Minnesota Commissioner of Education visits local schools

photo by Ryan Bergeron
Commissioner Brenda Cassellius enjoys shooting wiffle balls out of the GMR team’s robot from last season, as GMR Robotics team members Robert Hlucny and Kyle Stauffenecker assist. While with the team, she heard about its achievements and efforts, and later mentioned the level of pride she witnessed from this team.

photo by Ryan Bergeron
Commissioner Brenda Cassellius poses for a group photo with the GMR (Greenbush site) kindergarten students and their teacher Sheri Jerome after doing the chicken dance with them at the end of the school day. Cassellius visited schools throughout northwest Minnesota, including Roseau, Badger, and Greenbush-Middle River (both sites) on October 9 and Thief River Falls on October 10.

photo by Val Truscinski
The Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius (second from left) visits with some Badger elementary students and teachers during the lunch hour, including first grade teacher Mrs. Warne (far left) and second grade teacher Mrs. Dostal (far right), as part of her tour of some northwest Minnesota schools. Badger Superintendent Tom Jerome is also pictured (second from left).

photo by Val Truscinski
Commissioner Brenda Cassellius poses for a group photo with Superintendent Jerome, and teacher Brady Johnson and his Badger Civics class. While in the civics classroom, the Commissioner and the students discussed a wide range of topics, including education policy and funding on October 9.

Not everyday can one shoot wiffle balls out of a robot and do the chicken dance all in the same day, but the Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius did just that the Greenbush school site. Also, not everyday does one get to meet the Commissioner of Education, but area school staff members and students had that opportunity as part of her visit to the northwest Minnesota schools of Roseau, Badger, and Greenbush-Middle River (both sites) on Monday, October 9.

“The governor (Mark Dayton) has always said get out and talk to real people and real teachers, real community members, real board members, find out what they need, and I’ve tried to do that all seven years I’ve been Commissioner,” Cassellius said. “And so we’ll just go around the entire state and we’ve been in hundreds of buildings and communities, and so it was time for me to get all the way up here,” adding how she has visited Baudette before.

School officials in these visited area schools requested the Commissioner to make this visit. Initially, the trip was scheduled last spring, but government session obligations pushed the visit back. Superintendent of the Badger and GMR School Districts, Tom Jerome received confirmation of this visit on October 3. 

“Overall, I want to try and get into all of the four corners of the state and see all the great work that’s going on,” Commissioner Cassellius said. “I feel like we’ve done that, but we’ve not been able to do everybody obviously. There’s 2,000 schools in Minnesota, so it’s impossible for one person to get into all of them, but we’ve been in every region now, maybe not the arrowhead way, way, way up in the upper (part of the state).” 

The Commissioner finished her northwest Minnesota visit in Thief River Falls on October 10.

To see the complete story, read the October 11 issue of The Tribune. To see the complete interview with Commissioner Cassellius, read an upcoming issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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