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Dahlstrom: a steady hand at the helm

Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Dr. Virginia Dahlstrom has done everything we could expect of her and more in her first year in the top spot at WDC schools.

Dahlstrom came in during a maelstrom of budget cutting and drama at the district, and quickly took the reins. Since then, external factors such as a worsening economy and more cuts in state funding have added to her challenges, but the district today is clearly in good hands.

Dahlstrom never claimed her specialty was finance, yet she's learned in the greatest of baptisms by fire. This years cuts definitely hurt, but they weren't hurtful. They were done in an orderly and fair process.

The district's image in the community had taken a few dings, but Dahlstrom has been a great champion of the school outside its walls, getting involved in the community and showing a true interest in Wadena, Bluffton and Deer Creek people.

The school board also deserves praise here -- it too is operating under the weight of a lot of stress, and is doing so quietly and effectively. New administrator Tyler Church and veteran principal Louis Rutten are also doing more with less each year, and still somehow improving education for our kids.

Looking back over the last school year, it's hard to call it a "great year" with all of the challenges that have come. But we are confident to say we have great people meeting those challenges.