Betty Westmeyer, a long-time advocate for students with special needs, is stepping down from the AEA 267 board when her term ends in October. Westmeyer has been a member of the AEA board since 1982 when her son was a student at River Hills.
When asked about the highlights of her tenure as an AEA board member, Westmeyer cited her advocacy for a formal graduation ceremony at River Hills School. “Prior to that, there had not been a ceremony,” she said. “I’ve attended every ceremony since 1984 when they started and I’ve shed tears every time. It’s a very moving experience.”
Westmeyer was also instrumental in the transition from three Area Education Agencies (AEAs 2, 6 & 7) to one in 2003. “It was a time of great uncertainty and fear of the unknown. I feel very good about how things have turned out.”
Although her accomplishments are many, Westmeyer feels a tinge of regret about the fact that her advocacy for lengthening the school year has not resulted in real change in the state. She has been a long-time proponent of a longer school year to retain and advance student learning. Still, she feels the time is right to step down.
“The friendships I have made while on the AEA board have been wonderful,” said Westmeyer. “This closes an important chapter in my life. My advice to any new board member is to speak up and let people know how you feel…being a board member is very rewarding.”
In her capacity as an AEA 267 board member, Westmeyer has represented Director District 4 which includes the school districts of Charles City, Denver, Janesville, Nashua-Plainfield, Sumner, Tripoli, Wapsie Valley, and Waverly-Shell Rock. A search for a candidate to fill Westmeyer’s vacancy is pending.