My name is Michelle Westerman and I became a Thief River Falls School board member in 2018. My husband, Joaquin and I grew up in Thief River Falls and both graduated from LHS. We have 4 children; Carsten (9), Kinley (7), Jackson (4) and Quinn (4) who are all enrolled at Challenger Elementary.
I am actively involved on the Policy Board Committee, Strategic Planning Board Committee, Transportation Board Committee, Community Education Advisory Council - Alt, Crisis Management/Liaison Officer Advisory Committee, Early Childhood/ECFE Advisory Council - Alt, Staff Development Advisory Committee.
I graduated from UND in 2006, with my degree in Social Work. In 2008, I was able to become co-owner of Johnson’s Riverside, Inc, which my Grandpa started in 1964. We have six group home facilities in the community that provides support to people with developmental disabilities and related conditions. We also provide in-home support services to the elderly and people with disabilities to help them maintain their independence through our Northstar: Promoting Independence program. My husband Joaquin works at Digi-Key in the IT department, where he has been for 12 years. We are both very active with our church with teaching Sunday school and involved with Worship team. One thing we all love to do as a family is going camping and fishing during the summer months. During the winter, we are busy with our kids activities, which include; dance, basketball, piano and guitar.
We both had positive educational experiences, which helped shape us into who we are today. We feel very privileged and proud to be from this community and district. We are excited that our children will also be given this opportunity and that we will be able to help contribute in any way possible.
I am passionate about ensuring all children in this community are given excellent educational opportunities. The education I received gave me a great platform to succeed in college and throughout my career.
Building relationships amongst the students, parents, school board members, administrators, educators, other district employees, and the community is crucial for the growth of our district. It is essential to work together in order for us to grow and be successful. We need to empower our educators and other district employees to use their skills and abilities to inspire and engage students in ways that they learn best. I am looking forward to working hard for the students, district educators and employees, as well as community members.