Meet Annie Mumgaard

Annie Mumgaard
District 4
Elected May 2015
LPS Board Member

What high school(s) did you attend/graduate from?
Lincoln High School...once a Link always a Link!

What college(s) did you attend/graduate from and your degrees?
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Broadcast Journalism
Lesley University, Masters of Art in Education  (Cambridge, MA)

What is your profession?
My profession is I am a visual educator.  I have made documentary films, large and small non-profit information films, top 10 University PSAs, and then have taught middle school kids to do the same!

I'm currently working for the University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall) as their Virtual Learning Coordinator.  I work with the other educators and museum scientists and create live virtual field trips and other live electronic experiences.  We use a computer, a couple of cameras, a wireless mic, and give live tours of our galleries, teaching about fossils, animals, and all things natural Nebraska history, reaching students and adults across the state - and hopefully soon across the country!  I love the combination of my skills and passions that this job utilizes.  One drawback, I don't get to do as many live gallery programs with all the LPS third and fifth graders who come to the museum, and I do miss their energy!

How would you describe yourself?
I am a mom, wife, sister, aunt, good friend, supportive co-worker and community leader.

I am an upbeat, curious, passionate, patient, person who operates from a deep sense of the knowledge that we are here to make the world a better place. 

What school memory from when you were a student still impacts you today?
When I was a senior, I took a pottery class.  I loved the arts, but didn't see myself as an "artist" so taking this class seemed like such a luxury.  One day I threw a beautiful looking pot on the wheel.  I was so excited.  As I was trimming the top, I slipped and cut through the entire pot.  In a major fit of passion and pure feeling I screamed, grabbed the clay and really threw it across the room. 

The class froze. Our teacher looked at me and said "You do not have the right to throw away what was given to you.  Now, make something with what you have left." 

I had so little left on the wheel - but I was able to craft a crude small bowl - by hand!

That was a good teacher.  It could have gone so many other ways. I still have that bowl.  It reminds me of so much, but especially, to use what you have as best as you can.

What was your favorite class/subject in school and why?
Music.  I took so much I almost didn't graduate...well, almost.  I loved singing - in small groups, in the choir, in madrigals, in the musicals, for Joy Night!

I also had a fantastic French teacher.  She opened up the world to me and suggested I had what I needed to go out and travel in it.  I am very grateful to her for that suggestion!

What are the biggest challenges facing our schools today?
The vast needs of our students. And I'm talking educational, physical, and emotional.

I get the pleasure of driving up to LHS every day - and it reminds me of a big magnet.  Here's this big beautiful building, and streaming up to the same front door are all these young people - as if they are being pulled in by something stronger than themselves.  And I am amazed at the variety of students walking into these doors - you truly see the world entering our public education institution.  And some of them have backpacks that look like they could bend the student in half, some have backpacks hanging limp, and some are quite simply, showing up.  How we are able to reach each of these students boggles my mind, humbles me, and fuels my desire to make sure we're working as hard as possible to truly teach them all.

What do you hope for the children in our community?
That they know they are valuable to our world and have great worth within them.  And for those reasons, we need them to be their best selves for all of us.  And a large part of that has to be taught.  So it has to be more than hope to make that happen.

What legacy do you hope to leave at LPS when your service on the board is finished?
I'd say first that I did no harm!

And then - I hope I am seen as the kind of leader who kept doors open for all the good that is happening in our District, and that I found ways to create even more opportunities for our students, teachers, paras, school nurses, cooks, administrators, and all others who work for LPS, so they are all able to do their best work.

I'm new - I don't know what that means yet.  But I'll keep my eyes open!

What is your favorite LPS story from Fall 2015?
I visited Clinton Elementary this fall.  The halls were bathed in sunlight as it streamed through these huge, squeaky clean windows.  It made the whole place feel warm and inviting.  Principal Neddenriep told me that their janitor was excellent and took great care of the building, and also the kids.  Those same halls were just buzzing with quiet voices hard at work, lively artwork, and we got hellos from all the students and teachers who walked by.  We passed a teacher and student in a hard conversation about expectations and a set of parents who had come in to talk with Clinton's home liaisons.  It was such an inspirational moment - that sense of, yeah, it's all working together -  this is what we are all about! 

Also, I loved the the video where the kids with hearing difficulties were excited about going to their new school at Beattie Elementary, and the school kids were ready to welcome them.

Published: January 25, 2016, Updated: January 20, 2017