September 2023

Newsletter Header(Updated).png

Dear PEI Member,

Welcome back to school! We know these first couple of weeks have been busy, and we hope you are feeling encouraged as you begin this new academic year.

In this newsletter edition, we have a variety of resources on member benefits, a summary of cases PEI has encountered throughout the year, and some challenging insights and inspirations for you. Don't forget to check out the referral incentive, which is available to you through October 31st!

Lastly, the PEI Board of Directors election is approaching. Please take time to consider the candidates below and cast your vote.

-The PEI Team


PEI Board of Directors Candidates

PEI currently has two open seats on the Board of Directors. The following candidates are running for the board and will serve a three-year term. Votes will be accepted by email or USPS. The final day to vote is Friday, October 6, 2023.

I am Erin Cook, and I am entering my 16th year as a high school special education teacher in Pleasantville. I also serve as the Assistant FFA Advisor, Co-Sponsor for Student Council, the MTSS TLC position, and substitute bus driver. Not only do I teach at PHS, but I graduated from here, as well as my parents, husband, and children. My husband, Todd, and I live on an acreage and raise horses, cattle, goats, and hay. Jacob, my son, is a sophomore at Central College in Pella and my daughter, Emerson, is a sophomore at PHS.  

I would like to continue serving on the PEI board because it is an important organization for Iowa teachers. Having a familiar voice to answer the phone and offer assistance is invaluable, and I know I have appreciated the support I have received from PEI in the 14 years that I have been a member. It is important for Iowa teachers to have a choice in choosing a professional organization to best fit their needs, without breaking the bank. Allowing me to serve another term on the board also offers some continuity to continue the great works of this organization. Thank you!

My name is Aaron Pals and I’m enjoying my 20th year of working in education. During college I began working as a special education associate. From there, I was blessed to hold roles as a special education teacher, general education teacher, soccer coach, and administrator around Ankeny and West Des Moines. I also spent a few years as an adjunct instructor at Grand View University. Currently, I serve as an elementary principal at Grand View Christian School. I hold a BA in elementary education from Upper Iowa University, an MAT in teaching from Morningside University, and an M.Ed. in administration from Iowa State University. I am married to Laura who is also an educator. We have two children and reside in West Des Moines.

Serving on the PEI Board of Directors would be an honor from several angles. PEI plays an important role in giving many teachers the voice and the protection they need to do their jobs well. I firmly believe that PEI represents their members with integrity and expertise, and they do it for a rate that is cost-effective and fair. Beyond that, PEI’s professional development courses and opportunities for networking with like-minded educators encourage members to be more effective for the students we serve and the colleagues we work alongside. 

Vote for up to two candidates for the

PEI Board of Directors.


______ Erin Cook

______ Aaron Pals


You may cast your vote by emailing [email protected]. Please sign your name to the email. Additionally, votes will be accepted via USPS. Please mail to:


974 73rd Street, Suite 30

West Des Moines IA 50265

Voting closes at noon on Friday, October 6, 2023.



[email protected]




Facebook  Twitter


974 73rd St, Suite 30

West Des Moines, IA 50265

Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm

Friday 8am-4pm

Summer Hours:

Mon-Thurs 8:30am-4pm

Friday 8:30am-3:30pm