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It is the first day of another school year and we are so proud of the great work that our educators do.  They have a monumental impact on our society with their daily nurturing of the minds of the future.  I am deeply impacted myself every day by the influences of the educators encountered over the years- names like Cates, Russell, Watson, Allen, Bourque, Parkerson, and many others that molded and impressed on my mind the technical matters of reading/writing/arithmetic, but also the love and caring about me as a single individual with promise and potential.  I can never thank them enough for the addition to “me” and what I am and still hope and strive to be every day. 


This thought is repeated hundreds of times across our communities every day as people who were inspired, influenced, impacted by the educators they encountered go about practicing the things that were etched on their minds.  Just like that little 5-year-old kindergartener I just got a picture of on her first day at Prien Lake and that young Buc sitting under his excellent Chemistry mentor and those awesome MSU band students we served a welcome meal to yesterday.  These are the things that run our engine of daily life and they need to be appreciated and respected more and taken for granted less. 


These are the reasons we put forth the investment we do in education.  I thank my staff for supporting all our efforts and for working diligently to make our support possible.  I thank DeWanna for following her calling with DeWanna’s Closet and for her volunteers who help her execute the plans.  I thank my business partners for allowing me to express my heart and invest in things bigger than our own personal pockets. 


But mostly I thank those wonderful people on the front lines in the classroom who make such a difference in the life of that little freckle faced redhead who is so full of energy and potential and is so scared and unsure, but they see him and love and nurture him so graciously.  Thank you Mrs. Miller/McDonald/Welch/Cormier/Reed/DeClouette...

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