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Candidate Q&A: Red Wing School Board

Red Wing residents will vote in the first contested School Board election since 2010 this November. The elections in 2012 and 2014 saw the number of School Board candidates equal the amount of open board positions.

The four current board members with expiring terms — Mike Christensen, Janie Farrar, Heidi Jones and Mark Ryan — are seeking re-election.

Tim Hudacek, Brett Olmsted and Pam Roe have joined them on the ballot.

When citizens enter the voting booth Nov. 8 or fill out an absentee ballot, they will be able to cast four votes in the school election because all candidates run for at-large positions.

Below you will find a list of the candidates with links to responses to questions asked by the RE:

Mike ChristensenMike Christensen

Age: 57

Address: 29883 Lakeview Ave.

Occupation: E-Recycling supervisor

Education: Economics degree from Eastern Illinois University

Family: Married to Kay, children Max and Alex

Civic involvement: Kiwanis, School Board director, promoter of Red Wing as a great place to live and grow

Janie FarrarJanie Farrar

Age: 37

Address: 2663 Ridge View Court

Occupation: Homemaker & community volunteer

Education: BA, political science & public relations from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Family: Husband Dave, 4 children: Nathan, 14, Andrew, 12, Luke, 9, Elizabeth, 6

Civic involvement: Red Wing Public Schools Foundation Board current member; YMCA Board current member; 2011-12 leader of annual Support Campaign; 2012 Blandin Community Leadership Program participant; 2014 Red Wing Schools Facilities Task Force; member of Cornerstone Community Church; Elementary PAC (past chair), United Way volunteer, referendum volunteer, chartered Red Wing MOPS group.

Tim HudacekTim Hudacek

Age: 46

Address: 150 Spring Creek Road S.

Occupation: Substitute teacher/paraprofessional with Teachers On Call; small-business owner of Midwest Tax Pros, LLC; on-call banquet server/bartender, St. James Hotel

Education: Associate in Arts Degree, Fond-du-Lac Tribal & Community College, Minnesota, 1992; Bachelor of Science, hospitality & tourism management, University of Wisconsin-Stout, 1994; Master of Business Administration, Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University, Ilinois, 2011; Master of Arts in Education, St. Mary’s University, Minnesota

Family: Married with wife and five children

Civic Involvement: Tax aid volunteer for AARP, Red Wing; former Twin Bluff Middle School Lego League administrator/coach volunteer; former youth baseball coach, Hastings.

Heidi JonesHeidi Jones

Age: 54

Address: 3375 Wallace Lane

Occupation: Community volunteer

Education: B.A. government; online computer courses

Family: Husband Steve and three sons

Civic involvement: Minnesota School Boards Association Board of Directors; pro-school referendum committees, 2016 & 2008; city of Red Wing Advisory Planning Commission, Charter Commission (past chair), Red Wing Public Library Board (past chair); League of Women Voters Red Wing (past chair); Red Wing Diversity Festival; lector and eucharist minister at Church of St. Joseph; Women’s Network’s Red Wing Women’s Hall of Fame 2016 and American Association of University Women Citizen of the Year 2016.

Brett OlmstedBrett Olmsted

Age: 25

Address: 4224 Griffin St.

Occupation: sales associate at Red Wing Chevrolet

Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Family: wife Kait and two kids, Gwen (2) and Kane (1)

Civic involvement: Visiting veterans at nursing homes, participating in Support our Troops by distributing care packages.

Pam RoePam Roe

Age: 46

Address: 4794 Mount Hood Lane

Occupation: Social Worker/bereavement And Volunteer Coordinator, Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Wing Hospice and past school social worker in Robbinsdale, Rochester and Goodhue County Education District

Education: Master’s degree in social work, University of St. Thomas; bachelor’s from Luther College

Family: Husband Greg and three children: Emma, eighth-grader at Red Wing High School; Allison, sixth-grader at Twin Bluff Middle School; Adam, fourth-grader at Burnside Elementary School

Civic Involvement: Red Wing Amateur Hockey Association board member; Girls on the Run board member; Stephen leader/minister at United Lutheran Church, past congregational president and member of pastoral call committee, worship and praise band member, member of finance committee for new building project; “Women Build” Habitat for Humanity team member; volunteer for Red Wing Public Schools and past member of the Parent Advisory Council Executive Board.

Mark RyanMark Ryan

Age: 69

Address: 1325 S Park St.

Occupation: Retired middle school science teacher; retired chief petty officer U.S. Navy

Education: BS, forestry sciences, University of Washington; MS education, University of Minnesota; PhD, curriculum and instruction, U of M; certificate in professional development leadership, National Board Certified Teacher 2000-2010

Family: Wife Marilyn, adult children Graham and Kim

Civic involvement: Current member of Red Wing School Board, completing first term. Representing board on Mayor’s Taskforce on Sidewalks, Safe Routes to Schools and the Hunger Free Kids Network and Equity committees under Every Hand Joined. Prior member of Red Wing City Council, member of Energy subcommittee to Planning Commission, Boy Scout leader in several capacities, youth softball and football coach, soccer referee and coach in YMCA’s inaugural soccer program.