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.

  • Believing in Miracles I had the pleasure this past week of celebrating a birthday in the midst of the chaos that has been unfolding around us, and wow, did I get the most ...
    Posted Mar 25, 2020, 2:33 PM by Brenda Williams
  • How Do You Go About Replacing Over 120 Years of Service? In case you haven’t heard, the Pequot Lakes Public Schools are hiring! With eleven staff members retiring this spring, our buildings are faced with the challenge of replacing several ...
    Posted Mar 5, 2020, 10:44 AM by Brenda Williams
  • Have It Your Way For nearly 40 years Burger King had the slogan “Have It Your Way” as a reminder to customers of their desire to make every burger to the specifications of each ...
    Posted Feb 24, 2020, 12:07 PM by Brenda Williams
  • 2020 Vision Update The strategic roadmap and the 2020 Vision for Pequot Lakes Schools were adopted in June of 2014 and, well, it’s now 2020!! The school board is preparing to update ...
    Posted Feb 10, 2020, 12:14 PM by Brenda Williams
  • Breaking Down the High Reliability Schools Framework: Level Two--Effective Teaching in Every Classroom This is part two in a three-part series focusing on levels 1-3 of the High Reliability Schools Framework. Part one of this series focused on Level 1: Safe ...
    Posted Jan 23, 2020, 10:11 AM by Brenda Williams
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 115. View more »

Believing in Miracles

posted Mar 25, 2020, 2:33 PM by Brenda Williams

I had the pleasure this past week of celebrating a birthday in the midst of the chaos that has been unfolding around us, and wow, did I get the most amazing present this year! The staff and leadership teams at Pequot Lakes Schools gifted to me - and to all of us - such selfless, innovative, and tireless efforts that I think it’s safe to say we should probably believe in miracles.

The pressure on schools to implement and change protocols to help students and the community stay healthy felt enormous as our spring break came to a close the week of March 9-13. Our teams had prepared all throughout spring break by intensifying cleaning routines, purchasing supplies, and outlining new protocols to put in place as students returned amidst the growing fear of a pandemic. Then on Sunday morning, March 15th, the Governor announced the closure of schools and a “land a man on the moon” directive to prepare for distance learning for every student so it could start as early as March 30th. By noon that Sunday, our district administrators were assembled at the district office, and we took a moment to watch the two-minute clip of Apollo 13 in which the scientists and engineers were told to bring the men back to earth alive as failure was simply not an option. Indeed, it felt - and still feels - very much like an Apollo 13 moment for those of us working in education.

Within days, we began serving meal bags with breakfast and lunch for all children 18 and younger. If the Governor extends the closure, Pequot Lakes Schools will begin delivering those meals via regular bus routes and group drop-off locations. Childcare services were launched immediately at Eagle View Elementary for families that serve in healthcare, emergency services, education, and now also core public operations such as maintaining our food supplies and core utilities. Last week on Monday and Tuesday, our school leadership teams assembled to map out an eight-day Apollo 13 process and on Wednesday and Thursday, all staff began the work of redesigning education to facilitate distance learning for every single student.

For my birthday this year, I received the opportunity to work side by side with leaders that simply refuse to consider failure an option. I’ve seen job descriptions and normal work roles become irrelevant, rigid mentalities about what school is supposed to look like be blown away in an instant, and I’ve seen the amazing love that our entire Patriot staff has for our students on display in magical and moving ways. Our team has made some mistakes and experienced some failures, and we know more of those will happen as we work through thousands and thousands of “what abouts.” However, this team has been demonstrating a spirit of recklessness for doing the greater good that has left me in awe over and over again...

Patriot staff, thank you for the most amazing birthday present ever. To our Patriot families, the days ahead are uncharted territory, and I can think of no other team I would rather be part of to dive into such a challenging, but also exhilarating, endeavor. We ask for your patience and flexibility, and we also ask that you join us in creating an absolutely overwhelming culture of love, care, respect, innovation, and small-district pride so that every student and parent feels cared for and a part of something magical and positive. Only together can we achieve the goal of loving, caring for, and educating each and every student. We will be stronger and better for it. Stay healthy and GO PATRIOTS!!

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools

How Do You Go About Replacing Over 120 Years of Service?

posted Mar 5, 2020, 10:44 AM by Brenda Williams

In case you haven’t heard, the Pequot Lakes Public Schools are hiring! With eleven staff members retiring this spring, our buildings are faced with the challenge of replacing several long-time colleagues. At the middle school alone, our four retirees represent over 127 years’ worth of experience to the profession! Before moving on, I want to be clear that I’ve always struggled with the term “replacement”. When we’ve had teachers leave for another endeavor (whether a different career path, or in this case, retirement) I’ve found that we’d be foolish to attempt to walk into the hiring process with the concept of replacement in mind. Each teacher brings a unique brand to the “art” and “science” behind classroom instruction, and to think that we can seek to replicate that is simply not realistic.

Beyond the years of service to the students and families of Pequot Lakes in the classroom, it is important to also highlight the countless hours served in the gyms, courts and golf courses over the course of the last three decades. During that time, our community has experienced abundant change. We’re talking about teaching careers that began when Reagan was in office and Apple Corporation first released the Macintosh computer. They have witnessed the evolution from chalkboards to electronic file sharing; from overhead projectors and film strips to high definition interactive screens and beyond.

If we look at 120-plus years of service a different way, one can assume that the coaches in this group have logged enough miles on a yellow school bus to go around the equator at least a couple times riding to matches and games. They’ve most likely contributed to the harvest of an entire forest worth of trees courtesy of papers that have been graded on the living room couch. Most importantly though, is the countless growth exhibited by students who traveled through your respective classrooms. Their nurture, compassion and competence have helped many students to experience exponential growth, not only in academics, but as young men and women as well.

Though this spring will be filled with tributes to these storied staff members, I feel that no “Thank You” card, gold apple, or retirement party can approach the gratitude that our community should demonstrate toward these long-time teachers. Thank you to Bret, Monica, Steve, and Jan, for your incredible impact on our community and beyond. Words cannot express the magnitude of influence you have had over the last three decades in our school district. We are excited, though, to know that you will continue to coach, and maybe even find yourself back in the classroom next fall as a sub.

Due to these retirements …Yes, we’re hiring … and we’re out before many of the other regional school districts. With three positions already hired at the middle school, I also wanted to say thank you to all of you, our readers. I say thanks, because at the end of every interview, we always finish with two simple questions: “Why you?” and “Why us?”. After pontificating about why we should hire them, candidates often cite our wonderful community as a primary draw. Many have fallen in love with the small-town feel with larger school offerings. Our supportive community and wonderful students make my job a whole lot easier!

To our readers, please take a moment to send a former teacher a thank you. Whether Steve, Jan, Bret, Monica, or one of the other retirees from 186, it is incredibly powerful for educators to receive a note that reinforces that they’ve made a difference.

-- Mike O'Neil, middle school principal

Have It Your Way

posted Feb 24, 2020, 12:07 PM by Brenda Williams

For nearly 40 years Burger King had the slogan “Have It Your Way” as a reminder to customers of their desire to make every burger to the specifications of each person’s preference. Starbucks has revolutionized the coffee industry by creating a beverage experience catering to the unique demands of each customer. In the early 1900’s you could get a Ford Model T in any color you wanted, as long it was black. Now, customers can order their car online and specify endless options to customize their ride. Each year, new barriers are broken. Where once there were no options, now businesses are catering to consumer demands to “Have It Your Way.”

Education is not immune to the demands of consumers. Colleges were the first to identify the competition of for-profit colleges that offered a degree that could be earned entirely from the comfort of your living room without the need to travel to a college campus. As colleges have adapted and online offerings have become more the norm, this has pushed high schools to adapt to the reality that students can complete courses online and with PSEO options. Students no longer need to have transportation to campus to access these classes.

We are seeing an increased demand to cater to the individual needs of students and families. For an institution built in an era when students had no other option for schooling other than coming to a building, all our structures and practices are based on face to face interactions with students. This is still the best form of instruction, as it allows for the most effective adaptations and individual support for all learners.

All things change with time and at PLHS we have been responding to these pressures from parents and students to create more flexible options for students to achieve their learning goals. While we do have limitations, we are looking to create more flexibility and options for students while maintaining the same rigor students would experience in the classroom. We have added Advanced Placement options, College in the Schools options, blended online learning options, and developed trades academies that provide students with the opportunity to gain college credits or specific skills not available in the school 15 years ago.

In the future, schools will continue to change. At PLHS we see this as an opportunity to provide families with more options that fit their unique needs. It may become possible to see learning become year round, students progressing through grade levels based on their readiness for learning, students attending classes in multiple sites, and the learning day become 24 hours in length. Whether good or bad, these changes reflect the nature of a consumer-driven economy that demands more flexibility and opportunity than in the past. It is quite possible that the image of a learning institution built with bricks and mortar will someday be a laptop and a video chat.

-- Aaron Nelson, High School Principal

2020 Vision Update

posted Feb 10, 2020, 12:14 PM by Brenda Williams

The strategic roadmap and the 2020 Vision for Pequot Lakes Schools were adopted in June of 2014 and, well, it’s now 2020!! The school board is preparing to update the roadmap and invites all members of the community and friends of the Patriots to provide input by filling out a brief survey. The “2020 Survey” is linked to the district website (www.isd186.org) under the “News & Media” menu and will remain open through the month of February. Along with the 2020 Survey you will find a link to a 2020 Vision Report that highlights some of the great work and accomplishments from the past five and a half years. The Patriots have a great deal to be proud of!

The 2020 Vision challenged the staff at Pequot Lakes Schools to be a world-class learning organization that provides a rigorous, relevant, and personalized learning experience for every student. That work started with significant changes for teachers in 2014-15 with the creation of empowered school leadership teams that continue to drive improvement efforts. Investment in high quality professional development was increased significantly, resources were allocated to curriculum development, and the district’s technology infrastructure was expanded to facilitate the transition to a 1:1 technology rich learning environment. This coming summer Pequot Lakes Schools will transition to a new student information system (PowerSchool) and a new learning management system (Schoology) providing robust platforms to personalize learning pathways for students. In addition, since 2014 the high school has added Advanced Placement courses, Robotics, Aviation, a Cultural Perspectives course, the annual career fair, a strong internship program and a school trap shooting team expanding opportunities for every student.

Another great highlight from the 2020 Vision Report is the celebration of all three schools achieving High Reliability Schools level 1 certification!! The certification requires school leadership teams to provide strong evidence of systems, practices, and efforts to create and maintain a safe, supportive, and collaborative environment. All three teams are already working hard on levels two and three which focus on high quality instruction and a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

Finally, the 2020 Vision Report highlights efforts to improve the effectiveness of district operations and to cultivate strong community partnerships. The district has had a consistently balanced budget, updated the bus fleet, invested in buildings & grounds equipment, installed a solar panel system with no cost to taxpayers, added a Career Advisor position in partnership with Rural MN CEPT, expanded Community Education programs, augmented the Bridges Program, and cultivated strong partnerships with area businesses and organizations. Much of the 2020 Vision has come to fruition due to the hard work of our excellent staff and strong, positive leadership from the school board. Please take time to provide your input in the 2020 Survey so we can make the next 5 years just as successful! Go Patriots!

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools

Breaking Down the High Reliability Schools Framework: Level Two--Effective Teaching in Every Classroom

posted Jan 23, 2020, 10:11 AM by Brenda Williams

This is part two in a three-part series focusing on levels 1-3 of the High Reliability Schools Framework. Part one of this series focused on Level 1: Safe, Supportive and Collaborative Culture. The focus of this article is Level 2: Effective Teaching in Every Classroom.

The first thing to understand is that effective teaching does not mean perfect teaching. The goal is to help teachers continuously improve their practice. In a study conducted by Wright, Horn and Sanders (1997), it was concluded that:

The most important factor affecting student learning is the teacher. In addition, the results show wide variation in effectiveness among teachers. The immediate and clear implication of this finding is that seemingly more can be done to improve education by improving the effectiveness of teachers than by any other single factor. (p. 63)

One of the ways we strive to improve teacher effectiveness at Pequot Lakes Schools is by providing clearly defined instructional models, based on best practices. These models allow teachers to discuss instructional practices using common language. In addition, these model allows teachers at all levels of expertise the opportunity to grow in their practice.

With instructional models in place in each of our three buildings, all teachers can focus on professional growth goals tied to the instructional model. Each teacher chooses a goal for the year and administration and HRS coaches work hard to provide job-embedded professional development opportunities which will allow teachers to meet their goals. These opportunities include observing other teachers, collaborative team time, book studies, instructional coaching, a variety of in-house staff development sessions or attending a workshop outside of school.

Growth toward professional goals is monitored via the district’s teacher evaluation system. Administrators observe and evaluate teachers according to this system on a rotational cycle--the goal being the demonstration of continuous improvement. All of this is done in an effort to provide the best and most comprehensive learning experience for students, while at the same time, demonstrating the importance of life-long learning.

Pequot Lakes School District is committed to excellence. Ensuring effective teaching is taking place in every classroom is a large part of that commitment.

In April, I will wrap up this series with an explanation of Level 3: Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum.

-- Michele Zeidler, Eagle View Elementary HRS Coach

Let the positive in

posted Jan 13, 2020, 10:33 AM by Brenda Williams

It was recently brought to my attention that as a person born in the 1980s, now residing in 2020, I’ve been fortunate enough to live in 5 decades, 2 centuries and 2 millenniums. When you sit back and think about it, it sure makes you feel like you’ve been around a while. It actually caused some time of reflection. What was I hoping for in life? What did I think I would have accomplished by now?

As we’ve turned the page on a new year, many people make resolutions and use the time to reflect on where they are and where they want to be. There is no doubt reflection is important to all of us. Who we are has been shaped by the things we’ve done, the people we’ve met and the experiences we’ve had. I challenge you to find ways to improve your experiences or that of others in this new year. I’m sure every time you turn on the news, there is plenty of negative to absorb. It can be politics, an accident, some crime, etc. It is easy to dwell on the negative, but I challenge you in this new year to focus on the positive. Don’t foster that negative and don’t dwell on it, but rather find positive in your day to day. I’ve been fortunate to have great family, great jobs and many great experiences with many, many people. I don’t spend enough time remembering that. It is easy to get caught up in a bad day at work or a bit of bad news.

One way to let the positive in is to find some local entertainment to enjoy. It would be a way to appreciate the talents that surround you in our community. The Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts season is a great way to experience a show with local talent. You could also find an offering or class to learn something new. Our community education department offers new opportunities each season for you to learn a new hobby, learn some new history or just experience something new.

I challenge each of you to let the negative things go and focus on all the good in this new year. As John Kabat-Zinn once said, “You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” So as we head full steam into 2020, with a fresh start and a new year, let the negative go, embrace the good things and make it a goal to spread that positivity where you can.

-- Rich Spiczka, Community Education Director

Tips if Your Child’s Report Card Has You Feeling Frustrated as a Parent

posted Jan 3, 2020, 9:24 AM by Brenda Williams

The first semester of the 2019-20 school year will be wrapping up on January 17th. With only a couple weeks after our return from Winter Break, Pequot Lakes students will have a short window of time before teachers will begin wrapping up their gradebooks on the first half of the year. Our teachers have a grading day on January 20th (no classes in session) and in short time, report cards will be going home with students. With that said, a very timely email hit my inbox in late December that I feel compelled to share.

As a principal my email inbox is inundated with blog updates, monthly listservs, and articles about everything from best practice teaching methods to the impact of screen time (and everything in between). I find these short reads to be thought-provoking and highly impactful in my decision making in my role at PLMS, youth coaching and as a Dad. I can credit my wife with the most recent article that had me really reflecting upon how we, as parents/guardians, have incredible influence upon our children. It came in the form of a bi-weekly email from Love and Logic Education.

Love and Logic, a research-based parenting model focused on the whole-child, has been around since the late 1970’s. Their mission is built on a platform dedicated to educate parents/guardians on the science of caring and respectful relationships, with the hopes of developing an authentic and loving connection between parents and their children. Noting that grades can be incredibly stressful for all those involved, when those grade reports come at the end of the month, consider heeding this advice if your child’s report card has less than desirable marks.

A “bad” report card carries a lot more than D’s and F’s, it also carries emotions that leave many adults experiencing frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and even shame. Fortunately, bad grades don’t mean bad parents/guardians, a bad kid, or a bad future for that kid. Instead, they represent an opportunity for us to express our unconditional love and provide wise guidance. When these opportunities arise, consider one of the following tips:

1. Hand It Back- This requires us as adults to express empathy while reminding yourself that your child’s report card is not YOUR report card. Try saying “Oh, I can’t imagine how disappointing this must be for you. I love you.”

2. Listen and remember that just a bit of loving silence is golden.- When we talk too much we end up owning the problem. Instead, empathize, listen, and provide a pat on the back or some form of consolation. Allow your child to think about the situation for a day before revisiting the discussion.

3. Ask, “What do you think you are going to do?” - This question is not just a question, but also a clear statement of your belief in your child’s ability to cope and find solutions. It communicates the message that “Your grades are your grades, I am here to help but I can’t do this for you.”

4. Focus on character over grades.- Remember that though we can’t necessarily make our kids into great students, we can definitely foster a home environment that values the character traits of honesty, love of others, grit, acceptance and delayed gratification. When the adults resist the temptation to allow our own fears and frustrations to take over we can dramatically increase the odds that our child will enjoy life long success.

I found this article, and many of the others produced by the Love and Logic team, to be thought provoking and impactful within our family. As we bring the first half of the school year to a close it is my hope that you find these four tips equally valuable and consider checking out their work for yourself.

Enjoy your Winter Break with your family and we’ll look forward to seeing our students back in 2020!
-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal

Why We Play

posted Dec 18, 2019, 7:30 AM by Brenda Williams

This past fall, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) in conjunction with the Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association (MNIAAA) and the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association (MSHSCA) released a series of videos and PowerPoints to help illustrate some of the concepts related to Education Based Activities. I would like to share the five main points of the presentation with you.

1) MSHSL activities:
* are education based
* are an extension of the classroom
* emphasize growth an improvement
* reward effort and not just winning
* allow participants to fail (growing opportunity)
* focus on the process, then the outcome.
* focus on the student first, the athlete second

2) Goals vs. Purpose
* Our goal is to win, but that is not our purpose.
* Our purpose of our activities program is…
* Teaching and Learning
* Human Growth and Development
* Connecting Students to Caring Adults

3) Future Athletic Participation after High School
* Less than 1% will play professionally
* Less than 3% will play beyond high school at any level
* For 97% of our athletes, participation will end when they leave high school.

4) Value of Education-Based Athletics. Multiple studies show that students who participate in Athletic and Activity programs will;
* Do better in the classroom
* Be less likely to use drugs or suffer health issues
* Have better attendance and have a higher graduation rate
* Have higher SAT and ACT scores
* Have greater post-secondary opportunities
* Be healthier overall

5) How do we define success?
* Did you do your best?
* Did you help others be successful?
* What did you learn?
* Did you have fun? Did you help make it fun?
* Did you improve? How will you get better tomorrow?
* Did you conduct yourself well?
* Were you a great teammate?
* How did you handle the outcome? How did you handle winning or losing?

If you are interested in watching the video, you can find it on the school website on the left side of the activities page, MSHSL Parent Video.

See you at the games!
-- Marc Helmrichs, Activities Director

Supports for Our Patriots

posted Dec 4, 2019, 9:42 AM by Brenda Williams

At a recent quarterly meeting of our local church leaders and school district leaders, I took some time to explain to the newer folks in the room about the people and systems we have in place to support our students with social, emotional, mental health, family and relationship challenges. One of the church representatives jumped in to share about how she had encouraged a parent this fall to contact the school regarding her child’s struggles with anxiety and mental health. She was sharing this to celebrate the good work of our student support team and how the child is now doing much better due to the caring folks that have wrapped around him. As she challenged everyone to encourage parents to reach out to the schools to make sure we’re working as a student-parent-school-faith community team, another person in the room asked if we could share about our support teams in the Echo Journal to reach a broader audience. What a good idea!

While schools have long had guidance counselors, the number of counselors and the scope of their work has evolved from 20 - 30 years ago. Counselors serve as the backbone of our student support teams helping to coordinate each student’s learning plan. The position has evolved over time - largely due to less counselors per student across the state than in years past - to focus more purposefully on post high school plans, helping students navigate their academic journey, and working with parents, career advisors, and post-high school institutions to help students achieve their dreams after they leave us. They are often the first to be called when students are struggling, and in Pequot Lakes Schools, they often tap another member of the team for help, depending on the issues.

Schools in Crow Wing County are blessed to have the support of Family Services Collaborative Workers, and we also have a School Social Worker at Eagle View Elementary. Collaborative workers and our social worker work closely with students and families to address social skills, emotional struggles, dealing with conflict, food scarcity, truancy, hygiene, chemical abuse, less severe mental health issues, and navigating tragedies. They are often the connector for students and families to other services provided by non-profits, Crow Wing County, the faith community, or to other social service programs.

Pequot Lakes Schools also collaborates with Northern Pines Mental Health Center and hosts a team right in our schools to provide students with onsite access to mental health therapy and licensed counseling. These highly qualified professionals work with groups of students, provide individual therapy as needed, consult with staff, provide training, and serve as an immediate response team when mental health evaluations are necessary. Most of their services are funded through third-party billing, demonstrating how intertwined education services can be with health care services to ensure students are successful.

Finally, on the front lines everyday are our outstanding teachers and staff led by our school principals. They work as teams to ensure each student has a positive relationship with some adults and to connect students to the folks previously mentioned as needed. This work is done purposefully and systematically, demonstrating great care for the students we serve.

Patriot students and families are fortunate to be supported by effective and caring student support teams that function as a purposeful system. If you know of a student that is struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the appropriate school office to make sure we can connect them to the support needed. Every student matters to us, and it takes all of us to ensure our students reach their dreams!! Go Patriots!

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools

Tell Them; They Will Listen

posted Nov 21, 2019, 10:11 AM by Brenda Williams

The Veterans Day program at Pequot Lakes High School was a success by all accounts. Adults and students alike enjoyed the message from Dr. Uppgaard and the stories of five other servicemen. More than the usual amount of people commented on the program and the need for more of “that stuff” to be taught in school. The theme continued when I visited the American Legion at the Veterans Lunch. A veteran who had recently passed was shown in a movie telling his story and declaring that “kids these days don’t learn about this stuff; they don’t even know what happened.” Again and again all day I heard this same theme; this is important, kids need to know it, we need to teach more of this in schools.

As a former history teacher, I am very fond of Veterans Day and its special meaning to me and my family. I could tell tales from my grandfather who served in World War II and, while modest about his service and reluctant to tell ALL the details, would regale us grandkids with his stories of driving a jeep on the front lines in France. Again and again we would ask him to tell his stories and then tell some more.

As I reflected on the day, the concern of an older generation on the seeming lack of interest by youth in the events of history contrasted by the comments from parents who said their children found this year’s program to be especially good, I was struck by the notion that the key to it all … was the story.

Our veterans experienced the making of history first hand. They lost brothers on the battlefield in the defense of our nation's freedoms. It means everything to them and they want the youth today to understand that history. They can taste it, shed a tear when they think of it, and lie awake at night with the weight of survivors guilt when they think of those that never came home.

We may never understand history like those who lived it. My own children who were born after September 11th will never know the fear that gripped a nation as we waited for more planes to hit that day. But, they will know it better and understand its significance in a greater way if I tell them of my experience that day. What I felt and how I cried for those trapped above those burning floors, the significance of a baseball game at Yankee’s Stadium just a few days later, or what a different experience flying would become in the years that followed that fateful day.

The theme of this year’s Veterans Day was “Service is Personal.” We tried to develop the idea that being a soldier has a very real and personal side as well. The same is said for the learning of history. Tell a child a story and watch them become enchanted in the details, asking questions, thirsting for more. The story of a veteran is personal and it captures the interest of the listener to know more and to understand deeper. Having never served in the military, I can never know what it was like to have faced the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge; however, I can know it more than a chapter in a book when I listen to a veteran tell of their experience as they froze in their foxholes as the Germans showered them with shotshells all night.

Kids these days are no different than kids of any other time, they are self-absorbed and unaware of the course of history that flows around them. We can help them know more deeply the significance of the history of our great nation by telling them. Go ahead, tell them, they really are listening.

-- Aaron Nelson, High School Principal

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