Of my soon to be 56 years on this planet, I have spent 47 of them in a school setting either as a student or through employment. My school life had a rather inauspicious beginning. As kindergarten approached, I had decided that I was already pretty happy with my life and felt no need to upset the apple cart by attending school. I had a loving home, a large yard and a really nice shaded sandbox with a fleet of Tonka trucks. My favorite by far was the payloader. I could move a lot of “earth” with that payloader. From my perspective, this whole kindergarten thing was an unnecessary risk. Life would continue to be just fine if we maintained the status quo.
Naturally, my parents had other ideas. Despite my less than enthusiastic attitude towards kindergarten, my mom was able to convince me to give it a try. As the story goes, my response was, “okay, but I am only going for one year and then I am done.” I must have felt my kindergarten experience was alright because I decided to keep going to school afterwards. Two memories stand out from my first year in formal education. First, we attended school in a portable trailer-styled classroom. Second, a fellow classmate, named Jeff, managed to get a red crayon stuck sideways in his mouth. Jeff’s face soon matched the color of the crayon and we gathered around to watch the spectacle unfold. Mrs. Anderson handled the situation like a pro and order was once again restored. Kindergarten teachers are special people.
As the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Young children still have a fascination with construction equipment, fire trucks, police cars and tractors. Our preschool “touch a truck” event was attended by hundreds of children and their families. The farm day, held out at the fairground sponsored by our FFA program, is a highlight for our kindergarten students every year. And a couple of days ago, students in small engines, welding, honors science and automotive classes were able to play in a makeshift sandbox in the ice arena parking lot courtesy of the City of Fergus Falls. It brought a smile to see that one of the machines was a payloader.
As the school year ends, we will celebrate the graduation of our ALC seniors at 7 pm June 1st in the KSS auditorium. We will celebrate the graduation of the Fergus Falls High School and iQ Academy seniors at 7 pm June 2nd in the KSS gold gym. My appreciation goes out to my colleagues for the care and attention they have given to the Class of 2023 over the years. My thanks to our community for the many ways they have supported our students. With gratitude to the parents of these young men and women for the love and guidance they have provided. We are extremely proud of the people our graduates have become and eager to learn of their many accomplishments in the years ahead. May their lives be filled with happiness and success and may they set some time aside once in a while to play in the sandbox. To the Class of 2023 - CONGRATULATIONS!