Ruthina Malone takes on Iowa City school board presidency after Shawn Eyestone resigns

Ruthina Malone steps into School Board President seat with plans to implement High Reliability School program.


Gabby Drees

Board member Ruthina Malone speaks at a meeting of the Board of Directors at the Iowa City Community School District Administration Building in Iowa City Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter

Ruthina Malone is replacing Shawn Eyestone as Iowa City Community School District School Board President. Eyestone resigned on Tuesday to pursue a career in education. 

The board now has a vacancy after Lisa Williams stepped into Malone’s seat as vice president.

“We’ll be taking applications for that position until Sept. 6, where we will then come to a decision on appointing a board member to complete his term,” Malone said. 

There is a special board meeting on Sept. 6 where each applicant is given about four minutes to share anything not found on the application. 

“It’s a really quick turnaround to ensure that we have a full board to continue on with the business of the district,” Malone said. 

Malone then delved into other priorities the board will focus on once the vacancy is filled. 

She said a new program she plans on prioritizing this year is called High-Reliability Schools. This is meant to build a safe, supportive, and collaborative culture in schools by ensuring all involved have the tools needed. For students, the goal is to ensure information is retained. 

“That also means we have to make sure our teachers are continuing their training to ensure that they’re able to meet students where they are,” Malone said. 

Another goal of Malone’s is to increase the number of underrepresented minority members of staff in the district. Malone spoke of the changes she was already seeing. 

“We have about 22 percent of all new hire administrators all BIPOC,” Malone said. “I think that’s one of the highest numbers that I’ve seen since I’ve been on this board for the last five years.”

She spoke of the importance for minority students to see those who look like them and come from similar backgrounds in order for them to be as encouraged as possible.