Barb Besch has been issued an employment offer from the Spencer school district to serve as its new director of school improvement.
If Spencer school board members authorize her hiring this month, Besch will take over some of the duties currently held by Kathy Elliott, Spencer's assistant superintendent, and Julie Finnern, Spencer's PK-12 literacy specialist, on July 20.
Due to 2009-10 budget reductions made by board members this winter, Elliott will mark her final day serving Spencer schools on Friday. She has accepted the Panorama Community School District's superintendent position. Finnern, who will be doing some work for Buena Vista University throughout the summer months, will officially start her duties as a faculty member in the education department at the Storm Lake campus in August. Besides teaching undergraduate classes, Finnern will serve as BVU's director of field experiences.
Besch's career experiences, meanwhile, include working as a consultant, a principal and staff development instructor. She will be in charge of curriculum revision and development, as well as implementation of the Spencer school district's literacy focus.
After graduating from St. Edmond High School, the Fort Dodge native pursued and received degrees and endorsements from BVU and the University of Northern Iowa.
Besch taught in a self-contained fourth grade classroom at Emmetsburg Catholic School from 1987 until 1993. She served as a middle school instructor at Sentral Community School the next three years, before being hired to work as an instructional services consultant for Lakeland Area Education Agency (AEA) 3 from 1996 until 2002.
She then served as administrator of the Hawarden and Ireton elementary centers of West Sioux Community Schools the next four years. Besch worked as a reading first literacy strategist at Denison elementary buildings, as well as one of Iowa's statewide reading team members from 2006-07.
She has served as an adjunct instructor for BVU's graduate program in reading since 2007, as well as a school improvement consultant for the Prairie Lakes AEA.
The 48-year-old woman currently lives in Okoboji with her husband, Dave, who works in agronomy sales for Pro Cooperative in Rolfe. The couple, who are planning to move to the Spencer area, have three children: Alycia Besch of Boone, Valarie Wellendorf of Ankeny, and Jason Besch of Whittemore.