Joe Jongewaard Selected for Open Seat on Des Moines School Board

Joe Jongewaard

The Des Moines School Board has selected Joe Jongewaard to fill an open seat on the board of directors for Iowa’s largest provider of public education.

Jongewaard fill be sworn in at the School Board’s next meeting on Tuesday, February 7.

The vacancy on the school board resulted from the resignation of Patty Link on January 10. Jongewaard will serve on the School Board for the remainder of Link’s term, which ends in September 2013.

“We’re pleased to welcome Joe to the Board and to join us in our work on behalf of our students, our schools and the entire community,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, chair of the Des Moines School Board. “We are grateful to everyone who applied and for having a strong group of finalists to consider.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve,” added Jongewaard. “Des Moines Public Schools is in a unique position to prove it is one of the best urban districts in the nation, and I am pleased to be able to contribute to that effort.”

Jongewaard is a long-time community volunteer, businessman and public servant with experience in economic development, housing, finance and government. He served as an aide to former Governor Tom Vilsack and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and most recently was a project manager at the Iowa Department of Economic Development, helping to develop the state’s wind energy industry.

Jongewaard also spent nearly 16 years of his career with Equitable Life Assurance. Among his volunteer work for the school district over the years, he served on the committee which developed the Downtown School.

Jongewaard holds a bachelors degree in economics from Iowa State University, and was recognized as an “Outstanding Young Alumnus” by ISU. He is married to Connie Cook, who recently retired after more than 40 years as a teacher, principal and Associate Superintendent with Des Moines Public Schools.

A committee of the School Board selected three finalists from the applicants for the vacancy. The finalists were interviewed by the entire board on Tuesday. The other two finalists for the position were Shane Schulte and Patricia Woodward-Young.