December 14 Representative Assembly – Statements of Candidacy forms given to each building DMEA rep for distribution and copying as needed. Forms can be sent electronically upon request.

January 11 Representative Assembly – Statements of Candidacy forms due. Executive Board candidates may speak for up to 3 minutes.

January 18 Elections Committee Meeting – DMEA office at 4:15 PM. to finalize the ballot for on –line voting.

January 25 Deadline – Each Exec Board candidate can send one PDF campaign piece to They will be posted on the DMEA website.

Online voting will take place: Feb. 15 – Feb. 22     Voting closes at 10:59 p.m. Feb 22.

February 22 Elections Committee Meeting – Draw names to determine the order of alternates

February 26 Election results will be emailed within 2 days of the election.  

March 1 March Representative Assembly – Election certification vote


Positions Open for Election

DMEA Executive Board President

DMEA Executive Board Vice President

DMEA Executive Board Middle School Representative

One (1) DMEA Elementary School Representative

DMEA Executive Board Ethnic Minority Representative

ISEA Executive Board Representative (3 year term)

Department of Nurses:    President and Vice President

Department of Associates: President and Vice President

Department of Secretaries: President and Vice President

Department of CSS:             President and Vice President

ISEA DELEGATES                  11 positions open

NEA DELEGATES                  15 positions open (President + 3 will be funded)


Executive Board Candidates:


  1. Joshua Brown (Goodrell)

I am running to serve the Des Moines Education Association as your president. If you elected me, I would continue work to strengthen and grow our union by working closely with other elected leaders and with the staff to empower and serve our members. Here is a sample of my experience serving you and our students:

  • DMEA Executive Board Member (Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, ISEA Executive Board Rep, and Middle School Rep)
  • Member of various DMEA and DMPS committees including serving as chair of the membership, bargaining, and professional development committees
  • Strong voice representing DMEA at the ISEA Delegate Assembly and NEA Representative Assembly
  • DMEA Representative on ISEA Strengthening Local Associations and Protecting Member Rights committees
  • Represented our members on the ISEA Budget, Amendments, Resolutions, and Scholarship committees.
  • Represent Iowa on the NEA Board of Directors
  • National Council of Urban Education Associations Central Region Director

I am asking for your continued support so that together we can strengthen our union and work on providing the best possible working conditions for our members and learning environment for our students.

DMEA President Flyer-2 copy

Vice President

  1. Sara Earleywine (Hiatt)

Ethnic Minority Rep

  1. Zipporah Smith (River Woods)

ISEA Executive Board Rep

  1. Anne Cross (Central Academy)

I am in my 15th year of teaching high school science, and have served as head building representative for the last 6 years. I am running for the ISEA executive board position and to represent DMEA and Iowa as a NEA Delegate. I am currently serving as the Building Support for Public Education chair with DMEA. In that role, I helped to get all four DMEA recommended school board candidates elected in this last election. I have been an active member of the High School Teacher Advisory Committee for the last several years where we worked with the district to get Safe Schools training worked into district planned early out Wednesdays. I believe that I can help move DMEA and ISEA forward with the vision for the future of our association. I am ready to take on more responsibility by serving these two organizations with a positive and determined attitude and with a continued focus on advocacy and member engagement. Thank you for considering me as you cast your vote!

  1. Deborah Henry (Roosevelt)

I became a DMEA member my first year of teaching. I taught with members who encouraged me to become more involved and so I did. I have served as a building rep almost every single year I have taught and have served on several committees. I was the chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee (now BSPE) under 3 presidents and led that committee and our members in successfully lobbying for increased state funding for salaries and professional development along with legislation that protected our rights. I have also served on the NEA Congressional Contact Team and as delegate to ISEA and NEA Representative Assemblies. I am a long-time member of ISEA-PAC and currently chair the third congressional district. In 2009, I was honored to receive the Ruth Foster Award.

Our Association is complicated and diverse but we have made great strides over the years in protecting our members and offering support in many different areas of our profession. As the largest urban district in the state, we have unique needs and must make our voices heard at the state level. I believe I have the background, experience and state-wide relationships to be a strong advocate for us as well as protecting members no matter where they live. I look forward to moving our association forward and would appreciate your support and your vote.

  1. Tracey Stevens (Jackson)

Middle School Rep

  1. Patricia Gronewold (Hiatt)

I would like to continue to represent middle school interests on the DMEA Executive Board. I have taught in Des Moines for 30 years, all at Hiatt Middle School. I have been involved with DMEA as a representative for my building for 29 years. Thank you for your support.

Elementary School Rep

  1. Courtney Starbuck (Perkins)        

 Department of Nurses

Department of Nurses – President

  1. Vicki Bonnett (East)

Department of Nurses – Vice President

  1. Kathleen Wells (Garton)

Department of Secretaries

Department of Secretaries – President

  1. Heather McClelland (River Woods)
  2. Thatcher Williams (Monroe)

As we sail into uncharted waters with contract negotiations with Des Moines Schools under new collective bargaining rules; Secretaries, Office Managers, and other support staff need a strong negotiator and leader at the bridge to navigate the best course for the future. With my 18 years in political organizing working with constituency groups and office holders to find positive solutions, I will steer the talks to an affirmative action for our department while at the table with the District. It is important to have an attentive, motivated, and involved secretaries president to keep abreast of issues pertaining to our work environment and advocate not just for ourselves, but for the children in our schools. I’m currently serving as secretary of the Department of Secretaries for DMEA, building representative at Monroe Elementary, and scheduled to attend the NEA ESP Conference in Florida and NEA Leadership Summit in Chicago this spring. I humbly ask for your support and your decision in allowing me to serve as your president of the DMEA Department of Secretaries for the coming two years. More information about me and my values can be found at

Thatcher Williams Clerical President Flyer 2018 copy

Department of Secretaries – Vice President

  1. Dominique Shirley (Moulton)

Department of Associates

Department of Associates – President

  1. Pamela Bemis (Garton)

I previously served as your associate president for two terms. The past two years as your vice president. I represent the ESPs in all aspects by attending on the local level: associates meetings, rep meetings, ESP Conferences, and HBAC on the local level. On the state level: ESP Standing Committee which represents all ESPs in Iowa, and as an elected delegate for ISEA. On the national level: I was elected by DMEA members to be an NEA delegate.

I am engaged at meetings, ask questions, and do what is best for You.

As past president I kept associates updated with e-mails and answered your concerns. I promise to continue this practice. Recertification will take place this fall and I will keep you informed. I am dedicated to serve You! I am Pam Bemis, I ask for your vote for president of associates.

  1. Betty Morrow (DM ALT CTR)

Department of Associates – Vice President

Department of Certified Specialized Services

Department of CSS – President

  1. Helen Copley (Student Services)

I am running for CSS (Certified Specialized Support) president in order to continue to represent our group and provide support to all members of our diverse department. I believe it is vital to continue our presence on the Executive Board and to ensure that our department has a voice. My goals would include: Improving communication between our department reps and the members in our department, improving overall communication with members, increasing membership within our department, and providing advocacy to everyone in our group to the best of my ability. Thanks for your consideration!

Department of CSS – Vice President

  1. Judith Taylor (Van Meter/Orchard Place)


  1. Joshua Brown Goodrell

I am running to serve the Des Moines Education Association as a representative to the ISEA DA. If you elected me, I would continue to work to strengthen and grow our union by working closely with other elected representatives to serve our members. As a bonus, if you elect me, I will be fully funded by the NEA so there will be no additional cost to the members of DMEA.

  1. Kaitlin Doyle Hiatt
  2. Kimberly Evans Merrill
  3. Jennifer Gelner             Cowles

I am running for ISEA Delegate in order to represent DMEA in the making and creating policy for us to follow. I have been a delegate for the past 15 years and enjoy learning about and supporting ISEA. I have taught special education in Des Moines for the past 29 years and have been a union member from the beginning. I have been the building rep for the past 20 years for Meredith Middle School and then Cowles.

  1. Deb Henry Roosevelt

It has been my honor to serve as one of your representatives to ISEA delegate assembly in the past. It is a wonderful opportunity to work with educators from around the state to make decisions that will move our association forward. I appreciate your past support and hope that you will allow me to continue to serve you in this role.

  1. Blake Iverson Smouse
  2. Virginia Martin Hiatt
  3. Rita Rogers South Union
  4. Courtney Starbuck South Union
  5. Tracey Stevens Jackson


  1. Pamela Bemis                                 Garton
  2. Chris Bern                                        North

I would be honored to represent DMEA at the NEA Representative Assembly in Minneapolis this summer.

  1. Joshua Brown                                 Goodrell

I am running to serve the Des Moines Education Association as a representative to the NEA RA. If you elected me, I would continue to work to strengthen and grow our union by working closely with other elected representatives to serve our members. As a bonus, if you elect me, I will be fully funded by the NEA so there will be no additional cost to the members of DMEA.

  1. Anne Cross                                      Central Campus
  2. Sara Earleywine                             Hoyt
  3. Deborah Henry                                Roosevelt

I would welcome the opportunity to serve as one of your NEA delegates again this year. I look forward to meeting members from other states and bringing home their ideas in order to help make our local association stronger. I would appreciate your support.

  1. Courtney Starbuck                         South Union
  2. Tracey Stevens                               Jackson
  3. Thatcher Williams                          Monroe

For over 25 years I have advocated for teachers, staff, and children; long before I joined our union. From my 1991 school board campaign, to two decades working with candidates and labor to strengthen our schools, to Vice President of Iowa TPA, and now to continue as a fighting member in our NEA. Please vote for me as 2018 NEA Delegate. More information about me and my values can be found at .