About Us

Dan Heins, President

In addition to serving as the president of the Austin Public Education Foundation, Dan serves on the church council at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, the board of the Hirsch Family Foundation, the board of Parenting Resource Center and as treasurer on the board of the Lutheran Institutional Ministry Associaton. He is currently employed by the United States Postal Service as the Postmaster in Stewartville, Minnesota.

Dan and his wife, Karen, have four children, all of whom have graduated from Austin High School.

In addition to the volunteer duties, in which he is involved, he enjoys geocaching and reading.


Tammy Watkins, Vice President

Tammy Watkins was born and raised in Austin, MN. Both of her parents were also born in the Austin area and attended Austin High School. She has been teaching in the district for 17 years at Southgate Elementary.
Both of her children attend Austin Public Schools and husband Troy teaches at the high school.  Tara is a 9th grader and super excited to be moving “up” to the high school and Tori is going to be a 7th grader at Ellis.
She says she looking forward to being part of the Austin Public Education Foundation team. "This group has done wonderful things for the students of Austin for years! I feel very lucky to get the opportunity to be involved."


Edwina Harder

Edwina Harder is a 1983 graduate of Austin High School.  She taught for eighteen years in St. Cloud before moving back home to Austin.  Edwina is principal of Southgate Elementary School.  Her husband Eric is the technology integrationist at Holton Intermediate School.  Both of their daughters graduated from Austin High School and are pursuing their college degrees.  Edwina also serves on the Austin High School Alumni and Friends Association.

Tom Klapperich, Treasurer

Tom was born and raised in Austin. He graduated from Mankato State University and worked in Rochester for 2 years before returning to Austin. He is currently the Market President for Home Federal Savings Bank. Tom has 4 daughters, 2 granddaughters, and 1 grandson. Two daughters are graduates of Austin High, one is in 10th grade and the last is in preschool. He enjoys being on the foundation board, seeing all the benefits the foundation does for the local schools.


Brigette Rambadt, Executive Director

Brigette grew up in Austin. In the 1980’s she moved away but returned to Austin in 2000 to raise her two  children.   She is a partner in The 1858  Brickhouse Coffee House  as well  as an E-RYT 500 instructor for Riverland and the Austin YMCA.
Brigette is excited to be involved in expanding opportunities for the students of Austin Public Schools and is dedicated to helping the Foundation as it champions Austin’s Educational Excellence

Jeni Lindberg

Jeni graduated from Austin High School in 1973. She serves as chair of the AHS Alumni & Friends Association. She also chairs the Association’s Distinguished Alumni celebration that is held in conjunction with Homecoming. In 2002 when her son graduated, there were 4 living generations of Austin High graduates in her family. Jeni and her husband Brad have two grown sons.

Lori Marco

Lori grew up on a farm near Brewster, Minnesota. She received her B.A., with High Distinction in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota-Morris. She earned her J.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. She is currently vice-president of External Affairs and general counsel at Hormel Foods Corporation. Lori and her husband, Bruce Quitmeyer, have three sons, ages 9, 5, and 2. Lori is new to the foundation and is looking forward to learning about the foundation and the ways in which it benefits the schools.

Julie Clinefelter

A transplant from California via Iowa and Missouri, Julie and her husband Jeremy moved to Minnesota in 1999.  She has an MA in English Literature from UMKC, and when her husband came to Minnesota to attend law school she completed a Masters in Library and Information Science from St. Kate's in St. Paul.

With graduate school done, the pair settled in Austin in 2003 to raise their three kids and attempt a backyard garden. In 2013, with the kids all in school, Julie joined the staff at IJ Holton as Library Assistant.  In August of 2014, she was hired at the Austin Public Library as the Technical Services Librarian.  Julie has seen the benefits of APEF grants at her children’s schools & looks forward to being a part of the process.

Kathy Ewing

Kathy Ewing is an EL teacher at Austin High School. She is originally from Minneapolis but has lived here in Austin for the past 18 years.  She was a substitute teacher in the district for 5 years and for the last two has been full time at the high school. She has four children, three of whom have graduated from Austin High and one is at Ellis.



Peggy Young

Peggy Young






Chad Nangle









The Austin Public Education Foundation was founded in 1990 to benefit Austin Public Schools. The first grant of $500 was awarded in 1992. Year to date over $350,000 in grants have been awarded to the Austin Public Schools and students. Quite a contrast and graphic evidence of what can be accomplished when people in the community care.

The foundation is a non-profit corporation separate from the Austin Public Schools. The only beneficiaries of its programs and projects are the more than 4,000 students.

The Huntting Endowment fund was established by James and Joanne Huntting with a donation of $100,000. Many other individuals, organizations, and businesses have joined the Hunttings to add to this fund. The grants that are awarded out of the Huntting fund are to benefit students and projects in all grade levels.

The Packer Endowment fund benefits co-curricular activities in the Austin Public Schools. Over 60 percent of the income generated from the investments of this fund is used for boys' and girls' athletic programs at all grade levels.

The Huntting and Packer Endowment funds of the Austin Public Education Foundation are never spent. Only the income earned through investments is used to fund programs and projects. Your donation to the endowment funds is a gift that keeps on giving...






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