The MREA Board of Directors named Jeremy Kovash board president. Kovash started his career teaching at Perham Public Schools and currently serves as executive director of Lakes Country Services Cooperative based in Fergus Falls. We recently sat down with Kovash to learn more about his passion for education and goals for MREA in 2016.
What led you initially to a career in education?
As a young person, I had opportunities to lead Sunday School, coach baseball and hockey and umpire. These experiences showed me early on the value of working with young people. Despite plans to enter the business world or law school, I met my wife, Deanna, in college and we both decided to pursue careers in education.
Briefly describe your career path.
I was fortunate that my first job in education was one that I loved. My wife and I were both hired in Perham to teach and coach. Teaching in a school district of Perham’s size afforded me many opportunities to lead and grow. In addition to earning my Master’s degree and administrative licenses, I was able to lead our teacher’s union, be a head coach, teach great kids, live and work in a great community and enter into the world of school administration. I had a tremendous group of co-workers and fantastic mentors that helped me along the way, including former MREA President Dennis Drummond, Minnesota Activities Director of the Year Fred Sailer, Superintendent Tamara Uselman and my mom who is currently the superintendent of schools in Moorhead.
Tell us about your current role and what’s most rewarding about it.
I left Perham schools when I loved my job. I never thought of leaving but the executive director position at Lakes Country (Service Cooperative) opened 10 years ago. It is a position that combines my love for education with competition and partnership. I love the business approach and manner in which we have achieved together with our members and partners. More than anything, we’ve been blessed with an unbelievable team at LCSC dedicated to service, wonderful members dedicated to serving kids and communities and statewide partners looking to innovate and improve lives.
Why did you join the MREA Board?
I think the work that MREA does in advocacy meshes wonderfully with our work at LCSC. MREA actually sprung out of our office. I believe in the value of rural, independent schools and know that MREA has been a key voice for our shared members.
What have you enjoyed most about your time with MREA?
I have enjoyed the dedicated board and growth in the advocacy efforts of MREA. It has been wonderful to see firsthand MREA’s efforts enhance greater Minnesota schools. It has been fun to be a part of the growth of MREA in membership, conference attendance, and especially our key role of advocacy.
Why do you think it is important to be involved in MREA?
It is important to speak and be there. Sometimes, half the battle is just showing up. MREA being a consistent voice in St. Paul is key to our success. I think the growing MREA membership working together can make great strides for our schools and communities.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you are not serving MREA?
My wife, Deanna, and our three sons, Jace (16), Maddux (13), and Evan (10) love to play games, sports and travel. We also love reading and hanging out on the lake.
What you are most looking forward to for MREA in 2016?
MREA cannot act alone. While we have an awesome advocacy team, it is important to partner with other educational agencies and community partners to advance education in Minnesota. Historically, partnerships with MSBA and MASA in particular have made great advancements in education. Enhancing and building upon these and other relationships, I feel, are key to our future.