There are four candidates running for the Bettendorf Community School District Board of Education who want a clean sweep in how the district operates.

But none of the four men are being endorsed by unions representing licensed teachers and staff.

The Bettendorf Education Association (BEA – representing licensed teachers and staff), the Bettendorf Educational Support Association (BESA – representing secretaries and paraprofessionals), and the Bettendorf Support Staff Association (BSSA – representing custodial, maintenance, transportation, and food service employees) have withdrawn previously stated recommendations of Paul Castro, Kevin Freking and Ryan McGivern, three candidates who are members of the Clean Sweep Team for the BCSD school board.

Ryan McGivern, Paul Castro, Patrick Larkin and Kevin Freking are “Clean Sweep” candidates for the Bettendorf Board of Education.

The school board election is among several local elections scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

“Our unions in the Bettendorf Community School District (BCSD) are withdrawing their recommendations for Castro, Freking and McGivern, three of the members of the Clean Sweep Team, because of a false posting on the Clean Sweep Team Facebook page announcing their endorsement by the Tri-City Building & Construction Trades Council of the Quad Cities,” Emily Cullison, BEA president and a fourth-grade teacher at Herbert Hoover Elementary in the BCSD, said in a news release.

“Their Facebook post was false information. We have confirmed our friends on the Tri-City Building & Construction Trades Council have not endorsed any candidates for the BCSD school board,” said Cullison.

The BEA/BESA/BSSA invited all eight candidates running for the BCSD Board of Education on Oct. 4, and all eight accepted the invitation.

“We appreciate every candidate showing up and interviewing with us,” said Melissa Laufenberg, head of the Bettendorf Educational Support Association, a secretary at Bettendorf High School. “We made our recommendations based upon the questionnaires they filled out and the interviews they participated in. We take this process very seriously,” she said.

The current Bettendorf school board is comprised of (front row) Linda Smithson, Rebecca Eastman, Joanna Doerder, and (back row) Andrew Champion, left, Richard Lynch, Michael Pyevich, and Paul Castro.

The BEA/BESA/BSSA are still recommending Erin Bannerman, who is not a member of the Clean Sweep Team but received the recommendation of the school district unions.

“Erin Bannerman will be the only candidate for the BCSD Board of Education we will be recommending for the November 7 election,” said Laufenberg. “She earned our support when we interviewed her, and we stand by her recommendation.”

On Oct. 12, the Clean Sweep Facebook page posted: “We wanted to clear up some confusion regarding our union endorsements. In our previous post, we mistakenly mentioned that we were endorsed by all unions, but that’s not accurate. We apologize for the mix-up and take FULL responsibility for our mistake.

“We are incredibly grateful to have received the endorsement of the Millwrights Local 2158,” the Clean Sweep page says. “Their support means the world to us, and we are proud to have their backing in our campaign. We also want to acknowledge and respect the decisions of other unions and understand that each union has its own considerations.”

Paul Castro is a 21-year school board member whose term expires this year, and other candidates in the Clean Sweep team are Patrick Larkin, Kevin Freking and Ryan McGivern.

They say they are running to represent parents and teachers who are “saddened with the turn our schools have taken and are ready for a clean sweep,” their Facebook page says.

Their priorities include:

  • Zero tolerance for disrupted learning, bad behavior, profanity and repeated truancies.
  • Leadership that prioritizes transparency, trust building, actively listening to differing ideas, and being good stewards of tax dollars.
  • Parental respect and commitment to the community.

In-person early voting at the Scott County Auditor’s Office begins on Wednesday, Oct. 18 and runs through Monday, Nov. 6, and will be available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 from 9 a.m. to noon. This will be located in the Board of Supervisor Room on the first floor.

Satellite locations will also be available, including at Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Center Campus on Oct. 27 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

On Nov. 7, Election Day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters will use their regular assigned voting locations. Voters who are unsure of their assigned voting locations can call the Auditor’s Office at 563-326-8631 or use the Precinct Finder on the Auditor’s Page of the Scott County website HERE.