‘Future focused’ is the term used to describe the honorees at the Students of Excellence Banquet and Recognition Ceremony by Dr. Cheri Pierson-Yecke, Minnesota Commissioner of Education. “In order to reach the level of excellence you have achieved so far, you have had to give up short-term pleasure for long-term results, you have taken the hard courses in order to challenge yourself,” she continued. “This will become a characteristic over time.”
Dr. Yecke was just one of the speakers at the 16th annual event who praised and encouraged the honorees. This event, hosted by Resource Training & Solutions, recognized 155 high school seniors from 40 high schools in the Central Minnesota region. Welcoming over 600 students, parents/ guardians, teachers, administrators and invited guests was Dr. Rob Cavanna, executive director for Resource Training & Solutions.
As his 40 years of service to the Maple Lake School District draws to a close, retiring school superintendent Ken Engel was honored at a banquet on Friday that featured speakers such as retired superintendent Roger Riesgraf, Elementary Principal Dan Olberg and High School Principal Mary James.
Olberg recalled his first impression of Engel as a soft-spoken administrator changed considerably when he witnessed the superindent’s tough questions to legislators regarding inadequate school funding and graduation standards. And Olberg said that determination to take care of Maple Lake’s children was a defining aspect of the superindent’s tenure at Maple Lake.
“We thank you,” Olberg said, “for your caring personality and the love that you had for kids.”
Over 270 grandparents attended an afternoon program on Friday at Maple Lake elementary for songs, snacks, door prizes and visits to the rooms of their first, third and fifth graders.
Sixth grade band members, under the direction of Tony Mazzone, serenaded the arriving grandparents before a show in the elementary cafeteria that featured songs by first, third and fifth graders under the direction of Sue Nelson and Pat Johnson.The show also included a performance by the Golden Aires, an area senior singing group.
Rena Ruckle, at age 88, won a prize as the oldest grandparent attending and winning an award for the most grandchildren were Peter and Mary Lou Matthews with 29 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They are the grandparents of 5th grader Peter Nordlie.