Gayle Goetzman-Stolpa Day

Wednesday July 10, 2024

Hall of Fame member Gayle Goetzman-Stolpa from Winona has a long history of living in Winona County as well as being an educator to many students over the years.

Life for Goetzman-Stolpa began on a 500 acre grade A dairy farm in the East Burns Valley area near Winona. The family was a 3rd generation on the farm and Gayle was the oldest of six children. It was her experience at Winona schools that sent her on the path of education after graduating from Winona Senior High School. She attended Winona State Teachers (now WSU) and earned BS and MS degrees in Elementary Education and Biology,

“I felt my true calling was to be a teacher and I happily taught for 36 years in Winona and Rochester,” says Gayle.

During her career, Gayle purchased 170 acres of the family farm that is the location of Big Valley Ranch which is a place for Gayle’s passion for horses. The location provides people with indoor/outdoor arenas and bridle paths for riding. The farm was named a Century Farm at the 2014 Winona County Fair and has also been put in the Minnesota Land Trust to prevent future development of the land.

During her youth Gayle was part of the Winona Girls Scouts, the Wilson Fireflies 4-H Club and the Valley Riders Saddle Club. As an adult she has participated in groups such as the Winona Area Retired Teachers Association, Winona County Historical Society and the Winona Friendship Center.