South Lake Tahoe Republican Women’s Group hosts guest speaker, installs officers |

South Lake Tahoe Republican Women’s Group hosts guest speaker, installs officers

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – During the South Lake Tahoe Republican Women’s Group monthly meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2022 Todd White, County Chair of the Republican Party, installed new officers to the board.

President Gerri Grego

1st Vice President Karen Imhoff (Programs)

2nd Vice President Liz Buchmiller (Membership)

3rd Vice President Terri Jinkens (Promotion/Publicity)

4th Vice President Cheri Watson (Events)

Treasurer Lana Raleigh

Recording Secretary Kathleen Bailey

A buffet luncheon was held at Margarita’s Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe where the Installation of Officers ceremony was held and a guest speaker was heard on medical freedom of choice.

Michael Wilkes, a Shingle Springs Ponderosa High School teacher shared his story regarding medical freedom.

Wilkes is a proud husband to his wife Bethany, a father to three beautiful children, a devoted Christian. He left a successful business career to return to his alma mater as a public high school teacher at Ponderosa High School.

Wilkes was recently placed on leave after joining students in a protest in support of medical choice. His story and the protests occurring throughout El Dorado County have garnered national media attention and highlighted how teachers, parents, and students can stand for medical choice.

Wilkes showed his solidarity with some of his students regarding their medical freedom and was then put on paid Administrative Leave for doing so. The story was picked up by Fox News.

According to a press release from the SLT Republican women’s group, “Mr. Wilkes thought he was giving his students a lesson in civics and allowing them to exercise their constitutional rights. Although he knew the risks as the “No Masks Monday” event went contrary to the school district’s policy.“

“He stuck up for his students…He does not oppose masks or vaccines but did feel it was a medical freedom issue for his students and their parents. He supported his students’ rights to exercise their First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech and to unite to say “no” to excessive mandates. By banding together, many groups have achieved medical freedom victories (i.e. the Southwest Airlines pilots, et al),“ the press release continued.

Wilkes also spoke briefly about teacher unions. He wanted to alert other teachers that there is a fairly new law which allows teachers not to join the union.

The reasoning is that much of the union dues are mandated for other uses including curriculum development which may not fit with the teachers’ or parents values. A teacher can opt out and secure individual liability insurance for about $200 annually vs. the union dues which are about $1800.

The South Lake Tahoe Republican Women’s Group meets most months on the second Thursday from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. For more information, please email us at



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