This past Thursday I was sitting in the office of Stephanie Flickinger, Reede Gray Elementary School principal reminiscing with her about the school year which recently ended....

This past Thursday I was sitting in the office of Stephanie Flickinger, Reede Gray Elementary School principal reminiscing with her about the school year which recently ended.
We agreed it seems each year seems to go by faster than the one before, and I admitted it felt like mere days had passed since she and I had talked about the hopes and expectations for the year that was to come.
The story of the school year that just finished was printed in this past Monday’s edition, and it included a brief account of discussions I had with Flickinger, as well as with Wade Mathers, RVMS principal, Rick Jorgenson, RVHS principal and Rick Elling-worth, RASD superintendent.
I enjoy having those conversations, not only because it gives me the opportunity to sit down and reflect with them about the good things that happened but also to talk about what is going to be happening next year.
That’s right, by the time one school year ends plans for the next are well under way.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what I thought were some of the highlights of the previous school year.
First of all, I know many in the community, especially those parents who had fifth or sixth graders this year, were more than a bit leary about the new music requirement – every student in those grades had to be enrolled in either band or choir during the year. I wondered myself how the music teachers would handle having a bunch of students they knew had zero desire in singing or playing an instrument. By the time these young musicians performed their final concert of the school year, I knew this had been a good decision. If most of these students stick out their involvement in band and choir for the entire time they are in the Redwood Area School District they are going to be very entertaining. Actually, they already have been.
I was able to witness the recognition of the Reede Gray Elementary School staff which was named a Celebration School by the Minnesota Department of Education for its efforts in improving student achievement.
I have had the privilege of getting to know many of the staff at the elementary school over the years and know they are a very dedicated group, and when Flickinger told me this staff did not rest on its accomplishments but looked beyond that to the next steps in getting better it did not surprise me at all.
When I was in school computers were part of the program on a pretty limited basis, and when I walk in the school today that has certainly changed.
The district continues to make technology a priority, and it seems now every time I turn around I see a member of the staff working on an iPad or a student sitting at a computer.
That is only going to be more of a reality in the years to come.
While I am still an old school kind of guy, I also recognize the world is changing, and because of the commitment of the local school district our kids are going to be much more prepared for those changes.
While I was certainly sad to see Don Yrjo leave RVHS at the end of the 2011-12 school year, I think the district has found someone in Rick Jorgenson who is going to fill in that role exceptionally well.
The school year is over, but for those who have dedicated their lives to preparing our kids for the world waiting for them the work continues, and it certainly seems as if things are heading in a very positive direction.

I got a call from the mom of an RVHS senior who wanted the public to know her son, Brett Olsen, is going to college.
Apparently we did not get the information in time for the graduation special section, as it listed “undecided” under his name.
Brett is going to be attending St. John’s University in the fall.
Good luck, Brett, as well as to the rest of the Class of 2013.

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to get your kids to the public library and sign them up for the summer reading program.
This is a great way to keep them from losing all they learned over the past nine months and perhaps to grow even more.
The one thing the Krause clan knows is their dad has a weak spot when it comes to reading.
So, if they want to get out of a little work all they have to do is say, “Dad, I’m reading right now.”