Sometimes the story behind a photo is half the story.
On the front page of last Thursday’s issue was a story by Troy about St. John Lutheran School getting its latest accreditation.
The accreditors just happened to be visiting St. John Lutheran School on a day when I just happened to be in the building for another reason.
I knew Troy was going to do a story about the accreditation eventually, so I figured while I was there I could get a photo of one of the observers sitting in one of the rooms watching over the students.
The photo was captioned, ”Aaron Schleusner, of St. Paul Lutheran School in New Ulm, was part of the MNSAA on-site visiting team who observed at St. John Lutheran School.”
As Paul Harvey would say, “And now...the rest of the story....”
It seems there wasn’t anyone from the accrediting team there actually observing students at that moment when I was in the building.
I thought, “Well, we’ll just stage a photo as a kind of photo illustration rather than as a strict record of what’s going on at this specific moment in time.
“After all, the accreditors were sitting in classrooms observing students before I got here, and they’ll be sitting in classrooms observing students after I leave, so what difference does it make?”
I mentioned what I wanted to do to Dave Gartner, principal at St. John Lutheran School, and he was okay with it. He offered to take me to the band room where the accreditation team was gathered, going over their notes.
We strolled in and Dave introduced me to the team members from the Minnesota Non-Public Schools Accrediting Association. I explained what I wanted to do, and asked for a volunteer to go back to a classroom with me for a photo.
At that point, most of the team members looked down at their notes, at the ceiling, at their shoes — anyplace to avoid making eye contact. Each was awfully quick to suggest another team member to volunteer.
It finally came down to everyone else agreeing on two young men, both students at St. Paul Lutheran School in New Ulm, because they were considered the most photogenic.
Then came the kicker. The two dignified members of the state accreditation team played “rock, sissors, paper” to decide who would have the privilege of having his picture taken by me in a classroom.
That’s right — that photo on page one of our last issue shows Mr. Aaron Schleusner, the loser of the great rock, sissors, paper competition.
If I were a lesser man, I’d be hurt by that.
. . . . .
Correction: in our Dec. 10 issue I wrote a story about a boy named Jaden who lost his cat Kiki. Jaden rediscovered Kiki through the help of volunteers at the Duke Memorial Redwood Area Animal Shelter.
Well, I got Jaden’s last name wrong. I wrote “France,” but he’s actually Jaden Knapp.
My apologies for the mix-up.