Polly Bukta is serving her 7th term in the Iowa House as Speaker Pro Tempore for the second term. She serves on the Education, Public Safety, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and Ways and Means Committees.
Polly was born on April 3, 1937 in Pennsylvania, the fifth of eight children of Mary Marquis and Paul Bresnan. She was raised in the small town of Greenville where she graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 1955.
Polly grew up with six brothers and one sister and learned at an early age the importance of expressing her strong opinions. These six brothers also taught her how to play baseball, basketball and tackle football and expected her to show up at every neighborhood pickup game. This was the start of Polly’s lifelong interest and participation in all sports. She excelled in softball, basketball and volleyball in high school and intramural teams at Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA.
Polly graduated from college in 1962 with a BS in Elementary Education and a minor in French. Her love of children coupled with the desire to make their lives fuller was the defining factor that led to her career choice. She moved to Clinton in 1967 where she was hired as a 5th grade teacher. During Polly’s thirty-three years of educating young minds, she has been rewarded on a daily basis, far beyond her expectations.
Educating kids, however, has not been Polly’s only passion. Polly has been involved in politics her entire adult life. She has been instrumental in elections of candidates from school boards to the White House, including her own election as a state representative in 1996. Polly joined the ranks of Leadership within the House Democratic Caucus as an Assistant Minority Leader in 2001.
Polly married Mike Bukta in 1968 in Clinton and they are the proud parents of two adult sons, Paul and Aaron, both graduates of the University of Iowa, a grandson, Ronan, born on July 29, 2005, and twin granddaughters, Maryjane and Julia born on December 3, 2007.
In her spare time Polly enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling and is also addicted to working crossword puzzles. She is an avid fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball and football programs. She also follows the Boston Celtics, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Polly is an active member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Clinton as well as numerous business and civic organizations, including the Clinton Women’s Club, NAACP, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, the AAUW, Delta Kappa Gamma, the P.E.O., Chapter KY Clinton, and is a life member of the NEA.