Viewpoint 181: 2021 Season of Thanksgiving — I am thankful, grateful, blessed

We are stronger, more innovative, more collaborative, and better advocates for our students as we pursue educational excellence for all.

Laine Larson
Laine Larson

As I reflect, during this 2021 Season of Thanksgiving, I am extraordinarily thankful, grateful and blessed to partner with the supportive Brainerd Public Schools community. Together, and over the past year and a half, we have faced unexpected challenges — in our school district, community, state and world. Our Warrior team has rallied, demonstrating dedication and tireless engagement as we work toward a better tomorrow. As your school superintendent:

I am thankful for the demonstrated commitment I have witnessed from our district’s students, staff and families as we navigate the challenges brought forth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year has proven to be even harder than last year as we have faced unprecedented difficulties, such as transportation needs, staff shortages, mitigation strategies, new mandates, learning model changes, and a host of other issues.

Related: Viewpoint 181: Representation matters in Indigenous inclusion

Through these experiences and with hard work, flexibility, grit and commitment, we have sustained our primary objective — to keep our students continuing to learn in person, with their teachers, in a safe learning environment! Together, we have persisted, and for this I am most thankful!

I am grateful for our educational partners who are committed to providing equitable opportunities for all learners. On July 19, 2021, the Board of Education recommitted their work toward equity for all students and staff at Brainerd Public Schools. Initiatives such as an extensive review of district policies, support for an advisory task force, ensuring curricular offerings and resources that align with Minnesota standards, providing district-wide professional development opportunities and more are but a few of the priorities being addressed.


Related: Viewpoint 181: Fuel up Forestview and The Warrior Warehouse

Together, we will pursue educational excellence while building a safe and equitable learning environment and cultivating an inclusive future for all. For this, I am most grateful.

I am blessed to lead this exceptional school district! Our educators, in collaboration with parents and the community, are able to do what they love most — to teach our students in-person and to build strong and meaningful relationships. While remaining on-site, we have the opportunity to address the social and emotional needs that have become more critical as a result of this pandemic.

My friends, we are persevering! We are stronger, more innovative, more collaborative, and better advocates for our students as we pursue educational excellence for all. For my family, students, staff, colleagues, friends and community, I am most blessed!

As we enter this exciting holiday season, I am so very thankful, incredibly grateful and unbelievably blessed to educate our future generations — with you! Thank you.

Related: Viewpoint 181: Welcome back to school year 2021-22 — What is our ‘whY?’ The answer to our “whY” is clear, “We do it for our students, our children, our future!” We work in partnership to make lasting change in each child’s life.

Laine D. Larson is superintendent of ISD 181
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