Independent School District 200 (ISD200) School Board is about to have four new faces with four of the seven board members terms ending January 1, 2024. ISD200 School Board terms are four-year terms …
Independent School District 200 (ISD200) School Board is about to have four new faces with four of the seven board members terms ending January 1, 2024. ISD200 School Board terms are four-year terms that end at the start of January every two years. There are three board member positions that the term ends in January of 2026 and four that end in January of 2024. The rotation allows there to be at least three board members with two years’ experience along with at least three board members that could be new to the process. The four board members that are terming out as part of this rotation are Brian Davis, Stephanie Malm, Lisa Hedin and Becky Beissel.
The filing window was Aug. 1 through Aug. 15. As of Monday night, six people have filed for candidacy: Brandy Wentzler, Mariah Ring, Matt Bruns, Matt Seeger, Pam Onnen and Nancy Blanchard. None of the current four board members have filed for re-election. The Journal reached out to the four departing board members on Monday to confirm their departure from the board. Of the four, only Stephanie Malm and Brian Davis responded as of presstime.
“I am not seeking re-election; this was a decision I did not make lightly,” said Malm in her email. “I have a career opportunity that I am pursuing that will require a significant amount of focus and time over the next couple years. I love the work that comes with serving on the board. Specifically, the four years sitting on the policy committee, engaging with the community, and especially celebrating our students and teachers. The teachers, administrators, and students of ISD 200 are my ‘why’ to being a board member and the reason I will continue advocating for equitable and quality education for all students away from the table. I am incredibly appreciative of the community support over the last four years and look forward to watching our district grow as new board members come and go. I thank the board members and Superintendents, current and past, for your support, continuous passion for education, and dedication to growth in governance!”
“I will not be running for reelection for ISD 200,” said Davis in his email. “It is time for some new blood to take over as I step away. I will, however, continue to advocate for the children within this district in different ways away from the board table. I will support all of our new school board members and their work to ensure the very best for the children. I expect that parents will be assured that each and every one of their children will have the best resources and will be treated equitably and fairly.”
There are six candidates that completed the filing as of Aug. 14, here is their introduction and photo from their website, candidate social media page or press release if one was sent to get voters started down the path of learning about these six candidates. We will do a more in-depth feature on each of them in upcoming editions of the Hastings Journal prior to election day on Nov. 7.
Matt Bruns - mattbruns.org
‘My wife, Stevi, and I live in Hastings with our two-year-old son, Magnus, and our zoo of pets, including our dogs Ivan and Luna, Henry our beloved rescue cat, and our creatively named beta fish, Fishie. We love living in Hastings because of the wonderful schools, the miles of trails and expansive park space, and the friends and family that have surrounded us to make this community home. Currently, I serve as an Academic Liaison at Dakota County Area Learning School (DCALS) through Intermediate School District 917, where I help learners and families find the success and opportunities they need to meet their dreams. As an educator, I have worked as a paraprofessional, special education teacher, coach, advisor, and department lead, and I have dedicated eight years of my career to Hastings Public Schools. Working within the systems that make up public education has provided me with the experience necessary to maximize student outcomes with the structures and resources at our disposal.’
Mariah Ring - Mariah Ring for ISD 200 Facebook Page
‘I’m a SEAS and HHS graduate with a degree in Public History from UW-Eau Claire. I’ve been the Site Supervisor of the LeDuc Historic Estate for the past 5 years and have coached the Hastings Area Swim Team for 6 years. I’m running for school board because I love this community and I want to see it grow, and flourish. As a historian and a coach my jobs are rooted in education, continuous learning, and improvement. I educate children about the past and I recognize that we make history every day. What we do today sets the groundwork for a future that’s built on education. I believe in giving children the best foundation possible to keep Hastings a community we can be proud of.’
Matt Seeger - Matt Seeger for ISD 200 Facebook Page
‘I’m Matt Seeger, a lifelong resident and graduate of Independent School District 200. I am a proud Kennedy, SEAS, and HHS alum. My family has been in the Hastings area across five generations now, representing over 100 years of history in this community. My wife (also an HHS graduate) and I have raised four children who have been given excellent opportunities in this district. Raising two boys and two girls, each with unique interests, I know just how important it is to preserve ISD200’s legacy of arts, athletics, and applied academics. Working in the correctional systems of Ramsey County since early 2021, as well as Hennepin County for 15 years prior, I have firsthand knowledge and experience working with people from all walks of life with diverse needs and circumstances. Just as I strive to help people in the correctional system find ways to improve their position in life, I want to help ISD200 be the best school district possible for decades to come. Five generations from now, I want our district to be continuing a long, proud heritage of quality education for all students.’
Brandy Wentzler - Brandy Wentzler ISD 200 Facebook Page
“I'm a proud Hastings Alumni running for the ISD 200 school board this Fall. I would love to represent our kids, teachers, and families in a meaningful way. Please take some time to get to know me here and at any upcoming events!”
Pam Onnen - pamonnenforsb.squarespace.com
‘I have been a Hastings resident for over 30 years. I am a Mechanical Engineer and worked at the Flint Hills (Koch) refinery for 7 years before my husband and I got the best promotion of all – Parenthood! As a wife, mom, and active person in the community, I have been a school volunteer since 2002. I completed my Master’s Degree (Teaching) at Bethel and I have been a classroom substitute in this district ever since our youngest child started first grade. My experiences have allowed me to see School District #200 and our community from many different points of view. As a parent I have seen our children grow in the Special Education, general education, and honors programs. As a substitute teacher, I have spent time with school children in all grades from elementary through high school.’
Nancy Blanchard - no site as of 8/14/23
I'm Nancy Blanchard, a Hastings resident for 40 years, choosing this school district to move to because of its amazing excellence in education. Our 4 children graduated from Hastings, all feeling privileged to receive an amazing education and go on to excel in their respective lives. Educator, private teacher, preschool organizer/instructor and homeschool tester, I've been involved in the education process in our town, have a heart for children and desire for all to receive an amazing education, one that will give them a strong catapult into life. Our district has dropped in effectiveness significantly and I'm hoping to bring support to the teachers and charity to our direction so, once again, Hastings School District will soar.
If you have questions that you would like asked of each of these candidates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your question. Please note that depending on the number of questions submitted, we may not be able to ask them all. We reserve the right to edit the question for brevity and omit any questions that are deemed inappropriate or unprofessional. Please submit your question by August 31 for consideration.