PILLAGER — School pride in Pillager is a little more set in stone nowadays. Or at least set in brick. An 8-foot by 8-foot Husky red brick mural now stands in the school commons area. It’s the handiwork of Pillager art teacher Dan Devine and senior Matthew Neururer. “(The mural) is an important insight to Husky pride,” Devine said. The 3-D face of the dog has hand-etched fur markings and deep, penetrating eyes. The round nose is modeled after Neururer’s dog at home. Big, bold letters beneath the creature spell out the main message: “Husky Pride.”
Three of the four groups with plans for Whittier Elementary school will be interviewed next week. The Brainerd School District’s Whittier Task Force will give each person or group a chance to speak and answer questions. There is no set date on when the task force will pass its recommendation of which proposal to accept along to the school board, but task force members say they want it to be soon.
Nothing can quite surpass the awe of a dozen long-stemmed red roses, area florists say. But some shoppers are putting a twist in Valentine’s Day bouquets this year with stargazer lilies, gerber daisies and neon lilies. “I’m not saying don’t buy roses, but to grab a bunch of roses and hand it to them, it’s not doing what we want to accomplish, which is showing (the bouquet) was arranged with care and especially for them,” said Nila Patrick, owner of VIP Floral Wedding Party and Gifts in Brainerd.
Janelle Menzel’s algebra class was expecting a test Tuesday afternoon. Instead, they got a room full of cameras, flowers and school staff as Menzel was named the Brainerd School District’s 2013 Teacher of the Year. Menzel, a ninth grade algebra and geometry teacher at Brainerd High School, was surprised with the honor during class. Hands shaking and a wide smile across her face, Menzel gripped a bouquet of flowers and hugged ninth-grader Reilly Miller, the student who nominated her. “It’s a big honor,” Menzel said. “It’s a really special moment.”
More than double the average number of foreign exchange students attended Brainerd High School during the 2012-13 school year. Twenty-three exchange students attended the school this year, said Liz Aulie, foreign exchange student advisor. Brainerd School Board members heard an update on the growing program Monday night at its monthly meeting. Students are from: Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and Vietnam. Two students have already been accepted for next year from Denmark and Germany.
Nearly 800 years of combined experience may walk out of the Brainerd School District door at the end of the year. Within the last month, the district received 30 letters of retirement and one resignation. Of those, 27 are certified teacher/specialists, two are administrators, and two are non-certified staff. “That’s a lot of experience walking out the door,” said superintendent Steve Razidlo. It’s a “remarkable” number of years of service, he continued.
It’s a part of living for some people. It’s like air. Family. There’s just nothing quite like a snowmobile ride with a few comrades. Nearly 300 of those snowmobile enthusiasts will take over the trails this weekend for the 2013 MNUSA Winter Rendezvous at Cragun’s Resort. The event is conducted each year by one of 250 state snowmobile clubs. This time, the Crow Wing County Snowmobile Trails Association will play host. “(The Brainerd lakes area) used to be the mecca for snowmobiling in the state,” said Mark Kavanaugh, president of the local association.
Two proposals in consideration for the future of the closed Whittier Elementary School in north Brainerd offer ideas of a chemical dependency treatment program or a science and technology center. They were not detailed in previous stories because the proposal authors could not be reached for comment. Whittier closed more than four years ago due to budget constraints. Since, the Whittier Task Force was formed to help bring life back into the building. Members put out a call for proposals on what the space could be used for.
A Brainerd resident called for a city council member to be removed from his seat at Monday’s Brainerd City Council meeting. Guy Green suggested Ward 3 council member Gary Scheeler used his position to get Green removed from his radio broadcast, “The Speakeasy,” a political talk show on 3WI Radio. Not true, said Scheeler’s attorney, Ed Shaw. “It (cancellation) had nothing to do with Mr. Scheeler.”