Jeremy Gugel swearing in

Mid-Prairie board Secretary Jeff Swartzentruber (right) swears in newly appointed board member Jeremy Gugel on Monday.

There is another new face on the Mid-Prairie school board.

At Monday’s meeting, the board appointed Jeremy Gugel to fill the seat vacated by Emily Uhl, who resigned in July after moving to Iowa City.

“Based on the timing and only having one board meeting in July, we had a 30-day window to fill that seat,” board President Jeremy Pickard said. “That window is rapidly approaching.”

Gugel, a lifelong Kalona resident, is the pastor at Full Gospel Revival Center and works as the outside plant manager for KCTC.

He also help found Elements, a youth organization for middle and high school students, in 2006.

“I think I bring some insight into a different perspective,” Gugel said. “I believe the school in itself is a valuable asset to our community. I believe a strong school makes a strong community. 

“I believe that I have some insight to offer from various things and aspects of life that I’ve walked and lived, whether that’s in business or through various volunteer organizations I’ve worked with.”

Gugel will fill the seat until the November school election.

Uhl resigned after serving about a year on the school board.

She was initially appointed to the board after George Schaefer resigned from the board in June 2018. 

In September 2018, she won a special election, where she faced former school board member Randy Billups.

Billups was one of three people who was at Monday’s meeting expressing interest in filling Uhl’s vacant seat. The other person was Angela Lamb.

“We’re in a good position, and we have some great candidates,” board member Gabby Frederick said.

Frederick then nominated Lamb to fill the seat, but Frederick’s motion died for a lack of a second.

Board Vice President Marianne Schlabach nominated Gugel. The motion was seconded by Jodi Meader, and Gugel’s appointment was approved unanimously.

Gugel will serve until the November school election.

“I definitely plan to run for the seat in November,” Gugel said.

Gugel’s appointment was the second in as many months.

Mary Allred was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Gerry Kahler, who resigned because he was moving out of the district.

Allred, too, will serve until November and plans to seek election to the seat.

James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at news@kalonanews.com

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