Before its Sept. 4 meeting, the Kenyon City Council interviewed candidates for the council spot left vacant by Henke. Henke, a councilor, was appointed mayor after Mayor Mike Engel’s death July 4. Two candidates for the open council seat, Tom Gard and Teresa Cruz, applied to fill the now vacant position.
Gard recently retired and moved back to Kenyon after a career as a machinist and engineer. The 1982 Kenyon High School graduate previously served as an engineer for a custom tool builder in New Hope. He declined request to comment for this story.
Born in Del Rio, Texas, Cruz’s family moved back and forth between Texas and Kenyon until 1985 when they moved to Kenyon on a permanent basis. She graduated from Kenyon High School in 1993.
Cruz works as a special education teacher for Northfield’s Arcadia School. Previously, she worked as a teacher at the Kenyon-Wanamingo District for 10 years. She has also provided interpreting and translating services for the K-W, Cannon Falls and Zumbrota-Mazeppa school districts.
In 2008, Cruz’s 7-year old daughter Jasmin tdied after choking on food. Cruz said that she was moved by the response of the community, which came together to support Cruz, her husband Reymundo and their three sons.
This is the first time Cruz has sought a spot on the Council. She said she was motivated to seek the position because she wants to see Kenyon grow and thrive.
“I would like to see more businesses coming into the city,” she said. “Also, more services for families and children.”
The council was expected to make a decision at its Tuesday meeting.