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New Board Member Election

Dear MMEA Member,

Each active and retired member of the Minnesota Music Educators Association has the privilege and responsibility to cast a ballot in the annual MMEA election. This year we have the charge of approving changes to the organization’s Bylaws and electing the president elect and vice presidents for band, choral, classroom music, and orchestra. Information regarding each candidate can be found below.

The president elect will serve a six-year term: two years as president elect, two as president, and two as past president. Each vice president will serve a term of two years. Terms begin in May of 2017.

As your state president, I encourage you to take a moment to complete the ballot that was mailed to you, and return it in the enclosed self-addressed envelope.


Eric Anderson, President
Minnesota Music Educators Association

President Elect

Erin Berg

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Elementary Music Specialist (K-5) in the Centennial School District (27 years).

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • MMEA Classroom Vice-President 2011-2013
  • District Wide Music PLC Leader
  • School Leadership Team
  • Nominated for Centennial Teacher of the Year 2016
  • Peer Observer for district Alternative Compensation System
  • Member of the Minnesota Chorale (21 years)

As an elementary music teacher, I would bring a unique perspective to the President-Elect position of MMEA. At the elementary level, students gain the foundation necessary for band, choir and orchestra at the middle school, high school and college levels. Music educators at all levels struggle with meeting the needs of all students from diverse backgrounds. Even though music is now recognized nationally as a core subject, we are often not recognized as core in our own school districts. We need to continue to advocate for our programs and to keep them visible in our communities. We are competing with other programs such as STEM. I believe that organizations such as MMEA need to research ways to help school districts make the transition from STEM to STEAM so that music education is part of the lives of ALL our students. We may need to advocate for courses in addition to band, choir and orchestra. Perhaps classes in guitar, music technology, world music, etc. should be considered as some students who would like to participate in music are not interested in performing groups.

Barry Zumwalde

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Director of Bands (6, 10-12 grades) in the Forest Lake Area Schools
  • Previous: 9 years teaching 9-12 instrumental music (North Branch Area High School), 7 years teaching instrumental music in Forest Lake

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • MBDA Membership Chair 2004-2005
  • MBDA Jazz Education Chair 2004-2006
  • MBDA President Elect, President, Past President 2005-2011
  • Forest Lake Area Schools Secondary Music District Department Chair 2011-2014
  • MSHSL Region 7AA Committee Music Representative 2011-2015

MMEA has had a positive impact on my life since I was selected as an All-State participant in high school. The Midwinter Clinic is a highlight for me every year with the opportunities to connect with fellow teachers and learn new teaching methods and techniques. These programs are both directly related to my passions: making music a lifelong part of people's lives and supporting new music educators. I would like to help MMEA continue these initiatives while creatively addressing the challenges of the 21st Century music classroom: student diversity, evolving technology, budgetary limitations, recruiting and retaining high quality music teachers, and the importance of music education in our schools. Innovative new ideas can be explored in these areas in addition to continuing the quality of the Midwinter Clinic and All-State programs.

Choir VP

Andrea Brinkman

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Director of five choirs (Jr. High, Sr. High, two show choirs, a Capella group), upper-level music history and appreciation course, and sixth-grade general music in the Mountain Lake Public School District
  • Previous: 8 years general music (grades K-5) in the Mountain Lake Public School District

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • Presented with the MMEA Music Advocacy Task Force at the MSBA conference January 2015
  • Presented at the MMEA Midwinter Clinic Pre-Conference Session February 2015
  • Presented at the ACDA conference in Minneapolis November 2015

I am passionate about teaching music, and the realm of possibilities that come along with it. My entire career so far has been in a small rural school district, so I would love to collaborate with people from all over the region to learn what others do, and what works well for them. I believe in encompassing different pedagogies to reach students of all different interests and abilities. My goal is to instill enthusiasm for music in as many students as I can.

Randy Schafer

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Eagan High School (19 years)
  • Previous: Apple Valley High School (1 year), Delano Public School (2 years), Faribault Public Schools (7 years), and the University of Northern Colorado (4 years)

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • ACDA-MN Advertising Chair, Repertoire and Resources Chair for High School Literature, Summer Dialogue planning committees, State Conference planning committees, Honor Choir committees, Visioning committees
  • NC-ACDA Divisional Treasurer/board member, North Central Division conference planning committees, Facilities Chair for divisional conference in Minneapolis
  • MMEA All-State section coach
  • Committees for school climate, diversity, technology, curriculum, literacy, outreach and mentoring
  • Music Department Chair
  • Numerous student teachers

I think I bring a broad experience from multiple perspectives: Metro vs. outstate; running programs in large, medium, and small schools; embracing pragmatic technology as a means to supplementing the art of music making in the choral setting; advocating for choral music in our state; and tapping into the “experts” that walk among us to enhance what our Minnesota membership can bring to our own corner of the world. We need to reach out to the populations who have found the richness of choral music in our state and still hold it dear. We need to enlist them in creative ways to help to continue this strong legacy. We continue to become a more beautifully, diverse state and need to make sure this diversity finds a place in our choral rehearsals, our literature, and in our professional development.

Band VP

Jennifer Greupner

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Director of Bands and Instrumental Music (Band, Orchestra, Drumline, Guitar; grades 9-12) at Harding Senior High School, St. Paul Public School District (11 years)
  • Previous: Band and general music (grades 6-10) at Crosswinds Arts and Science School (1.5 years), band and general music (grades 9-12) at Eden Prairie High School (1 year), 5th Grade band in the Minnetonka School District (1 year), 5th and 6th Grade band in the Wayzata School District (1 year), French Horn Fundamentals at the UW-Milwaukee (2002-2004)

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • Band Chair, St. Paul District Ordway Honors Concert 2007-2010, 2015-present
  • Music Department Chair, Harding Senior 2008-2010, 2015-present
  • Board Member, Sheldon Theater Brass Band 2008-2010, 2014-present
  • Harding Senior High School Teacher of the Year 2010
  • Yale University Distinguished Music Educator Award Nominee 2009
  • Faculty Leadership Team, Harding Senior High School 2009-2010

As a teacher in an urban district, I recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion, both in curriculum and concert programming, as well as ensemble participation at the district, conference, and state levels. Having participated in All-State Orchestra in 1994-95, and then having been a French Horn Section Coach for the All-State Bands in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, I believe in the value of All-State. It would be my goal to help make All-State accessible to all students and teachers, and to create an ensemble that reflects the demographic changes happening in our state, without losing the integrity of what it means to be an All-State musician.

Scott Kummrow

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Bands grades 9-12 and ALC Music at Fergus Falls High School
  • Previous: 5-12 Band/Choir in Aurora, IL (2 years), 5-9 grade Band in Fergus Falls (7 years), 9-12 grades Band in Fergus Falls (4 years)

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • Secretary for MBDA Northwest Region (3 years)
  • MBDA Honor Band Event Coordinator (3 years)

I have sent students to participate in the All State Bands and I have worked as a section coach for the All State Camp many times. From working through the audition process, learning/enjoying All State Camp, and performing at Orchestra Hall I have grown to greatly value the entire experience for students. I believe it is always healthy to analyze and critique this experience to ensure that it serves the mission of MMEA.

Orchestra VP

Lindsay Schultz Dechert

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Orchestra grades 6-12 in Bloomington Public Schools (2 years)
  • Previous: Orchestra grades 6-12 in Rochester Public Schools (3 years)

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • Hosted Big 9 Music Festival

MMEA has always been a significant influence for me as a musician and educator. I strongly believe in the organization and will continue to work diligently to serve the organization to the fullest. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues across the State of Minnesota.

Classroom VP

Katy Buytaert

Teaching Experience
  • Current: Elementary Classroom Music at Washington Elementary School in Cloquet School District (22 years)

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • Member of Perpich Arts Integration Network of Teachers
  • Initiated and hosted the MMEA Celebration of Young Musicians Festival in Cloquet – now in its 5th year
  • Member of NAfME
  • Served on local education teams such as Shared Decision Making team, PBIS, EdMn

As a seasoned Elementary Classroom music teacher, I have become well versed in navigating the daily intricacies of being a specialist in an elementary school. I have a keen sense of how music should, can and does fit into the education of all students in relation to other academic subjects. I use that to advocate keeping music a part of students’ experiences. I have developed strategies for working with Special Education staff and the students we share, an extensive background on elementary scheduling and a strong background in union issues that concern specialists. One of my passions is working with Music Education teacher candidates from area universities in field experience and student teaching capacities. We learn a lot from each other during these placements and it is rewarding to see such great future teachers out in the field! I would love to serve as Classroom Vice President to further to expand my journey in Elementary Music at a statewide level.

Bonnie Tranby

Teaching Experience
  • Current: General Music at Edward Neill Elementary and Gideon Pond in ISD 191 (Burnsville/Eagan/Savage)
  • Previous: 18 years general classroom music in ISD 191

Leadership, Awards, MMEA Leadership Experience

  • Member of Building Leadership Team 3 years
  • Coach for Positive Behavior Intervention Systems Committee
  • “Teacher of the Year” at school 2008, 2014

My passion as a music teacher is to give students a chance to love music. Whether they grow up to perform or to be a consumer of music, I would like them to make those choices intelligently. A big part of my program is performance because of the experience this gives my students. They learn to speak and sing in front of an audience, they develop poise and confidence. Another love that I have is the art of hand bells. I am a member of the professional hand bell ensemble "Twin Cities Bronze" where I hold the position of assistant director. I would love to have hand bells become more a part of the curriculum in our schools. My students have a chance to ring hand bells and it's one of the things they look forward to each year.

MMEA Proposed Changes to Bylaws

MMEA regularly reviews the organization’s bylaws to ensure they meet current best practice, changes in the organization, and legal requirements. The Board reviewed and approved the following proposed changes at the September 2016 Board meeting to be brought forward to the membership.

You will vote Yes to approve the proposed Bylaws changes or No.

Changes are outlined below, with full details of language added and removed available for download.

  1. Allow either mail or electronic ballots and voting

    This change allows MMEA to send, receive and count ballots in a more efficient and cost effective manner. Electronic ballots and voting would ensure that each member votes once. This is a common practice in nonprofits and membership organizations. This impacts Article III sect. 1, Article III sect. 2, and Article IX sect. 1.

  2. Require an external financial review; allows flexibility in type of review

    Our bylaws previously called for a full audit. There are multiple types or levels of external financial review. The changed language allows the Executive Committee to determine the type or level of review to be performed, and requires them to ensure it is done in accordance with Minnesota law and is reviewed by the Board. This impacts Article V, sect. 4.
    Five prior years of MMEA financial statements and tax filings are available at mmea.org/about/mission/financial.

  3. Change name of national organization from MENC to NAfME.

    This impacts Article I sect. 3, Article II sect. 4, and Article V sect. 6.

  4. Update the process for appointing the MSHSL Chair so MMEA and MSHSL Bylaws are consistent

    The added language in Article III sect. 3 (1) describes the process in more detail.

    The MSHSL Chair for Music is elected by music representatives from MSHSL member schools, then appointed to the MMEA Board. MSHSL leaders ask the MMEA Executive Committee to identify the candidate(s).

  5. Update name of annual February event

    MMEA dropped “In-Service” from the name of the Midwinter Clinic. The changed language is in Article VI sect. 1.

  6. Correct section numbering throughout

    Some Articles section numbers occasionally repeat. They are being corrected
Jennifer Lenart,
Jan 24, 2017, 8:47 AM