School Board


As the entity legally charged with governing a school district, each school board is responsible to its community to govern efficiently and effectively. This obligation imposes some fundamental duties on the board.

-Minnesota School Boards Association's Standards for School Board Leadership

Non-Discrimination Policies

Winona Area Public Schools, Winona, MN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, marital status, and familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, disability, or sex in its programs and activities. The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

(This school district has a grievance procedure to resolve complaints of discrimination
under Section 504 or A.D.A. Contact the 502 Coordinator regarding this procedure.)

COORDINATOR: Dr. Sarah Knudsen
Below are policies related to Americans with Disabilities/Section 504:
402 - Disability Nondiscrimination Policy
518 - DNR-DNI Order
521 - Student Disability Nondiscrimination
601 - School District Curriculum and Instructional Goals
614 - School District Testing Plan and Procedures
615 - Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plans,
and LEP Students



OFFICER: Emily Solheid, Director of Human Resources

Below are policies related to Human Rights:
102 - Equal Educational Opportunity
413 - Harassment and Violence
526 - Hazing Prohibition
528 - Student Parental, Family, and Marital Status Nondiscrimination


(Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.")

COORDINATOR: Rich Dahman, Superintendent of Schools
Below are policies related to Title IX:
102 - Equal Educational Opportunity
522 - Student Sex Nondiscrimination
528 - Student Parental, Family, and Marital Status Nondiscrimination


If the complaint is against any of the personnel listed above, the alternate contact for any position listed is Rich Dahman or Emily Solheid.

Statement of Non-Harassment

The Winona Area Public School District does not tolerate acts of harassment, including acts of harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, marital status, and familial status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, disability or sex. Any student who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment or a hostile environment based on disability, sex or any other protected status shall immediately report the harassment or hostile environment to the District. The District is committed to conducting a prompt investigation. Students found to have engaged in acts of harassment or other acts that create a hostile environment based on disability, sex or any other protected status will be promptly disciplined pursuant to the school’s discipline policy. Such discipline may include, if circumstances warrant, suspension and expulsion. The Winona Area Public School District encourages students, parents and district staff to work together to prevent acts of harassment of any kind.

Special Election

A special election for the District 4 seat on the Winona Area Public Schools Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. 

Note: Only people who live in District 4 may vote. A district map is available here, or enter your address into the polling place finder on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

Election Day voting will be held from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at: National Guard Armory, 1303 Homer Road, Winona, MN, 55987

Absentee voting will take place at: Winona Area Public Schools District Office, 903 Gilmore Ave., Winona, MN, 55987. Absentee voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Nov. 3, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4. 

For absentee voting by mail, call 507-494-0861.


The Role of the School Board


The board, with community input, envisions the educational future of its community and then formulates the goals, defines the outcomes, and sets the course for its district. An effective board:

  • Provides direction through its planning and goal-setting efforts and by evaluating progress toward goal achievement.
  • Develops a well-crafted district vision statement, goals, and outcomes that enable the board to monitor district performance and evaluate success.
  • Ensures that the district vision, goals, and outcomes are articulated in written board policy, reflected in every part of the organization, and mirrored in the budget planning and implementation efforts.
  • Uses clear, focused, attainable, and measurable goals and outcomes to make sure gains in student achievement are being made.


To achieve its vision, the board establishes a structure and hires a superintendent to accomplish that vision. An effective board:

  • Creates an organizational structure and environment in which all students are provided the opportunity to attain their maximum potential.
  • Selects and employs one person — the superintendent — as the district’s chief executive officer to lead and manage the district and holds the superintendent accountable for district performance and compliance with written board policy.
  • Evaluates the superintendent’s performance and its own performance annually.
  • Delegates the authority to the superintendent to recommend and evaluate all district staff within the standards established by written board policy and subsequently acts on the superintendent’s recommendation(s) at its meeting(s) as required in statute.
  • Accepts ultimate responsibility for the care, management, and control of the district.
  • Understands that the day-to-day operations of the district will be conducted by the staff.


The board is accountable to the community for constantly monitoring the conditions affecting the district as a whole. An effective board:

  • Has a duty to itself and the community to determine whether the authority delegated to the superintendent is being used as intended.
  • Uses data and other indicators as the basis for assessing progress toward district goals and compliance with written board policy.
  • Recognizes the distinction between “monitoring data” (data used by the board to address accountability) and “management data” (data used by the staff for operations).


The board advances its vision by focusing on student achievement, partnering with the community, and being proactive in addressing issues that affect education on local, state, and national levels. An effective board:

  • Uses ongoing, two-way communications to build trust and support among community, board, superintendent, staff, and students.
  • Focuses on community-wide concerns and values that best support student achievement rather than being overly influenced by special interests.
  • Utilizes a system of public relations that allows it to formalize the flow of information into and out of the district.

Conduct and Ethics

The board, as a whole, provides leadership to the community on behalf of the district by conducting its business in a fair, respectful, legal, and responsible manner. An effective board:

  • Takes full responsibility for its activity and behavior.
  • Encourages its members to express their individual opinions, respect others’ opinions, and vote their conscience.
  • Speaks with one voice after reaching a decision.
  • Spends its time on board work rather than staff work.
  • Provides for orientation and ongoing training for all board members.
  • Follows its established policies, including the chain-of-command, by directing people with concerns to the appropriate staff.
  • Sets an example of respectful and civil leadership.
Winona school board photo 2019

Winona Area Public Schools | School Board

Nancy Denzer | Board Chair

Title Chairperson

29753 Liberty Drive, Winona

Phone 507-458-7348
Term At Large - Term Expires 
Board Committee Board Negotiations
Representative Committee Foundation for WAPS
District-Wide Committee Calendar Committee, Curriculum Advisory
School Assignments Washington-Kosciusko Elementary & Winona Middle School 7-8 Gr. House

Tina Lehnertz | Vice Chair

Title Vice-Chair

14504 Hoffman Hill Road, Minnesota City

Phone 507.689.4215
Term 5th District - Term Expires 2020
Board Committee Board Operations
District-Wide Committee Technology Committee
School Assignments

Goodview Elementary

Michael Hanratty | Clerk

Title Board Member

461 Olmstead Street, Winona

Phone 507-458-6999
Term 2nd District - Term Expires 
District-Wide Committee Birth to Grade 3, Gifted & Talented, Safety Committee
Representative Committees Interagency Early Intervention Committee
School Assignments Early Childhood

Karl Sonneman | Treasurer

Title Treasurer

54 Lois Lane, Winona

Phone 507-458-6147
Term At Large - Term Expires 
Board Committee Board Negotiations
District-Wide Committee Activities Advisory
Representative Committee MN State High School League
School Assignments Winona Senior High School

Jim Schul | Board Member

Title Board Member

265 Oak Leaf Drive, Winona

Phone 937-216-0994
Term 4rd District - Term Expires 2020
Board Committee  
School Assignments  

Steve Schild | Board Member

Title Board Member

1282 West Broadway

Winona, MN 55987

Phone 507.454.7042
Term 1st District - Term Expires 2018
Board Committee 

Board Operations

District-Wide Committee Staff Development Committee
School Assignments Winona Area Learning Center

Allison Quam | Board Member

Title Clerk

309 East Howard Street

Winona, MN 55987

Phone 507.250.3377
Term 3rd District - Term Expires 2020
Board Committee Board Operations
District-Wide Committee Wellness Committee
Representative Committee MN School Boards Association
School Assignment Jefferson Elementary