Dianne Mathews - Chair

Ms. Dianne Mathews

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Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Dianne Mathews

Dianne Mathews was appointed to the Board of Education in the spring of 2014 to fill a vacated position.  She was elected to the Board in the fall of 2014.  She is an Engineer for the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District and has been with the entity since 2008.  She is currently serving as the Board Chair, a position to which she was elected in January of 2017.

Dianne's primary reason for running for the board was a strong desire to serve the community and take part in the direction of the schools and facilities.  She sites "serving on the Project Oversight Committee for the newly opened high school and remodeled elementary school and ensuring that the communities tax dollars are serving our students," as the part of her work on the Board that she enjoys most.  Communication with, and involvement of the entire community continues to fuel her work, and she cites the need for a comprehensive strategic plan as opportunities for continued growth.

Committee Assignments:

Community Education Advisory

Facilities

MSHSL Disciplinary Hearings

Parent Teacher Organization

Project Oversight

Blaine Peterson - Vice Chair

Mr. Blaine Peterson

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Mr. Blaine Peterson

Blaine Peterson was elected to the board in the fall of 2010 and began serving in January of 2011.  He is the Operations Director for the Duluth Airport Authority. 

Blaine was approached by several friends to run and was alarmed that only one community member decided to run for three vacant seats. His qualifications include being past Board President of a day care where I was able to develop a plan to increase pay, increase vacation time, and reduce the overall budget while still improving service.  Blaine has a strong background in facilities management and also has over 20 years in a variety of instructional settings working with young men and women in the military. He also felt that his skill set would help an already strong and diversified board.

Blaine's best moments when working with the other board memebrs is the opportunity to be part of a dynamic and positive thinking Board. The common goal is how to provide the best education with the resources available, focus on educating the student while providing the students with social opportunities such as sports, drama, speech and student-lead organizations. He appreciates such a great staff, faculty and administrators with whom he works.

There are a couple of opportunities the District must address in order to continue growing:  Technology education needs to be utilized in a way that our children continue to advance in this vital area. America’s edge in the technology market is eroding and there is a need to ensure that our children start early in the use of technology without depending exclusively on it to learn.

There is a need to recognize alternative paths for a student who does not want or may not be a good fit for college/university. There is an enormous opportunity in the trades for those who would like to head down that path. As a District, we need to assure all that this path is promoted in a positive manner and students have the tools and resources to succeed.

Committee Assignments:

Facilities

Project Oversight

Karly Madill - Clerk/Treasurer

Ms. Karly Madill

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Ms. Karly Madill

Karly Madill was elected to the board by special election Nov 2015 and then again in the General Election in November of 2016.  She currently serves on the Board's Executive Council as the Clerk/Treasurer.

Karly works as a Healthcare Operations Administrator by providing support within Regional Wisconsin and Minnesota's primary care clinics for Essentia Health.  Ms. Madill states, "Education is incredibly important to me, and growing up in Superior I was blessed with supportive teachers who helped guide me in many ways.  I know firsthand the positive, life changing impact schools can make on children and young people.   I felt a calling to give back to both the educational system and to the Hermantown community."  She has found that the board functions as a great team.  The school board members are all highly engaged, thoughtful, kind, passionate and truly have a desire to help our community schools be a great place for all students.  She appreciates the perspectives each school board member brings, and is thankful for the ongoing learnings from each of them.   With that said, she also recognizes growth opportunties.

"The opportunities I see for our District include: advancing and infusing the use of technology into our classrooms, partnering with educational leaders to offer more STEM experiences to elementary and middle school learners, increase engagement with teachers and board members to learn more about their vision and what we can do to help make it happen, increase communication among school and community members to build more learning opportunities for students that prepare them for life after high school, develop fiscally responsible and sustainable strategies to support our new buildings for years to come."

 

Committee Assignments:

Extra Curricular Liaison 

Parent Teacher Organization

Aaron Salmela - Director

Mr. Aaron Salmela

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Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Aaron Salmela

Aaron was elected to his first term in 2012 and again in 2016.  Aaron was born and raised in Hermantown and attended the Hermantown Schools graduating in 1990.  After high school he attended UMD for both his undergraduate and Masters of Education.  Currently he teaches middle school science for Duluth Public Schools and also serves as their Science Curriculum Specialist.

He is excited by the communities support of the new buildings in Hermantown and the many opportunities they will provide our students for years to come. Aaron is honored to represent and the community and to be able to work with such a dedicated staff and faculty. He is excited to help shape Hermantown Schools and looks forward to creating an education system that prepares students for college or a career. He feels that the Hermantown programs PK-12 are top notch and Hermantown students are exceptionally prepared for college after high school.  He looks forward to expanding opportunities for students who want to move along a pathway toward career in the vocational trades.

Committee Assignments:

Arena Board

Extra Curricular Liaison

Staff Development, Curriculum, Technology Integration

 

Jonathan Thornton - Director

Mr. Jonathan Thornton

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Mr. Jonathan Thornton

Jonathan Thornton was elected to the board in November of 2016 and began serving in January of 2017.  He is a realtor in the area who felt the need to work on behalf of the students in the District by running for a seat on the board.  Jonathan said, "I recognize that we are a very fortunate community with a talented staff and many new, wonderful spaces.  I would like to see our facilities being utilized by a wider cross section of the community."  

Committee Assignments:

Essentia Health Regional Wellness Center

Extra Curricular Liaison

Hermantown Legacy Fund

Naming of Facilities or Educational Spaces

 

Erin Bellefy - Director

Ms. Erin Bellefy

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Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Erin Bellefy

Erin Bellefy was appointed to the board in the spring of 2018 to fill a vacated position.  She attended the College of St. Benedict and Minnesota State University, Mankat0, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education with vocational licensures.

Erin is a stay-at-home mother. She feels blessed to have had the opportunity to volunteer in the Hermantown Schools and in the community. Being the coordinator for the Hermantown Schools K-5 Educational Challenge has been one of the experiences she has enjoyed the most because of the relationships she has made in the schools and in the community.  She has also appreciated the students she’s met and the funds raised for our Hermantown Hawks.  She is also a member of the Early Learning Center Committee.

She feels honored to be able to work with a board and superintendent that work so well together, have such a positive attitude, and are truly passionate about students, education, and their community.

Erin has a strong desire to help others and learn from the board, the school staff, and the community.  “I’m on your team.  I’m here to listen, learn, and help.” 

Committee Assignments:

Learning Center

Parks and Recreation Board

Staff Development, Curriculum and Technology

Minnesota State High School League:  Hearings and Disciplinary Recommendations

Naming of District Facilities