MINNEAPOLIS — Since growing up in small-town Minnesota, Minneapolis special education teacher, Collin Beachy, always knew he wanted to be a teacher.
"Staples, Minnesota, 30 miles straight west of Brainerd," said Beachy. "I never wanted to do anything else," he said. "I come from a family of educators, my parents were educators, my dad was a teacher for 35 years."
With 68,084 votes, Beachy won one at-large position for the Minneapolis School board, with Sonya Emerick coming in with more than 52,365 votes, just beating out KerryJo Felder for the second spot.
Beachy says he first decided to enter the race back in 2020.
"George Floyd's murder really did a number on me," he said. "I know it affected a lot of people in a lot of different ways, for me personally his murder was five blocks away from our own school."
"As an educator, I felt like I had to do something that had a higher impact," he added.
His election to the school board follows a tumultuous year, which included the teacher's union strike back in March. Beachy said there are large issues at hand, including staff shortages, retaining students, and shifting culture.
"One of the first things I'd like to do is get a handle on our Comprehensive District Design," he said. "The most important decision is going to come right in the first six months, and that is we're hiring a new superintendent."
But most importantly, he says, it's bringing together the district, teachers and the community.
"Any one who grew up in a small town will tell you the schools, and the hospitals, are the beating hearts of your communities, and I just want the public to know that that can happen, even in a school district this large," he said.
All school board members will take their new seats in January.
Across the state, more than 300 of the state's 330 districts held school board elections, with just over 1-thousand board seats on the ballot.
Watch more local news:
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: