Matt Widboom, District 518's newest school board member, has a history of community service
“The school board is one of the most unique elected positions in our community, involving our youth and the foundational building block of our future."
WORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education appointed Matt Widboom as its newest member on Feb. 21, replacing Brad Shaffer, who resigned in January.
“I look forward to representing the taxpayers of the school district, and I think that’s an important part in an elected person … to listen to the concerns of the citizens … and bring it to the decision-making process,” Widboom said. “And I think we have challenges, but we also have great opportunities to move forward as a district and as a community.”
Widboom, a 1993 graduate of Worthington High School, who also has degrees from Minnesota West Community and Technical College and South Dakota State University, grows corn, soybeans and cattle on his family farm just north of Worthington.
He and his wife, Teresa, have four children — Riley, who graduated from WHS in 2022, Wesley, a junior at WHS, Myranda, a freshman at WHS and Charley, a fifth-grader at Worthington Christian School.
“I’ve been thinking about looking for an opportunity to be involved in some kind of leadership or elected position, and as I was thinking about that, the situation arose for an open spot on the school board,” said Widboom, noting he had enjoyed serving as a Nobles County commissioner for eight years.
Widboom has significant service to the community under his belt, including time as president of the United Way of Nobles County, president of the King Turkey Day Board of Directors and president of his church council. He is currently a member of the Rock-Nobles Cattlemen and serves as chairman of the Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers.
As one of the most diverse school districts in the state of Minnesota, District 518 makes a continuous effort to ensure all students are given equal opportunities, and that’s a goal school staff and elected officials strive for, Widboom said.
“I think they continue to do a great job of meeting all students where they’re at, and doing their best to uplift them and give them an education,” he added.
Widboom also praised the school board for being willing to adjust its plans to meet building needs as the district’s population grew, finding a solution for the problem that was acceptable to taxpayers that still left the schools prepared for shifts in student population.
He considers the teacher shortage, fluctuating enrollment and school funding formulas to be some of the major challenges District 518 — and other districts — are facing.
“The school board is one of the most unique elected positions in our community, involving our youth and the foundational building block of our future,” Widboom wrote in his application for the position.