Four people have been elected to the board of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF). Joining the board for three-year terms are: Mai Chao Duddeck, Scott Mihalovic, Julie Nelson and Nhia Vang.
They represent an expansion of the board and also replace members whose terms have ended. The outgoing board members were Kate Escher and Michael Sigman.
Mai Chao Duddeck is an art teacher in the School District of La Crosse. She is also an artist and author who strives to educate not only about art, but about the importance of cultural identity and equal access to education for all. Her husband is a woodworker and they have two amazing boys. The Duddeck family enjoys traveling and being creative.
Scott Mihalovic is the Wisconsin Educational Leadership specialist at Viterbo University. Scott is the former principal of Logan High School, retiring in 2014 after 32 years as a teacher and administrator. Scott has served on the Boys and Girls Club Board for 25 years and graduated from La Crosse Central in 1977. His wife Polly is an Aquinas and Viterbo alumnus, and their two daughters, Mindy and Mareah, graduated from Logan High School and represent fourth generation La Crosse natives.
Julie Nelson is the public relations coordinator for The Salvation Army in La Crosse. She has served on the Downtown Mainstreet public relations committee and is the past vice president of the Logan Show Choir Parent Organization. She and her husband, Ross, have two kids in college: Abby at UW-Eau Claire and Jacob at Western Technical College.
Nhia Vang resides in La Crosse with his wife, Nou, their two girls and expectant son; along with his parents and other siblings. He currently works for the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department, in the Jail Division. He has been with the Sheriff’s Department for the last five years. Nhia attended La Crosse public schools and graduated from Logan High School in 2002. During his senior year, he was the student representative for Logan on the Board of Education. He obtained his bachelor’s degree at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., and his master’s at the University of Cincinnati.
The La Crosse Public Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to enhance educational opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse. Founded in 1988, LPEF expects to provide more than $170,000 in support for La Crosse schools this year to help staff provide creative, quality learning experiences for students. This includes more than $70,000 for the AVID college-readiness program, about $50,000 in classroom grants and almost $22,000 for Random Acts of Kindness to help students overcome barriers to success in areas such as nutrition, clothing, and transportation.