During interview sessions with the Pelican Rapids School Board, the tables were turned–when  candidates for the Superintendent position were asked if they had questions of the board.

The candidate for the superintendent post who eventually became the board’s top choice, Randi Anderson, quizzed the board about why they ran for school board–and what they liked about the school and community.

Following are a few paraphrased and edited quotes and  comments from some board members–which also offered insights as to “What’s Right” in the Pelican Rapids area.

“Public education is the most important thing we can do as a nation,” said school board member Kathy Ouren.  “It’s also the most patriotic thing we can do. This has driven me to run, and re-run, for school board.”

When asked to run, Ouren said she “loved the school, loved the town…why not?”

Ouren also noted the achievements of the students over the years, and the strength of programs–ranging from band to choir to athletics to robotics.

The number of Pelican graduates who want to come back to their home town is a testimony to the school and the community, noted board member Dena Johnson.

“They want to come back to the Pelican area,” said Johnson. “I don’t recall hearing that as much eight to ten years ago…We must be doing something right as a school and community.” 

Board member Jon Karger, a Pelican graduate himself, said that he “wanted to have a say in the direction of the school, I wanted to get involved.”

Board member Charlie Blixt said Pelican and its schools are “amazing…The school really is a community, and very unique. As a town and school, we really care about each other.”

A teacher and coach, early in his career, Blixt went to work in the private sector, but always retained an interest in education.  “I liked being around educators. I officiated, I coached, I became involved in Boy Scouts…being on the school board was the next logical step,” said Blixt.

For Mark Forsgren, he recalled the difficulty the board had in passing referendums and building programs–facing strong “vote no” campaigns.

“I’m proud of the school.  We have three kids ourselves that went through the system. I thought it was time for me to step up,” said Forsgren. 

–Louis Hoglund, Managing editor