And while it certainly is exciting that the acclaimed actress in the Netflix series “Stranger Things” and the Tim Burton classic “Beetlejuice” was named after our town and is now going to help our community grab a little bit of the national spotlight during the most-watched TV event of the year, she moved away from the area shortly after she was born here.
But that doesn’t mean Winona — especially Winona Area Public Schools — is lacking for representation in the entertainment industry. Consider 1972 graduate Tacy Rygmyr Mangan, an award-winning producer who worked alongside Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods in addition to work with PBS, the Travel Channel and the Food Network. She has produced nearly 20 national television series.
This week's #WinhawkTBT is a shout out to Mangan, who won a National Daytime Emmy, the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence and a George Peabody Award. She now owns her own company in Minneapolis named Brown Horse Media.
At WSHS, Mangan was involved in both band and choir. The 1972 Radiograph yearbook had a photo of “Racy,” as she was apparently called, celebrating her birthday with friends in the school cafeteria.
In an article for the Inside Your Schools newsletter last year, Mangan was asked how WAPS prepared her for her future. She said: “Being able to do whatever you wanted to do and having the support to do so led me to a solid foundation for my future.”
She always felt she could get the support and information she needed from teachers and staff within the district. A teacher that stood out to her during her time was Mrs. Fillenworth.
Mangan remarked” “Mrs.Fillenworth was my English teacher who always encouraged me and she stood out as someone who helped lead me into the career field I chose.”
After graduation, Mangan attended Gustavus Adolphus College and later transferred to the University of Minnesota, where she started to work as a TV producer for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. That led to other opportunities, like working as KMSP-TV and producing training videos for Target, starting her on a career path that ended up with multiple awards.