Our History is Our Future

2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Minnesota School Employees Association (MSEA) Delegate Assembly. As MSEA reached this important milestone, we are reminded to look to our history for guidance on the challenges yet to come. MSEA today is a non-profit union of classified public school workers, which traces its roots to the Minnesota Association of Auxiliary Personnel (MAAP). MAAP was created by the Minnesota Education Association (MEA), a forerunner of today’s teachers union – Education Minnesota. MAAP originally represented only teaching assistants and secretaries.

In 1980 the decision was made to include all school workers and MAAP left MEA and was renamed the Minnesota School Employees Association.

During the next four years, MSEA experienced rapid growth. This growth spurt was accompanied by increasing financial difficulties. By 1984 MSEA’s Delegate Assembly elected to affiliate with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Following affiliation, MSEA turned from organizing new units and focused on providing better representation and service to existing MSEA members.

In the summer of 1989 MSEA’s Board of Directors and staff drafted MSEA’s mission statement which has been MSEA’s guiding light.

In the early 1990s, MSEA began actively organizing new bargaining units. In 1995 the Delegate Assembly voted to leave SEIU and MSEA became an independent union once again. By the end of the 1990s, MSEA’s recently empowered members were experiencing their first serious strikes and contract campaigns.

In the past decade, MSEA has faced new challenges from without (attempted raids by the Teamsters, AFSCME and Education Minnesota) and within. In order to prepare ourselves to meet these new challenges, we must direct our focus to the core ideals contained in our mission statement – Growth, Dignity, Member Empowerment, Democracy, Fiscal Responsibility and Professionalism. By understanding our past, we are better able to shape our future. By adhering to our mission statement, the next 30 years will be as successful as the last 30 years!

Year President Executive Director
1980Erika Polansky &
Bev Dahlgren, Austin
1980-81Bev Dahlgren, Austin
1981-82Bev Dahlgren, AustinMike Pirsch
1982-83Bev Dahlgren, Austin &
Lynette Miller, Rochester
Mike Pirsch
1983-84Lynette Miller, RochesterMike Pirsch
1984-85Lynette Miller, RochesterMike Pirsch
1985-86Lynette Miller,
Glennis TerWisscha
1986-87Gayle Morehouse, CentennialGlennis TerWisscha
Nancy Crippen
1987-88Sue Ezell, St. CloudNancy Crippen
1988-89Sue Ezell, St. CloudNancy Crippen
1989-90Sue Ezell, St. CloudNancy Crippen
1990-91Sue Ezell, St. Cloud &
Merldeen Feuerhak, Austin
Nancy Crippen
1991-92Merldeen Feuerhak, AustinNancy Crippen
1992-93Merldeen Feuerhak, AustinNancy Crippen
1993-94Merldeen Feuerhak, AustinNancy Crippen
1994-95Merldeen Feuerhak, AustinNancy Crippen
1995-96Donna Michaelis, WillmarNancy Crippen
1996-97Donna Michaelis, WillmarRose Roach
1997-98Donna Michaelis, WillmarRose Roach
1998-99Donna Michaelis, WillmarRose Roach
1999-00Candy Richards, MoorheadRose Roach
2000-01Diane Chapa, Eden PrairieRose Roach
2001-02Diane Chapa, Eden PrairieRose Roach
2002-03Diane Chapa, Eden PrairiePeggy Byrne (Interim)
2003-04Diane Chapa, Eden PrairiePeggy Byrne
2004-05Les Schermerhorn, MoorheadKevin Fahey
2005-06Les Schermerhorn, Moorhead
2006-07Evan Mapes, Thief River FallsMary Kearney
2007-08Evan Mapes, Thief River FallsMary Kearney
2008-09Evan Mapes, Thief River FallsGary Johnson (Interim)
Christina L. Clark
2009-10Evan Mapes, Thief River FallsChristina L. Clark
2010-11Evan Mapes, Thief River FallsChristina L. Clark
2011-12Evan Mapes, Thief River FallsChristina L. Clark
2012-13Sue Ames, LaCrescent
Mark Spangler, Mankato
Christina L. Clark
2013-14Deanne Glynn, ShakopeeChristina L. Clark
Gary Johnson (Interim)
2014-15Deanne Glynn, ShakopeeTee McClenty
2015-16Deanne Glynn, ShakopeeTee McClenty
2016-17Deanne Glynn, Shakopee
Amy Woodford, Cass Lake (Acting)
Tee McClenty
Deanne Glynn (Interim)
2017-18Amy Woodford, Cass LakeDeanne Glynn
2018-19Amy Woodford, Cass LakeDeanne Glynn
2019-20Amy Woodford, Cass LakeDeanne Glynn
2020-21Amy Woodford, Cass LakeDeanne Glynn
2021-22Amy Woodford, Cass LakeDeanne Glynn
2022-23Amy Woodford, Cass LakeDeanne Glynn

Our Mission Statement

The Minnesota School Employees Association is a growing union which recognizes the dignity of the individual worker and the power of the organized body. It is a democratic union directed by its membership, and it is fiscally responsible to that membership. Through an empowered membership and a professional staff, MSEA provides the highest level of representation and service in the State of Minnesota.