For Cheryl Gunness, education is truly a passion. As the community involvement programs coordinator for Edina Community Education, she oversees a wide range of programs, from the community woodshop to the service letter at Edina High School.
“We believe that a strong community has a strong school system at its heart and a community-wide commitment to lifelong learning,” Gunness says.
This commitment to exploring Edina’s potential in education is part of what led Gunness to undergo the rigorous application process to hold a TEDx conference in Edina. “I want Edina to be known as a place that gathers thinkers and people who care about … the power of ideas to change the world [and] make the world
a little bit better,” she says.
This year’s TEDxEdina will be held on October 29. (Check out our September issue on edinamag.com to read more about this year’s event.)
“Adults in our community are … really interested in learning, having new ideas, being exposed to new ideas, just having that light in their eyes turned on by some new idea or new way of looking at things,” Gunness says.
Aside from her day job, Gunness is a volunteer on the Edina Community Foundation’s Fourth of July parade planning committee and is the past chair of the Public Art Committee and the Edina Education Fund. She credits her community involvement to her children.
“I wanted to work … with and for them to create the kind of community where I wanted to live and where I wanted my kids to grow up,” Gunness says. “And I think it’s just fun. I wanted to find other people who were connected and cared about the same kind of things that I do.”
Contributed by Izzy Wagener on behalf of the Edina Community Foundation.