Missy Hermes spends her days working as the education coordinator for the Otter Tail County Historical Society.
“I look at my position on the board more as an opportunity to bring some of my experiences as an educator to be of service in our school district,” she shared.
Q: How long have you been in the job?
A: I started serving on the school board in 2017.
Q: What are your job duties?
A: The duties of a school board member involve decision making that best serve the learners of our community while also being accountable to the people of our community. A major goal is envisioning and achieving an equitable education and working with administrators, teachers and staff to make it happen.
Q: What is your daily routine?
A: Reading is a major aspect of my daily routine — information gathering in order to make informed decisions. Reading emails, reading materials to prepare for school board and committee meetings, reading information from the federal and state Departments of Education, Minnesota School Board Association and Rural Education Association.
Q: What is the most difficult part of your job?
A: In the past year, the most difficult part of serving on the school board has been the knowledge that people in our community are hurting. Children, families, teachers, administrators and support staff all have felt the hurt of this global event. The pandemic has affected every aspect of the education community. It has also brought to the fore the challenges faced by our children here in rural Minnesota whether that might be disparities in income or access to WiFi or disparities because of race or religion.
Hearing from teachers who are worried about their health, students who are struggling with distance learning and parents who want their child to experience a typical senior year has been especially difficult. I hope everyone in our community knows how hard the school district is working to find the best solutions to these challenges. My motto has become — we’re all in this together.
Q: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
A: One of the most enjoyable aspects of serving on the school board is meeting with teachers and students both inside and outside of classrooms. I have really missed attending the theater productions at school this past year. We have so many talented students. Other highlights occur at graduation time when the hard work pays off. I enjoy getting to meet with students and families in the IQ Academy program and attending the graduation ceremony for students at the Area Learning Center.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
A: Outside of my job at the Otter Tail County Museum and serving on the school board I belong to organizations like the American Association of University Women and the Catholic Daughters. I enjoy scrapbooking, genealogy, reading,and (fingers crossed) I hope to be able to travel and visit museums again.