Keeping active is a theme you can find woven throughout Bonnie (Board) Niles' life. Physically active, as well as active in the community.
While attending Minnetonka High School in the 1960's, Bonnie didn't let the nonexistence of competitive athletics for girls slow her down. She actively participated in the Girls' Athletic Association (GAA) and cheerleading. She excelled both academically and athletically, attending Augsburg College after graduation, where she earned her degree in Elementary Education – majoring in Health, Physical Education and Coaching.
As a physical education teacher, Bonnie shared her love of athletics with elementary and middle school students in Edina and later Cambridge, MN. In addition to teaching, she coached tennis, gymnastics and track. To this day, Bonnie is a competitive (and pretty good) tennis player.
Off the courts, Bonnie has been active in many community organizations and activities – the two closest to her heart are the Shepherd's Foundation, which is a faith-based initiative working in the Ukraine, and the Minnetonka Alumni Association.
Through the Shepherd's Foundation, Bonnie and her husband traveled many times to the Ukraine to teach, conduct workshops and build long-term relationships with Ukrainian teachers. She has forged life-long friendships through the program and feels a deep passion for and commitment towards the people of Ukraine.
In 2005, Bonnie joined the Minnetonka Alumni Association (MAA). During her ten+ years with the MAA, she has helped coordinate the All School All Class Reunions, served as president for three years and as the liaison to the Minnetonka Foundation.
Her work with the MAA brings her time in Minnetonka full circle and honors a family legacy – her grandfather, Charles Board, served on the Minnetonka School Board and her brother Bradley Board worked for 30 years in the Minnetonka Public Schools.
"I'm thrilled to part of such a high quality school district," says Bonnie. "I'm proud to be a Minnetonka grad and proud to be part of the continuing excellence. Serving on the MAA allows me to stay connected, help others to stay connected, and supports current projects through our Fine Arts Endowment."
Since retirement, Bonnie has stayed exceptionally busy through the MAA and many other volunteer opportunities as they arise, she plays tennis, travels to spend time with her children and grandchildren, and does everything but relax. She is also the owner and operator of Persnickety Design.
"Retirement has provided an opportunity to refocus my time and to grow personally. We certainly haven't slowed down!" adds Bonnie.
Advice for other Minnetonka grads: "Get involved. There are so many opportunities to give back. The MAA is one and (shameless plug) we would love to have more people involved!"