Here are the candidatess interest statements for serving on the MREA Board of Directors, representing the North Central Zone, beginning in 2019:

Teacher Representative Candidates

Sarah Bauck

Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Schools

I would be honored to be a part of MREA. When administration, school board, and teachers collaborate, great things can happen. I have been an educator (band director) for 20+ years. Throughout this time I have worked with teachers from districts across the state, been involved in building leadership, our local union, and city government, as well as attending almost every school board meeting in our district. MREA sees the importance of listening, collaborating, compromising, and cooperating in order to make progress in the issues that affect our rural districts. I value these same ideals and would embrace the opportunity to work with an organization that is making such a difference for rural education.

Janice Oakley

Pine River-Backus Schools

I am a veteran mathematics teacher that has been teaching at Pine River-Backus High School for the past 18 years. I currently teach 8th- and 9th-grade  and advanced algebra. I earned a BS from Bemidji State University in Mathematics Education (9-12), and a Masters degree from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Educational Leadership. In addition, I am an online teacher for MNInfinity. MNInfinity serves many rural communities in Minnesota. I am committed to student success both inside the classroom and in life. I believe that student success is created through meaningful relationships. I grew up in Grand Rapids and currently live in Brainerd. As both a professional and former student in rural Minnesota, I believe I understand the issues that rural students encounter, and I would be able to advocate on their behalf.

Michelle Rinke Koch

Menahga Schools

I would be deeply honored with the opportunity to serve and participate with the MREA Board of Directors. I have spent my entire life living in “outstate” Minnesota and believe that our rural areas have many unique challenges and gifts. MREA brings together school boards, administration, educators, and community members with the goal of improving our students’ educational opportunities in rural Minnesota. I look forward to having the opportunity to offer my experiences, passion and rural foundation to work toward building 21st Century opportunities for our greatest resource; our children.