Board of Education Appoints New Member

Story provided by Stillwater Public Schools

The Stillwater Board of Education has announced that Dr. Stephen Hallgren has been appointed to fill the recently vacated Ward 5 School Board seat. 

“To say this year has been challenging would be a monumental understatement,” said Board President Mitsi Andrews. “It says a lot about the character of all of the applicants that they would volunteer to be considered during these trying times. Dr. Hallgren clearly has a commitment to this district.” 

“My enthusiasm and desire to serve on the board has not waned,” said Hallgren, “But I will admit to some apprehension, as I recognize this pandemic as one of the greatest challenges the school district has ever had to face.” 

Hallgren said that crises can cause organizations to focus intensely on things that might otherwise have been a lower priority. “Strange as it sounds, maybe we’ll be a better, stronger district when this is over. For example, in my time teaching at OSU, I learned that many students, sometimes those that have hung back and been hard to reach, responded really well to virtual learning platforms. I think we’ll better understand technology and its limitations and how and when to use it.” 

During his time on the board, Hallgren hopes to focus on reinforcing and increasing the transparency of the board operations. “When it’s possible again, I want to visit the schools across the district regularly and connect with parents, students, and teachers to understand their perspective and better reflect their wishes as a board member.” 

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Hallgren,” said Dr. Marc Moore, Superintendent of Stillwater Public Schools. “His years of experience as an educator, and as a parent of Stillwater students will make him a valuable member of the Board.” 

Hallgren received his Ph.D. in Forest Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University, and a B.S. in Forest Science from the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, Minnesota. He has called Stillwater home for 30 years. He and his wife Gerry Auel raised three Westwood Eagles, Katy, Maggie, William, all of whom are now SHS Alumni. 

Hallgren was sworn in at the September 8 Board of Education meeting.