Michelle Spangler

Michelle Spangler
Former Science Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

Why do you want to serve on the Eastside Food Co-op Board of Directors?
The Eastside Food Co-Op is a unique gem and friends from other states tell me how fortunate I am to have a quality, member-owned store for grocery shopping. I don’t take those qualities for granted, and I believe the success of our Co-Op requires intentional vision and action. I intend to bring those attributes to the Board. The Co-Op is a hub for our Northeast community and I believe that welcoming climate is the result of employees rooted in our community; clear values; a new, but strong union; and leadership that provides the vision for the store’s future. My family and I have benefited from EFC for over a decade now and I intend to serve so that it can build on its accomplishments and ensure its continued success and expansion into the future.

What kinds of skills, interests, and experience would you bring to the board?
My skills include being highly organized, self-motivated, and fluent in Office software. I can easily transition from reviewing granular data to zooming out to see the big picture. Sustainability is a passionate interest of mine. My family has committed to promoting healthy food habits; limiting our use of plastics; and supporting clean water. I completed the Master Water Steward program in order to advocate for healthy water practices here in Northeast. My 7 years of experience as an urban science teacher have served me well for a number of reasons. My science training enables me to feel comfortable analyzing data and using an evidence-based approach to problem solving. My background as an educator allows me to communicate ideas effectively and feel at ease with public speaking; plan meetings and events; and instinctively harness the group’s strengths to maximize outcomes.

Eastside Food Co-op is founded on the 7 International Cooperative Principles. Please choose one of the principles and describe how you think the board can encourage and foster this in a cooperative.
Concern for Community – Already the Eastside Co-Op is an integral part of our NE Community, however, I would love to see that role expand by crowing the Co-Op’s number of local partnerships resulting in diversification of EFC’s membership so that it better reflects our neighborhood.  EFC has provided affordable, quality classes and my priority will be increasing the number of programs offered in order to improve our community’s social and economic inequities.

Tell us your experience in working with fiduciary responsibilities for an organization.
I am comfortable with math and budgets and I’m confident that I could ensure that spending is sustainable and meets the Co-Op’s guiding principles.

Tell us your experience in collective-decision making.
I believe in collective-decision making is a powerful problem-solving tool. When I taught at MPS’ South High School, we often used collective-decision making in our Professional Learning Community to create measurable, data-driven objectives to increase the outcomes for at-risk students.