I hope all is well as we prepare for Christmas and the holiday season. Here are some local and legislative jottings I want to share:
WOC Plantenberg funeral
Thank you to all of the people in our area who showed such great support for National Guard Warrant Officer Candidate Kort Plantenberg and his family in the wake of the recent local tragedy which took his life. The funeral which took place at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville was a heartfelt, memorable tribute. May this true American hero rest in peace and may his family find strength in prayer.
Congrats, Spartans, on football title
Congratulations to the ROCORI football team for recently capturing its second state championship with an overtime win against SMA. What a thrilling finish and what great memories those players and coaches – and the rest of us, too! – will have to last a lifetime. Nice job, Spartans!
Tours of area schools
As for legislative news, the House does not officially reconvene until Feb. 11, which means I have been spending much of my time meeting with people and groups back here in our area. In fact, I recently completed a series of visits to schools throughout House District 13A – eight schools in six school districts – all in the span of about one month.
Thank you so much to all of the people at these schools who graciously took time out of their day to host me and talk about specific issues they face. As a former ROCORI School Board member, touring the schools to get a first-hand look at the classrooms and see student interaction was a great experience and I gained some new perspectives.
Overall, the need for mental-health support and cross-subsidy funding was a topic in all districts. A bill I authored (H.F. 2476) is intended to increase the Special Ed funding. The proposal didn’t receive a hearing in the 2019 session and I will continue to carry this bill going forward.
Here are some notes I took from each of my school visits:
Kimball Elementary Principal Joel Timmerman (10/23):
Paynesville Superintendent Matt Bullard (10/23):
Kennedy Community School (PK-8) Principal Anna Willhite, Assistant Principal Richmond Tweh, Assistant Superintendent Marsha Baisch, Director of Community Engagement & Communications Tami DeLand (& Sen. Jeff Howe) (11/4):
Avon Elementary Principal Sue Jenkins & Building Leadership Team (11/11):
Kimball High School Principal Nancy Bonnifield & students Ethan, Alex, Andrea, Lucy (11/11):
Eden Valley Elementary Principal Rob Peterson (11/13):
Cold Spring Elementary – Trimester 1 Awards Celebration (11/22)
Paynesville Middle & High School Principal David Oehrlein, Elementary Principal Mary Holmberg (11/25):
Thanks again to everyone at these schools who shared with me some of their successes and challenges. It is fascinating to me how each school in relatively close proximity can face such different issues with unique characteristics. The information I received will be helpful as I continue working to do my best in representing the people of District 13A and I look forward to continuing this discussion.