Brian Anderson, a bid for a School Board Seat.

September, 2015


Unbelievable and Thank you! I won a seat as a write-in candidate!

Me and Allison dressing up

Hello, I am Brian Anderson, and I would like to be your Write In choice for the upcoming Gilbert District School Board Election on Tuesday.

I am not running to reform the district. I am running to support the strengths of what has been done before us and shepherd it into the next decade.

I am running with the following goals:

  • I’d like to share clear, open, communication of the school board’s decisions and upcoming district changes that impact our families.

  • I love Gilbert Schools, our teachers, administrators and families – I want to preserve our values and intimacy as we continue to grow over the next 10 years.

  • Integration of learning and technology. We need a holistic plan for using technology to aid in our children’s learning, and I would like help build it. Technology does not solve everything, nor does it destroy everything. Computers are everywhere, lets make sure we have a plan to help our families, teachers and students make the most of these tools.

  • I want to encourage our four district buildings to work with one another, the neighborhoods and the city. We have a rich opportunity for our students to learn through serving those around them, lets do it!

  • Find creative ways to fund fine arts, extra curricular activities and clubs. We have a great, engaged parent-base – I want to find ways to educate our kids beyond the traditional subjects, even if the state is unwilling to pay.

  • I’d love to start a handful of after school programs. Wouldn’t it be great to have some of the high tech parents and Iowa State students run a programming workshop?

You might be asking yourself: “why didn’t he officially run?”

Great question!

I had a few people ask me to run, and I said no. To be honest, I thought that my service in the classrooms, district committees and youth sports was more impactful than being on the School Board. After hearing the responses from the candidates on Wednesday night’s forum, however, I am no longer sure this is the case.

I distinctly heard two things from our new candidates:

  • Big agendas and
  • Very minimal experience working with our teachers and administrators.

Two things that worried me. After talking with a few parents, staff and administrators today I realized I should try to be a write in candidate. Apparently other people have succeeded at this.

What makes me qualified?

I work on internet ads. I build them. You might actually hate me. Don’t worry, my job is to make them less annoying and more delightful.

Actually, building internet advertisements for a large publisher requires pragmatic compromises: what will the editorial team think, how will our readers respond, will our big advertisers be happy, are we meeting our quarterly financial numbers, are the ads preforming well on handheld devices, … ? There are a myriad of conflicting goals – understand them and building systems to accomplish them is difficult. This is what I do every day. I feel like this is quite similar to all the individual interests, goals and ideals that all of our families bring to the district. I want to keep our district great, improve what we can, and preserve the caring-spirit that is the bedrock of our district.

And, “Who Are You?”

Me and my family dressing up

I am a balding father of two young boys (Micah is 9 and Eli is 7 years old) and a husband to Allison Anderson (her age is less important). My family has been a part of the Gilbert district since our oldest was in Kindergarten in 2011, that makes it four years. I think we’ve done some cool stuff in that short amount of time.

Allison and I have loved the small class sizes and warm teachers of the elementary school since day one of kindergarten. Micah’s teacher was full of smiles and hugs for the kids. She won us over and we started volunteering in the classroom as much as she’d let us (I did mostly quirky science experiments).

The following year (and a few more after that) Allison became the Junior Varsity Volleyball coach and gave up her fall evenings to teach and mentor a team of young women. She is now volunteering her time to help with Gilbert volleyball youth clinics.

We were both asked to be on District Advisory Committee (DAC) to represent the Elementary school. Following that I was asked to be on the Gilbert School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) which worked alongside the administration and school board to establish long term education goals.

In 2013 Allison began working for the Gilbert district as a short and long term sub. And then again in 2014 she was our Elementary’s FAST testing Associate and leading reading intervention groups. She also taught in the Middle School, as a parttime Study Hall sergeant.

This year she is now the administrative assistant for Paul Jacobson (High School Guidance Counselor) and Tim Pezzetti (Athletic Director “for your Gilbert Tigers!”).

In fact, we enjoy this district so much, we moved to Gilbert in February of this year. We realized we were spending so much of our time in the schools and surrounding sports fields that it was just time to finally be a part of this small city. We live on a newly developed circle on the south side of Prairie View Drive (or PVD if you are a local).

Most recently I’ve been a part of two larger planning committees:

  1. Worked along side Chris and Layne Billings, Jason Holtan, Troy Staudt and few other parents to help with the High School’s 1:1 (“one to one”) plan. The 1:1 plan gives every student a laptop. The bulk of the work was to craft a plan than embraced the new communication and learning strategies enabled by students with computers.

  2. Over the last year I’ve been on the committee to revamp the way our district communicates with our parents, students and community. I worked side by side with very talented parents and all of the administration on crafting a strategy for effective and clear communication. We successfully design and launched the Gilbert School App. (psst, you should download it for iPhone, iPad or Google Android. We have also been hard at work on the upcoming redesign of our website, launching this Winter.

I’ve coached youth soccer at the Heart of Iowa Soccer Club four years and coached both of my sons team, I even had a small stint on their board of directors.

Our family is involved in soccer, football, baseball, volleyball and basketball youth sports.

Allison has served on the Gilbert Education Foundation. She helped raise money and plan the annual Rock Hop for the last two years. (there might be horrible pictures floating around of us at the annual Rock Hop dressed up as pirates).

About to drop some mentos in a diet coke!

I am about to drop some mentos in a diet coke. The kids love this (most adults do too)!

Remind me again why I should vote for you?

Our family has been involved in volunteer and paid positions in the classrooms and district, we’ve committed our lives to this school and town. We love education (in and outside the classroom) and want to see the character and values of this District thrive in the years to come.

I am not interested in large reform, I want patient thoughtful planning to address the coming needs in a way that preserves the heart of what makes our District special. I want to see classrooms full of curious, prepared, caring, and engaged students ready to tackle the world.

Of course there is room for change, but there is also a lot that we are doing well. I am up for the challenge of carrying our district through the following 4 years.

I’d appreciate your vote on Tuesday, September 8, from noon to 8pm. Put it on your calendar and remember me: "Brian Anderson" (a pretty average person who enjoys our schools… no need to write anything more than my name though).

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