Amy Jeffers – Candidate for Chatfield School Board
Tell us about yourself: I am married and I am a mother of two children. My son Dalton, a sophomore in college, and Danielle, a 3rd grader. My parents are Dave and Ginny Engle. I grew up on a farm outside of Harmony. My hobbies include baking and spending time with my family.
Tell us about your work/life experience: At 17-years-old, I joined the United States Army Reserve and later enlisted into the active Army, working as a Licensed Practical Nurse. At the Rank of Sergeant, I left the Army with an honorable discharge. I have my Master’s degree in nursing and work for the Mayo Clinic.
Tell us why you are running for office: I want to be a voice that supports and protects our children and their academic future. Society’s goal is to have our children prepared to care for the future of our country. To do this we must continually look at the infrastructure of our education and see where updates and adaptations can be made. My goal is to provide support and resources to ensure we are providing the most up to date information and research for our children so they will be prepared to sustain our country in their adult life.
James Love – Candidate for Fillmore Central School Board
Tell us about yourself: My name is James Love. I am married to Shannon and have two boys; Andy, a junior at Iowa State University and Alex, a junior at Fillmore Central High School. I have been a member of the Fillmore Central School Board since 2008.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I graduated from Harmony High School in 1992. I have been working as a self-employed farmer for the last 18 years. I have lived in the Fillmore Central School District my entire life.
Tell us why you are running for office: Over the last eight years, I have enjoyed working with the Fillmore Central administration, staff, students, and community. At Fillmore Central, we must continue to focus on providing a quality education for all of our students. We will continually work on creating a long term vision for the district that allows students to reach their full potential.
Deb Ristau – Candidate for Fillmore Central School Board
Tell us about yourself: Married to Doug for 28 years. We farm together four miles south of Preston. We have three children: Kelsey (Joe) Woellert, Katie and Brady. One grandson, Hudson Woellert.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I have been a member of the Fillmore Central School Board for the past 13 years and senior class advisor for two years. I have served as an EMT for Preston Ambulance for 10 years and treasurer for Union Prairie Lutheran Church for 16 years.
Tell us why you are running for office: It has been a privilege to serve the Fillmore Central School District and to play a role in providing a quality education to the children of the district. I would be honored to be re-elected so I could continue to work with the amazing staff and administration of Fillmore Central in preparing our children to achieve success in their lives.
Michaeleen “Mike” Bonner – Candidate for Houston School Board
Tell us about yourself: Resident of Houston, 35 years. Married, three adult children, all graduates of Houston High School who have gone on to obtain graduate degrees. Beyond their solid academic foundation, additional opportunities in arts and athletics helped build discipline and character. I am proud to be part of a caring, innovative community.
Tell us about your work/life experience: Education: BS Animal Science, MS Education; DVM. Current: Full-time faculty in health sciences at Western Technical College; 20 years. Experiences include department chair, curriculum development, delivering courses in person and online. Past: small business owner operator in Houston; veterinarian in Minnesota and Wisconsin; 25 years.
Tell us why you are running for office: I have had the privilege of serving as a Houston School Board member for over 13 years, including over 200 hours of training through MSBA. As a college instructor, I have insight into what it means to support the important work of teachers, and to ensure that students are career and college ready by the time they graduate. As a resident and past business owner, I am sensitive to the financial burden schools impose on taxpayers. I will continue to ask tough questions to make good decisions regarding education policy and school finance. My focus remains on students.
Josh Norlien – Candidate for Houston School Board
Tell us about yourself: My gorgeous wife of 19 years, Angela and I live in Money Creek Township, along with our fantastic kids Shelby, Julia, Mylee, Reece, Peyton, and Sawyer. We feel very blessed to raise our family in such a beautiful area that has so much to enjoy.
Tell us about your work/life experience: For the past five years, I have been employed at MaltEurop of Winona, Minn., providing malted barley and wheat to breweries worldwide. Over the years, I have worked for many different businesses in the area, ranging from farm, machining, sales, and service; this diversity is one of my biggest strengths.
Tell us why you are running for office: I feel the well-being and growth of our children is our biggest responsibility, specifically their pre-school and kindergarten years. Not understating their preparation for college, the workforce, and in general, their lives following school. Over the past few years, the Houston School District has benefited from an intelligent and engaged school board. Our district has shown great progress and continued growth. I hope to contribute in my own unique way.
Heather Betts – Candidate for Kingsland School Board
Tell us about yourself: I live in Spring Valley with my husband, Jessy, and three children, Brayden, Kaylie and Kyra. I love playing with my children, teaching Sunday School, and traveling with my family and friends. I enjoy running and competing in races and include my children every chance I get.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I graduated from Kingsland High School in 2000. While attending high school, I began working for Weber and Judd Pharmacy. I received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota. After college, I returned as Pharmacist-In-Charge and also serve on the board of directors for Spring Valley Living.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am running for office because I want to help maintain high standards for the education of our students. As a Kingsland School parent and graduate, I understand the value the school district is providing to our children. We need to maintain a school district that provides the resources necessary for all students to excel in academics and simultaneously consider the cost to taxpayers. Keeping up with innovative ideas, such as College in the Schools, and the newest technologies will benefit our community and help bring additional enrollment to our district.
Jackie Horsman – Candidate for Kingsland School Board
Tell us about yourself: I have the privilege of waking up in Southeast Minnesota every day; residing in Wykoff. Being a mom to three daughters is the greatest gift that has been given to me; the ability to do volunteer work is the greatest gift I’ve given myself.
Tell us about your work/life experience: In 2012, I left a marketing career in broadcast television to pursue my dream of launching my own marketing and consulting firm with the hopes I would have more flexibility. Today, ReVo Media is still going strong. Helping small businesses grow has been my passion for nearly two decades.
Tell us why you are running for office: My oldest daughter graduated from Kingsland in 2012, my youngest is currently in 7th grade. I have had expansive time in the Kingsland district and throughout that time have worn many hats. From volunteering to coaching or sitting on advisory panels to chairing a parent and community group, I have attained a depth of insight for many years when it comes to the Kingsland district. Throughout it all, I have always maintained and will always maintain our students are our priority; they deserve a safe and cohesive learning and social environment.
Tiffany Ramaker Mundfrom – Candidate for Kingsland School Board
Tell us about yourself: My name is Tiffany Ramaker Mundfrom and I am a 1999 Kingsland graduate. My husband Eric and I live in Spring Valley where we raise our three children and try to stay active in the community.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I have a Bachelor in Business and Accounting from St. Mary’s University. I work at Mayo Clinic, where I’ve been employed for the past nine years, currently as an accounting specialist. I’m a member of Kingsland School Parents for the last six years, previously as president for two years.
Tell us why you are running for office: A key issue for school boards is to create a long-term vision. The board is responsible for establishing and maintaining a structure that supports this vision, empowers the staff, and provides leadership. We have tremendous teachers and staff working with our children. We must re-establish morale amongst all district employees, and work to return school pride throughout the district. Education takes place in the classroom and the board’s efforts must focus on enhancing and enriching what goes on there. I have a strong desire to see a solid school system that promotes, and supports growth in our communities.
Merlin Meyer – Candidate for Kingsland School Board
Tell us about yourself: I am married and have four children. My wife, Lori works at Casey’s in Spring Valley. I have two grandchildren, grades 4th and 7th, who attend Kingsland. I am a 1973 graduate of Spring Valley.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I recently retired from Mayo after 31 years of service in facilities, with 28 years in management. I am a livestock and crop farmer and work full-time at Four Daughter’s Vineyard and Winery. My family assists with Camp Companion animal rescue and shelter.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am running to help restore Kingsland to its Glory Days. When Wykoff and Spring Valley consolidated, they had almost 1,100 students. At the end of the 2016 school year, they had under 600 and LOST around 200 to open enrollment and homeschooling. This equals $1.4 million yearly in lost revenue to the district. Major changes need to be made to keep our students. We need to keep the middle school open. It provides a better learning environment overall. People of Wykoff are part of Kingsland, pay taxes, and are more than entitled to have school facilities.
Leah Stier – Candidate for Kingsland School Board
Tell us about yourself: I have lived in Spring Valley for the past 10+ years with my husband, Chris. We have two boys, Aiden, 5 years and Logan, 16 months. I was a member of Kingsland’s ECFE Advisory Council for three years and currently serve as secretary of KSP (Kingsland School Parents). I am a dedicated and detail-oriented leader.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I previously worked at Home Federal Bank for seven years in team lead and management positions. I currently work in Spring Valley for my husband’s family business. My background in leadership and management have taught me how important it is to set aside all personal agendas and make decisions that are best for everyone.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am running for school board because I want to help creative positive changes for our community, faculty and most importantly, our students. I want to open the lines of communication between the board and the community. I understand that it is not only my opinion that matters but also those opinions of our parents, teachers, students and community members. I want to help ensure that every voice is heard and considered through the proper chain of command. I come with no personal agenda and am confident that I can be a productive member of the board and provide a fresh perspective on things.
Theresa Scott – Candidate for Lanesboro School Board
Tell us about yourself: My name is Terri Scott and I live in Lanesboro, Minn. I have three children ages 29, 19 and 17, have one grandson and am expecting another in April. I am a special education teacher, teaching K-1 students with autism in an intensive center-based program located at Jefferson Elementary.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I grew up in Owatonna, Minn., and moved to Lanesboro in 1994. I have been an educator all my life, teaching at a psych hospital, day treatment program, learning disabilities classroom, and my current role as an autism teacher. I love working with kids, co-teachers and administration in my role.
Tell us why you are running for office: My last four years on the Lanesboro School Board have been a rewarding experience, but I feel like I am just getting started. Early this spring, we were given the task of hiring a new superintendent. This was very eye-opening process and, as a board, we were pleased with our choice. With a new leader, change occurs, and I am excited and would be grateful for the opportunity to continue work with this great school board and superintendent in continuing and enhancing opportunities for kids attending Lanesboro Public Schools.
Christine Troendle – Candidate for Lanesboro School Board
Tell us about yourself: I am an operator of Duschee Hills Dairy, along with my husband Pat and my brother Ben Taylor. I have three children- Travis, a sophomore at Iowa State, Jared, a senior at Lanesboro, and Devin, an 8th grader.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am a graduate of Lanesboro High School and the University of Minnesota. After working for a time in the agricultural lending field, I began farming in Lanesboro in 1994. I volunteer with county and local 4-H programming, our church Sunday School, and have been a Math Wizards coach.
Tell us why you are running for office: My initial interest in the school board position centers on a desire to see our school succeed in building the abilities of our children and showing them the opportunities available. The recent hire of a new superintendent has led to an exciting time of planning and laying the future path for our school. It is an honor be part of the process that encourages our children, supports our teachers, and builds our school.
Jason Marquardt – Candidate for Mabel-Canton School Board
Tell us about yourself: I have lived in Mabel for the past 15 years. I live north of Mabel on a small hobby farm with my wife, Sheri and our son, Tanner. Sheri is employed by Holland Accounting in Mabel and Tanner attends 8th grade at Mabel-Canton.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am the Fillmore County Veterans Service Officer. I have been in the Army Reserve for the past 23 years. I am a member of the American Legion and VGW Posts in Mabel. I am also the Scout Master for Troop 68 and an EMT with the Mabel Ambulance.
Tell us why you are running for office: With my knowledge of government in my career and my degree in public administration, I feel I could be a strong asset to the school board. Since I have to be fiscally responsible for my county budget at work on a daily basis, I feel that I would have a good understanding of dealing with the school budget. I have strong ties with the community and I would like to help ensure that our school continues to educate our children for many years to come.
Chris Miller – Candidate for Mabel-Canton School Board
Tell us about yourself: I live on our family farm west of Prosper with my wife, Melissa, and sons, Colton (13) and Cooper (2), with baby arriving in November. I am a Mabel-Canton alumnus with a degree in Animal Science. I’m an active volunteer in the community and with various school events.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am an owner/operator of Miller’s Viewlawn Angus, raising purebred Angus cattle. I’ve served on many public boards including the Fillmore County Extension Committee, Fillmore County Cattlemen’s, Iowa Angus Association, and American Angus Association state delegate. This gives me great experience with parliamentary procedure, facilitating compromise, and decision-making.
Tell us why you are running for office: With one son in 8th grade and one starting in a few short years, I have a vested interest in the success of the Mabel-Canton school. This is an opportunity to serve and give back to the communities that have helped enrich and nurture my family and me for years. Quality education is our priority. Having attended board meetings as a community member the past two years, I have a good understanding of our current state. I will work to follow our district vision, maintain ethical standards and transparency, and objectively pursue answers to questions and challenges as they arise.
Megan Rutter – Candidate for Mabel-Canton School Board
Tell us about yourself: I was born in the mountains of Colorado and spent much of my childhood traveling with my family. I moved to Minnesota in 1998 to finish my education. I married Philip Rutter after finishing college and we have one child, Eleanor. I often volunteer in the community.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I have a varied life experience, from traveling. It makes me more understanding to people’s differences. Went to college for my BA and eventually a MS and MA. While in college, I worked at many different jobs. I now work for our family farm, Badgersett, and am an author.
Tell us why you are running for office: I’m running for school board primarily for the children. I feel that for a child to succeed, the community they are in must be successful. For children, that community is school. Schools need to function for every child. Some children thrive in athletics, and that should be nurtured, but we also need to nurture future scientists, artists, carpenters and leaders, as well. It is the responsibility of the school board to make sure that the focus of the school is how effectively it meets the needs of those children, as well as the teachers and administration who educate them.
Bobbie Vickerman – Candidate for Mabel-Canton School Board
Tell us about yourself: I live in Mabel with my two children, Coranda and Brode. Coranda is a senior and Brode is a 2nd grader. I was born and raised in Mabel and graduated from Mabel-Canton High School in 1993. I graduated from Luther College in 1997; Major Accounting / Minor Economics.
Tell us about your work/life experience: My work history consists of managing financial day to day operations for both public and private entities. I serve as the coordinator for Fillmore County. I love sports, making lefse and being involved in the community. I am active with the Mabel Lions, the booster club and the church council.
Tell us why you are running for office: I want to be an active part of continuing the tradition of providing our children a quality education and the opportunities that a small school setting provides. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I could not agree more – I would love to play a role in continuing what our amazing staff provides for our children. Our school team wants to see our kids succeed and by being on the school board, it is my role to be a part of that process and to support our educators and staff to make that happen.
Mark Weidemann – Candidate for Mabel-Canton School Board
Tell us about yourself: I am married to Michelle Weidemann, current Mabel-Canton Interim Principal, we have two boys, Bode-4th grade and Chase-1st grade who both attend Mabel-Canton. We have lived in Mabel since 2008 and I have been a member of the Mabel-Canton school board for the past six years.
Tell us about your work/life experience: My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. I am currently working for Progressive Insurance as a claims adjuster. I am a current member of the Mabel Sportsman Club and Mabel Fire Department.
Tell us why you are running for office: Just like you, I’m a parent who wants to make sure that Mabel-Canton offers the best educational experience possible for our children. I believe we have a solid group of teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators that continue to look for ways to improve the learning experiences in our school. If re-elected, I will continue to do whatever I can to make sure our staff and students use our resources effectively and efficiently. I’ll ensure that every decision that I make as a school board member is in the best interest of our children because children need to be our first priority.
Curtis Fox – Candidate for Rushford-Peterson School Board
Tell us about yourself: My grandparents were Norwegian, Swedish and German immigrants. My parents grew up on farms and were devoted Christians. My primary and graduate education have been in public schools. I desire to be a positive voice in our R-P School District.
Tell us about your work/life experience: Early on, my life has involved work including lawn mowing, snow shoveling, and paper route work for neighbors and the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. I paid for all of my post high school education through part-time work for National Tea Co., Dakota Transfer, & Mt. Sinai Hospital as an orderly.
Tell us why you are running for office: I present myself as a school board candidate with significant roots in the community, as well as substantial educational experience. I have earned my master’s degree from Winona State and was a fully accredited doctoral student and teaching assistant at the University of Idaho. My over 50 years as an active and effective pastor in both small and large parishes have provided rich and varied opportunities for being a worthy candidate for this position. My wife, Doris Boyum is a graduate of Peterson High School. We have five children.
John Linder – Candidate for Rushford-Peterson School Board
Tell us about yourself: Current chairman of the R-P School Board. I encourage community members to tell me about their concerns and issues. I also like to let them know where I stand on the issues. Our current board has varied personalities and I try to be patient and respectful to the different opinions.
Tell us about your work/life experience: Retired with 32 years of Army reserve and active duty. Military and civilian attorney. Extensive experience in budgets, contracts and personnel issues. Worked on legislative initiative to obtain crucial state funding for our new facility. Serve on several community boards and committees.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am very proud of our district’s accomplishments and would like to continue our success. We are constructing a state of the art facility that will provide for the education needs of our students for many years. We have a great team of administrators and faculty that are concerned for all students and encourage their success and keep parents involved in the education of their children. We need board members that are supportive of the district and are able toto be decisive. I understand that criticism of a position taken is not a personal attack.
Bonnie Prinsen – Candidate for Rushford-Peterson School Board
Tell us about yourself: I have lived in Rushford with my husband and children for 17 years. Both my children have attended the Rushford-Peterson district all their years. I enjoy biking, flower gardening, reading, and the beauty of southeastern Minnesota.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I have worked in higher education for thirty years, currently teaching English full-time at RCTC. I led my department for two years as chairperson, and was honored with the title Teacher of the Year in 2002, voted on by the students. In addition to my teaching experience, I have worked in marketing and journalism. I enjoy being active in my church and my community.
Tell us why you are running for office: I filed to run for school board in my district for a number of reasons. First, I believe in giving back to my community and felt like this was an area where I might be of service. In addition, I have been lucky to see firsthand the power of education to change and improve lives, so I believe strongly in the mission of our district. Finally, I would like to be part of guiding this district, which already has so many wonderful people and resources, into the future. If elected, I believe I can offer calm, positive leadership.