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Opinion: Underwood School celebrates volunteers Hartman and Bartsch

Published 5:38am Monday, May 12, 2014 Updated 7:39am Monday, May 12, 2014

Underwood School is very fortunate to have a great staff and volunteers. I wanted to highlight two of these volunteers for their time and dedication: Bernie Hartman and Duane Bartsch. These individuals represent the heart of volunteerism and make a difference in our student’s lives on a daily basis.

Bernie Hartman is a member of the MN Foster Grandparent Program and was recently recognized for volunteering over 783 hours this year alone to help struggling readers achieve proficiency. Our students and staff affectionately refer to Bernie Hartman as “Grandpa Bernie”. Grandpa Bernie connects so very well with our students and takes time to listen to their stories.

He always looks forward to the start of a school year so that he can be with his kids and develop positive relationships. Grandpa Bernie’s enthusiasm is contagious and you will seldom find him without a smile on his face.

Duane Bartsch volunteers in Mrs. Knutson’s classroom and has become a part of the classroom. He assists the teacher with daily tasks, develops positive relationships with students, and is incredibly personable. He often tells me how much he loves working with the students.

When I stop by the classroom, it is evident that he enjoys working with our students on a daily basis and had developed quality relationships with each of the students.

It is volunteers like this that make such an incredible difference to our students and staff. The Underwood staff and students appreciate the work that our volunteers do on a daily basis. We know that these volunteers make a difference and applaud their dedicated service.


Jeremiah Olson is the superintendent of Underwood School.

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