body), specifically the intermediate-level grades and high school students, who will see a change in their school dynamic.

“My focus primarily is ensuring financial stability for the core functions that the school district has,” Galvin said. “Wanting to maintain a stable financial support to primarily focus on the resources we already have, making sure the money that we have coming in that we can count on is being distributed the best it can be. That’s something that I would want to have a hand in and do what I can to help make sure it stays on task, stays on budget and that all the students in the district are not disrupted or bothered by some of the changes going on.”

Mother of three Mason students and doctor Noha Eyada is also looking to earn her spot on the board. Eyada brands herself as an individual that will bring the diversity reflected in the school district to the board and along with it, new perspectives and ideas for the district’s future.

While the upcoming election does allow for the community to elect change in Eyada and Galvin, long-seated Steele and Yingling have proven themselves to be qualified and popular candidates.

Steele was appointed to the presidential seat on January 10 of this year. After having just been sworn in, Steele said he intended to continue on the path already set, confident the district was already headed in the right direction.

“For us, it’s mostly staying the course and making sure that we’re setting up the administrative and teaching staff for success,” Steele said. “(It’s) making sure that the resources are there from state resources or whatever resources we need to make sure that people can do their jobs and do great for Mason City Schools.”

The final candidate in this year’s four-person race is incumbent Yingling, who has been on the board since 1999. As a result, Yingling noted she has been able to witness the district’s rapid growth in her early years on the board along with making important decisions that go along with such growth

Yingling said now that the district has begun to level off growth wise, she hopes to see Mason and its students go deeper and earn a more enriched education.

“We have opportunities now to stabilize the district and go for depth. We have the opportunity now to focus on the pieces and make them better,” Yingling said. “One of those that is a highlight for me and a lot of people is innovation: what can we do now for students that we haven’t been able to do in the past? We’ve always helped give kids a good education. We try hard to give taxpayers a good value, but now we have the opportunity to not just help kids figure out what they want to do and what they’re able to do; we’re able to let them focus and dig deeper.”

Galvin, along with Eyada, will look to unseat one of these incumbents as they start to look towards November 7. And while local elections tend to get lost behind national ones, Galvin said students are impacted by the results now, but even more notably, long-term.

“When I had a choice to go somewhere for employment, to start my family, there were opportunities in the area where I grew up that I could come home,” Galvin said. “I know a lot of people want to go to big cities and travel the world, and there’s definitely a time and place for that, but I also think that at some point, a lot of people are going to want to start a family. I think that good schools and a strong public school system is a huge draw- a huge boost to any community- so making sure you have leadership that can guide your school district in the right direction and make your school system as strong as it can be is really important to everything that keeps your community going.”