School Board Election 2021


The candidates for the Pella School Board sitting inside of the Pella High School Library on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. Sarah Stortz/The Herald

Even though this year didn’t include a presidential election, there were still many reasons why Pella citizens voted on November 2. There were elections for both the Pella City Council and the Pella Community School District Board.
Incumbent Elisa Klahsen and Kevin Jones ran for the At-Large seat while Jeana Clark and Jesse Peterson ran for the District 1 seat, which was currently held by Annette Smith. Incumbent Joan Corbin ran unopposed for the District 2 seat. Pella residents also either voted yes or no for the $40 million bond measure.
Elisa Klahsen has been on the school board since last year, taking over the spot of a retired member. Klahsen moved to Pella during her junior year in high school. While Pella High was the eighth school she attended, Klahsen said the teachers made her time at Pella all the more special.
“They valued me and they encouraged me like I’d never been encouraged in any of the other schools I’ve gone to,” Klahsen said.
Outside of the school, she currently works as the Senior Business Analyst for Vermeer Corporations. She has found being on the school board rewarding.
“Honestly, I’ve learned the most from my peers on the school board,” Klahsen said. “They have been invaluable in teaching me how to be a good boardman and how to do our best for the school.”
Klahsen said she could “go on for days” talking about the strengths of the Pella Community School District, giving praise to the bond issue as a great example of how the district is making the schools a better learning space.
“Every time I look at something, I can tell that it has been worked on and proved and has gotten better over the ages,” Klahsen said.
The Pella Community School District Election featured more than 3,500 voters in three districts.
Spencer Carlstone ran for city council for the first time this year and won by just two votes against Bruce Schiebout, showing that every vote counts. Carlstone wants to have an impact on Pella.
“I ran because I see right now as a critical moment in our city’s story, a time to respond in a way that helps us thrive and flourish or as a time to miss that opportunity,” said Carlstone.
Listening, learning, and collaborating is what Carlstone wants to do during his time on the council.
“I want to add to our story by incorporating opportunities, amenities and benefits for our citizens while maintaining fiscal stability for our future.” Carlstone is “humbled and honored” to be the Ward 3 member for the City Council.
Pella Bond Measure
Yes – 2,795 – 78.05%
No – 786 – 21.95%
Pella School Board At-Large
Elisa Klahsen – 1,905 – 56.10%
Kevin Jones – 1,489 – 43.85%
Pella School Board District 1
Jeana Clark – 1,264 – 39.12%
Jesse Peterson – 1,964 – 60.79%
Write-In 3 0.09%
Pella School Board District 2
Joan M. Corbin – 2,601 – 98.23%
Write-In – 47 – 1.77%
Pella City Council:
At-Large Candidates:
Robin Pfalzgraf – 296 – 10.71%
Tony Bokhoven – 994 – 35.98%
Mark De Jong – 1,011 – 36.59%
Alan Pfadenhauer – 454 – 16.43%
Ward 3 candidates:
Bruce Schiebout – 497 – 49.90%
Spencer Carlstone – 499 – 50.10%
Ward 1 candidates:
Lynn Branderhorst – 373 – 57.83%
Kyle D. Nelson – 272 – 42.17%