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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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Miss Jill Shudak, Vice President

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

 

 

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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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Mr. David Coziahr

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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Ms. Lauren Myers

Lauren Myers is a third generation Council Bluffs resident and CBCSD alumni. She has nieces and a nephew who are attending schools in the district. She has family members who are currently working for the district and who used to.

Ms. Myers began her education journey at Hoover Elementary School. Then continued it at Kirn Jr. High School. She then moved onto Abraham Lincoln High School where she earned her High School Diploma. She left Council Bluffs to study at Simpson College where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy with Minors in Women & Gender Studies and Exercise Science. Afterwards, she moved back to Council Bluffs to further her studies. She attended Creighton University and graduated with a Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Wellness and a Lifestyle Medicine certificate.

Reflecting on her time in the district she said, “I have no idea where I would be without CBCSD. The choices I was given and the opportunities I took advantage of is what helped me succeed as a student. The educators and staff who shared their expertise and celebrated my unique gifts and abilities helped me embrace who I am. The relationships I made with other alumni made me realize I always have a fellow district member to count on.”

As a student, she was a member of The Echoes, DECA, IncluCity, National Honor Society, Talented and Gifted, and Tucker Center Public Speaking. She was a part of the first ever graduating class of the College Access Program and Google Android Academy. She founded "Project Beautiful" that reached students district wide and created a promotional video "Fostering Community Pride in CB Residents of All Ages". She also served on the Pottawattamie Youth Council and was a student representative for the district at the "Engaging All Leaders Summit".

Ms. Myers currently works full-time as a victim advocate. She is an active member of Impact CB. She volunteers as a BUDDY at the MICAH House.

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Mr. Patrick Peters

Patrick Peters started his first term on the Board of Education in November 2021, and his term extends through 2025.

Mr. Peters graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 2009, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2013. Having nearly continued towards a career in music education, Patrick instead moved into technology, where he's currently a software developer at Gallup while finishing a Masters Degree in Cybersecurity at UNO. While working in technology, Patrick continued his passion of music and tech education through teaching and mentoring as an Artist Instructor at the 402 Arts Collective in Omaha, where he taught private music lessons and led technology summer camps for 8 years.

Mr. Peters firmly believes that the strength of our community is directly tied to the strength of our community's public education. By acting as an advocate for the students, parents, and teachers of our community, Patrick wants to continue to strengthen our public education system and strengthen Council Bluffs as a whole. He encourages students to step outside of their comfort zones and take advantage of the many opportunities offered by their schools.

He lives in Council Bluffs with his wife, Christine, and two children Eleanor and Andrew.

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Mr. Jared Tripp

Jared Tripp began his first term on the Board of Education, and was elected in November of 2021.

Mr. Tripp grew up in Treynor, Iowa.  After graduating from Treynor High School, he attended Iowa Western where he completed his Associates in Psychology.  He continued his education through Buena Vista University where he earned his Bachelors of Psychology.  The love of learning pushed him further as he turned his focus to business where he earned his Master’s in Management from Bellevue University.  He also holds the professional designations of; Associate In Claims (AIC) and Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA).

He is employed by Berkley Risk, a W.R. Berkley company, as a Senior Claims Specialist.  His role in investigating liability has provided a great amount of insight into risk management specifically for schools and municipalities, as well as providing a broad knowledge of liability and the law.

Mr. Tripp is married and has three children, two of which attend school at College View Elementary.  Jared is an active volunteer in the community and gives his time through the Council Bluffs Noon Rotary Club, 712 Initiative, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, Boy Scouts of America, YMCA youth sports, Council Bluffs Soccer Club, Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, and Impact CB.  He is also a member of the Council Bluffs Library Board of Trustees.  Jared’s education and experience, combined with his drive to give back to his community and vested interest in the school system pushed him toward the desire to be a School Board member.

“I strive to learn every day and do my best to pass not only knowledge on to my children, but the desire to pursue knowledge themselves.  Quality preparation and instruction of our youth is an absolute necessity to ensure future prosperity.”