'Thank you' and 'Goodbye'

Rick Ellingworth
Redwood Falls Gazette

Forty-four years ago a lot of wonderful things happened in my life.

I graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in education and coaching. I was asked to interview with Superintendent Thomas Lykins, High School Principal Iver Christopherson and Athletic Director Dale Scholl for a business education teacher position and assistant coaching positions in football and baseball.

My wife, Janet, and I were married that same year, and, five days after our wedding, we moved to Redwood Falls where we started our life together.

It was an exciting year to say the least!

Now, it’s 44 years later, and the time has come to say goodbye, and also to say a little bit more.

To have served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Redwood Area School District for the last 28 years has been more than exciting!

The gratitude and the “thanks” I want to offer the residents and supporters of our school district would fill volumes of pages, and I’m limited in this column to 500 words. Please know that I am genuinely appreciative and humbled with the trust and the support you have provided us throughout my years here.

Our programs, our facilities and the continual progress we have made in changing things for the better are amazing, and it seems you have answered the “call for help”– financial, human resource, volunteer or expert advice – whenever we have asked.

I am extremely proud of the 32 school board members with whom I had the chance to work with through the years. All of them encouraged us to have high expectations and to take calculated risks in attempts to change things for the better.

To say I am proud of the administrators, teachers, support staff and students – past and present – with whom I have worked is an understatement of epic proportions! There are, and have been, many divinely touched professionals whose efforts have positively impacted thousands of students and families.

I am grateful for the collaborative spirit we have developed with the City of Redwood Falls, Redwood County, the Redwood Area Chamber, the business community and many private individuals. We have worked together, unselfishly, to accomplish things none of us could have accomplished in isolation or working alone. We have amazing amenities in our community, and working together has made it happen.

Finally, it has been the honor of my life to have served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Redwood Area School District, and also to live in this community with some of the most wonderful people in the world!

From the first day I stepped into this community some 44 years ago, I knew this place was home! This was never just a job to me. This was a dream come true, and I am sincerely humbled and genuinely appreciative to have worked at a place that I love so dearly. Please continue to take care of and support the children and staff of this school district.

I will always be a Cardinal, and I sincerely thank you for all of your support.

Go Cards!