Column: From the Desk: By Jerry Ness

Public schools are the cornerstone of our communities. We welcome students of all backgrounds, abilities and incomes, and each of us plays a role in ensuring our schools are open to all. Each year during American Education Week, Fergus Falls Public Schools honor the Fergus Falls Education Association Teacher of the Year – this year’s winner was Jamie Lill – and selects our Support Staff of the Year.

The public is invited to attend the award ceremony and celebration at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Kennedy Secondary School cafeteria.  Please park in the Friberg Parking and enter door “O.”

Congratulations to the following staff members who have been nominated for Support Staff of the Year: Julie Bakken, Carol Bjerklie, Brittany Borcherding, Gwen Budd, Tracey Buhl, Tony Cantrell, Collette Cox, Meg Garrahan, Lori Jensen, Becky Kantrud, Stacy Kolle, Hannah Lehmann, Sue Lewis, Amy Newkirk, Gail Rocholl, Mishon Samuelson, Cindy Stafford, Amy Tietz and Kayleigh Vasfaret.

Veterans Day Programs

There were many memorable moments during last Friday’s Veterans Day programs.  At Cleveland School, the audience watched a touching video clip message from Sam Wasberg, currently serving in the Air Force, to his mother Joni Wasberg.  Ms. Wasberg directed the students in the singing of many patriotic songs and the Post 30 demonstrated the folding of the flag, while Principal Rund read the meaning of each fold.

At Kennedy Secondary School, the program began with Posting of the Colors by VFW Post 612 and American Legion Post 30; the national anthem and the “Salute to the Armed Forces” performed by the high school Wind Ensemble. The Voice of Democracy award winners were announced and included: Camryn Appert, Naomi Beske, Sara Gobana and Katie Minge; along with the Patriots Pen awards, which included: Anna Erickson, Jacob Newborg, Rebecca Schindler, and Leila Nasri. Congratulations to all of the winners!

The School of Dance gave emotional performances to “A Prayer for Peace” and “Rosie the Riveter.”  The sixth-grade choir sang, “Let Freedom Ring.”  Mike Voorhees, a U.S. Army veteran, gave comments on the Forgotten Soldier.  The High School Encore Choir sang “Because of the Brave.” Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, pins were given to students with relatives in the military and a moment of silence was followed by Arianna Soydara playing “Taps.”  The program ended with Ciara Rose, a Fergus Falls Public Schools’ teacher, singing a medley of “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” and “God Bless the USA.”

Thanks to Mike Donoho and Roy Anderson for their technical assistance, and to Leah Starzl for the deaf/hard of hearing interpreting service.  A special thank you to Principal Dean Monke for coordinating this exceptional program.

Fall Musical

The Fergus Falls High School theater department brings “Man of La Mancha” to the stage for its fall musical. The final performances are scheduled for Nov. 17 and 18, at 7 p.m. at Kennedy Secondary School and a matinee on Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $4/students and $7/adults and are available at the door.

The masterpiece tells the story of Miguel de Cervantes, a dying old man who refuses to relinquish his ideals or his passion. Imprisoned, he becomes Don Quixote in a play he has written to be performed with the other inmates. The musical is inspired by the book “Don Quixote,” written by Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century.

Special School Board Meeting

A special meeting was held at 7:15 am on Nov. 13 to canvass the Nov. 7 School Board election results and to approve the Master Agreement with the Fergus Falls Education Association (teachers).  Congratulations to Missy Hermes for being elected to the school board!  She will take office immediately and serve through 2018 to complete Darrel Tungseth’s term.

Jerry Ness is the Fergus Falls School District superintendent. His column appears each Wednesday.

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