MREA appointed Lance Bagstad as president of the Board of Directors. The superintendent of Park Rapids Area Schools has been elected by the board to serve a one-year term as MREA celebrates it 35th anniversary as the voice of education in Greater Minnesota and welcomes a new executive director.

Bagstad began his teaching career in an elementary classroom before serving as an administrator at both the elementary and high school levels. He has been a superintendent for the past 13 years.

Bagstad recently shared more about his career path, involvement in MREA and goals for 2020:

What led you to pursue a career in education?

I have always enjoyed working with people and learning. Being a teacher and coach has allowed me an opportunity to do so while making a positive difference for others.

Why did you join the MREA Board?

MREA was a draw for me early in my career. Since then, the organization has continued to grow in advocating for rural schools, teachers and students. I wanted to serve and be part of an organization with a vision I believe in.

What have you enjoyed most about your time with MREA?

I have enjoyed working with people who are passionate about learning, education and rural schools. Being part of making positive change that impacts others in a way that makes things better is exciting.

Why do you think it is important to be involved in MREA?

MREA is a proactive organization that focuses on advancing education and learning in rural schools. Advocating for all rural schools and values is very important to ensure that our students are just as prepared upon graduation as those in other areas.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when not serving MREA?

I enjoy spending time with family, reading and learning new things, participating and watching sports and generally being active, preferably outside.

What are you most looking forward to for MREA in 2020?

I am looking forward to advocating for all rural schools and students. I believe MREA’s legislative platform is positive for all members and working to make it happen is a priority.