State Board Members

The following individuals are currently serving on the Early Childhood Iowa State Board.

Michael Bergan - Representative, Iowa House

Diane Campbell

Diane Campbell joined Mississippi Bend AEA as an administrator in 2015.  Prior to joining the statewide system, she served as a teacher and administrator in the Muscatine Community School District.  Her current role provides opportunities to work with administrators, teachers and staff to inspire, design and support the school improvement process. Campbell believes the path forward for improvement is through partnerships, so she has committed significant time to serve on community boards.  Her past board participation includes United Way of Muscatine, MCSA, Muscatine Welfare Association, and Muscatine Regional Empowerment Board.  Campbell was awarded the Muscatine Excellence in Education Award during her time in Muscatine. She was also named the Iowa Assistant Principal of the year in 2010. In 2012, Campbell was the recipient of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Connection Athena Award Honoree. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Campbell received two Master’s Degrees in Education from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University.

Gerd Clabaugh, Director, Department of Public Health

Gerd Clabaugh was appointed by Governor Branstad in May 2014 as the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Gerd has served in many capacities within IDPH, including Deputy Director, Director of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, Director of Acute Disease Epidemiology and Emergency Response; during the early 1990s, he was appointed Director of the Center for Health Policy.

He is past-president and past-legislative chair of the Iowa Public Health Association and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa, Montana State University-Billings, Des Moines University, and Iowa State University. He has been lead author or contributed to academic publications in the journals Value in Health, American Journal of Medical Quality, and Vaccine. 

Gerd’s community involvement includes 12 years of service (ending in 2017) on the city council and as the Mayor Pro Tem in the city of Johnston, Iowa. He is also a past-Chairman of the Board of Directors for central Iowa’s regional solid waste agency, providing services to over 400,000 Iowans. 

Gerd has pursued doctoral studies at the University of Iowa and holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Iowa State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Drake University. He is married with four grown children.

Along with his duties as the Department of Public Health Director, Gerd is also serving as Interim Director for the Department of Human Services, until such time that a permanent director is named.

Richard Clewell, Citizen, Davenport

Richard Clewell, Citizen, Davenport


Rich Clewell is a retired Wildlife Biologist, having worked for 30 years for the Department of Army in the area of environmental compliance.  During that time he worked with Army installation managers to adequately resource natural resources in support of sustainable ecosystems.

Rich’s community involvement includes 16 years on the Davenport Community School Board and 2 years on the Davenport City Council.  He currently serves on the Putnam Museum and Science Center Board, Humility of Mary Board, and the Davenport Creative Arts Academy Advisory Board.  He volunteers with Quad Cities Mediation, doing conflict resolution with middle school students.

Rich pursued graduate work in Animal Science at the University of Maryland and hold Bachelor’s degrees from Iowa State University in Psychology and Animal Ecology.

Claire Celsi, Senator - District 21

State Senator Claire Celsi represents Senate District 21, including the SW portion of Polk County, including the west side of Des Moines, SW side of Des Moines, part of West Des Moines as well as Cumming, Iowa in Warren County.

Claire grew up in Des Moines and is a graduate of Drake University. While attending college, Claire spent seven years owning and operating a family childcare business. Public education is a particular focus of her advocacy in the Senate. In addition to a strong pre-K-12 school system, Iowa should consider childcare as the most important component of learning and as an investment in our future workforce and society. Celsi serves on the following committees in the Iowa Senate: Appropriations, Education, Government Oversight, Natural Resources and is the ranking member of the Administration and Regulation budget subcommittee.

Senator Claire resides in West Des Moines with her husband, Jim and is the mother of four adult children and the grandmother of a three-year-old.

Chris Cournoyer, Senator - District 49

Kathryn Dorsey

Debi Durham - Director, Economic Development Authority

Amy Edison

Amy Edison was appointed to the Early Childhood Iowa State Board in 2020.

Amy moved to Vinton, Iowa in 2017 with her husband, Mike, and three children Abigail, Elliot and Ashton.  She is currently a stay at home mom but stays active in the community as a board member for the Vinton Public Library since July 2019 and volunteers at Tilford Elementary School.  Amy is also on the steering committee for the Benton County chapter of the 100+ Who Care. 

She spent 16 years working as an actuary and received her designation “Associate of the Society of Actuaries” in 2007.  Amy’s professional career involved pricing and evaluating the profitability of various insurance products.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Wendy Greenman, Director Designee, Iowa Workforce Development

Aaron Johnson

Aaron was appointed to the Early Childhood Iowa State Board in 2020.

Aaron and his wife, Rebecca, have four children; one who currently attends Ankeny High School, two that are in college, and one that is a music teacher in Oklahoma. They have lived in Ankeny since 2000 when they moved to Iowa from Chicagoland. Aaron received his Bachelor's in Communications from the Moody Bible Institute and has spent most of his career in marketing and communications with stints in radio, video production and web development. Today, Aaron is the Vice President of Marketing and Customer Strategy for Accumold, a high-tech manufacturing company located in Ankeny. In addition to his service on the ECI board he is currently a Director on the Ankeny Board of Education. Aaron has also served on various committees and boards including the Ankeny Planning & Zoning Commission and the Ankeny Parks Board.

Nalo Johnson, Ph.D., Director Designee, Department of Public Health 

Dr. Nalo Johnson serves as the Director’s designee for the Iowa Department of Public Health.  Dr. Johnson joined IDPH in 2019 as the Division Director for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention.  In this capacity, Dr. Johnson oversees the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Bureau of Oral Health Delivery Systems, and Bureau of Family Health which administers the state’s Title V Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program.  Dr. Johnson practices participatory, evidence based methods to address community health concerns and was awarded the 2019 American Public Health Association Henrik L. Blum Award for Excellence in Health Planning and Policy Development for her leadership of the Johnson County Public Health community health needs assessment process, which encompassed the goals of broad community engagement along with robust data collection efforts. Originally from Iowa, Nalo received her BA from Williams College (MA) and PhD from the University of Minnesota, and she is excited to have returned to the Des Moines area with her husband and two children. 

Leslie Leager, Designee, Iowa Economic Development Authority

Leslie Leager works within the Community Development Division at the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).  Her responsibilities include assisting the Community Development Division Team Leaders interpret regulations and implement programs for Iowans including the community development block grant program and the community development block grant disaster recovery program.  Eligible activities for the community development block grant program include funding the construction and rehabilitation of childcare facilities.  Leslie has been working for the State of Iowa for over twenty years.

Angela Lensch

I am an experienced educator (16 years). My first Master's of Ed. is in professional school counseling. I completed a second Master's Degree in Education- Curriculum and Instruction in Effective Teaching, Instructional Leadership. Currently, I am the Education and Disabilities Coordinator at New Opportunities in Carroll, IA. Here I oversee 21 Head Start classrooms education and disability area needs, such as professional development and monitoring of students with disabilities. At the college level. I held the position of an Adjunct Prof. of Psychology at DMACC. I have experience as a secondary professional school counselor. I have instructed science and technology courses to middle and high school students. My establishment and application of curriculum in all of these areas has given me a deep understanding of curriculum and how to assess students to ensure learning. I have a strong knowledge of technology, with experience teaching technology courses. For 2 years, I developed curriculum and consulted for Franchise Capacitybuilder LLC., Cairo, Egypt. As a consultant I discussed, developed, and created the framework of curriculum for the company’s academic camp based on STEM principles. I have followed and integrated the NGSS and used the UbD methodologies into my courses taught. I was chosen to be a top panelist peer reviewer by the U.S. Dept. of Ed. There I analyzed district-county applications for the Race to the Top Ed. grants. Summer 2015, I went to Chicago as a Master Education Specialist, working for Pearson and delivering professional development. I demonstrated knowledge of curriculum products, used effective coaching leading training to teachers and administration. My responsibilities have included delivering professional development and technical assistance for school-based interventions. Education has become a life-long passion of mine. I have devoted my life to passing knowledge on to others. 

Terry Harrmann


Dr. Ann Lebo, Director, Department of Education

Dr. Ann Lebo was appointed as Director of the Iowa Department of Education in March of 2020. She previously served as Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners and as Iowa's Chief Talent Officer for the Council of Chief State School Officers. Prior to her work at the state level, she was secondary principal in Grundy Center and an adjunct faculty member in education and leadership at Waldorf University. Lebo was an athletic coach and English instructor at the secondary and postsecondary levels for 17 years and worked in the private sector for five years. Lebo also served on the statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation Task Force in 2012 and was appointed to the Governor's STEM Advisory Council in 2017. Dr. Lebo holds an Ed.D. and Ed.S. both in Educational Administration, a M.A. in English Language and Literature, a B.A. in English Education, and a B.A. in Speech Communication.

Mayra Martinez


Mary Mascher - Representative, Iowa House

Representative Mary Mascher, Additional Information

Barb Merrill

Barb Merrill was appointed to the ECI board in 2018. She has had a variety of roles in early childhood education in her career, including positions as a teacher, center director, community college instructor, and Parents as Teachers home visitor.

She was the first T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Program Manager for Iowa, and then served ten years as Executive Director for the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children. She has had leadership roles with the ECI Alliance. Barb has a B.S. in Child Development and a M.S. in Adult Education.  

Mary Petersen

Brook Rosenberg

Mr. Rosenberg was appointed to the ECI State Board in 2012.  He started in the insurance business in 1973 as a fourth generation insurance broker.  Mr. Rosenberg specializes in employee benefits with a main focus on the implementation, education and communication of benefits both to the employer and the employees and their families. They have clients all over Iowa and in an additional 15 states.  Mr. Rosenberg holds a B.S. from the University of Northern Colorado and has served on multiple boards and associations. 

Jean Stadtlander

Jean Stadtlander of Manning was appointed to the Board in 2011 by Governor Terry Branstad. She brought to the ECI State board seven years of serving on the local Partnerships 4 Families ECI Board. Her service to church, community, and school involve a variety of roles with youth. She volunteers as a CASA Volunteer, Kids Hope Mentor, UMC Youth Group leader, Volleyball official (16 state tournaments) and has organized and coached youth sports programs for over 23 years. Jean also is a past school board member and has served on many boards in the community, county and state organizations and has spearheaded many alumni events and school and community fundraisers. Jean and her husband, Todd are parents of two daughters and are long time owners of Manning Insurance & Real Estate.

Zach Stier

Zachary Stier (Mr. Z) has been a children’s librarian for over ten years and currently works at Ericson Public Library in Boone, Iowa. Since starting, Stier has redesigned the children's department to enhance opportunities for families to engage with each other.  Stier is an active grant writer and has helped the library receive funding for a new LEGO space, STEAM programming including video game design class and virtual reality, a new coding program through Prenda, and early childhood initiative program that uses Facebook Live to enhance engagement opportunities to families, and helped to become 1 out of 75 libraries in the nation to be a NASA@ My Library site. Stier believes that storytelling provides power to elevate a learning experience. Stier holds a Master’s in Education from Concordia University Portland and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. He completed post-graduate work at Erickson Institute and Library Leadership in a Digital Age certificate from Harvard University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Concordia University. His research interests includes children's librarian leadership, family engagement systems, creative learning, play based learning, immersive learning, and early literacy development. He is an active member on local, state, and national boards and committees including serving as a director for the Iowa Library Association Executive Board and Community Contributor for MIT's Public Library Innovation Exchange. In 2014, Stier founded, Mr. Z and Company, with a mission to harness the power of storytelling by engaging all learners to make learning fun.

Beth Townsend, Director Iowa Workforce Development

Beth Townsend is a graduate of Kearney State College, Kearney Nebraska and the University of Nebraska Law School. She is a member of the Nebraska and Iowa state bar. Prior to being named as the Director of the Iowa Workforce Development, she was the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, appointed by Governor Terry Branstad. Prior to that, Ms. Townsend was in private practice in West Des Moines, Iowa, where she represented individuals before federal and state jurisdictions, including the United States Supreme Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Iowa Supreme Court, in the area of civil rights and employment law.

As a member of the United States Air Force, Ms. Townsend served as a member of the Judge Advocate General where she prosecuted and defended airmen and most recently served as a military judge in her last reserve tour. She retired from the Air Force Reserve in August, 2010 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of active and reserve duty. Beth is the mother of one son and is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation.

Frank Varvaris

Kimberly Villotti,  Director Designee, Department of Education

Kimberly Villotti serves as the Administrative Consultant for Early Childhood Programs and Services at the Iowa Department of Education.  Her role is to encourage and support program collaboration and coordination both internally and with external stakeholders.  In addition to early childhood, Kimberly's interests are broad including topics related to standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  She greatly enjoys state systems work and joined the ECI Steering Committee as an Iowa Department of Education representative to better examine and support collaboration with Early Childhood Iowa efforts.  


San Wong - Director, Department of Human Rights

Printed from the website on October 19, 2020 at 7:06pm.