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Verndale staff and students had much to be proud of this week, the end of the school year was just around the corner, graduation was quickly approaching, and the Verndale Public School officially earned level two certification in Marzano High Reliability Schools. The HRS program was devised by Marzano Research to change the learning landscape of schools, one level at a time. The program operates on a five level system, complete with indicators that allow teachers to more closely monitor student success.
57 students received diplomas and said their final goodbyes to fellow classmates, teachers, and faculty at the Wadena-Deer Creek High School Friday night. The evening was filled with hugs, high fives, and a little air horn. After a short introduction, the graduates made their way into the gymnasium. Graduates entered in twos, meeting near the center of the gym to exchange a handshake or butt bump before being seated. The small group was engulfed by the hundreds of family and friends packing the bleachers.
Some paint on canvas, some sculpt from clay, and others use their flesh as a living tapestry. Jamie Bryniarski has been placing his artwork on the skin of his customers for three years. He recently opened his tattoo shop in downtown Wadena. Bryniarski Tattoo, has only been open for a short time but already has accumulated many customers. People vie for open spots in hopes that Bryniarski will transfer their vision from mind to body. A tattoo in his shop can take anywhere from a few hours to months depending on complexity.
WDC eighth-graders took to the tarmac at the Wadena Municipal Airport for an educational session about the maintenance, operation, and science behind flight. Science students learned about aviation from storied pilots and also got the opportunity to fly in the skies above Wadena. Brad Wollum teaches science and is also a pilot. In January, Wollum was approached by local pilots about injecting some aviation science into his lesson plan.
Since February, Wadena congregation members of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses have attended services at a temporary location while renovations were underway where the church body meets. For several months meetings have been held at the former Snap Fitness location. They'll soon be back to their old site. For weeks, construction workers have been hastily overhauling the old location. In the brisk April air, dozens of workers worked away at the exterior and interior of the building. All work has been completed by volunteers.
The Central Minnesota CEO Trade Show presented several newly formulated area businesses. This event is unique because it focuses on the businesses started by young entrepreneurs, specifically high school students from rural areas. The end goal of the program is to educate the youth on the rewarding path to starting a business while contributing to the economic growth of the region.
Graduation is right around the corner and some students at M State are preparing for their final days at the community college. At a student awards ceremony April 30, several people were recognized for their academic vigor and accomplishments within the school. Chelsie Isacson has been named as this year's student speaker. During the awards ceremony she was singled out for perseverance, an accolade hard earned.
Speer Chiropractic has officially closed its doors in Wadena. There final day of operation was on April 30. Customers looking to enter the building were greeted with a farewell sign posted on the door. The sign indicated the reason for closing and served as a thank you to the community that utilized his services.
The Wadena Rotary Club completed their 37th annual Fine Arts Banquet Monday night. Dozens of artists and intellectuals from band, drama, choir, knowledge bowl, and art classes packed the commons of WDC Middle/High School. Students enjoyed an evening of dining and art appreciation. Don Niles, President of the Wadena Rotary Club, led the evening along with several faculty members. "It's important because there's an opportunity to honor students that are participating in meaningful ways that aren't necessarily related to athletics," Niles said.
Epicenter Church recently had their first Cinco de Mayo celebration. The aroma of authentic Mexican food filled the air while children shrieked in glee while they bumped and jumped in the inflatable house. The celebration is an opportunity for Epicenter Church to celebrate a somewhat misunderstood Mexican holiday in addition to raising money for a trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky.