About Sangeetha Rayapati
Born to a Minnesota Swede and an Indian immigrant, Sangeetha Rayapati has had the Midwest in her heart from childhood. Before she settled in the Quad Cities in 2001, her family traversed the expanse of highways through this region from Pennsylvania, where she was raised, to visit her extensive Midwestern family. On their century-farm she worked and played with many cousins and embraced the traditions of her Swedish heritage. She learned the value of hard work and family connections, and developed a global perspective through her Indian relatives and the exchange students her family hosted for five years. She is passionate about understanding the world from multiple perspectives and working to make sure everyone has what they need to succeed.
Proven Leader. Trusted Team Builder.
Sangeetha Rayapati (pronounced sung-GEE-tha rye-a-PUH-tee) spent her grade school years in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a large and prosperous community thirty miles outside of Philadelphia. After graduating from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Music, she headed to Minneapolis to work as a nurse on a Huntington's Disease unit and further study music at the University of Minnesota. After three years as a nurse she transitioned to full-time music work and married her husband, Michael. Together they have three daughters who are thriving in our Moline schools and community. Her parents, Karen and Jacob, joined her in Moline in 2006 and have enjoyed becoming a part of such a vibrant town. Before his death in 2014, Jacob volunteered through their church, First Lutheran (Moline), reading with Lincoln-Irving Elementary students and frequenting the Moline Public Library. You can find her mother volunteering at World Relief. Her brother, Prashant, a retired research scientist for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), resides in Monticello, IL, with his wife, making it possible for the entire family to call the Midwest home.
Sangeetha developed her passion for service from her parents' example. As a pre-schooler she helped her mother deliver clothing and supplies to migrant workers in the mushroom fields of southeastern Pennsylvania. After that, volunteerism followed her into adulthood. She has served as a girl scout troop leader, volunteered in her children's classrooms, served on the Board of Arrowhead Ranch and continues to provide service music at her family's church.
As Moline-Coal Valley Board Member:
In 2017, Sangeetha decided it was time to get more involved in helping others "Choose Moline" as she and her family had, by running and serving on the Moline-Coal Valley School Board. In her roles as President and Vice President of the board, she has used her professional experience and COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP to improve governance structures and meet the needs of the district, while balancing budgetary restrictions and financial and strategic goals. Dealing with the instability of state budget stalemates at the same time as negotiations with the MEA taught her the value of positive employee relationships and responsible money management on a large scale. Additionally, serving on the insurance committee provided ample exposure to the difficulties of maintaining employee benefits during highly pressurized situations. Implementing strategic goal-setting and creating the COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS series were key efforts toward effective community engagement and positive outcomes for the district. She is passionate about listening and meeting needs of the taxpayers who fund governmental units.
The results of her work with colleagues on the board and district administrators include:
Bartlett Performing Arts Center construction and administration
Franklin Elementary School rebuilding
Air-conditioning at Moline Senior High School
Creation and implementation of assessment procedures for district Superintendent performance
Increased career-training pathways at Moline Senior High School
Increased programs to improve equity for all types of learners
Positive negotiations for two contracts with the Moline Education Association
Increased community engagement
As a professional:
Currently, Sangeetha teaches music at Augustana College where she is head of the voice faculty. In her nearly 20 years as an educator, she has found a way to combine her healthcare and musical training as adviser for the pre-Music Therapy program and Aging Studies Minor. Her goals have always been to help students and society see the arts as more than entertainment and instead, as a path to wellness. At Augustana she has distinguished herself as a LEADER beyond the classroom by serving on governance and advisory committees, employee benefits and search committees, and in key diversity initiatives. She is proud of the comprehensive human resources and leadership training she received as a member of the inaugural Faculty Leadership Academy.
Prior to her time at Augustana, she was an ENTREPRENEUR, creating, recruiting and maintaining a private voice studio in Anoka, Minnesota and singing as a chorister with the Minnesota Opera. That entrepreneurial background is the foundation of her persistent study and understanding of economics and quality of life. In all of her roles as a professional and in community service, she draws on the creativity, detailed strategy, and planning that entrepreneurship provides.
When not engaged in community service she likes to read, listen, visit with friends, travel with family, and explore all the beauty that the world offers.