Editor's note: Third in a series of five stories on candidates seeking seats on the Sioux City School Board in the Sept. 12 election.
SIOUX CITY | In being raised in rural Alabama, Jeremy Saint had two choices for a fifth grade teacher in the low-enrollment school: one of his two parents.
"The only two fifth grade teachers were my Dad or my Mom," Saint summarized with a smile.
It turned out he spent the year with his father teaching. Having the upbringing by two teachers led Saint at an early age to get a deeper feel for the workings of schools.
Now, Saint, 39, after living in Sioux City since 2007, is running for the Sioux City School Board.
"Doing something with education has always been in my mind...There is always this pull toward the educational community, education issues," Saint said.
The school board election is set for Sept. 12, when three people will win four-year terms. The five candidates are Saint, Shaun Broyhill, Ron Colling, Miyuki Nelson, and incumbent Perla Alarcon-Flory.
Saint said people in his Alabama school always thought he would become a math teacher. He pondered journalism, then steered toward a legal career, which took him after his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama-Huntsville to the University of Iowa.
He has lived in Iowa since 2004, and came to Sioux City while attending law school, for a 2006 summer position with the Crary Huff Law Firm.
"After spending three months here, we loved it. There was a full-time offer at the end of the summer," Saint said, so by 2007 he was an attorney for the Crary Huff firm and starting a family with his wife, Amelia.
The Saints have two children under age 10. Saint said he likes the school options Langston, 9, has had. Langston attended another elementary school initially, then at age 6 read a Journal article about Loess Hills Elementary, a specialty school focusing on computer programming.
"He just starts insisting that he must transfer," Saint said, adding his parents complied.
"From what I can see, we are turning out good students. I have no axes to grind with the school district...Our family personally has had good experiences," he said.
Saint said he waited to run for the school board until he had firm roots in Sioux City, and feels he's there, after a decade. He has previously served on the Budget Review Committee, which reports to the school board.
Saint said it is beneficial to have a wide variety of people on the school board, from retired teachers to business people. He said there are no attorneys on the board, so his expertise in that field would be a boon.
Saint added that his law practice in large part involves real estate matters, and he understands the necessity of keeping property taxes as low as possible, while still having enough money to adequately fund the Sioux City School District.
"I have skills, knowledge and experiences that I can contribute to the board," he said.