Pine Island Academics, Arts, and Athletics Foundation
Chris is employed as a laboratory manager with the Mayo Clinic Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He began serving on the Board in 2013. Chris and his family have been members of the Pine Island community for over 30 years. His wife Rikka has taught in the Pine Island Schools since 1990. They have three children: Alex, PIHS Class of 2011; Kaitlin, PIHS Class of 2014; and Bethany, PIHS Class of 2023. Chris devotes much of his time to soccer coaching and related activities within the community, and is currently the head coach of the District’s girls varsity program.
Mary taught at Pine Island Schools for 34 years and is currently a substitute teacher. In addition to the AAA Foundation, Mary is on the Image Committee for the Pine Island Economic Development Authority, the Pine Island United Fund Board, and runs the Pine Island School Ski/Snowboard Club. Her hobbies include biking, skiing, travel, book club, and bridge club. Mary has lived in Pine Island for 40 years.
Todd Walter is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist currently working at Mayo Health Systems, Cannon Falls.He has lived in the Pine Island district for 17 years but my family has been here since the 1860's. Todd has two boys that have both graduated from Pine Island High School, William is a junior at UMD and Brad is a Freshman at Winona State U. His wife, Jackie is a Kindergarten Teacher for the district. Todd is an avid scuba diver and formed the Pine Island Dive Club. He also enjoys reading and outdoor activities.
Molly Fernholz has been employed by the Pine Island School Distrcit as an elementary teacher for 11 years. She has taught first, second, and third grades. She is currently a fourth grade teacher. She is an active member for the school's Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports team and helps facilitate the after school PASS program for grades 3-5. Molly has been on the AAA Foundation board for one year. She and her husband, Chris have two daughters, Abby (13) and Brynn (4). They are expecting their third daughter in March. Outside of teaching, Molly enjoys gardening and spending time with her family at their lake cabins.
Heidi taught high school English in Pennsylvania and Ohio and worked in marketing for healthcare organizations such as The Cleveland Clinic and MinuteClinic. Presently, she stays at home with her 4 children: twins Monica and Lucas in 2nd grade at Pine lsland, Caroline (5-years-old), and Charlie (3-years-old) and volunteers for various organizations. Her husband, Andy, enjoys coaching for the Pine Island community sports programs.
Chris Dietz is a native Pine Islander and both he and his daughter graduated from Pine Island High School. He is Staff Nurse Anesthetist at Mayo Clinic and is the Associate Director of the Mayo Master of Nurse Anesthesia Program and recently completed his doctorate degree in Nursing Practice. He is involved with the Pine Island Boy Scout Troop, the Pine Island Area Historical Society, the Pine Island United Methodist Church, the Pine Area People for the Arts and as a Pine Island City Commissioner for Heritage Preservation. He also gives historic and military presentations at the school. His spare time is spent enjoying time with his family.
April Bailey is employed at IBM as a software engineer, as is her husband Mike, and lives in Oronoco. They have two sons who attend PIHS: Keagan (Class of 2018) and Connor (Class of 2020). April joined the PI AAA board in 2016. She is currently the vice-Chair of the Pine Island School Board and an officer for the PI Track and Field Booster Club. April has also been involved with the Lego Robotics program, coaching, judging science fairs, and other volunteer work at the PI schools. She is actively involved in the Pine Island Boy Scout Troop. As an IBM employee, she coordinates other employees/PI volunteers in order to earn thousands of dollars of grant money each year for the PI Schools, including the PIAAA Foundation. Her free time is usually spent watching or assisting with all her boys' activities, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Josh Westphal is the principal of Pine Island Middle School. Before his role as principal, he has worked in the school system as a dean of students, curriculum director, and teacher. He has been a member of the Pine Island AAA Foundation since 2014. He grew up in Owatonna Minnesota and completed his undergraduate at the University of Minnesota Duluth, his master degree from Walden University, his principal license from Bethel University, and is currently working on his doctorate at Bethel University. Josh and his wife Kimberly live in Pine Island and enjoy cooking, biking, and watching movies together during their free time.
Mitch is the principal of Pine Island High School. He joined the District in 2016.
Brandon Sampson is the lead singer /songwriter for the band Six Mile Grove, and also founder/owner/prosthetist of Limb Lab, a prosthetic and orthotic company. He moved to Pine Island in 2010 with his wife Heather, and has three children; Max (3rd grade), Milo (3 years old), and Pearl (8 months old). Brandon enjoys connecting with his community -- you can find him eating at the Rainbow Café, getting home improvement advice at Hardware Hank, singing with Max and his classmates at the school, and often walking his big yellow dog Emma around town (when he's not hiding out in his barn writing music).
Vernetta Pahl is a founding member of the Foundation. She is a long-time community volunteer. Vernetta and her husband Harlan's children and now grandchildren attend Pine Island Schools.