This past week was full of many memories that satisfied my eternal optimism.
Teacher of the Year
On Tuesday, the Fillmore County Journal presented the first-ever Teacher of the Year award to Mary Hoiland, a 46-year veteran teacher of the Rushford-Peterson School District.
For quite a number of years, our staff at the Fillmore County Journal has been talking about how we should move forward with presenting a Teacher of the Year award. The hardest part of getting a project off the ground is getting started.
This past fall, I approached three area business owners and asked them if they would provide something as a gift to give the Teacher of the Year for 2017.
All three business owners responded with tremendous support for recognizing area teachers. Jim Hoiness and Brad Hoiness, owners and operators of Rushford Foods, Harmony Foods, and Preston Foods, agreed to provide a $500 gift card. Mike Drury and Michelle Drury, owners and operators of Drury’s Furniture Store in Fountain, agreed to provide a leather La-Z-Boy recliner. And, Cody Koebke, owner and operator of Ody’s Country Meats & Catering in Spring Valley, agreed to provide a Green Mountain Grill (Daniel Boone model).
The first-ever Teacher of the Year for 2017 was going to receive a whirlwind of recognition and a number of very nice gifts from these generous businesses.
We started running full page ads a couple of months ago, and the nominations for Teacher of the Year started arriving in the mail.
When we presented the Teacher of the Year award last Tuesday, May 2, it was an exciting day for all involved. We have a lot of great teachers in this area, and it was an honor to recognize Mary Hoiland for her contributions to building a solid foundation for so many young people over the course of her 46-year career.
While it was an outstanding day for Mary Hoiland, I think that day also made everyone else feel like it was a special day for them. The gymnasium was full of Rushford-Peterson students who will remember one of their teachers being recognized for a career of excellence. The R-P faculty will remember congratulating one of their peers for her years of dedication. The major sponsors will remember how amazed and appreciative Teacher of the Year award recipient Mrs. Hoiland was when she walked up to the podium to receive her award and gifts.
There were so many good memories from that one event. That was my Tuesday, and it was a good one.
State Capitol Field Trip
And, while I had a monstrously busy week at work, my wife had called me Monday to remind that I had signed up to be a chaperone for our daughter’s Fillmore Central sixth grade field trip to the Minnesota State Capitol, Minnesota History Center, and Minnesota Science Museum.
While it is a struggle to find work-life balance sometimes, this was an important day. I needed to make that field trip fit in with my schedule, regardless of my workload.
So, fortunately, the staff at the Fillmore County Journal gave me the day off, while they worked diligently on all that goes into publishing the paper each week.
And, the field trip was absolutely wonderful! I hadn’t been to the State Capitol of Minnesota since my sixth grade field trip, which was about 31 years ago.
It was a great experience, as I became more acquainted with teachers, other parents, and students. My favorite activity was Sportsology at the Minnesota Science Museum. It was so much fun, I want to go back with my whole family.
Again, these are memories that make me appreciate the Journal team taking care of business while I was gone for the day. I had great conversations with so many people, such as teachers like Mr. Tollefson, Ms. Kiehne, and Mr. Seibenaler along with parents like Trista Tieskotter, Jerome Illg, Scott Springer, and Jessica Larson.
That was my Wednesday, and it was a good one.