Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a favorite motivational speaker of mine, uses that title phrase often and gives the credit to his second grade teacher for putting him on the path to success by teaching those virtues.

Preparation and perseverance was something I was thinking about while attending services at St. Anthony’s Church in Terrebonne, Minnesota a few weeks ago. There were several things that made this event unique.

First of all the parish (started in 1895) in rural Red Lake County was closed permanently in 2000. After many attempts to preserve the church building it was taken down in a controlled burn in 2016. Since then parish families of old (and new) created a beautiful shrine with an outdoor altar in the exact location it sat within the building. All of this is on a remote hill (maybe better to say higher ground as there are few hills in Red Lake County) with the cemetery located directly to the north - a place both my parents now reside.

The reason mass was being held at this location and will continue to be held here for the foreseeable future (weather dependent of course) is that none of the local church buildings are large enough to accommodate more than a few dozen participants at one time as long as social distancing rules stay in place. This is where the words perseverance and preparation comes into play. Despite Covid 19 related obstacles this event is another shining example of people coming together, thinking creatively, and making something happen. There were no complaints regarding sitting under a hot sun, pesky flies, or gusty winds - just the satisfaction that things can function when you prepare carefully and persist in your efforts.

And that is exactly what school districts across the state are doing, planning and persevering, as we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. School may look different - just like many of our other life activities - but if we all pitch in and plan carefully, we will be successful.

In closing please keep in mind the proud traditions of service and excellence at ISD #314. Do not hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way (contact me at 320-396-5199 or kgagner@braham.k12.mn.us).

Follow the district on our website, Facebook, or Twitter at: @Braham_Schools or my own feed @Supt_Gagner.

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