Mary Mascher (BA ’75, MA ’82) stepped down from the Iowa House of Representatives at the end of the 2022 legislative session after announcing in November of 2021 that she would not run for re-election, leaving a legacy of strong advocacy for education and literacy.
After receiving a degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in counseling education, Mascher worked as a counselor at Roosevelt Elementary School. She taught for 33 years in the Iowa City schools, retiring from teaching in 2009.
"The University of Iowa has had a profound impact on my life and career paths,” Mascher says. “The classes I took prepared me for the rigors of teaching and the challenges of working with a diverse group of learners.”
She says it was her first experience as a professional educator in the Iowa City schools that sparked her interest in politics and running for office.
In 1994, Mascher was elected to the Iowa House District 46, where she advocated for women, children, and families for almost 30 years. She served on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Board and Executive Committee and was appointed to the State Council on Continuous Improvement of Educational Excellence by former Gov. Tom Vilsack.
Mascher has been very active in her community, helping organize the first girls’ softball league in Iowa City and serving on its board of directors. Since 1988, she has sung and acted in many Iowa City Community Theater productions and served on its board of directors.
She has been a member of the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Commission, the Iowa City Riverfront Commission, and was president of the Iowa City Education Association. Mascher has also served as an ex-officio board member of the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System and Early Childhood Iowa. She has received numerous honors and awards for her service and leadership.
In retirement, Mascher enjoys taking Master Gardener classes and plans to enroll in Senior College courses as well as attend her two grandsons’ concerts and events. She’s also getting her clarinet out of the closet to join the community band.
“There is still so much to do and enjoy. I will continue to travel and stay actively involved in politics,” Mascher says. “We live in an amazing community with so many opportunities to volunteer and get involved. I can't wait for this next chapter to begin.”
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