Former Crystal Lake PTO President to Run for Lakeville School Board

Jennifer Hearon Harmening is a mother of two children in Lakeville schools, and served as Crystal Lake Elementary School's PTO president before the school was shuttered.

Jennifer Hearon Harmening, a former president of Crystal Lake Elementary School's PTO, and a mother of two children currently enrolled in Lakeville schools, has announced she will be filing to run for a seat on Lakeville's School Board in November.

Three seats are up for election this year: those held by incumbents Bob Erickson, Kathy Lewis and Judy Keliher. Only Erickson has officially announced his intent to run again.

In a statement, Harmening said she and her family experienced the impact of the changes in the Lakeville School District firsthand when Crystal Lake Elementary closed in 2011.

"As programs are cut, class sizes continue to rise and families are now paying for busing, (I) decided it is time to dig in and get more involved," she said in the statement.

Harmening also said she has 20 years of professional experience in the chamber of commerce and association management industry, and she has served extensively in her church and community.

"She brings the experience of managing organizations, working with the community and being an actively involved parent in the ," she said.

Here's more from the statement:

Jennifer served as president for Crystal Lake Elementary PTO in 2011, the year the school closed and she served on the District Boundary Adjustment Committee following the school closure. She has served as facilitator of the ISD 194 elementary PTO roundtable for the past two years and is working with parents and principals at all three middle schools to coordinate a middle school parent roundtable. Jennifer’s Chamber of Commerce career has afforded many business-education cooperative opportunities, including her term as Chair of the Dakota County School-to-Work Partnership. 

Jennifer is a unique candidate with a blend of experience in professional leadership, active community work, and as an involved at-home mom. As the parent of young children coming up through the district, she is committed to ensuring quality education, lower class sizes and fiscally responsible leadership in the Lakeville School District. Jennifer believes that through community connections, involved families and partnerships with businesses and civic organizations our district can provide a top-notch education today and build a stronger community for the future. 

Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from the University of Colorado and graduated from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce six-year Institute for Organizational Management. 

After serving as president of the Northern Dakota County Chambers of Harmening began her own association management consulting business. Her focus has been working with organizations that are in transition. Combining years of experience, education and training, Jennifer brings a unique set of skills to help organizations focus their efforts and reach their full potential. She currently serves as the Executive Director for MedNet of Minnesota, a medical device association. Jennifer also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Daystar U.S., a national organization that provides funding and services for Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. Recently she chaired the search for the new executive director. 

Jennifer has been an active member of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina for 30 years. Her church involvement ranges from youth leader and helping out in the toddler room to adult education teacher and Mom’s Morning coordinator. Additionally, Jennifer has served as a soccer coach for the YMCA and Lakeville Soccer Club and a volunteer for the Crystal Lake Improvement Association. 

Jennifer and her husband Tom have been married for more than 15 years, and they have lived in Lakeville School District for 14 years. They are raising two great children, one entering 4th grade at Oak Hills Elementary and one entering 7th grade at Kenwood Trail Middle School. Tom and Jennifer actively support their children’s involvement in the Lakeville Baseball Association, Lakeville Soccer Club and Lakeville Area Arts Center. 

Elisa Lande-Brown June 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM
This is awesome news...way to go Jennifer!!! You definitely have my support!
Melissa Lorenson June 29, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Wonderful news Jennifer! You have my support!
Lenny from Lakeville July 03, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Jennifer, While I commend you getting involved and making a run for the board I was hoping to find out more about where you stand on the issues. From what I can read into what you are saying is we need to raise taxes. This is the only way I can see that we can lower class sizes, restore programs and stop having parents pay for bussing. Is this a fair assessment of where you stand?
Lenny from Lakeville July 03, 2012 at 05:42 PM
MIJ - As i look at the school board it seems exactly half have kids in the system and the other half have grandkids in the system. It is also insulting to say they do not care about how their decisions impact you! It seems to me that in a community where over half the homes have no children in the system we are fairly well weighted on our board.
Lynnsay Kirby August 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I had the privilege of serving with Jennifer on the CLE PTO and I cannot think of a better person to have on the district board. She went above and beyond the call of duty, and continued on even after the doors were closed. I was not surprised to hear that she will be running for board. I will be eagerly waiting to mark my vote.


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