By Celine Klosterman
IOWA CITY – A former chairman of Regina Catholic Education Center’s board of education will be the school’s interim president.
Lee Iben, a member of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City, will take over the president’s duties from July 1 until Regina fills the position permanently. He succeeds Carol Trueg, who announced this spring that she had taken a job as chief administrator of Holy Family Catholic Schools in Dubuque.
Iben’s appointment came after a 12-member search committee of board members, faculty, administrators, parents, Regina Foundation representatives and area pastors spent two months seeking Trueg’s replacement. The school received 14 applications and interviewed seven candidates, said Jim Howe, board chair. Three candidates were invited back for a second interview, but one accepted another job in between the interviews.
Although all the applicants had many positive attributes, ultimately, “we just weren’t comfortable that we’d found the right fit,” Howe said. “In many ways, we felt that our search was limited by the narrow window of time with which we were given to come up with Carol’s replacement.”
So the search committee decided to hire an interim president and re-open the search. Iben was an excellent choice because he served on the board from 2002-08, was president of the board during “challenging times” for Regina from 2005-08, and helped formulate the president model, Howe said. The appointee has experience in strategic planning, finances, personnel management and community outreach, Howe added.
Iben, an artist and photographer, owns Iben Studios, LLC, in Iowa City. He and his wife, Polly, own a real estate investment firm, and he manages her pediatric dental practice in Coralville.
Iben said he’ll focus on day-to-day administrative duties at Regina while continuing to help find the next president of the preschool- to 12th-grade institution. “We’re going to try to make this as smooth a transition as possible for the Regina family,” he said.
Two of the Ibens’ sons, Christian and Xavian, currently attend Regina; a daughter, Alex, and son, Niko, graduated from the school.