After serving Minnesota students for 45 years, Dr. Fred Nolan announced plans to retire as executive director of MREA in 2020.

Fred has worked in public education in Minnesota as a sixth grade teacher, elementary and middle school principal, community education director, and superintendent of schools since 1974.

“Dr. Nolan has been a pivotal leader in moving the mission of MREA forward,” said Lance Bagstad, 2020 MREA Board President and superintendent of Park Rapids Public Schools. “His dedication and commitment to rural education is clearly evident by his passion for creating opportunities to enhance rural schools and students. Dr. Nolan’s work will continue for years to come as a positive advocate and Voice for Minnesota Greater Education.”

Fred was named executive director of MREA in 2010. During his time with MREA, Fred has been instrumental in growing the organization’s membership to 230 school districts serving 225,000 students across Minnesota as well as 33 cooperatives and nearly 70 associates. He also expanded MREA’s team and member services.

“It’s exciting to work with Fred because he is such a visionary and an advocate for Greater Minnesota,” said Diane Vosen, MREA coordinator. “If he thinks something can benefit Greater Minnesota education, he tirelessly pursues it to meet MREA’s mission of bringing about the best possible outcomes for our students. He is a dedicated, passionate defender of equitable educational opportunities, and Greater Minnesota is fortunate to have him focusing on the outcome as well as how we get there.”

Fred continued MREA’s legacy of analysis with the development of an interactive mapping software that he has used to publish maps on key issues affecting Greater Minnesota schools.

He has been active at Minnesota Legislature, often testifying on behalf of Greater Minnesota students and schools to bring about meaningful changes that put learners first.

MREA will accept applications for executive director beginning Dec. 18 with final interviews conducted with the MREA Board and Staff in early March.

Nolan plans to retire for the summer of 2020 and spend more time with his wife, who will retire in the spring after serving as a teacher for 50 years.