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Kueck reviews 32 years of service to Iowa Lakes

By Staff | Oct 20, 2009

As one chapter closes for Lynn Kueck, another one is about to open.

Kueck, who along with fellow longterm board member Jack Tatman was unseated from the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees in the last election, has been drafted to run again for Algona mayor in an aggressive write-in campaign in the Nov. 3 election. Kueck served 11 years as Algona’s mayor and retired for one term.

Probably more people, though, know Kueck for serving on the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees since 1977, quite a natural fit for Kueck who holds a master’s in mathematics from Stanford University and served for years as head of the mathematics department at Algona Community Schools.

While Kueck acknowledges many attractive offers on the West Coast, he chose to return to his Algona, his hometown, where he devoted his life to public service – both as an educator and as a public servant.

Kueck recalls a number of challenges when he first took his seat on the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees 32 years ago. “We did not have a high reputation,” Kueck recalls.

But my how times have changed.

Kueck sees the college as having taken a giant leap ahead in the quality of its faculty and programs. He said students are increasingly seeing the value of attending Iowa Lakes.

“People want to go where they’ll know they’ll get a quality education but they also want a quality atmosphere,” Kueck said. “It really was nice to see Iowa Lakes become one of the best community colleges in the state.”

Kueck recounted how Iowa Lakes responded to the need for nurses regionally.

“Now we have just wonderful numbers in our program,” Kueck said. “It’s been a real boost for economic development to keep that program in our five-county area.”

Kueck sees another boon to the region with Iowa Lake’s wind energy and turbine technology program.

“That thing has been just incredible,” Kueck said, noting that students have been coming from as far away as New England to attend the program.

Kueck’s vision for the college includes conducting a regular needs assessment of the five-county area to determine how the college can best address the region’s needs.

He also wants to maintain arts and sciences programs at the college. He observes a trend of more students attending community colleges locally to keep educational costs down.

Kueck also sees tremendous growth in the college wind program not just for students but also for area farmers who receive $4,000 to $6,000 an acre for siting turbines on their property.

“I feel honored and privileged to have served on the board,” Kueck said.