Minnesota Revenue offers two valuable tax benefits for parents who purchase school supplies for their K-12 students, the K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction. These benefits can reduce parents’ taxes to increase their refund, but is only available for those who keep their receipts. Purchases for most school supplies, field trips, and musical instruments for school band are eligible.

Most Minnesota parents qualify for the K-12 subtraction, which reduces their taxable income. Parents under certain income limits may also qualify for the K-12 credit, which can refund up to 75% of their costs – even for parents who don’t owe any taxes. Visit the Minnesota Revenue website for details.

  • It Really is a Good Day to be a Patriot Why do so many people say they chose to live in this area because of the great schools? Why was Pequot Lakes High School voted the #1 school in the ...
    Posted May 8, 2019, 6:58 AM by Brenda Williams
  • Behind the Scenes The roadmap to an operationally sound and responsible district that places transparency as a high priority involves many people behind the scenes. Who are these people? They often eat chaos ...
    Posted Apr 22, 2019, 7:25 AM by Brenda Williams
  • Spring; A Fresh Start It is really hard to tolerate the weather in Minnesota sometimes. It seems that winter comes early, stays late and often times spring gets skipped altogether. I can honestly say ...
    Posted Apr 18, 2019, 11:02 AM by Brenda Williams
  • Grateful for the Last Open Seats Congratulations are in order for both the Patriot Girls' and Boys' Basketball programs as they represented our communities in the 7AA section tournaments. Like many Pequot Lakes Patriot fans, the ...
    Posted Mar 21, 2019, 2:05 PM by Brenda Williams
  • Patriot Wellness At the start of this year, the school district put into action a health & wellness committee and kicked off the program with an all-staff professional development day on February ...
    Posted Mar 15, 2019, 5:19 AM by Brenda Williams
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 99. View more »

It Really is a Good Day to be a Patriot

posted May 8, 2019, 6:58 AM by Brenda Williams

Why do so many people say they chose to live in this area because of the great schools? Why was Pequot Lakes High School voted the #1 school in the Brainerd Lakes Area? Why did someone provide an anonymous $100,000 donation to the Patriot Foundation this past fall? Reputations are not earned by nice buildings alone. The positive reputation of Pequot Lakes Schools has been earned through many, many years of dedicated staff working tirelessly to ensure student success. This past week at the district Employee Recognition Celebration we honored some fabulous educators and support staff that have served this community for 20, 25, 30, 35, and even 40 years!! We intentionally invite past retirees of the school district to attend the annual celebration, and a look around the room explains a lot about why Pequot Lakes Schools is the district of choice in central MN.

Pequot Lakes School District has benefited financially from steady enrollment growth for over two decades. Growing districts get to have discussions about adding programs and staff instead of discussions about what to cut or who to layoff. Unlike most districts around us, Pequot Lakes has not had to make major reductions over the past several years due to diligent planning and increased enrollment. The community has supported updates to facilities and the district recently installed a large roof-mounted solar panel array that will produce about 25% of the electricity consumed at the secondary campus thanks to the help of Region Five Development Commission and Rural Renewable Energy Alliance. The positive culture in our schools and the professional and diligent work of our staff has consistently resulted in a 90% - 96% graduation rate and the highest test scores in our region. It is truly a great day to be a Patriot!

And yet the Patriots still want to be better. All three school leadership teams are implementing the High Reliability Schools frameworks, and Pequot Lakes Middle School recently achieved level 1 certification, “Establishing a Safe and Collaborative Culture.” In pursuit of creating a more rigorous, relevant, and personalized learning experience, Pequot Lakes High School has established a successful internship program with nearly a dozen students working in local businesses. The district rolled out a 1:1 Chromebook program this past year and will be launching a new student information system (currently Skyward) and learning management system (currently Moodle) in 2020-21 to augment the personalization of learning.

It is a great day to be a Patriot and you can be part of supporting the excitement! The recently relaunched Patriot Foundation has provided innovation grants this year for five different teachers, and they will be handing out TEN $1000 scholarships to graduates at Senior Awards Night later this month. Donations to the Patriot Foundation is one of the best ways to express pride in our schools, and donations can be made online at www.patriot-foundation.org. Thank you for supporting the Patriots!!

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools

Behind the Scenes

posted Apr 22, 2019, 7:25 AM by Brenda Williams

The roadmap to an operationally sound and responsible district that places transparency as a high priority involves many people behind the scenes. Who are these people? They often eat chaos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They routinely make the impossible possible. They are the sturdy scaffolding of the organization. They are the ultimate go-to people. They’re … administrative professionals.

At a local district level, several content experts ensure the district performs on all points all of the time. Ongoing due diligence is important throughout the year, not just September through May when school is in session. District operations, similar to other business operations, include departments. Unique to a school district: business services, health services, transportation, buildings & grounds, human resources, food and nutritional services and technology; there’s an all-encompassing administrative support team directing the day-to-day tasks. Answering phone calls, greeting students, staff and visitors offering pleasantries, documenting attendance, budgeting, purchasing supplies, approving and paying bills, circulating information, coordinating meetings, conquering deadlines, perfecting the “dotted i” and “crossing the t” and always focused on exceeding expectations every single day. As simple as it might sound, the work behind the scenes is an integral part of impacting the district to ensure a positive difference in the lives of our students, families, community members and employees.

People fail to recognize all what admins do; so much goes on behind the scenes. The reality is if people don’t realize it’s being done, it’s being done right. An oxymoron, admins support some of the busiest people, remember important details, meetings, tasks, anniversaries, birthdays, heck even sometimes “remember to eat lunch!” But who reminds people about the administrative professionals in the day-to-day interactions … admittedly humble to a fault, surely the admins would not send out an all-staff memo. Take time to recognize the important admins in your life. This is your reminder!

-- Heidi Hagen, Business Manager

Spring; A Fresh Start

posted Apr 18, 2019, 11:02 AM by Brenda Williams

It is really hard to tolerate the weather in Minnesota sometimes. It seems that winter comes early, stays late and often times spring gets skipped altogether. I can honestly say I don’t remember it bothering me much as a kid, but it seems each year that passes it either gets worse or bothers me more. I think the key in all of it is appreciating the freshness and the newness. You’ll hear that robin sing again for the first time in quite a while. It won’t be long and that block of ice out your window turns into a beautiful tapestry of lapping blue water. The dingy brown landscape around your home eventually gives way to lush green. The beauty of tolerating winter in Minnesota is - we get to watch nature start fresh again. It is almost like they get a reset or reboot. It won’t be long and we’ll have the great fortune of hitting a nice tee shot down a green fairway or be riding in the pontoon to the sound of loons. Soon those beautiful perennials will pop in your garden yet again. It will come quicker than you think, and it usually goes faster than it comes! As nature is set to start fresh don’t forget to take some time to allow you to start fresh too.

It’s hard to argue that life doesn’t move fast in 2019. It seems each day goes faster than the last and each year quicker than the one before it. Don’t forget to take some time to “smell the roses” as they say. Allow yourself the opportunity to reset or start fresh. I know lives are full in our house. We have countless things on the schedule, activities to run to, appointments to keep, etc... It really is a hamster wheel of life! I’m not complaining as I’ve chosen this path, and I know I will miss it when life slows down. I do however, often miss the boat on appreciating it. All that being said, please take some time and find a fresh start of your own. It could be appreciating the good things more instead of dwelling on the bad - which is so often the case in our society. It could be connecting with an old friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. It could be adopting a new hobby or trying something new.

I think the key in all of it is to take a few pointers from Mother Nature. It keeps going, just like our lives do, but it does a better job of starting fresh most of the time. It leaves the baggage of winter behind eventually. It brings fresh spring rain, popping flowers and budding trees. It brings more daylight, warmer winds and singing birds. It brings a whole bunch of refreshing things in the coming days and weeks. I challenge you to try and do the same. Find a way to bring fresh rain, blooming flowers and singing birds to your life. Life is short, and it moves fast and at times we need to make changes. It can be as easy as finding a daily routine that allows you to read, watch or listen to something uplifting. It can be making an effort to spend more time outside and taking in the beauty around us. It can be scheduling time to meet with an old friend. The “fresh start” might be just the thing you need. As L.M. Montgomery put it, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

-- Rich Spiczka, Community Education Director

Grateful for the Last Open Seats

posted Mar 21, 2019, 2:05 PM by Brenda Williams

Congratulations are in order for both the Patriot Girls' and Boys' Basketball programs as they represented our communities in the 7AA section tournaments.

Like many Pequot Lakes Patriot fans, the O’Neil’s family sedan has logged a fair amount of miles between Pequot Lakes and the North Shore in the last handful of weeks. On Wednesday, March 6th, after finishing our school day, we loaded up the family and made the trip over to Duluth. As fate would have it, the combination of a late departure from school, icy roads and gas station pit stops had us arriving to the game mid-way through the first half. With an outstanding fan presence, my wife and boys were left with one of the few remaining seats, which so happened to be immediately behind the Patriot bench. On the average day, court-level seats obscured by the scorer’s table would be less than desirable, but reflecting back, I’m grateful for our fashionably-late arrival to the game.

Sitting at courtside my boys were privy to the action up and down the floor, but more importantly, they had a front row seat to the dialogue on the bench. To many in attendance, the game was defined by a solid first half that eventually gave way to the opponent dominating the boards and tipping the scales in their direction in the second half. My experience on the UMD campus was entirely different (I would have to look up the box score to remember the final score, or who had the best individual performances.) That Wednesday night on the court reminded me of the real reason behind extra-curricular activities. Sitting in proximity to the bench, my boys were able to observe first hand some incredibly teachable moments that I am hoping will carry with them.

Two young sets of eyes were able to hear and see that despite momentum waning for the Patriots, the coaching staff lifted them up. During tense moments, the commentary remained positive. When heads were no longer held high, praise was abundant, even despite the story indicated on the scoreboard.

Two years ago a couple of our teacher/coaches gave me a copy of John Wooden’s autobiography “They Call Me Coach”. A takeaway for me was that the story is much bigger than basketball. I appreciated seeing our coaches embody that message to our student-athletes. I have been in enough gyms to know that not all programs are built around this concept. As a colleague, and as a father of two students in our district, I want you to know that your efforts do go noticed.

Thank you to Katrina, Bret and Chad, for being a strong courtside presence for our female athletes. Thank you for giving me some teachable moments that helped my wife and me to talk to our sons about passion, perseverance and teamwork. In addition, thank you to our female Patriot athletes for modeling positive cheering, hustle and determination. You may never know the magnitude of the impact you have on the kids in our community; how many little ones look up to you.

As our winter activities season wraps up, we should all take a moment and express gratitude to the men and women that work with our Pequot Lakes Patriots in the arena of extra-curricular activities. Though I highlighted my experiences as a fan in the section runs showcased by our Girls Basketball program, I want to acknowledge all of our club supervisors, coaches and facilitators that work with our students during the winter seasons. From Robotics to Road Crew Wrestling (and everything in between), thanks to all of you, for all you do.

Go Patriots!

-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal

Patriot Wellness

posted Mar 15, 2019, 5:19 AM by Brenda Williams

At the start of this year, the school district put into action a health & wellness committee and kicked off the program with an all-staff professional development day on February 18th. The goals of the event supported employees by offering professional development opportunities that focused on overall well-being: mind, body and spirit, and offered resources available in our community to foster healthy lifestyles.

The focus on health and wellness is for all employees. Albeit more of a behind-the-scenes platform, the committee feels strongly that the best opportunities for the students, families and community members we serve is to first take care of our employees through outreach in a safe and collaborative work environment.

We believe our District is on the verge of something good that has the potential to be great with the support of community partners Crow Wing Energized, Sourcewell, and Resource Training & Solutions. On behalf of the Pequot Lakes School District Health & Wellness Committee, thank you for the encouragement. We look forward to ongoing efforts and contributions from the Patriot Health & Wellness Committee and expect the program to evolve year after year.

Heidi Hagen, Business Manager

Welcoming Communities and Welcoming Schools

posted Feb 25, 2019, 9:52 AM by Brenda Williams

There’s been a significant amount of dialogue and hard work in recent years focused on ensuring that MN, Region Five and the Pequot Lakes area communities are welcoming places for families that bring diversity in terms of race, religion, political orientation, age, gender, socio-economic situation, etc.  Both the MN Chamber of Commerce and the Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) have communicated this as a priority for attracting and maintaining a robust workforce for local businesses, and Sourcewell has begun providing excellent training and support for public entities in our region. Locally, the Pequot Lakes Economic Development Commission recently participated in the Intercultural Development Inventory and follow up training offered by R5DC and has engaged in several discussions about how we can be more purposeful in growing our workforce and attracting employees that are critical to our local economy. The 2020 vision for Pequot Lakes Schools includes “cultivating a diverse world-view, self-awareness, self-discipline, and the interpersonal skills necessary for success in the world.” Last year a cohort of 30 teachers participated in SEED training (The National SEED Project) to strengthen their own cultural literacy capacities to be better equipped to deliver on this vision. This year several teachers are participating in a regional equity leaders cohort facilitated by Sourcewell in partnership with EdChange, and a new “Cultural Perspectives” elective course was offered at PLHS for 11th and 12th graders. Finally, all schools in our district are tightly focused on creating a safe and collaborative culture, the first level of our High Reliability Schools work.

Developing a diverse world-view in students that grow up in the Pequot Lakes area will not happen without an intentional focus on introducing them to different cultures, different perspectives, and different ways of life while helping them learn to think critically, see multiple sides of issues, weigh opinions with their personal values, and establish informed opinions. Our administrative team has nearly completed a study of Gorski and Pothini’s book Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education, and the high school faculty is currently engaged in professional learning discussions organized around the same book. The main purpose is to continue building the cultural literacy capacities of faculty and staff so we can cultivate a diverse world-view in our students in accordance with our district vision. Another key reason for doing this rigorous work is to ensure we are indeed welcoming schools for each and every student, parent and staff member that walks our halls. We owe every person our very best regardless of religion, race, gender orientation, socio-economic situation, or political persuasion. As a district, we are working deliberately and diligently to ensure we indeed have a safe and collaborative culture for everyone.

Thank you to our partners in this most important work. Our partners include Sourcewell, Region Five Development Commission, Happy Dancing Turtle, the Pequot Lakes Economic Development Commission, and EdChange. It is a blessing to be working together on behalf of students and their families!

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools

Eagle View Students Take Learning out of the Classroom, into Nature

posted Feb 5, 2019, 11:08 AM by Brenda Williams

In today’s technological-based, busy lifestyles of many of our families, it’s no surprise that spending time outdoors often takes a back seat. Screen time has replaced playing outside. As this has become the norm, our kids are missing out on something valuable. In his book Last Child in the Woods, child advocacy expert Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder.” Louv links the lack of exposure to nature directly to rises in obesity, attention disorders and depression. As educators, we see these effects every day in our classrooms. By providing more outdoor learning opportunities for our students, we may be able to have a direct impact on our students’ wellness, their learning and success in school.

While taking kids outdoors offers many important personal benefits, it is also linked to educational advantages. Outdoors, students can experience many real-life scenarios to explore, observe, investigate, question and problem-solve. Cooperation and teamwork are regularly involved in outdoor activities. Student engagement increases. Research provided by the Children & Nature Network shows that spending time in nature enhances educational outcomes by improving children’s academic performance, focus, behavior, and love of learning. The benefits can also include reduced stress and improved in-school behavior and attendance. As children spend time outdoors, they learn to appreciate nature and will become stewards for our environment in the future. As the state of Minnesota develops the new Science standards for 2019, they are considering including Environmental Literacy, another indication of the importance of this topic.

At Eagle View Elementary, we are fortunate to have a designated space for outdoor learning. The concept of developing a nature center began during the planning stages for the school. When Eagle View opened in 2004, the Eagle View Nature Center became a reality, providing a natural space where teachers can take their classes outside to learn. Local organizations such as the Pelican Lakes Conservation Club provided resources and retired Pequot Lakes teacher Jim Minerich spent countless hours developing the nature center, which grew to include garden boxes, grassy areas, a courtyard and plenty of green space to explore.

This year, our newly formed Eagle View Nature Center Committee hopes to expand on Minerich’s work by providing more spaces and opportunities for our teachers to take their students outside. We received a grant through Crow Wing Energized to purchase a class set of snowshoes. Thanks to this grant, teachers have been taking their classes snowshoeing to try a new winter sport, do science exploration and stay physically active during the long winter months. We have a new bird feeding station outside of the cafeteria windows and our students will be participating in a Citizen Science bird count through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. A grant from the Patriot Foundation will help us bring geocaching to our nature center, allowing our students to learn about navigation, directions and maps while exploring the outdoors. 34 students are currently participating in after-school cross country ski classes, which is another great way to be physically active outdoors in winter! Nature and STEM classes are offered through Community Education. All of these activities can be integrated into other subjects, giving the students real-life experiences to read and write about.

We are looking forward to spring when we can get our students outside planting our vegetable and flower gardens. Plans are being developed to add seating areas where classes can meet. We hope to expand our gardens to include a rain garden, pollinator garden and butterfly garden with walking paths through these areas. We also plan to start composting with our students. During staff development days, teachers and support staff have been offered trainings on teaching effective outdoor education classes and even how to take a group of kids snowshoeing! We recognize the important role adults play as partners in our quest to get kids outside.

There are so many possibilities for outdoor education, and with our nature center we have the perfect space right out our back door. The benefits are invaluable. We hope to partner with local organizations who recognize the importance of getting kids outdoors and who share our mission. If you have ideas or suggestions, please contact 4th grade teacher and Nature Center Coordinator Deanne Trottier at Eagle View Elementary.

-- Deanne Trottier, Eagle View 4th Grade Teacher/Nature Center Coordinator 

Chasing the American Dream

posted Feb 1, 2019, 6:49 AM by Brenda Williams

It seemed like an eternity ago when our first child was born and I dreamed of what the future would bring. I dreamed of Harvard Law, academic honors, scholarships, athletic recruiters, and a myriad of colleges begging for us to darken their door. There it was, the American Dream. The belief that we as parents would make the sacrifices necessary to ensure a future for our children that would help them to be better off than we are. That they would have no barriers to limitless success. Now .... we hope for at least one day where the bedroom is picked up and homework is done before the bus arrives.

Where did it all go wrong? What will this mean for my children’s future? How many rooms will my house need for my adult children? These and so many more, questions run through my thoughts and haunt me each time I get the report card in the mail. How will it all end?

The goal of every parent is to help their children reach their greatest potential. Sometimes this means making sacrifices for our children. Sometimes it’s pushing our children to do better. Sometimes it’s removing the barriers that limit their opportunity. No matter the experience, each of us in our own way tries to ensure that the greatness deep within our children is able to bloom and grace them with fruitful bounty.

So why are some children and families so unhappy? Why do parents attend their children’s events only to leave angry for a loss or yell at the officials? Why do we swoop in at the first sign of a bad grade and demand the teacher explain what the teacher is doing wrong? Why do we take the kid out of the hard class and suggest a class that will give them an easier grade? Certainly, it’s not for a lack of caring about our children. Is it because we care too much? Or, is it because we fear failure?

I appreciated a quote the other day, “Every struggle you’ve had in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, as they will only make you stronger.” It’s the tumbling of the river that makes the stone smooth. As adults, we recognize that only in fairy tales do people live happily ever after, and so we learn that the struggle is inevitable. We learn more from our failures than our successes, yet we fail to let our kids fail. We rescue them from the experience that will make them better and pave a path to success that makes it seem easy. Then when they leave us and face a world without the safety net we wonder what went wrong.

“Kids these days” is uttered by more than one adult as they ponder the future led by children whose faces are buried deep in their electronics. How will they ever become future leaders? As adults, we lament the failures of the next generation and the reluctance they possess to persevere. They lack persistence and the grit to get back up when life knocks you down. Yet, when I ponder their experience in facing the struggle, I am left with a few questions of my own. When did they learn to persevere? When did they practice resolve?

I trust that my children will one day get it right. I recognize that the reality of my child’s experience will not be the one I dreamed of, but that if I do it right, it will be the one they were meant for. I am also learning that if I allow them to face the struggle and teach them the resolve to conquer, then and only then will they grasp the mantle that is the American Dream.

-- Aaron Nelson, High School Principal

When In Doubt ... Sit Them Out

posted Jan 15, 2019, 10:58 AM by Brenda Williams   [ updated Jan 15, 2019, 10:58 AM ]

Concussions are an unfortunate part of high school athletics. Gone are the days of, “Get back in there!” or “He just got his bell rung; he’ll be fine!” All levels of sports are taking a serious approach to head injuries and the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is no exception.

The MSHSL has put a lot of time and energy into developing concussion guidelines for athletes. While the entire policy is too much to cover in this article, I would like to share a few highlights.

*All coaches and officials are required to complete concussion education training. Parents and athletes are encouraged to complete the Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports course. The course can be accessed at: www.cdc.gov/headsup

*Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional (AHCP).

*If an AHCP determines that an athlete has been concussed, that decision is final and the athlete is removed from competition for the remainder of the day. If an athlete is removed from a game, only an AHCP can authorize a return to play (RTP) following these guidelines:

1) The clearance must be in writing.

2) The clearance may not be on the same day on which the athlete was removed from play.

3) The form must be kept on file in the A.D.’s office

4) A parent cannot authorize the return to play for his/her child, even if the parent is an AHCP.

*Once an AHCP authorizes a medical clearance, RTP should follow a step-by-step process. The RTP protocol is complex. Once the athlete is symptom-free, he/she can enter the RTP protocol. Each step requires a minimum of 24 hours. In the event the athlete has any signs or symptoms that recur, the athlete must go back to the previous step.

1) Light aerobic activity

2) Sport-specific exercise

3) Non-contact training drills

4) Full contact training

5) Game play

Pequot Lakes High School also offers IMPACT testing to all athletes in grades 7-12. The IMPACT test is an online test which establishes a baseline for the athlete. In the event the athlete suffers a concussion, he/she can re-take the test and the results provide a valuable tool for an AHCP to make determinations regarding RTP.

Here’s hoping that we do not see many concussions in 2019 but if we do, know that we have specific guidelines in place to deal with it and the safety our athletes is our main concern.

See you at the games!

-- Marc Helmrichs, Activities Director

Community Mental Health Event at Pequot Lakes Public Schools

posted Jan 2, 2019, 7:26 AM by Brenda Williams

By the time this article hits the presses, we all will have wrapped up the holidays. As we start packing up the seasonal decor, drag the Christmas tree to the curb, and polish off the leftovers, we should be cognizant of the fact that the post-holiday season can be very difficult for our loved ones. What many might write off as “Winter Blues” or “Cabin Fever” could, in fact, be a true indication of something far more than simply feeling down.

As adults, it is natural to swing with the highs and lows of the season. Children experience a similar swing in emotions, however, often with more intensity. The post-holiday time traditionally brings an increase in the flow of traffic through the counseling and Family Collaborative offices. As we prep for this phase of the school year we would like to inform the readers about a mental health awareness event we are hosting in the Pequot Lakes Public Schools.

On February 11, the Pequot Lakes Public Schools will be bringing an engaging and informational opportunity to the Brainerd Lakes Area. Joe Beckman (a motivational speaker with Twin Cities roots) will be delivering an empowering presentation to our student body. Over the course of the last 15 years, Joe has impacted the lives of students in more than 150 schools delivering a message of hope, love of self, and resiliency. One of Joe’s central messages, “3 Phrases” can be viewed through a simple search on YouTube. This is a message that adds value to our existing homeroom curriculums related to character, health and wellness efforts in Health/PE classes, Youth Frontiers events and other efforts centered on whole child development.

Research tells us that 1 in 5 adults battle with some form of mental health. To frame it differently, it is as about as common as being left-handed! The Pequot Lakes Public Schools recognize the role that we play within our attendance area and beyond. This is a joint effort between the Pequot Lakes and Brainerd public schools with a focus on empowering our children and dissolving the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness in the Lakes Area. In addition to the events for our students, we will be broadening the impact of this message by inviting the entire community in to listen to Joe as a part of our Winter Conference Night for our 5-12 campus. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and is open to our households of ISD 186 and the general public as well.

It is important to point out that we are thankful for a regional faith community, our financial supporters and the resources found within Region 5 who have rallied around the planning and preparation for this event. We give thanks to Pequot Lakes Rotary, Crow Wing Energized, Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Social Services, Pequot Lakes PTA, The Christopher Benz Foundation, The Lighthouse Project, and Pequot Lakes Community Education for rallying around this effort, including planning, promotion, and financial support. Event details will be shared through various media formats as the date approaches, but please make it a priority. A reminder that this is a community event, open to all ages and backgrounds.

In the mindset of “It Takes a Village,” know that we all share a role in the development of our kids and becoming better informed about their development. Hope to see you there!

-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal

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