Anyone who is interested is invited to participate in the process of determining what pieces of equipment will be purchased, along with the design of the new middle school playground. The first meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the cafeteria at the Kennedy Secondary School. The second meeting is scheduled for March 8 at the same time and location. Please park in the Friberg parking lot and enter Door O.

The district is committed to installing a fifth through eighth grade middle school playground as part of the practice field (old baseball field) near the turf field and track. The developmentally appropriate middle school playground will be used during recess and physical education. It will also be open for community use outside of school hours.

School Board Recognition Week

During this annual School Board Recognition Week, I would like to recognize Darrel Tungseth for his 10 years of service to the Fergus Falls Public Schools. Darrel recently submitted his resignation due to health.

Darrel was elected during a very contentious time in our district. We were looking to build a new high school and were troubled financially as well. As a new superintendent in the district, I admit I was a bit wary because it was believed he ran to stop progress on a building project.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Darrel was very supportive and was instrumental in the building projects for the secondary school and our outdoor facilities.

Darrel has been a stabilizing force on our School Board. He has been a voice of reason, integrity and has a great sense of humor. It has been an honor to work with Darrel and I wish him the best.

MMEA

The Fergus Falls Public Schools had a strong showing at last week’s Minnesota Music Education Association Mid-Winter Clinic at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Last Friday afternoon, the fourth-grade orchestra performed a number of selections for the large crowd of educators and parents. Laurie Strom and Craig Peterson, plus the entire music department, have done a wonderful job of developing their talents.

My first visit to the Orchestra Hall last Saturday was a memorable one. Listening to Jen Kaminski-Horak and Jamie Olson perform in the All-State Mixed Choir and Evan Aanerud and Nathan Zierden in the Men’s Choir was truly a treat. Of course my favorite number was Fergus an’ Molly by the Men’s Choir. Congratulations to the all-state students and staff. Michelle Danielson, Val Johnson and Janel Trosvig-Buttke deserve much credit for developing their talents.

Otter artists

Art teacher Peder Butenhoff recently reported that the High School Otter artists were given the opportunity to display work at M State alongside other area high school artwork. The artwork is on display at M State in Fergus Falls until March 8. It is an informal show giving us the opportunity to display the wonderful works done by students.

Fergus Falls High School student work coincides with the MSHSL Section 6A Regional High School Show, but is not part of the judging competition. Fergus Falls High School has over 30 pieces as part of this show. Please make a special effort to visit M State to view the students’ work.

Jerry Ness is the superintendent of Fergus Falls Public Schools. His column appears every Wednesday.

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