For 35 years, MREA has brought a unified voice to rural education and been a constant advocate for students. With the leadership of teachers, administrators, school board members and other education leaders, MREA has sought to bring about impactful change for the good of students, schools and communities across Greater Minnesota.
Here’s a look at key milestones in the organization’s history:
1985 MREA founded to provide a unified voice for rural education
Board of Directors brings together school administrators, teachers, school board members, and other education leaders to put learners first.
1987 Brings legislation attention to metro-rural funding gap
MREA calls from bringing bottom funded districts up to within $200 of the average of the top 10 funded districts in the state.
1987 Award programs begin
The start of the Profile of Excellence Award showcases outstanding programs in member districts and demonstrates that bigger is not always better.
1990 First, long-time executive director named
This begins 12 years of leadership and dedication of Vernae Hasbargen on behalf of Greater Minnesota students at the State Capitol.
1991 Leads analysis on key issues and publishes “The Voice”
This printed publication brings accurate, credible and compelling information on issues to school district members.
2005 Director of Legislative Affairs position added
This move, with the hiring of Sam Walseth, significantly impacts MREA’s legislative approach and success for the next 15 years.
2011 Membership growth begins with new vision
MREA seeks to be the Voice for Greater Minnesota Education, under the new leadership of Executive Director Fred Nolan. Communications becomes a key priority and differentiator.
2016 Educators of Excellence Award begins
The program honors and elevates teachers across Greater Minnesota and seeks to inspire others.
2019 Membership reaches 230 school districts
The Voice for Greater Minnesota Education also includes more than 90 education cooperatives, businesses and other advocates.