WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Aaron Sewell, a West Des Moines resident and 4th-grade teacher in the Ankeny Community School District, announced on Tuesday that he is running for West Des Moines School Board.
Sewell is currently serving his second term as a West Des Moines Parks Commissioner. He was first elected in 2015 and then re-elected in 2019. He also ran unsuccessfully in Iowa House District 42, challenging incumbent State Rep. Kristen Sunde, D-West Des Moines, after winning the Republican primary in 2020. He also was appointed to the Iowa Juvenile Justice Advisory Commission by Governor Kim Reynolds in 2019 and served on the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women from 2014 to 2015.
Sewell graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in elementary education in 2017 and has taught in the Ankeny Community School District since 2018. He also coaches long and high jump for the Ankeny Centennial High School boys’ track team. Sewell has lived in West Des Moines for eight years.
Before teaching, Sewell was a youth pastor for one year and worked for Everyone Wins! as a site coordinator at different schools, helping organize volunteers to read with students who need extra help to sharpen their reading skills. He also substitute taught in the West Des Moines, Ankeny, Dallas Center-Grimes, Van Meter, Martensdale-St. Marys, Norwalk, Carlisle, Des Moines, and Waukee School Districts for two years.
“I have the experiences and perspectives needed to further West Des Moines Community Schools’ mission of developing lifelong individual success for every student. As a current teacher in the classroom, I know that educators face new challenges each day. I know that families struggle to balance struggles related to home and school. I will work with parents, teachers, and administrators to do all we can to meet kids where they are at,” Sewell said in an announcement on Facebook.
“I have seen, and I know teachers, who want the best for their students and partner with families to help kids learn and grow as individuals. These teachers show up early, stay late after school, spend weeknights and weekends planning lessons, providing feedback on student work, and reflecting on their classroom environment. I know they give their all to try and be there for their students every day,” he added.
“West Des Moines School District faces many challenges and we need to work towards continuing to partner with parents to better connect with students in the classroom and to support teachers everywhere who work tirelessly with little resources and under many academic demands,” Sewell stated.
His wife, Katelyn, worked for West Des Moines Community Schools as a paraeducator before their daughter Raigan was born.
You can learn more about Sewell’s candidacy at sewellforwestdesmoines.com. The election for West Des Moines School board is on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.