Here are candidates’ interest statements for serving on the MREA Board of Directors, representing the South Zone, beginning in 2018:

At-Large Representative Candidates

Patti Balacek
La Crescent

As a community member, former high school teacher, and current parent of three children, I am very interested in the future of our schools. When combined with my previous experience as a registered lobbyist for the electrical industry in Minnesota, I am a strong candidate for the MREA board personally and professionally. Affecting change for our rural schools can only happen through effective and organized advocacy. I want to be part of that change and insure that my own children and all children in smaller schools have the same advantages as all students throughout Minnesota.

Matt Schultz

I care deeply about the issues that impact rural Minnesota, and my interest in joining the Board is to help shape the solutions that can have an impact on our communities. I am in my second year as Superintendent at Lanesboro Public Schools and have served in public education in three communities in rural southeast Minnesota.  These communities, as well as most other rural communities, face similar challenges regarding child-care, housing, transportation, healthcare, school funding, aging school buildings, and population decline. Lanesboro is a strong independent rural community that has historically approached these challenges with forward-thinking ideas and has tremendous community support for our school district.  MREA is the strongest voice our school community has to help us meet our mission, and I would be honored to be a part of shaping the future of rural education in Minnesota.

Luisa Trapero
St. James

I am excited for the opportunity to serve the MREA Board of Directors. I am currently serving another term as Treasurer on the school board for St. James Public Schools (2012-Present) and have two daughters in our school system. Our community has worked hard to include and empower all cultures, leading to our local organization that I am also a member of, La Convivencia, which supports students with scholarships funded by businesses and citizens of our Latino community. Many schools in Greater MN face new opportunities for students of color and it is important to connect schools and communities to create high achievement for all.