Mt. Pleasant School Board Election Candidates

The Mt. Pleasant School Board election is fast approaching, with many candidates, both old and new, putting their name into the hat. 11 candidates are duking it out for just seven seats.

All seven seats are up for election due to the redistricting that occurred. Instead of two at large, there are now two seats in district 1, two seats in district two, and three at large seats.

For the At-Large 4 Year position, Mike Hampton, Angie Blint, and Dana Millard, are the options. There are only two positions available, so one candidate will miss out. Kevin Schrader and Josh Maher will face off for a two-year At-Large spot. Melinda Huisinga is running uncontested for District 1 two year, while Aaron Williamson is uncontested for the 4-year in the same district. A battle is going to ensue for a four-year District 2 seat, as Sarah Donnolly and Danny Graber will both be looking for one seat, while Kevin Sandersfeld will try to retain a position. Derek Mullin is the only candidate in the running for a two year seat in District 2.

The election is slated for Tuesday, November 7th. KILJ will continue to bring updates to this situation.

Robert Krieger

Robert W. “Bob” Krieger, 42, of Mt. Pleasant, died Thursday, September 21, 2023 at his residence.

A memorial visitation will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be directed to


Judy Tade

Judy Kay Tade, 78, of Farmington, Iowa, passed away at 5:00 a.m. Friday, September 22, 2023 at her home in Farmington.

She was born on May 21, 1945 in Fort Madison, Iowa. Judy was the daughter of Veronica“Babe” (Strabala) and Paul Robert Lowery. On October 14, 1966  she married William “Bill” Tade in Edina, Missouri.

Survivors include her husband Bill; daughter Angela Tade of West Chester, Ohio; sister Paula Jo “P.J.” (Neal) Acklie of Kahoka Missouri; two sisters-in-law: Sheri Lowery of Farmington and Karen (Randy) Kisling of Keosaqua. Also surviving are seven nephews and one niece.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Richard Lowery.

Judy worked at Shaffer Pen Company for 43 years. She was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Houghton. She enjoyed her cats and her grand dog. Her daughter Angela was very important to her. Judy Enjoyed sewing and quilting.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 29, 2023 at St. Johns the Baptist Catholic Church in Houghton with Father Dan Dorau as celebrant.

Burial will be in the Vale Cemetery near Bonaparte

Memorial have been established in her memory For St. John’s Catholic Church or PAW Animal Shelter.

Online condolences may be made to the family at Schmitz Funeral Home of Farmington is assisting the family with arrangements.

Nathaniel Simonson

Nathaniel James Simonson, 30, of Keokuk, Iowa, passed away at 6:00 a.m. Friday, September 15, 2023, at his home in Keokuk.

He was born on June 1, 1993, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Scott Simonson and Elizabeth Horsey.

He is survived by his father: Scott (Nicole) Simonson; siblings: Alex Simonson, Casey Ackerson, Caleb Ackerson, Kelby Ackerson, Emma Ackerson, Tyler Swift, Calynn Kruse and Harper Simonson; grandmothers: Sandra Leski and Beverly Simonson and Financé: Jessica Benning.

He was preceded in death by his mother: Elizabeth Ackerson; step-father: Kevin Ackerson; sister: Hannah Ackerson; grandparents: James and Mary Horsey; grandfathers: John Leski and Terry Simonson.

Nathan was active in local theater & was in many plays for years; where he loved to sing & act. He enjoyed nature, fishing & spending time with his family, friends, fiancé & their dogs. He was the most genuine, compassionate person to everyone he knew & met; being a good person & spreading love was important to him. He absolutely lit up a room when he entered with his smile & goofiness; he loved to make others laugh & smile.

His body has been entrusted to the crematory of Schmitz Funeral Homes for cremation.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 1, 2023, at Argyle Presbyterian Church in Argyle, Iowa with Pastor John Simpson officiating.

A private family burial will be held in Argyle Memorial Gardens, rural Argyle, Iowa.

A memorial has been established in his memory.

Schmitz Funeral Home of Donnellson is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Dana Millard for MPCSD School Board

Dana Millard announced her candidacy for the Mt. Pleasant Community School Board, running for the At-Large 4-year term position. Passionate about developing our Southeast Iowa Communities and STEM Education, Millard has spent the last 9 years working in Economic Development with an emphasis on connecting workforce and education. She served on the Governor’s STEM Council for 8 years, operating as Regional President for the past 2 years, bringing a variety of STEM programs, resources, and funding to Southeast Iowa.

“I’m an advocate for STEM and Career Education, I plan on using my connections both at a local and state level to provide more opportunities to the Mt. Pleasant School District.”

Currently a small business owner and a consultant for the Southeast Iowa Small Business Association, Dana has two kids in the Mt Pleasant School District, her stepdaughter Madelynn is a Sophomore, and her son Finley is in Kindergarten.

“With two kids in the district at very different levels, in addition to my background, I feel it’s a good time for me to get more involved and lend my expertise.”

School board elections will be held on November 7th.

SEISO Join Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort

Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra has been selected to participate in the second class of the Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort program. The State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council selected 11 Iowa arts, culture, history, and humanities organizations.

This program was launched in 2022 and helps participants build leadership skills.

Participants engage in workshops where they learn from experts in their field and take part in mentorship opportunities. They also can apply for financial support to help advance their goals.

“We created the Iowa Culture Leadership Cohort a year ago to identify and support Iowa’s next generation of cultural arts and history leaders,” State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. “The program gives participants opportunities to sharpen their skills as their organizations look to the future.”

“This program addresses an important need that Iowans brought forward in our last strategic planning process,” Iowa Arts Council Director David Schmitz said. “Through the emphasis on capacity building and peer learning, we hope that participants are better empowered and equipped to continue strengthening the missions of their organizations.”

Tony Keefe – New LeeComm Director

Tony Keefe has been named Director of LeeComm, effective September 21, 2023.  He replaces Travis Solem who took the Director position at Warren County 911 at the end of August.

Keefe is a detail-oriented public safety communications leader with 10 years of experience in emergency communications, all at LeeComm. He most recently served as the Communications Center Supervisor.

He is a graduate of Central Lee High School and the University of Dubuque.  He has a B.A. in Communications and has recently completed the Registered Public Leader course through the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO).

Keefe was appreciative of Solem’s work during his time and is ready to get started in his position. “I am humbled by the PSAP Board’s decision to trust me in this position.  Travis left a strong organization for me to lead, and I look forward to working with the great staff that we have in place.”


Mt. Pleasant Travels to Marion for Marching Band Contest

The Mt. Pleasant High School Panther Marching Band will kick off their competitive season at Marion, Iowa, on Saturday. The Linn-Mar Invitational is historically full of great bands from all over, and that seems to be the case this year.

22 different bands will be in competition on Saturday, with the first band performing at 9:00am. Mt. Pleasant will follow at 9:15am, an early performance, but they are hoping that their show will stick in the judges heads all day.

The Panther Marching Band is just one of 12 in the 3A classification field. These performances will span the length of the day, with the last band taking the field at 3:40pm, followed by the award ceremony. The full schedule is below.


Musical Pride of Springville Marching Band 1A 9:00 9:15
Mount Pleasant Panther Marching Band 3A 9:15 9:30
West Delaware “Pride” Marching Band 3A 9:30 9:45
Anamosa Blue Raider Marching Band 3A 9:45 10:00
Independence Mustang Marching Band 3A 10:00 10:15
Break 10:15 – 10:25
Crestwood Marching Cadets 3A 10:25 10:40
Solon Marching Spartans 3A 10:40 10:55
Vinton-Shellsburg Viking Regiment 3A 10:55 11:10
Benton Community Marching Bobcats 3A 11:10 11:25
Break 11:25-11:35
Clear Creek Amana Clipper Marching Band 3A 11:35 11:50
Marion Scarlet Spectrum Marching Band 3A 11:50 12:05
Mount Vernon Marching Mustangs 3A 12:05 12:20
Xavier High School Marching Saints 3A 12:20 12:35
Lunch Break 12:35 – 1:05
Linn-Mar Junior Varsity Color Guard EX 1:05
Cedar Rapids Jefferson Band of Blue 4A 1:15 1:30
Ankeny Marching Hawks 4A 1:30 1:45
Lewis Central Titan Marching Band 4A 1:45 2:00
Western Dubuque Bobcat Band 4A 2:00 2:15
Norwalk Warrior Marching Band 4A 2:15 2:30
Break 2:30 – 2:40
Waterloo West Wahawk Marching Band 4A 2:40  
Washington ‘Warrior’ Marching Band 4A 2:55 3:10
John F Kennedy High School Marching Band 4A 3:10 3:25
C.R. Prairie Hawks Marching Band 4A 3:25 3:40
Linn-Mar Marching Lions EX 3:40 4:05
Award Ceremony 4:05