Hiawatha Valley Teachers United

An Education Minnesota intermediate organization


Meet our Officers

Joe Cerar
HVTU President

Matthew Wilmes
HVTU Vice President

Kiel Koehler
HVTU Treasurer

Deanna Capelle‚Äč
HVTU Secretary

Joe Cerar is in his 28th year as a high school social studies teacher, the last 25 being at Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School.  In addition to being part of the HVTU leadership team, he serves on the Education Minnesota Governing Board, the MN AFL-CIO General Board, and various regional and local union groups and committees, as well as being PEM's current Chief Negotiator.  He and his wife, Jodi, have 4 children and live in SW Rochester.  In his free time, he enjoys all things political, curling, hiking and biking, hunting and fishing, and spending time at his cabin in NE Minnesota.

Matthew Wilmes teaches 5th-grade through 12th-grade Vocal and Classroom Music at Lewiston-Altura Public Schools where he is also the Local Teacher’s Union President. He serves as HVTU’s Vice President and the Election District I member-elect to the Education Minnesota Governing Board. He recently graduated from Winona State University with a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership.

Kiel is a teacher at Houston High School and has worked as a Mathematics teacher for 17 years and Career and Technical Education teacher for 5 years. 

Kiel lives in Winona, MN where he grew up and attended college. He is married, has three very active children ages 16,15, and 12.  Kiel is also a boy scout leader and enjoys camping with his troop. He enjoys mountain biking, carpentry and woodworking. 

Kiel is also a very active union leader with his local. He is currently the co-president, membership chair, member rights and lead negotiator. 

Deanna is a member of Education Minnesota Kingsland and is a third grade teacher there.  She has taught elementary students for 35+ years and has held many offices in her local.  She has two grown daughters, both of whom are nurses.  She enjoys walking, watching Hallmark movies occasionally, and spending time with family and friends.

Featured Content

HVTU supports member PPE with the help of Education Minnesota.  Pictured here are members from Caledonia ESP local wearing the masks.  Thank you Education Minnesota and HVTU!


Locals represented:



Caledonia ESP



Fillmore Central

Grand Meadow

Hiawatha Valley




Lake City





Pine Island



St. Charles

Spring Grove



Winona ESP


Zumbrota-Mazeppa Paras

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