As newly elected school board members will soon join their boards, Wadena-Deer Creek school board member Barb Tumberg started early. She was appointed in October to fill Vince Hinojos’ position when he accepted a job at the school. Tumberg is no stranger to the world of education, she was a kindergarten teacher for 39 years in New York Mills.

She loved the children’s enthusiasm and welcoming students into the school system, and she continues to substitute teach after retiring two years ago as well as helping in her husband’s accounting business.

“We’ve always been strong supporters of the school system and I just felt that I’m at a point in my life where I have the time and the interest in being able to take part in this form of leadership,” Tumberg said.

Tumberg and her husband Terry have lived in Wadena for 35 years and have two adult children, Kevin who is a second-grade teacher and coach at WDC and Cory who is a physical therapist in Minot, N.D. Both their sons attended WDC.

Tumberg is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church where she has served on numerous committees, the church council, taught Sunday School and been a confirmation mentor. She has also worked with the non-profit Womenade as their chair and now secretary. Womenade supports students in need throughout five area school districts.

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While learning the ins and outs of the Wadena-Deer Creek school board, she hopes to support families, educators and students during the pandemic. She said she can also offer a different perspective on the board as a previous educator. And while the pandemic at the very least is an “uncomfortable process” she believes everyone will “come out stronger because of what we’re going through.”

“When I’ve subbed I’ve seen the kids with their masks but watching the Veteran’s Day program and just seeing the education that is still going on in spite of all of the restrictions that are put on us and just seeing the enthusiasm of the kids as they were participating in that program, for me was really heartwarming,” Tumberg said. “Kids are far more resilient than I think we give them credit for.”