At the end of each season, students who participate in Activities (sports and fine arts) are invited before the school board to be recognized for the hard work and effort they put into competing and performing. As we were unable to honor those students in person last Thursday, I sent the following letter to each participant:

My favorite thing about school board meetings are those occasions when we get to recognize the excellence of our students who participate in activities. Unfortunately, current circumstances make it impossible for us to gather as a group and celebrate your accomplishments. So, I decided to write each of you a personal letter to extend congratulations to you on behalf of the School Board and entire school district.

I hope your participation in your chosen activity has taught you a great deal and brought you as much pleasure as it has for those of us who support your efforts. The opportunities you have been provided through activities, whether that be to hone your skills, to travel and compete, to learn what it means to be involved in a team, and countless other ways your coaches and advisers have involved you, should not be underestimated. Your experiences will help build character and knowledge that comes from a different kind of classroom than most of us have in mind.

Please take time to thank your families and others who have supported your participation. I know that if we were in the school board room, they would line up to take photos and would be wearing broad smiles indicating their pride in your accomplishments. I am guessing that even now they would enjoy taking your picture with this letter and your certificate!

Though we are not able to be together, please know that the hard work and dedication you bring to your chosen activity, and to the classroom, is an inspiration to all of us at North Branch Area Public Schools. We miss you! We hope to welcome you back soon and offer our very best wishes for you and your entire family. Go Vikings!

I wish for all of our families continued health and safety during this time, and I look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our inspirational students back into our schools.

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