Meet Michelle Rinke Koch – MREA Board President

Michelle-Rinke-KochMichelle Rinke Koch is the High School Principal (7-12) at Menahga Public Schools. She’s also leading MREA’s Board of Directors as Board President.

In her career, she’s taught high school Language Arts, been a Co-Director of an accredited PreSchool, taught 1st and 2nd grades, been K-12 Dean of Students, and now serves as the High School Principal.

Rural education is a passion of Michelle’s. She says “Our Greater Minnesota schools have strong ties to the local community. Parents, community members, and local organizations are highly involved in supporting their school through volunteering and providing resources. Because of the limited resources we often face, our rural schools are creative and resourceful in finding solutions to educational challenges. This leads to innovative teaching methods, technology integration, and community partnerships. This is the foundation of teaching and learning for our public school’s future. Our agricultural communities emphasize agricultural education, supporting our generational farms and businesses. I love how our rural schools play a role in preserving local culture and traditions. This includes incorporating local history, language, and customs into the curriculum. Our Greater Minnesota schools foster a strong sense of community and belonging among students, teachers, and families, contributing to a supportive learning environment where students feel valued and connected.”

Michelle has been a long-time supporter of MREA and the work it does for rural districts. “Rural education presents unique challenges and opportunities compared to urban or suburban counterparts. MREA leads the charge on advocating specifically for rural education and supports our districts through advocacy, communication, and collaboration.”

Michelle and her husband live along the shores of beautiful Duck Lake near the Huntersville State Forest. They have 2 beautiful girls, one amazing almost son-in-law, two incredible grandchildren, and one very spoiled perfect pooch! They enjoy family, friends, football, being on the pontoon, and spending time outside. Michelle also coaches speech and loves every minute she gets to spend with her speech team.