A self-described ‘political junkie,’ Kathy Hegstrom often dresses in red, white and blue.
The Woman in Red, White and Blue
“My main passion has always been public education,” Kathy admitted. “I truly believe that public education is the ‘great equalizer,’ and it’s absolutely essential in a democratic society. Unfortunately, education is also very political. I don’t think it should be, but it is. So, I’ve always believed educators have no choice but to speak up and be part of the process.” By JENNY HOLMES Whether starting her teaching career in Plainview, gaining experience in Often identified by her red, white and Pequot Lakes and as an exchange teacher blue outfits, Kathy Hegstrom has pegged in Germany, or over the past 30 years in herself a ‘political junkie’ and rightfully so. the Brainerd School District; for 44 years Since college, Kathy’s held a passion in the education field, Kathy has encourfor the political process. Even in high aged others to join her in bi-partisan acschool, she recalls watching news stories tivism. She emphasizes that the teachers’ of segregation and inequality on television and feeling a strong tug at her heart. Kathy and Paul Thissen (DFL) current Minority At Bemidji State University she found an Leader in the Minnesota outlet for her passion and a determination House of Representatives. to help make things better, participating in Student Senate and other campus-wide activities. “I’m certainly not a fan of apathy,” she says, “I’ve always tried to be proactive versus reactive.” Upon accepting her first teaching position, Kathy chaired the Governmental Relations Committee of the local teachers’ union and participated in legislative agendas, candidate screenings and lobby days at the Minnesota State Capitol. Experiences in the education sector only continued to fuel her need to become politically involved and to ensure everyone’s >>> Continued on page 27 voice was represented. Fall 2016 | her voice 25
Published on Aug 18, 2016
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