Betty Westmeyer, a long-time advocate for students with special needs, is stepping down from the AEA 267 board when her term ends in October. Westmeyer has been a member of the AEA board since 1982 when her son was a student at River Hills.
When asked about the highlights of her tenure as an AEA board member, Westmeyer cited her advocacy for a formal graduation ceremony at River Hills School. â€œPrior to that, there had not been a ceremony,â€ she said. â€œIâ€™ve attended every ceremony since 1984 when they started and Iâ€™ve shed tears every time. Itâ€™s a very moving experience.â€
Westmeyer was also instrumental in the transition from three Area Education Agencies (AEAs 2, 6 & 7) to one in 2003. â€œIt was a time of great uncertainty and fear of the unknown. I feel very good about how things have turned out.â€
Although her accomplishments are many, Westmeyer feels a tinge of regret about the fact that her advocacy for lengthening the school year has not resulted in real change in the state. She has been a long-time proponent of a longer school year to retain and advance student learning. Still, she feels the time is right to step down.
â€œThe friendships I have made while on the AEA board have been wonderful,â€ said Westmeyer. â€œThis closes an important chapter in my life. My advice to any new board member is to speak up and let people know how you feelâ€¦being a board member is very rewarding.â€
In her capacity as an AEA 267 board member, Westmeyer has represented Director District 4 which includes the school districts of Charles City, Denver, Janesville, Nashua-Plainfield, Sumner, Tripoli, Wapsie Valley, and Waverly-Shell Rock. A search for a candidate to fill Westmeyerâ€™s vacancy is pending.