Tom Purl is one of seven candidates running for a seat on the Ames Community School Board.
He grew up in a Chicago suburb but has lived in Ames for 30 years, dating back to when he began attending Iowa State. Currently, he runs a Farm Bureau Financial Services office in Ames. Purl said in an email interview, serving on the school board will allow him to serve the public in another capacity and will allow him to demonstrate a commitment to the youth.
His primary focus is restoring the safety of students, teachers and staff in Ames so they don't have to deal with bullying and instead can focus on academics which he said suffered greatly under the last superintendent.
“Every student should be able to come to school to learn in an environment free of violence and bullying,” Purl said.
He said he commends the current school board for their commitment that they’ve had over the past year with all the different challenges they’ve faced. If he wins, Purl hopes to work with other school board members to bring Ames back to its high academic standing in the state that it once held.
Purl is endorsed by the Ames Deserves Better political action committee (PAC). They are an organization for academic achievement, financial stewardship and social responsibility.
Ames Deserves Better attributes much of the district's current academic and financial problems to what they consider a divisive curriculum. The divisive curriculum in question includes teachings on Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory.
Purl stated the biggest problem facing the school district currently is its high teacher turnover rate which he says is a cause for Ames’ declining academic performance.
“We are having a difficult time hiring and retaining quality staff, which has negatively impacted the academic performance of our students,” Purl said.
The City and School Board Elections will be held Nov. 2, 2021. Voters can click here to learn more information about polling locations and voter registration.
Early absentee voting is available at the following locations:
Oct. 30: 10a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ames Public Library
Nov. 1: 8a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Story County Auditor's office