Candidates | South Central Zone

These candidates have applied for an At-Large seat open as of January 1, 2024 on the MREA Board of Directors:

At-Large | 4-Year Term | 2024-2027

Jenna Fromm | Palmer Bus Service
I have a deep-rooted connection to rural education in Minnesota, having grown up in St. Clair and graduated from a rural K-12 school. I’ve been a school bus driver, a community educator, and a teacher. Personally, our family moved to a rural area so our children could benefit from a rural education in Pine City. With a leadership role at Palmer Bus Service serving many rural school districts throughout Minnesota, I understand the challenges and potential of rural education. I believe in the vital role that the Minnesota Rural Education Association plays in advocating for rural communities and students, and I’m eager to contribute my experiences and commitment to this organization’s mission.

Jennifer Maras | Morris Area School District
With passion and a commitment to rural education, I seek a position on the MREA board. My rural roots run deep, and I know the importance of telling our very special rural stories. As a business teacher for the past 22 years, I value the importance of teaching practicality and employability to our next generation of working professionals. Most recently, I was named the 2023 National Rural Teacher of the Year, where I look forward to the advocacy and conversations that will come with the special honor on the national level. I will work tirelessly to ensure the land of the 10,000 lakes is well represented on a national stage. Please consider me as you vote for the MREA board, knowing I will be a steward of rural education both at the state and national level.

Patrick Walsh | Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa School District
MREA has been a part of the school districts I have worked in for over 20 years. During that time, I have kept up with the MREA platform and voice. As I gained experience as an administrator, I appreciate these aspects even more. MREA is one of the best educational organizations out there. MREA is not a political arm that is ancillary to education, even though we are an important lobbying voice at the Legislature. Rather, MREA is an active arm into the style of education that works for the many smaller local communities in our State. I look to be involved with MREA for a long while, even after I retire as an educator.

Gwenn Wolters | South Central Service Cooperative
I am currently working with school districts in the South Central region of the state in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) space. All of my districts are considered rural, and I feel privileged to work with them as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of career and college readiness and CTE. MREA’s mission statement resonates with me as I also believe that ALL our rural Minnesota students receive exemplary educational opportunities and experiences. If selected, membership on this Board will provide me a wider lens as I work with our rural school district and provide me the opportunity to continue to sing the praises of CTE. Thank you for your time and consideration.