• What is a School Board?


    Every school district has a governing body called the school board. The school board is made up of various residents of the district, including teachers, parents, and community members, and each member has a say in the decisions of the district. Board members make up several committees who are responsible for the district's Finances, Expansion, Governance, and Academic Excellence

    Board Meetings are held once a month -- the Technical Academies of Minnesota meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month. 

Phone: (507) 400-4009

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Garret Bitker - Board Chair

Garret has been in the education field for over 21 years. He has taught High School, Middle School, and ALC Science. Garret currently serves on the MNSTA (Minnesota Science Teachers Association) Board Representing Charter and Alternative Schools. Before becoming a teacher, Garret was a Licensed Nurse Practitioner.  He has a wife and two grown daughters. Garret enjoys reading, medieval reenactments, outdoor sports, and hanging out with friends.

 In addition to serving as the current Board Chair for Technical Academies of Minnesota, he is also an advisor at the CHOICE site. 

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Special Education Community Counseling

Dawn Nuss - Treasurer

Dawn joined the CHOICE Technical Academy team as a Special Education Advisor in 2019 and was elected Board Treasurer in 2022. In her free time, she has three grown children and seven grandchildren that she enjoys spending time with. 

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Carol Benson - Choice Community Representative

Hi my name is Carol Benson. I am a 68-year-old Christian single mother of two grown boys and grandmother to 3 children. I live in Waseca and have worked part-time at a Kwik Trip in Owatonna for over 7 years.  I joined their team because part of their mission was to make a difference in someone’s life!  That’s always been my passion, especially for children and the elderly.  I have most recently also added as a part-time job joining Visiting Angels in Owatonna, where I hope to also put to good use my gift of a caring spirit.

Phone: (320) 262-5640

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Austin Linbo - Dream Staff Representative

"My name is Austin Linbo. I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in secondary education. I enjoy outdoor activities, teaching students, and physical labor. As a board member, my goal is to have a voice for the school I am representing and listen to others."

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Bridgett Ouren - Dream Community Representative

Bridget Ouren joined the TAM School District Board as a community member in Fall 2021. Bridgett has worked in education for almost 15 years. She started off supervising recess at an elementary school, and also working as an EBD/Special Education Paraprofessional and a Reading and Math Interventionist. She is currently the Resource Coordinator at Willmar Adult Education. Bridgett served on the Board of Directors for Heartland Community Action Agency (now UCAP).  She also helped her husband run their painting company and rental properties. Bridgett's husband has since retired, although they still have their rental properties. 

Bridgett and her husband have a summer home in Akeley, MN where they run an AirBnB. They are also the caregivers for Bridgett's mother in law. She loves gardening, walking, crafting, reading and going out on long rides on their ATV’s. She is a mother of two grown children. Bridgett is an Ally for the LGBTQ+ community.

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Nina Sanford - Choice Parent Representative

Nina has two students that attend CHOICE Technical Academy. 

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Lynn Stiehm - Dream Parent Representative

Lynn is a retired DREAM Parent, and also serves as a Technical Academies Parent Representative. As a non-traditional student, Lynn received her Bachelors of Science and Art in Russian History and Economics in 1995. After earning her degree, she worked as an Economic Development Specialist in Barrow, Alaska, taught at Ilesavik College, and ran a small business with her former husband. Lynn is an avid supporter of DREAM Academy and the philosophy of their teaching methodology.