After 12 years on the school board in Clinton, Iowa, LaMetta Wynn wanted to do something different. So she ran for mayor--and won, becoming in the process the first black female mayor in the state's history.
Ms. Wynn, 62, said last week that after more than a decade on the 5,000-student district's board, the past three years as its president, it was simply time for a change. "I thought maybe new people needed to be on the board."
Ms. Wynn added that she wanted to make changes for all the city's 29,000 residents. "I felt we needed leadership," she said, "and that I could provide it."
Two years ago, Ms. Wynn campaigned for mayor and lost. But earlier this month, her second attempt proved successful. She defeated four candidates, including incumbent Mayor Darrell Smith, and garnered 53 percent of the vote.
Ms. Wynn has lived in the eastern Iowa city on the Mississippi River for 34 years. She and her husband, Tom, raised 10 children, all of whom attended Clinton schools.
"I thought my children got a good education," she said. "One of the best things we have going for us in Clinton is the educational system--it's one of our biggest assets."
Several Clinton teachers, as well as her family members, helped out with her election campaign, she said.
Ms. Wynn begins her four-year term in January, but said she intends to keep her job as a nurse and home-care coordinator with Amicare Home Healthcare.
The mayor's job in Clinton is part time, and pays $7,000 a year. But Ms. Wynn said she plans to give it all she's got. "I think if you live in a community you need to give something back."
The Alabama board of education has named two deputy state school superintendents, Jimmy Baker and Joseph B. Morton. Mr. Baker, a former assistant state superintendent, is currently the state finance director. He will oversee the state education department's administrative and financial functions. He begins his new job Jan. 2. Mr. Morton, the superintendent of the Sylacauga public schools, will oversee the department's programs and activities that relate to instructional matters. He was a finalist for the state schools chief's position that went to Edward R. Richardson in September. He will assume his new post Dec. 18.
--Adrienne D. Coles