DAC director steps into new role
By Jean Ruzickajruzicka@parkrapidsenterprise.com Matt Kramer has assumed the role of director of the Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center, replacing Ed Ranson who recently retired after more than three decades at the helm. "This DAC is...
By Jean Ruzicka
Matt Kramer has assumed the role of director of the Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center, replacing Ed Ranson who recently retired after more than three decades at the helm.
“This DAC is running awesome,” Kramer said of Ranson and staff. “If there was a model of what a DAC should be, it’s this area.
“I don’t plan to rewrite the book.”
Originally from Moorhead, the graduate of Minnesota State University- Moorhead holds a special education degree.
When his wife, Kari, was offered a position as an adaptive physical education teacher, the couple moved to Ada 10 years ago. Kramer taught special education at Norman County West (Halstad and Hendrum), addressing emotional behavior disorders and learning disabilities. He moved on to Ulen-Hitterdal, where he utilized his developmental and cognitive disabilities training, teaching comprehensive functional life skills.
Kramer accepted the DAC director position in Ada three years ago.
“And now I’m here,” he said, the lure of the lakes a strong factor in the decision by an avid fisherman and hunter.
“Ada could not support this,” Kramer said of Hubbard County’s 120 clients, who work at the recycling center, Bearly Used Thrift Store, The Tin Ceiling and the DAC Salvage Depot in Park Rapids.
Ada is home to community enclave sites, where clients do light janitorial work with a job coach, he explained.
“The clients are more community integrated in Park Rapids,” Kramer said. “And more of the community is involved. It’s not just a center. We’re providing a service to people in Hubbard County. We’re out in the community, actually dealing with the public, not just making a product,” he said.
“The process from institutionalization has been fantastic,” Kramer said of moving clients from hospitals to living and working in the community.
“This is the spot where people want to retire,” he commented. “But if I can come here and work, heck, yeah,” the affable director said. “I have plenty of years left in me,” said the father of son Garrison, who will be a year old at the end of April.
The family will be moving to Park Rapids in June.