Board of Education
APS School Board Welcomes You!
As elected school board members, we are interested in your concerns and opinions.
Our hope is that our meetings will give you a better understanding of just how the school district operates. We encourage public participation in our meetings and welcome your comments. If you are interested in addressing the board, please review the procedure for public comment in the brochure How Do I Participate in a School Board Meeting posted at the bottom of this webpage. If you want to attend a meeting just to listen and learn, that’s great! Just sit back and get a feel for “democracy in action.”
APS Board of Education
2373 Gordon Road
Alpena, MI 49707
By Phone: 989-358-5042
Board President: Gordon Snow [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Official Proceedings of the Board of Education are usually approved at the following meeting and posted to the web as soon as they are approved. Only the current school year's approved set of minutes are posted. The link to posted minutes in found on this webpage. All meetings are open to the public. When possible, special Board meetings and workshops will be scheduled for the first Monday of the month and regular monthly Board meetings will be held on the third Monday of the month. Meeting times are set by the Board. Unless otherwise noted, all Board meetings are held in the Gerry Ludwig Board Room, 2373 Gordon Road, in Alpena.
Mr. Snow, raised in Royal Oak, came to Alpena to attend ACC following his high school graduation in 1963. He holds a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and two master's degrees from Central Michigan University. Before his retirement from Alpena Public Schools in 2000, Mr. Snow was an elementary teacher at Lincoln Elementary and Anna Besser Elementary for 24 years and a principal for ten years at Maple Ridge Elementary, Long Rapids Elementary, and Wilson Elementary. He has most recently supervised student teachers for Spring Arbor University and Western Governors University.
Prior to serving on the Board of Education, Mr. Snow served on the boards of Northeast Michigan Kennel Club, Child & Family Services, Thunder Bay Theatre, and the Alpena Community Concert Association. He also spent several years on the National Volunteer Leadership Council and the International Advisory Council of Youth for Understanding Internation Exchange program.
Over a period of forty years, Mr. Snow has hosted nearly 80 exchange students who were students at Alpena High School. His travels have taken him to fifty countries and he has visited all seven continents.
He is single, a dog lover, an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, and volunteers with several local organizations including St. Bernard's Friendship Room, McLaren Hospice, and the READ Adult Literacy Program at the library.
His term began on January 1, 2008 and he has been re-elected and served consecutively since that time. Mr. Snow's current term continues through December 31, 2024.
Dr. Eric Lawson
Eric Lawson, who is beginning his first term on the APS Board, was born in Alpena, attended school in Lansing but spent at least three months out of every year at the family home in Ossineke. Growing up between the two communities contributed to his deep appreciation of Northeast Michigan, its people and quality of life. He enjoys being in the woods or out on the water and wholeheartedly supports our youth participating in sporting activities of all kinds. He and his family have been full-time residents for the last eleven years with two children in the APS system at Sanborn Elementary and Alpena High School.
Prior to his return to Michigan, Dr. Lawson was a violin and music professor at Bismarck State, Jamestown College, University of North Dakota, Central College in Pella, Iowa and before that, Michigan Tech. He also served as Concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan, Grand Forks and Keweenaw symphony orchestras. Currently, he is Concertmaster of the Alpena and Gaylord symphonies and Assistant Concertmaster of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra in Bay Harbor. He also teaches for the Alpena Symphony String School which provides lessons on violin, viola, cello and bass to students of all ages and directs the Hope Lutheran Church choir. Regarding his own education, Dr. Lawson has a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Michigan State University, a Master's from Louisiana State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Lawson has been affiliated with many local organizations and finds great satisfaction in this service. He is currently President of the Alpena Symphony Board and Chair of the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Board. From 2013 to 2016 he was an Alpena County Commissioner, representing Ossineke and Sanborn Townships. As a commissioner, he served on the 26th Circuit Court Committee, the County Personnel Committee, Ambulance Committee, Northern Michigan Regional Entity Substance Use Disorder board and our local District Health Department board.
He hopes to put to use for our schools and their students, his many experiences working, living, teaching and performing all over the United States as well as in Asia, Europe and South America. He feels his education certainly helped him achieve this, and the diversity of his experiences enriched his life, but they also taught him the value of common sense and traditional values such as those found here in Northeast Michigan. It is useful to know how big the world we are sending our students out into is, but it is equally important to realize how wonderful our community is and support the career paths of those students who plan to stay.
Regarding Alpena Public Schools, Dr. Lawson believes that we have a truly excellent teaching staff, great administrators, cooks, custodians, bus drivers and more who make our schools feel like home to our students. As a parent, he appreciates the effort they make in creating the best environment they can for our children and he is proud to support their work as a member of the Board of Education.
Ned Heath was born and raised in Alpena, graduating from Alpena High School in 1995 and attended Alpena Community College. He left Alpena to finish college at LSSU and MSU and work in other communities for about twelve years. In 2016, an employment offer brought him back Alpena. A big concern about returning was whether Alpena Public Schools matched up to the other communities he lived in; however, Ned is very pleased with the education his children received despite living in northern Michigan where resources are not as plentiful and funding is not the same as larger districts. Ned says, “This to me shows the dedication that our teachers, administration and staff have in providing a great education to children in the community.”
Ned and his wife Heather have been married twenty two years and have nine children. Two children have graduated from AHS and the other seven are enrolled at various levels in APS. Ned’s family are very active and they enjoy what outdoor opportunities Alpena has to offer. Ned and his family love running in 5K races that all started when Ned ran with his daughter in the Girls on the Run program.
“Running has become a family activity. I can’t even come close to keeping up with my kids but the joy of simply being with family, competing to do your best regardless of the outcome, and staying healthy is priceless.”
What Points of Pride does Ned share about APS? “The upgrades and utilization of technology over the last few years has been wonderful. To know that each and every student has access to a Chromebook to be able to continue to work on their education even in times of quarantine or remote learning has been extremely valuable. Also the passing of the Safe, Warm & Dry bond initiative to get our buildings back in order to assure that children in our community have a safe place to learn.”
Ned’s desire for the children of Alpena Public Schools is that they all receive the same opportunity to be successful regardless of their personal situation; every child is an individual, not just a number.
Mr. Heath was appointed to the Board of Education to fill a vacancy created by a resignation. His term began on July 5, 2017, and continued through December 31, 2018. Mr. Heath was elected to a four-year term in the November 6, 2018, election and his current term runs from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2022.
On March 10, 2021, the Board of Education unanimously appointed Kenneth Gembel to fill an open seat until December 31, 2022. The remainder of the four-year term ending in December 31, 2024 will be put on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 general election. Mr. Gembel applied for the position because he enjoys advocating for education.
Since moving to Alpena in 2013, Ken and his wife Alicia have been serving in numerous functions to support the Alpena community. Mr. Gembel has served on the Alpena Chamber of Commerce board and on the Alpena/Alcona Career Access Network [AACAN], serving the community through helping local schools educate students and parents on post high school academics and potential career options. Since 2015, he has served on the University of Michigan Flint’s Industrial Advisory Board, to develop the curriculum to meet ABET guidelines. This board also helps provide students with industrial projects and internship experience in preparation of successfully determining a career path of interest prior to graduation. His wife, Alicia Gembel, serves as President of United States Figure Skating-Alpena Chapter and served on numerous position on the Hinks PAC since their children attended school from 2013-2020.
Mr. Gembel’s community support activities along with 23+ years of leadership experience listed on his resume shows his commitment to the community, diverse professional experience and pursuit of excellence.
Meet our newest board trustee, Anna Meinhardt, who was appointed January 21 to the vacant position on the Board of Education. Prior to moving to Alpena in 2006, she was an elementary teacher with South Lyon Community Schools. She taught first grade, provided Title I services, and became a Reading Recovery teacher. She holds a master's degree in reading education and a bachelor's degree in elementary education with an early childhood endorsement. She has always had a passion of working with students and being involved in education.
For awhile, Anna was devoted to being a full time mom and teacher to her two sons but her spark for education never went away. Anna found time to volunteer as secretary of the Bingham Academy school board, president of the Besser Elementary Parent Advisory Council, and countless hours helping in the classrooms at Besser. Also, Anna was very active in the committee that worked to pass the Safe, Warm, Dry bond proposal for Alpena Public Schools.
Currently, Anna's two sons are enrolled in Alpena Public Schools and it is her desire to be a part of the solution to bettering our schools and making the community a better place to live. Anna is dedicated to serving on the Board of Education with integrity and commitment to the policies which will improve the education of all children and do what is best for the kids.
Mrs. Meinhardt was appointed to the Board of Education on January 21, 2021 to fill the vacancy created by the unfulfilled two-year term in the November 2020 election. Anna will serve the remainder of the vacated term until December 31, 2022. Anna will be eligible to run in the November 2022 for the four-year term.
Thomas P. Hilberg
Mr. Hilberg was appointed to the Board of Education to fill a vacancy created by a resignation. His term began on June 9, 2017, and continued through December 31, 2018. Mr. Hilberg was elected in the general election on November 6, 2018, and his current terms runs from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022.
Stacey W. Parr
Stacey Parr was first appointed to the Board of Education in August of 2018 to fill a vacancy created by a resignation. Mrs. Parr's term began August 22, 2018, and continues through December 31, 2020.
Upcoming Committee Meetings and Regular Meetings
Board Policies and Guidelines
View and search current policies and guidelines adopted by the Alpena Public School Board of Education. Click on the BoardDocs image to take you to APS policy homepage. If you need assistance, contact the Board secretary at 989-358-5042.
Gordon Snow, President
Stacey Parr, Vice President
Ned Heath, Treasurer
Lorie Kneeshaw, Secretary [appointed]
Board Members Committee Assignments
Board Member Resources
What do Board members do? What Makes a Good Board Member? What are the legal qualifications for Board members? Check out these resources, some provided by the Michigan Association of School Boards.