Get to know who’s running for ADM School Board and where they stand on the issues

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Five individuals will appear on the ballot for the ADM School Board.

There are five candidates, including one incumbent, running for two open seats on the school board.

The election is Nov. 2. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Care strongly about a particular topic? Skip to it here: 

Editor’s note: Candidates’ responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Who’s running for the ADM School Board?

Bart Banwart (incumbent)

Age: 43

Office sought: ADM School Board

Where they grew up: Adel, Iowa. 1996 ADM Graduate

Where they currently live: Adel, Iowa

Past political experience: ADM School Board 2010 to Present – Current Vice President

Melissa Dohlman

Melissa Dohlman

Age: 38

Office sought: ADM School Board

Where they grew up: Van Meter, Iowa

Where they currently live: Adel, Iowa

Past political experience: None

Shanlyn Doll

Shanlyn Doll

Age: 42

Office sought: ADM School Board

Where they grew up: Osage- A small town in northern Iowa.

Where they currently live: Adel, Iowa

Past political experience: None

Ross Freeman

Ross Freeman

Age: 40

Office sought: ADM School Board

Where they grew up: Grimes, Iowa

Where they currently live: Adel, Iowa

Past political experience: I have not previously held an official political office. 

Kale Smith

Kale Smith

Age: 26

Office sought: Adel DeSoto Minburn School Board

Where they grew up: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Where they currently live: Adel, Iowa

Past political experience: No political experience or office held. Currently serving as the President of the ADM Fine Arts Boosters

Bart Banwart

I do not support a universal mask mandate at ADM. As a school board, we’ve used ADM data along with continual communication with Dallas County Public Health to guide our mask policy. As a school board, we’ve made decisions based on what’s best for our community. Families are best equipped to decide about masking their children.

Melissa Dohlman

I don’t support a universal mask mandate. I believe parents know what is best for their children’s health and well-being, including whether to wear or not wear a mask. I believe the current school board has done a good job collecting and using data to guide their decisions. They have not seen a significant increase of cases or impact on community health with their mask-optional policy. Attendance rates have remained high, very similar to pre-COVID attendance rates. It is clear people are divided on masking and each parent and child should be allowed a choice.  

Shanlyn Doll

The most emotionally charged question of this election is how each candidate will vote in the future on masking. Because of its complexity, it would be irresponsible to say I’m always for or always against it. When there are decisions to be made on this or any other issue, I’ll research relevant data and varying perspectives and listen to what stakeholders have communicated. I will be fully informed and current but open-minded and willing to shift gears if necessary. I’m as ready to be done masking as anyone and hope the time is near when it’s no longer a conversation.

Ross Freeman

I support the current mask-optional policy in place at ADM. I appreciate that the current administration and board have worked to gather and monitor data as well as work with the local health departments to ensure the safety of our students and provide a safe place for our students to learn. I support data-driven decision making as well as working with local health officials to be able to make the best decisions for students, teachers and staff based on the best data available in our community. 

Kale Smith

My ultimate goal as a school board member will be to keep students and staff safe while learning in a classroom environment. I believe that science and data should be reviewed and consulted to determine if masks should be implemented. For the time being, I believe the decision regarding masks rests with each family.



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