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Park Rapids instructors experienced a role reversal this week, finding themselves on the receiving end of the learning process. All certified teachers in the district received an iPad, brief tutelage and "homework." In hour and half-hour increments, pre-k through grade 12 teachers arrived for "basic training" and subsequent "deployment." At this point, the educators are receiving the "management piece," Century principal Joleen DeLaHunt explained. "We're not into the apps yet," she said of classroom learning tools.
"2012 was an amazing year on the North Country Trail," by Regional Trail Coordinator Matt Davis' standards. The North Country National Scenic Trail was extended 21 miles in Becker County, including 14.5 miles in the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. "We've been planning this trail for 20 years," said Kelly Blackledge, Visitors Services Manager with U.S. Fish and Wildlife. "Now that it's done and walkable, it's really a treasure." Prior to the trail's construction, the refuge was home to just two designated hiking trails, totaling 2.5 miles, she explained.
Sixth graders stepping into their Nevis classrooms this fall were introduced to new learning tools, and teachers Calvin Gunn and Tom Stambaugh were greeted with grins. The iPads that each of the 38 students received the second week of school ironically resemble hand-held chalkboards kids used a century ago. But the instruments are sending kids into cyberspace - with infinite possibilities for learning. Nevis sixth graders Tom Aman and Jessica Swanda heard the rumor this summer. "My friend's mom is on the school board," Swanda explained of her source. "I was excited," Aman said.
A new sign - Ameriprise Financial - will soon emerge on the corner of Highway 34 and Henrietta Avenue, announcing the merger of Investment Service Center and Ameriprise Financial. It all began in the dead of winter (January) over lunch (where ideas blossom and ferment).
Educators and members of the public were invited to "explore the possibilities" that await via technology in the classroom. Sue Meyer, an education development executive with Apple computers, told the audience of Park Rapids teachers and community members that society is on the brink of a new era. This is a "super powerful time for teachers," given the expansion of mobile technology. "We are raising the first generation of kids who expect technology," she said, pointing out society's proclivity for the devices. It took 19 years for color television to be viewed by 10 million people.
The Tiger will reign supreme; the Muskie has been delivered to the depths. After hearing an impassioned discourse from former coach and athletic director Craig Stanwick, the Nevis School Board unanimously decided to retain the Tiger as the school's mascot. "We play like tigers," Stanwick told the board Monday night, "not like fish." Discussion on the matter of whether the school should revert to its original Tiger Muskie mascot has been ongoing for several months, with alumni informally surveyed at this summer's school centennial. While students remain fairly neutral on the subject, al
Dave Thomas and his canine cohort, Bonnie, are welcoming those in need of warm wardrobes at the newly opened Mill Street Discount store. The Park Rapids native has come full circle in his return to the Fish Hook. For the past few years the former Boston resident traveled to 44 states, selling t-shirts, jewelry and other items at festivals and flea markets. "Wherever a tank full of gas would take me," he said of his circuit that wound from Minnesota to Florida, a social network forming along the way. Come spring, he'd head north.
Park Rapids will be the site of a "Transforming the Classroom" presentation, the school board learned this week, reviewing the successes and possibilities technology holds. Free and open to the public, the workshop will be held from 3:15 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 in the Century School cafetorium.
Mari Jo Lohmeier and Kim Harmon, captains of The Wreck, report they are moving forward, bolstered by the community's waves of enthusiasm. The two are proposing a youth activities center for Park Rapids.