In our August edition of the Pine Needle, we focused our attention on the importance of attitude. More specifically, we discussed the importance of kindness and support in our schools and community. As we approach the heart of winter and the holiday season, I feel it’s important we also discuss a key outcome of a kind and supportive attitude - generosity.
In my first few months as your superintendent, I had been well informed about the strong sense of kindness and support in our community. In my last article, I spoke about the reputation of kindness and support that Cloquet has earned across the region. That well-earned reputation has continued to prove itself in the form of generosity. I’ve been privileged to witness multiple acts of generosity in my short time here in Cloquet Public Schools. Whether those be small acts of individual generosity or larger community level acts, they have been impressive and heartening. In this version of the Pine Needle, I want to take the time to share a few of those acts of generosity.
First, I’d like to highlight the community’s generosity in supporting the bond referendum to construct the new middle school, along with the pool and gymnasium located there. This act of generosity has provided generations to come with an excellent facility for education and activities. It has also provided additional, unexpected, benefits.
The enrollment in our middle school has increased since the opening of our new school. New students joining our district leads to new revenue to support the work of our schools! Also, the construction of the new middle came in under budget. This allowed the district to renovate the auditorium at Cloquet High School with no need to request new money from taxpayers. The renovation is set to begin in January and conclude in early spring. The improvements to our auditorium should be very noticeable to anyone who attends events in the space. It’s just another example of how the community’s generosity will have a positive impact on generations to come.
Secondly, I’d like to share the generosity displayed through the Cloquet Education Foundation (CEF). The CEF provides support to numerous projects each year that benefit the children of our community. The gifts of money by donors and time by volunteers help support the academic, social and emotional growth of the children in our community, keeping Cloquet a healthy place for children to develop and mature. Listed here are just a few examples of the projects funded through this generosity:
- Battle of the Books
- Climb Theatre presentation
- Math Olympiad
- Destination Imagination
- Knowledge Bowl
- Science Research Projects
- Activity fee grants to support students participating in extracurricular activities
- …and many more
Lastly, I’ve witnessed many individual acts of generosity. These range from kindnesses such as staff members bringing treats for colleagues to community members donating backpacks and school supplies for children in need. We have staff who donate money to support programming for students and countless individual community members and business owners who support our programs and activities financially.
These are just a few examples of the wonderfully generous spirit alive in Cloquet. I’m sure there are many more that could be shared. For all of you who give of your time and resource to support our children, I want to extend a heartfelt “Thank you!” on behalf of our schools. As we enter this holiday season of giving, I’m sure there will be more examples of, and opportunities for, kindness and support throughout our community. I hope you have a holiday season full of generosity!
Dr. Michael Cary