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Mr. Chris LaFerla, President

Chris LaFerla is in his second term on the Board of Education, and is serving as the President. His term extends through 2023.

Growing up in Council Bluffs, Mr. Chris LaFerla attended Franklin Elementary, Wilson Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School. After high school, he attended Iowa Western Community College, and then studied education at Simpson College. Although he thought he wanted to teach, he started his career in a non-teaching role at Iowa Western Community College. During that time, he realized the important role education played in his own life, and developed a passion for education. Deciding he wanted to give back, he ran and was elected to the school board in 2015. Now, he serves as the Executive Director for the Council Bluffs Schools Foundation, finding ways to engage the community in support of the Council Bluffs Community School District. 

There are many aspects of being a school board member he shared that he enjoys, “The most rewarding experiences are when I witness the successes of our students and parents. There are miracles, big and small, happening in classrooms across our district every day, and most of them go unnoticed. But sometimes we hear about the student who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles, or we get the opportunity to celebrate a success. Those things inspire me, and they reinforce the importance of quality public education for all. “

“I have two children in elementary school, and each year their teachers ask my wife Lea and me a question" ‘What are your goals for your student this year?’ Our answer to this question never changes. We want our kids to be happy and well adjusted, and to love learning. My advice to any student is this: Be a part of your learning. Find things you are interested in, ask questions, talk to experts, and learn to love the discovery of new ideas. Don't limit yourself. You really can do anything, and if you love learning, it won't feel like work at all. "

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Mr. David Coziahr, Vice President

Mr. David Coziahr is in his sixth term on the Board of Education, and is currently serving as Vice President. He has served as President in prior years, and most recently as President.   His current term extends through 2023.

Mr. Coziahr is the longest serving member of the Board of Education, having been appointed for a one-year term in 2004, and then elected in 2005. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and from Iowa State University, where he earned a Construction Engineering degree. He returned to Council Bluffs and his family’s business, Coziahr Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., which has been in operation since 1936. He was inducted into the Thomas Jefferson High School Hall of Fame in 2019.

Mr. Coziahr and his wife, Luanne, raised twin sons who are graduates of TJ. He said he enjoys being a member of the School Board and serving as an advocate for students. He believes that public education is the proven way to advance the education of our country’s citizens. He wants all Council Bluffs students to know that school is a safe place to take risks in order to determine what excites them in a possible career. He encourages all students to find joy in what they do. Thanks to Mr. Coziahr for the longtime dedication to our school district and community!

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Mr. Troy Arthur

Troy Arthur is in his fourth term on the Board of Education, and has previously served as the President of the Board. His current term extends through 2023.

Mr. Troy Arthur was elected to the School Board in 2011. He is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and the father of two TJ graduates, as well as a daughter at Wilson Middle School, and a son at Franklin Elementary School. Mr. Arthur is a Bank of the West Market Leader for Nebraska and Iowa in the area of Wealth Management. He took a non-traditional path toward this career field, and has learned new skills in every role along the way. As a School Board member, Mr. Arthur shared that he enjoys helping shape the direction of the school district and being a voice for the community. He values that public education levels the playing field for all children. He wants students to know that they should never underestimate their abilities. "If you fail at something, try again and take another path toward success."

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Mrs. Teresa Hardiman

Teresa Hardiman was appointed by the Board of Education on August 24, 2021, to fulfill one of the terms of retired board members Kyle McGlade and John Minshall who both moved out of the district before their terms ended in November of 2021.  Ms. Hardiman is part of a 5-generation family that attended Council Bluffs Schools. She, her four children, and her five siblings all attended  Roosevelt, Wilson, and Thomas Jefferson. 

Thoughout the years, she has been involved in the PTOs of all levels, and served on several school district committees for the district.
 
"I value the education system for the foundation it gave me and my family. I want to continue supporting our teachers and administrators as they shape our future leaders," Mrs. Hardiman said. 

 

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Mrs. Erin Johnson

Erin Johnson was appointed by the Board of Education on August 24, 2021, to fulfill one of the terms of retired board members Kyle McGlade and John Minshall who both moved out of the district before their terms ended in November of 2021. She is the Director of Human Resources at TS Banking Group.   Erin and her husband Blake have two children who attend College View Elementary.  She has been an active member of the Council Bluffs Schools Foundation, currently serving as secretary, is a volunteer with the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, and is also a member of Rotary and the Rotary Foundation Board. Erin is a lifelong Council Bluffs resident.

 

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Dr. Jill Ogg-Gress

Dr. Ogg-Gress is in her second term on the Board of Education, and is a Past Vice President. Her current term extends through 2021.

She is a Council Bluffs native and has served on the Board of Education since 2013. 

In addition to her dedicated service to the school district, Dr. Ogg-Gress is a board-certified family nurse practitioner who practices clinically in gastroenterology and emergency medicine. She is also an assistant professor in the family nurse practitioner program at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  

As a member of the School Board, she enjoys having the ability to see growth with our students, both academically and outside of the classroom. She also appreciates collaborating with other board members to ensure a strong and vibrant district for administrators, staff and students. 

According to Dr. Ogg-Gress, public education is incredibly important for individuals to be successful in crafting their personal  knowledge skills and ability as they prepare for life after high school, whether that be in a post-secondary institution or trade school. 

Her advice to any student is to “always push yourself to be successful both academically and outside of the classroom, and surround yourself with people who love and support you and always maintain positive relationships.”

Join us in thanking Dr. Ogg-Gress, her husband Loren and her daughter Alexis who is a 2017 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School.

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Miss Jill Shudak

Jill Shudak began her 4-year term on the Board of Education in November of 2019.