Karen Friedlein
Karen Friedlein

April 29, 2019

Karen Friedlein, a biology professor at Des Moines Area Community College in Carroll, was appointed to be Carroll Schools’ next school board member at the Carroll Community School Board meeting this afternoon.

Friedlein will replace Gina Badding, who resigned from the school board after accepting a position as an Iowa District Court judge.

Badding, 39, who has served on the Carroll Community School Board for the past four years, will replace Judge William Ostlund of Jefferson as judge. She will serve Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Marshall, Pocahontas, Sac, Story, Webster and Wright counties.

Carroll Community School Board member Brad Jorgensen said the school board selected Friedlein out of the four candidates who applied because of her background in education and interest in remaining on the school board after Badding’s term ends in November.

“She is definitely interested in running for re-election in the fall, and this gives her an opportunity to work with us and get her feet wet and kind of be brought up to speed on things that are going on in the school system,” Jorgensen said. “She has an education background. She works for DMACC, and we already have a strong relationship with DMACC, and we want to enhance that relationship too, so it’s kind of building upon that relationship.”

Friedlein’s husband is Eric Jensen, the mayor of Carroll and a podiatrist at McFarland Clinic, and they have two children, Soren and Arrington.

The other candidates were Carroll City Councilman LaVern Dirkx; Onica Ulveling, a pharmacist; and Phil Phillips, a former Carroll city councilman.

In others news, school leaders approved several new summer projects, including adding in new carpeting in the high school and middle school, a new boiler on the east side of the middle school and a new glycol pump at the high school.

The four renovations the school district approved will cost up to $150,000.

School board members will wait to approve other projects until they receive bids to replace the school’s Chromebooks.

Gary Bengtson, the director of business affairs at the Carroll Community School District, said the bids for the new computers will come in by the next school board meeting May 20.

“That’s the Chromebooks that (Jeff Dvorak, Carroll’s buildings and grounds supervisor) is looking to purchase this summer which are pretty good,” he said. “Probably in the neighborhood of $125,000, and then I think he’s got some staff computers he wants to purchase too. (Dvorak) will have the bids for the carpeting to help a little bit, too. I do think though the carpeting, like (Dvorak) said, and the boiler needs to be done, so we know that that’s going to have to come out.”

The Carroll Community School Board also approved a policy for the new Carroll High School video board Monday afternoon allowing any donors who give $5,000 or more for the video board to be given a small plaque inside the gym. The video board also will play the names of all the donors on the board for one year. After the year ends, only Tiger Vision and paid advertising will be displayed on the video board.

Chelsea Bissen, a business instructor at Carroll High School, wants to have $130,000 raised for the video board by May 1, according to a news release.

The board will be similar to the new video board at the updated Carroll Athletic Field, Bengtson said.

“I would think that you would want to have a product very similar to the one in operation down there, because it’s hard enough to be able to run that one,” he said. “I would want that one to carry over.”

In other news, school leaders approved hiring Casey Berlau to be Carroll School’s new permanent superintendent. Berlau will replace Kevin Lein, who resigned from the school district earlier this year.

Berlau, 44, an online learning advocate, currently serves as the shared superintendent at Nodaway Valley Community School District in Greenfield and CAM Community School District in Anita.

Berlau’s official contract will begin July 1 when Lein’s ends.