Wautoma Area School Board Honors Dawn Peterson


Dawn Peterson, the LRC Specialist at Westmore Elementary School, strives to inspire her students so they become life-long readers. She encourages her pupils to embrace individuality while working collaboratively as part of a family both inside and outside the classroom environment.

On Monday morning, law enforcement sent out a significant presence to search a northwest Iowa home for two suspects. Heather Schultz of KTIV reports on this development.

Board Members

Board Members are elected officials responsible for assuring the financial viability and setting policies of schools while providing overall leadership. Day-to-day decisions for running the school fall under the jurisdiction of its Head of School; Wisconsin School Board Week runs October 2-8th this year, and we would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Board Members: Karen Piechowski as Treasurer; Barry Mastricola as Vice President; Jeannette Thom as Clerk; Adam Heding; Nicole Lehr; Ross Peterson; Dawn Peterson and Sarah Kriznar all bring invaluable experience and dedication that we would like to recognize during Wisconsin School Board Week this week!

Jed Kelsey

Jed Kelsey is a board member from Ames and a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s in history. Subsequently, he went on to earn two Masters degrees – one each from The University of Northern Iowa and The University of Iowa – which allowed him to become a School Board member in 2009 and Project Safe Board. Dawn and Jed’s two daughters Hannah (2015 Prairie Graduate now attending The University of Iowa) and Aliyah are attending Kirkwood Community College as juniors while working as Professors of History at Kirkwood Community College while also acting as welding teachers at both schools.

Kelsey-Brown first met her mentor while walking across campus during UW-Whitewater orientation day, where he introduced himself as her mentor and encouraged her to get involved with the district. Over time, this mentor played an invaluable role in her professional journey – inspiring Kelsey-Brown to honor his legacy by modeling inclusivity and diversity whenever she does anything new.

She takes great pride in her district’s diverse population, encouraging students to be proud of themselves while accepting others’ identities. Additionally, she’s passionate about supporting minority-serving organizations – her commitment to inclusiveness has helped her become one of the only black female superintendents in Wisconsin.

As part of his tenure on the school board, he has supported various initiatives, including a city branding campaign that promotes local businesses. Additionally, he assisted in redesigning the district logo to incorporate feedback from community members. Furthermore, student artwork was displayed throughout the boardroom and school district.

He is a member of the American Bar Association and has been practicing law in Minnesota for over three decades, where he has held leadership positions with multiple legal associations and committees, such as serving on committees for state and national organizations as well as committees of Minnesota School Boards Association and National School Board Association Board of Directors; additionally, he has written numerous articles related to school law and governance.

Dawn Peterson

Dawn Peterson has long been a dedicated supporter of the District 45 Board of Education, participating in various committees and volunteering at events like the Art Show. Additionally, she served on the PTA Council as an officer. At their May 15 board meeting, Dawn Peterson was recognized for her dedication and service to both students and staff in District 45.

Dawn was raised in Spencer, Iowa’s rural community. She has long been passionate about family and the outdoors; she attends church regularly with her husband and daughter and enjoys spending time together as well as reading, running, and making crafts in her free time.

At the April 11 school board meeting, Jeannette Thom and Dawn Peterson were officially inaugurated to three-year terms after receiving the most votes during the spring election season. Both candidates outshone Brian Gustke and Elissa Armstrong to become elected representatives.

Dawn serves as Vice President for Finance and Administration of Alverno College. In her capacity, she oversees its finance department, business office, information services/information systems department, as well as plant operations/facilities management/technology services departments. Furthermore, Dawn sits on Alverno’s Executive Leadership Team, where she implements their Strategic Plan.

She oversees both ASSISTments content and partnerships, as well as works closely with teachers to use data-driven instruction in their instruction. She has used ASSISTments herself for over ten years in her classroom and remains an enthusiastic proponent of this program.

She is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive training and expertise in treating adolescents and families. She specializes in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as gender-specific services for women.

Dawn holds both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Arizona and a Master of Business Administration from Colorado. She first joined Benjamin West as a project manager before being promoted to her current position in March 2000. Dawn is well-regarded on our team for her organizational abilities and attention to detail.

Karen Kelsey

At their regular April 11 meeting at Riverview Elementary, members of the Wautoma Area School Board were sworn in for their terms on April 11. Jeannette Thom was re-elected, while Dawn Peterson began serving for her first term.

Peterson is an LRC Specialist at Westmore Elementary School and believes students can embrace their individuality while also working together as part of a family unit. Actual growth will only occur once all teachers receive training on reading instruction science as well as the professional freedom to select those research-backed instructional strategies that best meet students’ needs.

She has lived in Raymond her entire life and takes great pride in calling it home. She is actively involved with the Raymond PTO and various community service organizations; in addition, she volunteers at the Prairie High School Athletic Training program. Together with her husband, she raised two graduates of Raymond School District; together, they live with Stella, their beloved dog, spending their free time outdoors or attending local events such as sporting events like Prairie, Coe College, or even UCSC baseball games!