Having grown up on a farm in Central Wisconsin, I learned the importance of hard work from an early age, which instilled in me values that have guided my journey. For the past 18 years, our family has proudly called New Auburn home. As a parent of two New Auburn High School graduates who have now chosen to give back as educators within the district, my connection to our schools is deeply personal.
My own educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UWEC and a Master of Arts in leadership from Crown College. Currently, I am self-employed as a full-time freelancer and business owner in the writing and publishing industry. I edit books, design covers, and format book interiors. I'm also a published author, podcaster and public speaker, and a coach to other indie authors. Additionally, I serve as the vice chair of a curriculum advisory committee for the Professional Communications degree at Chippewa Valley Technical College, where I’ve served since 2016.
I’m grateful for the opportunities provided by my education and continued professional learning. I graduated from Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School in 1987 with a class of 535 in a high school of over 2000 students. In contrast, from the time they started school, my children had the wonderful benefit of attending a smaller school. We moved to New Auburn when they were in middle school, and we saw how the close-knit community fosters a sense of belonging and support that extends beyond the classroom. Students have the opportunity to build meaningful connections with their peers and teachers, creating a more personalized and nurturing learning environment.
The relationships formed contribute to a strong sense of community pride, where everyone is known by name. Additionally, students benefit from a greater chance to participate in various extracurricular activities, allowing them to explore their interests and talents in a supportive and inclusive setting. Each student is valued not just as a learner, but as an integral part of a tight-knit educational family, fostering a sense of camaraderie that enhances the overall educational experience. I believe in the power of that community for our students, and I want to see that continue. Passionate about making a difference for the next generation, my goal is to inspire hope for the future.
I'm married to my high school sweetheart, Phil, for 34 years, a mom to two married sons, and a grandmother to four.
My top Clifton-Strengths qualities include Achiever, Ideation, Learner, Input, and Strategic. I’ll put those qualities along with my leadership skills to use as a school board member.
I am organized and efficient in both work and volunteer activities. Having dedicated over three decades to various church leadership and community roles, I am excited about the opportunity to support and advocate for our students, staff, and teachers. I’ll bring creative problem-solving, listening skills, curiosity, and thoughtful, informed decision-making to the table.
My only agenda is to be part of continuing the wonderful work established by the school board—their passion to provide opportunities for local students to dream big and have a bright future. I am eager to contribute to the continued success of our school board and to be a voice for the aspirations of our young minds. Thank you for supporting me with your vote!
Q and A
Q: Have you received any donations or endorsements from any group(s)?
A: No. I'm running a grassroots campaign based on wanting to give back to my community. Word of mouth and free resources are my key strategy.
Q: Aren't you related to two of the teachers at school?
A: I am. Ethics is a high value for me, and I pledge to uphold the Code of Ethics for school board members, which includes abstaining from discussions or votes with any potential conflict of interest or the appearance thereof.
Q: As a newcomer to the school board, what would your first action be?
A: Listening and learning. I guess that's two! I want to be curious and ask thoughtful questions, to be supportive, and to provide creative ideas while seeking to understand first, and then act.
Q: Could you support a board decision you did not vote in favor of?
A: My goal is not to push a personal agenda but to act for the benefit of the school. Once a board decision has been made, I commit to supporting the unity of the board for the good of students and our school community.
Paid for by Michelle Rayburn for School Board
Authorized by Michelle Rayburn