Milek Passes Executive Director Baton to Merchlewitz

For Immediate Release:

June 07, 2023

For More Information:

Shelley Milek, Executive Director

After almost 12 years of service to the Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools, Shelley Milek will step down as Executive Director, effective August 31. Milek will “pass the baton” to current Foundation for WAPS board president and retired educator, Luke Merchlewitz, who will serve as Interim Executive Director effective September 1.

Under Milek’s leadership, over 100 funds were created and numerous scholarships were awarded to fulfill the Foundation’s mission of enriching and expanding educational opportunities at Winona Area Public Schools. While working alongside community volunteers and business partners, Milek helped to establish new programs and grant opportunities, leaving a legacy that will last for years to come. The Foundation for WAPS board of directors would like to thank Milek for her leadership and dedication.

Merchlewitz is completing his 40th year in education, with 36 years dedicated to Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School as an elementary teacher. His wife, Brenda, also experienced a lengthy and respectful teaching career with WAPS. Merchlewitz and his children are proud Winona Senior High School alumni. He has been involved and dedicated to the Foundation since joining the board in 2011.

The Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools is an independent, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization established in 1991 and funded entirely by community and business supporters of education in Winona. The Leave a Legacy program allows donors to support the Foundation’s mission by honoring a program or individual. To create your legacy and help “pass the baton” by making a donation in honor of Milek or Merchlewitz, visit or contact the Foundation at or 507-494-1004.