School Board swears in Batsche, Wise, elects Galvin as president

Henri Robbins | Online Editor

For the School  Board, the New Year means new members.

In their first meeting of the new year, the Mason School Board welcomed new member Desiree Batsche and returning member Kevin Wise to the board. After the two members were sworn in, board members Charles Galvin and Connie Yingling were elected by the board to serve as its president and vice president, respectively, through two unanimous votes of the board. 

In joining the board, Batsche said she feels at home with the other board members, and that she is glad to be able to work with them. 

“They’ve done a great job preparing me,” Batsche said. “They have all been amazing. I’ve met with each of them individually more than once, they’ve been very supportive, lots of phone calls, ‘hey, do you have any questions?’ It’s a respect for the voters in our district and who they chose. They’ve all welcomed me with no issues.” 

Having lived in Mason for a long time, and with two children in Mason City Schools, Batsche said she chose to run since she wanted to help the community she is a part of. 

“I’ve actually contemplated it for several years,” Batsche said. “This particular time, I thought there was an open seat. I didn’t think Courtney Allen was going to file for re-election, so that was my motivation to do it at that particular time. […] My family has deep roots in this community, my kids have attended the schools since kindergarten, I really just want to be involved.”

Entering his 18th year on the board, Wise said he is glad to be welcomed back and looks forward to working with them in his next term. 

“I never take it for granted,” Wise said. “I really appreciate the support of the community and the longtime opportunity to serve, and today was no different. It always feels good to start a new term.”

Replacing Matthew Steele as president in his third year on the board, Galvin said he is looking forward to working as a representative of the group, and is glad to have the faith of the board behind him. 

“If you had told me I’d be sitting in the middle seat in two years, I would’ve said you’re crazy. I really credit Jonathan (Cooper), Shaun (Bevan), the two top employees in the district, as they’re very accomodating in terms of educating me on the district’s business, and Matt, Kevin, Connie, and Courtney Allen for really embracing me on the board as a new member, entrusting me, and      showing me the ropes. “

Wise said that he’s glad to welcome Galvin as the new board president, and that he has faith in Galvin’s abilities. 

“I really have appreciated Charles’ ability to catch up to speed very quickly since he joined the  board two years ago.” Wise said. “He has a very balanced demeanor, he understands issues very quickly, and when he doesn’t, he invests time to understand them.”

Along with his enthusiasm for Galvin, Wise said that he appreciates Batsche’s approach to working on the school board and her willingness to learn, and that he looks forward to working with her during their terms. 

“I didn’t know Desiree well before we started to work together,” Wise said. “I certainly know of her family. I don’t think this is speaking out of turn and it’s for all public record: Her family, the Batsche family, is probably one of the most generous families in Mason, particularly to the school district, over many years. We’ve had other Batsches on the school board, and I think Desiree will do a great job.”

Photos by Henri Robbins.