Kate Vruwink

Kate Vruwink is the newest member of the Barron Area School Board, filling a seat vacated by former member Mike Dietrich, who represented the city of Barron on the nine-member board.

Vruwink took the oath of office at the School Board’s regular monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Her term officially starts on Nov. 1.

Born and raised in Barron, Vruwink is the daughter of Rod Gardner and Teresa (Flanagan) Schalley, both graduates of Barron High School.

A 1996 Barron High School graduate, Vruwink is the wife of Mark Vruwink, a salesman for Indianhead Food Service Distributor, and a BHS graduate.

Vruwink holds an associate degree in Health Information Technology and is a medical coder at Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland.

The Vruwinks are the parents of two children, Regan, a sophomore at Barron High School, and Rylin, a Grade 8 student at Riverview Middle School.

Although this is her first time in public office, Vruwink comes from a family tradition of public service.

“My grandfather, Merlin Gardner, uncle, Roger Gardner, and my husband’s grandfather Harry Vruwink, all have served on the Barron Area School Board,” she said.

“I made the decision to serve because my community is very important to me and I enjoy being active within our community,” Vruwink added. “I am very focused on education, youth, and helping our school and town continue to thrive.”