In these times of uncertainty we are rightfully recognizing those who have risen to the occasion and are performing essential tasks that make it possible for the rest of us to isolate and protect ourselves and loved ones. We talk about teachers, custodians, support staff, and bus drivers going above and beyond to make sure families and facilities receive the support they need. I would like to add a group to that list for your consideration: your North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) administrative team.

Your school district’s leadership consists of Director of Business Services Todd Tetzlaff, Director of Community Education Brett Carlson, Director of Buildings and Grounds Art Tobin, Principals Lori Zimmerman, Kelly Detzler, and Coleman McDonough, Assistant Principal Glen Stevens, Director of Technology Darin Marcussen, Community Relations Coordinator Pat Tepoorten, Director of Teaching and Learning David Treichel, Activities Director Matt Lattimore, and Special Services Supervisor Jen Danielson.

This experience has served only to reinforce how fortunate we all are to have such dedicated leaders serving our community. I could not begin to list the ways these exceptional people have worked behind the scenes to support families, students, staff, and the community in the past several weeks. If asked, they will be the first to credit others with their work so it falls to me to create the record of their dedicated and selfless service.

Virtually every aspect of school district business has been upended by the COVID-19 response. How we budget, sanitize our schools, communicate, provide technology and instruction, support the community, report to the state, provide for those with special needs, and myriad other services, had to be redesigned to address this new reality in a very short time, with very little guidance.

Your administrative team has spent several weeks ignoring their fatigue and personal fears, working almost non-stop to prepare for this situation. On many occasions they put their own families aside to serve yours, simply because the work was necessary and there was no one else to do it.

True to our mission, they have inspired dreams, built integrity, and instilled hope in everyone around them. The pride I feel for these individuals, and the gratitude I have for their assistance, cannot be measured.

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