Yes, those are all my names! Many of my students, parents and colleagues know me as Ms. Kolb-Campion (Ms. K-C) What you call me depends on where our paths might have crossed. I'm just happy to know you.
RETIREMENT? WHAT'S THAT?
Retirement has given me time to broaden my involvement in the things that matter most to me -- my family, my church, missions and my community. For 17 years, I have been a leader with ISAIAH, a non-profit faith-based organization focused on changing policies related to social, racial and economic injustices. In 2016, 2017 and 2019, we traveled to the MN State Capitol to work on the NorthStar Train campaign with our St. Cloud representatives and senators, and in 2019 to work on increased educational funding. In 2018, as an ISAIAH leader, I worked on the St. Cloud Community Policing Agreement. I am currently one of the board members of SCERAC (St. Cloud Educational Rights Advocacy Council) to litigate for the cross-subsidy funding for school district 742. I attended ISAIAH’s week-long leadership training in 2004 and 2019.
I am an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud, having served three 3-year terms, one of the terms as President of the Corporation of the church. I have previously served as chair of the personnel and service group committees, and I currently serve on the mission committee.
My musical endeavors have included singing in our church choir; performing with Minnesota Center Chorale, Great River Chorale and Crusade Choir; playing clarinet in the pit orchestra for community musicals; participating in a monthly music performing group; and playing in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church orchestra.
Mission trips have taken me to Brazil and Costa Rica (for church and community building projects) and Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas (for rebuilding after natural disasters). I have expanded my construction skills to include tying rebar and laying mortar on brick! In addition to helping people rebuild their lives, my life has been enriched through building relationships with the local people and my fellow mission workers.
Most recently, I have traveled to Pakistan 6 times since 2015 to teach music to teachers and students (Pre-K through 2nd grade) in the schools of Presbyterian Education Board, based in Lahore. I currently serve on the board of the Friends of PEB (Presbyterian Education Board), a non-profit that raises funds for these schools in Pakistan.
During my time in Pakistan, I opened a business in partnership with a local Pakistani, a good friend whom I met during my teaching trips there. It is J.S Building Construction and Material Store in Lahore, Pakistan. Though I am in the U.S. and he is in Pakistan, we talk frequently about the business growth and needs. I am learning cultural differences on business practices between our countries, which are fascinating. This is a great opportunity to develop our business, to develop Pakistan, and to develop a worldwide partnership.
My husband and I love to travel for fun, too, in the U.S. and abroad. In the winter, we ski often at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN. The summer of 2018, we took our first trip into the Boundary Waters for camping, canoeing and portaging. The summer isn’t complete without time on a lake in MN, usually one near St. Cloud. Family reunions and picnics are always a valued time in our lives.
There is no grass growing under my feet during retirement because there are many things that need to be done -- and I love doing them!
My parents were politically involved – my father was Republican and my mother was Democrat (think back to Nixon/Humphrey). However, our political discussions around the dinner table were very civilized and respectful. Some of my older siblings were involved in political/social activities. My husband is Republican – actually an old-time Republican, as in “where-did-my-party-go?” Republican. As you can imagine, lively political discussions are common in our family. We keep current and well-informed on social and political events, nationally and internationally. My work with ISAIAH was social and political, but non-partisan. That is the background from which I come -- and the foundation from which I want to serve St. Cloud in District 14A.