Four people join State Board of Education
Hannah Groos (student member), Brian J. Kane, John Robbins, and Georgia Van Gundy, have joined the State Board of Education. The State Board is made up of nine voting members who serve six-year terms and one non-voting student member who serves up to a two-year term.
Hannah Groos of Norwalk was selected to serve as the State Board student member in 2020. She attends Norwalk High School in Norwalk, where she participates in student council, track, band, FIRST Tech Challenge robotics, and varsity swimming at Lincoln High School. Hannah is also the founder of the Norwalk Girls Who Code club and serves as the sophomore class president. Outside of school, Hannah participates in local, state, and national 4-H, serves as the project lead for her Technovation team, and leads a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year campaign legacy team. She also is the event manager for the Iowa Student Learning Institute where she plans annual conferences and workshop presentations to give students the inspiration and tools they need to revolutionize Iowa’s approach to education through the power of student voice. Hannah uses her wide variety of activities to help rural and urban students across Iowa have the tools and support needed to productively address problems around their communities.
Brian J. Kane
Brian J. Kane of Dubuque was appointed to the State Board in 2020. He is the President, Shareholder and Founder of Kane, Norby & Reddick, P.C., a Dubuque law firm in existence since 1993. Brian has practiced law for 37 years and is a graduate of Loras College and the University of Iowa College of Law. He is also a CPA. Brian’s legal work is primarily in corporate and business, taxation, real estate and estate and trust planning.
Brian has served on many local Catholic school boards of education and has participated as a board member, chair and president of many local charities and is active in the community. His service has included Holy Family Catholic Schools, Hospice of Dubuque, Hills & Dales Child Development Center, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, and other local charities.
Brian is married to Kathy and they have six children, four of whom work at Kane, Norby & Reddick, P.C. as attorneys. In Brian’s free time, he enjoys spending time with all of his family, trying to golf and following baseball.
John Robbins of Iowa Falls joined the State Board in 2020. He retired in 2019 as superintendent of schools in Iowa Falls and Alden after a tenure of 20 years. He was previously a high school principal in Iowa Falls, a secondary principal at CAL (Latimer), and teacher/athletic coach at CAL. During his administrative career he was recognized by School Administrators of Iowa as a Finalist for High School Principal of the Year and twice as a Finalist for Superintendent of the Year. Robbins has been actively engaged in school improvement for decades including leading efforts to embed improvement initiatives in his own school districts; and leading school accreditation visits for the North Central Association (NCA), AdvancED, and Cognia. He has served NCA/AdvancED/Cognia in state and national leadership positions including Iowa NCA State Council Chairman, NCA Commission Member, AdvancED Accreditation Commission Chairman, and Iowa AdvancED Field Consultant. Robbins holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and a Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University.
Georgia Van Gundy
Georgia Van Gundy of Waukee joined the State Board in 2020. She oversees multiple functions within Hy-Vee, including human resources, education and training, as well as industry and government relations.
Georgia has more than two decades of policy and legislative experience, both in Iowa and nationally. She most recently served as executive director of the Iowa Business Council (IBC), an organization made up of CEOs and top executives from the 23 largest employers in Iowa. She also has been a key player in developing a statewide strategic vision for workforce development and training that included creating an alliance of business and industry, nonprofit and education partners, and helping pass legislation to support and implement a statewide strategic plan.
Prior to her role at the IBC, she led global strategies for a Fortune 250 company and worked in the retail industry in various capacities for nearly 10 years. She has been heavily involved in numerous non-profit and trade organizations focused on improving Iowa’s economic and social climate. Georgia was recently named one of the Des Moines Business Record’s 2019 Women of Influence.
Georgia is an Iowa native and a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She is married to Chad Kleppe and they are the proud parents of Carson and Grace. Georgia enjoys participating in activities with her family, exercising and watching sporting events.
The other State Board members are Brooke Axiotis of Des Moines, who serves as President, Bettie Bolar of Marshalltown, who serves as Vice President, Joshua Byrnes of Osage, Michael Knedler of Council Bluffs, Mike May of Spirit Lake, and Kimberly Wayne of Des Moines.