A nurse by trade and member of the Dubuque County Board of Health is running for a seat on the Dubuque Community School Board.

Katie Jones, 34, of Dubuque, said her background in the health care field would allow her to put a spotlight on student health and wellness if elected.

“If we can really reach people before there’s any issues, and work on prevention and giving people those kinds of skills (for) overall wellbeing, then hopefully, we can reduce some of that load on the health care system,” she said.

Jones filed paperwork on Tuesday to seek one of three available four-year terms on the board in the Nov. 2 election. Those seats currently are held by Nancy Bradley, Jim Prochaska and Anderson Sainci. Bradley and Sainci both have filed to run for those seats, as have newcomers Cynthia “Cindy” Mueller and Whitney Sanger.

Another two-year, unexpired term also will appear on the ballot. That seat currently is held by Tom Barton, who was appointed earlier this year following the resignation of Mike Donohue. Prochaska has filed to run for the two-year term.

The filing deadline for all four seats is Thursday, Sept. 16.

Jones is a nurse by trade who currently stays home with her children, though she maintains her nursing license and is working on her certification in health and life coaching. She also serves on the Dubuque County Board of Health.

Jones said district officials have done a good job supporting the community during the COVID-19 pandemic but that there are aspects of student wellness, safety and community building that will be important as officials move forward.

“(The district) moved with the changes that were happening throughout the community (last year),” Jones said. “They did an excellent job of keeping our kids safe and, I would like to see that continue, their flexibility and rolling with whatever comes this fall.”

She noted the importance of offering and adding to programs focused on the overall wellness of students, addressing physical, emotional and social health needs, as well as supporting teachers and staff.

Jones also is concerned about what she saw as declining levels of state funding schools receive, noting that she has a child in the district and another who will start kindergarten next year.

“As a mother, I’m invested with my two children attending the school district,” she said. “As a nurse and a member of the Dubuque County Board of Health, I think I can, especially now, be a voice for public health.”

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