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opinion Wadena, 56482
Wadena PJ
(218) 631-1621 customer support
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

We're a small town. In small towns, the school is often a source of pride.

But what we've witnessed in the last year from our own school system has been nothing short of spectacular. As this year closes, everyone connected with the school needs to take a bow.

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Let's review:

• The June 17 tornado crushed the high school and did a lot of damage to the college. Immediately after, administrators found space to house all of our local students, kindergarten through college. M State has been wonderful -- from its administrators to its students, who shared their school. St. Ann's was freshly mourning the loss of its own elementary school but stepped up to help the public system in a stunning show of community pride.

• Building maintenance workers scrambled to get the new (old) facilities ready to go for the year. Teachers worked over the summer to salvage anything they could for the 2010-11 year. Administrators worked out the details of a new school. School board members found a way to pay for it all. Students made sacrifice after sacrifice.

• Sports teams lost their facilities, making the best of a bad situation. Whether it was the spectacular run of the Wolverine volleyball team to a state title or the hockey kids holding their heads high even as they had to endure long travel times and no home crowds, they were everything we could have asked them to be as student-athletes.

• Kids dealt with destruction at home even as they learned algebra or science, and rarely was a complaint heard. The situation was terrible. The guts and determination of the students was inspiring.

Here we are, nearly a year after the tornado, and Wadena-Deer Creek school system is clearly on the mend. While we're excited for new possibilities with a new school, and we know there's a bright future, we also needed to pause and recognize the amazing effort of everyone connected with the school system.

Applause for you. We're very proud.

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news@wadenapj.com
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