Bob Indihar brings a passion for rural education, energy and a focus on serving members as he begins in his new role as executive director of MREA on July 1.

Indihar started his career teaching math and science at the secondary level in Detroit Lakes. He became principal of Moose Lake High School in 1998. Indihar has served as superintendent of Moose Lake Public Schools since 2012.

“I come from a family with an educational background; my dad and multiple relatives were teachers and principals,” Indihar said. “I have always had a desire to teach children.”

He brings his commitment to putting students first and advocating for rural schools to his new role at MREA. “The reason that this job excited me was that I would still be in contact with colleagues and would be working towards a cause that I believe in — improving rural education,” Indihar said. “I am very thankful for this opportunity.”

Indihar received a bachelor’s in teaching from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and holds a specialist degree and a Masters in Educational Administration from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. He earned his superintendent degree from St. Mary’s University.

Learn more about Indihar, in his words:


How have you seen MREA bring value to members?

MREA gives rural schools a voice at the legislature. The big schools have lobbyists to help them with their unique needs. Most rural schools cannot afford to hire a lobbyist. When Sam goes to the legislature, he is backed by 230 schools. That is powerful. MREA also is a unique organization in the fact that its members are teachers, principals, superintendents, community members and business partners.


Why did you want to lead MREA?

Rural schools have a stronger voice when we work together. This is what MREA does; it gives us a voice. My school went through a flood and was unable to pass a bond for a new school. I saw the power of having an effective lobbyist and working together with other schools. We partnered with Rushford-Peterson and successfully passed legislation where any school that has substantial damage from a natural disaster can receive additional state aid. The two sessions it took to pass the legislation gave me an insight on how things work at the Capitol.


What is a piece of leadership advice that has stuck with you?

Take care of yourself and treat others with respect.  Our jobs are stressful and much is demanded of us.  I feel that regularly working out has kept me at an even keel mentally throughout my career.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife Deb and I have three grown boys and three grandchildren.  I love to travel, as a matter of fact I just got back from New Zealand the week before things got crazy with COVID-19. I also love to golf, fish and hunt.


What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My passion is trout fishing in the winter. I winter camp and have a goal of going to every trout lake in the state.  Last year, I fished 13 different lakes for trout, most of them were in or around the BWCA.