The Waukee Community School District Board of Education (BOE) is dedicated to maximizing individual learning and potential for success in a global community.
Get to know our School Board:
My wife Janice and I have three children, Brendan, Alyssa and Patrick that have all attended Waukee Schools. I am a Certified Financial Planner™ and own my own Registered Investment Advisory firm, and have more than 28 years of professional experience in the financial services field. I have served on various boards. While my kids were in school I was Waukee Band Booster President, where I started Celebration in Brass at Waukee, this event attracted close to 3,000 spectators. I enjoy being a school board member because I feel every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in school and we can accomplish this by providing a world-class education where each student has a chance to discover, and develop, his/her passion for learning and success.
Dan Gehlbach, Vice President
My wife Staci and I have two daughters and I am the owner and Center Director of Mathnasium Learning Center of West Des Moines. Prior to starting my business 9 years ago, I worked in internal audit and was an audit manager for Mercy Hospitals. I am excited about the future of the Waukee Community School District. Serving our community and school district is something I have dedicated myself to over the past years. I have also dedicated my career to seeing kids reach their goals and changing their lives through math. Serving on the Board is the best way for me to continue that service and give back to our schools. My top priorities include increased transparency and restoring trust along with a re-focus on education while keeping up with growth and fighting for more state funding.
The next decade will be important and challenging for the District as it works to accommodate rapid growth. As a mom with two children in Waukee schools, I want to be a part of this process, helping to guide decisions that will impact students for many years to come. I’ve been involved with Waukee schools since 2006, serving on the 2012-13 Boundary Committee; the 2013 Secondary Study Committee; as Brookview PTO Vice-President and Staff Appreciation Chair; and as District PTO Secretary. I work part-time as a Missions Assistant at Lutheran Church of Hope and my faith is an essential part of who I am.
Lori Lyon, President
Together, my husband Larry and our three sons have made the Waukee community our home for the past 21 years. I have been an educator for over 25 years, with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa, MA from Viterbo University, and Certificate in Reading Recovery Teacher Training from the University of Northern Iowa. I enjoy kids, gardening, and mowing. We are members at Lutheran Church of Hope. I have dedicated most of my professional career to education and believe in working together to meet the diverse social, emotional and programming needs of our students. As a board, we must advocate to ensure that cuts in state funding don’t negatively affect those needs while remaining fiscally responsible to taxpayers for a world-class education. It is vital to continue to retain, recruit, prepare great educators, make schools safe places for students and work in collaboration with the community to embrace change with the addition of our new high school. I enjoy a challenge and am confident that our community will embrace our joint efforts to lead these changes.
I live in Clive with my twins, Tate and Darby, that attend Waukee High School. I am an attorney at Nyemaster Goode, P.C. in Des Moines. As a resident of the district for over 20 years, I have watched Waukee grow from a fairly small district to one of the largest in the state that will soon have two high schools. I would like to add my voice and experience to setting the goals and visions of the district as it continues its unprecedented rate of growth. The district is at a crucial crossroad and it will be the job of the school board members to ensure it can continue to provide our kids with the tools they need to succeed, including the best teachers, educational opportunities and experiences.
Mary is a third generation Waukee High School graduate and third generation Waukee school board member. Mary returned to the district with her husband and 3 children when their oldest started kindergarten and all 3 have since graduated. She has been involved with the Waukee Foundation Auction/Dinner, co-chairing the committee for three years. Additionally, Mary served on the Waukee Foundation Board, School Improvement groups along with committee roles at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club, ISU Alumni audit committee and YWCA finance council. She graduated from Iowa State University with a BBA, Drake with an MBA and also received her CPA certification. Mary recently retired from her job as Chief Financial Officer at August Home Publishing Company and has committed to volunteering.
Dr. Alex Smith is a physician and the Medical Director of LifeServe Blood Center. He met his wife, Emily, when he was a Research Assistant at Washington University in St. Louis; she was a Biochemistry Ph.D. student in the same lab. They have two children in the district.
Dr. Smith is serving on the Waukee School Board to advocate for the mental health needs of our students, to work for the full funding of our schools, and to take our school board to the highest levels of professionalism.
He has worked tirelessly to advocate for our district and its students, teachers, staff, and administration. Dr. Smith is the Waukee School Board delegate to the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) and a member of IASB’s statewide Legislative Resolutions Committee. He received the 2021 IASB Basics of Boardsmanship Certificate and was one of 73 Iowa School Board members (out of over 1,800) to receive the 2021 IASB Individual Achievement Award.
Sarah Kautz, Board Treasurer
I have worked in public, private, government, and large corporate accounting/finance roles since 2001. I received my BA in Accounting and Masters of Business Administration from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. I have a passion for public service and public education. I am a volunteer for Junior Achievement and also serve on the City of Urbandale Board of Adjustment. I am also active in the Iowa Association of School Business Officials. I have three children, all students in the Waukee Community School District. I am proud to serve the Waukee Community School District as CFO/Board Treasurer.
Sharon Link, Board Secretary