Early childhood blog


The Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Board is happy to announce they have selected three new board members to serve children and families in Hardin and Marshall County.  Please welcome our new members, who are:

Patricia Smith is the third oldest from a family of 12 children, growing up on a farm in Eastern Iowa.  After graduating from Delwood High School, she attended Marycrest College in Elementary Education.  Later on, she received her Master’s in Education Administration through Drake University.  Patricia taught various grades for 21 years for the DeWitt Central Community School District and was the principal at GMG Elementary for 13 years.  She supervises student teachers for ISU and BVU along with substituting at St. Francis School in Marshalltown.  Her husband, Mark, is a farmer and they have two adult children, Matt and Amy.  They also have two grandchildren, ages 12 and 20.  Patricia enjoys volunteering at St. Francis Catholic Church and Iowa River Hospice.  She enjoys yard work, reading, and spending time with family. Pat said, “I believe strongly in early childhood education and have a passion for supporting our students, families, communities, and education to provide a foundation for young children.”

Sherry Forr is an Admissions Coordinator at Scenic Living Communities in Iowa Falls.  She comes to the IRVECA Board with a background in Early Childhood Education and Organizational Leadership with a focus on Human Services.  Sherry worked for a Head Start Grantee in Colorado for more than 7 years working with children ages birth through five years old.  Preschool is where she excelled and working with children ages 3-5 was where she found her place.  Sherry also held the position of Director and Lead Teacher at Christian Edu-Care in Iowa Falls. Sherry finds the most joy from her two adult children, her teenage son, and her grandson. She has a passion for serving families through the principles of early childhood development, sensitivity for families, and caregivers. Sherry said, “Being a member of the IRVECA board is such an honor and I am grateful to be able to have a positive impact on the lives of families and children in Hardin and Marshall Counties.”  

Jenny Lu Jenny comes to the board with a B.A. degree in Psychobiology from Luther College and a B.S.N. from the University of Minnesota. Jenny did several years working in medical research before beginning her nursing career. Jenny started her nursing career on a med-surge floor but soon moved to a birth center where she is trained to work on the antepartum, postpartum, newborn nursery, and labor and delivery areas. Jenny then worked a year in public health as a Mother-Child RN where she did home visits to new moms, mom-to-be, and pediatric patients. Jenny then worked as a school nurse for 14 years. Jenny is currently employed by the City of Iowa Falls on the ambulance service. Jenny said, “My personal goal in relation to my involvement on the IRVECA Board is to make sure the children of Hardin and Marshall Counties are thriving and not just surviving. Helping allocate resources to early childhood needs will help ensure the children in our counties are cared for in the best possible way.”  

Congratulations to Patricia, Sherry, and Jenny. Hardin and Marshall County welcome you and appreciate your time and service.

The Iowa River Valley Board has several opportunities for memberships in the coming year to individuals who reside or work in Hardin or Marshall County. For qualifications, please visit
http://www.iowarivervalleyeca.com/about-our-board.html or obtain a membership application and information packet by contacting:

Carrie Kube
Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Director
PO Box 365
Iowa Falls, IA  50126

ensuring success in children age 0-5 in hardin and marshall county, iowa