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2/3/2010 – News

Volume 126, Number 53           Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Former Maddock teacher dedicated to her profession
Editor’s note: This article concerns a former Maddock teacher, Tammi (Boom) Paulson. Her husband, Clark, is the son of Arland and Thelma Paulson of Maddock.

By NEIL O. NELSON Hillsboro Banner

Smiles all around. Teaching is still fun for Tammi Paulson. Not surprisingly, Hillsboro’s kindergarten children have fun in her classroom. Where the teacher and students might differ, however, comes in the reason why kindergarten is fun. Says Tammi Paulson: "It’s too much work not to be fun." It’s a job description children five and six years old might not fully understand, Paulson realizes.

So, she smiles and tells her students how much she loves her kindergarten classroom, starting with the kids. Children understand their teacher then; smiles they know. So, let’s have some fun, she tells her classroom. Bedlam erupts; learning starts.

Smiles, all around. Kindergarten, by definition, is a place where children develop basic skills and social behavior through games and handicraft.

Fun aside, Tammi Paulson is a skillful teacher.

She’s also dedicated to her profession, says her family.

"Must you live there?" complains husband Clark, of the time his wife spends at the Hillsboro Elementary School. Daughter Mindy, an art teacher at Langdon, is learning that to be a good teacher, dedication is a critical part of the equation.

She called earlier this week, after school, of course, complaining that she was "still doing school work."

Good for you, her mother replied.

Mindy wasn’t finished with her protest: "I didn’t think I’d have to live at the school."

Her mother replied," Have you forgotten all the time when you were little and with me when I was working at the school, after school?"

You’ll get used to it, Tammi intimated. It comes with the territory.

Tammi Paulson is completing her 28th year in education. She and Karrie Zink are Hillsboro’s two full-time kindergarten teachers.

Originally from Marion, Tammi taught nine years at Maddock before moving to Hillsboro.

The Paulson family arrived in Hillsboro in 1990, a week before school started.

Daughter Mindy was in her mother’s first kindergarten class. The class never made the connection until Christmas, when Mindy slipped and said, "Mom."

The class was cool with the daughter-teacher connection.

Hillsboro’s kindergartners still find their teacher cool.

Rick and Phyllis Nelson’s grandson, Greggy Garza, tells how school rocks.

"I just love Mrs. Paulson. She makes it so much fun."

Said Rick Nelson: "Tammi Paulson is obviously a dedicated teacher who makes learning fun."

When his grandson is home sick and complains because he can’t go to school, his teacher must be doing something right, Rick Nelson explains.

After 28 years, all fun aside, Paulson still finds education a challenge.

But it’s a good challenge.

"No two days are alike. Every kid is different. Every year is different.

You can’t just grab what you did last year and expect it to work again the next year."

Education and schools were very much a part of Paulson’s early years.

Her mother was an administrator and teacher.

Her sister is a teacher.

Now her daughter is a teacher.

"We’re all teachers."

Admitting there were not a "ton of options" available when she was making career choices, Paulson today insists she made the right decision.

"It’s exhausting, but I love it.

She’d choose education again, given the opportunity.

It’s all about the children, she tells. At this age, "they’re so excited to learn. And they work hard to learn as much as they can."

Some children struggle.

But, it’s not because of attitude.

Her classroom, best described as organized chaos, is noisy and busy. The classroom walls are peppered with school work and learning messages.

"There’s stuff everywhere. I like a good mess."

Of the chaos, she explains, "We’re going all day. It’s not always very quiet around here. But that’s part of being a kid, socializing and talking."

Meanwhile, the young students learn to read and write, add and subtract.

Her kids know 100-plus words when they graduate to first grade.

If you can’t read, you’re going to have trouble in the other subjects, she reasons.

She wishes the families of the young children would read and talk more at home.

"We don’t talk as much as we used to in homes," she suspects.

She also urges parents to give their children more latitude at home.

Don’t make every decision for them, she hints.

In her classroom, the children are taught to be independent, at the same time they’re instructed to "take care of your stuff and yourself."

Developing self-confidence is also part of the daily routine in Tammi Paulson’s classroom.

The kindergarten teacher isn’t afraid to admit she learns as much from her students as she teaches them.

"That’s fun."

A fun and telling story Tammi Paulson on occasion repeats goes like

this: A child is asked: "How do you know your teacher loves you?"

The child replies: "She smiles at me."

At the end of the day, Tammi Paulson knows why she loves her job.

The children file from her classroom, each receiving a smile from the teacher.

The smile is always returned.

Tammi Paulson with one of her kindergarten students at Hillsboro.

Tammi Paulson taught at Maddock for nine years and married a Maddock native, Clark Paulson.

Pretty cool school cook
Leeds School Head Cook Susan Hawn wasn’t going to let blocked roads keep her from going to work Tuesday morning after the three-day blizzard. She rode 17 miles (round trip) to prepare breakfast and lunch for students and staff on Tuesday. She is shown here on her snowmobile.

Study glaciers

Mr. Seiler’s fourth grade class at the Leeds Elementary School made model glaciers to observe how glacial ice flows. They were then able to define glacial ice flow based on their experiences and observations.

Ryan Wangler and Garrett Johnson study their glacier for movement.

Alexandria Heck and Rochelle Hansen work on their glacier.

Dani Schwanke and Arnikka Thompson were happy with their glacier.

Receives grant
The Devils Lake Area Foundation recently awarded grants to several area non-profit organizations. The Minnewaukan Public Library was a recipient of one of those grants. The funds will be used to purchase children’s books, the Twilight book series and adult fiction bestsellers for the library. Pictured are Devils Lake Area Foundation Committee member Amy Heilman with Cathy Burkhardsmeier, Minnewaukan librarian.

Farmers Press editor chosen as ‘Unsung Hero’
The editor and publisher of the Benson County Farmers Press, Richard Peterson, is Unsung Hero for January. The Unsung Hero award is presented monthly to people who are or have worked to make their communities a better place. The award is sponsored by the Ramsey National Bank and Trust Co. and Lake Chevrolet, both located in Devils Lake.

Peterson began working at the Farmers Press in Minnewaukan 50 years ago on Oct. 24, 1959. At the time, he was a freshman at Lake Region Junior College. Richard says, "When I began employment at the newspaper, I had no idea it would be a lifelong affair." With the charming humor that is evident in his weekly column (Poor Richard’s Almanac), he explains "I got into a rut and was unable to climb out."

In 1963 he became editor and publisher of the Farmers Press. When the war in Viet Nam began to heat up, he turned the newspaper over to his predecessor, Leslie Strand, and he entered the US Army as a private in 1967. He attended Infantry Officers Candidate School in Fort Benning, Ga. where he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant and was sent to Viet Nam to be in charge of a publication for Vietnamese employees of the US government designed to promote harmony between Vietnamese and Americans.

Richard was promoted to First Lieutenant in Viet Nam.

In 1970 Richard returned to Minnewaukan to resume his position as editor and publisher of the Farmers Press. Soon he became deeply involved in numerous community endeavors including the Minnewaukan Community Club and other boards that promote community development. He was elected to the Minnewaukan City Council where he served eight years. Though he has retired from most organizations, he remains active in American Legion Post 86, the Minnewaukan Museum and the Minnewaukan Cemetery Association. Because of his writing and accounting skills, he has often been elected to serve as secretary-treasurer.

In his spare time, Richard enjoys cooking and gardening. He and his wife, Hollys have been married for 32 years. She is an addiction counselor at the Lake Region Human Service Center. They have two sons, one of whom works with Richard at the newspaper.

The newspaper has been Richard’s passion. He says, "I usually put in 60 hours a week . . . sometimes more." The newspaper industry has changed dramatically since he began as a "printer’s devil." He says, "Now everything is computerized and you wash your hands BEFORE you go to work." When Richard began in this business, working conditions were frightful. He says, "It was awful, but at the time you just accepted it, thinking this was the way life is."

Due to the many changes in the newspaper industry and in the demographics of the region, the Farmers Press now represents the Maddock Standard, the Benson County Courier, the Esmond Bee and Dakota Siftings.

Richard says, "The five employees at the Farmers Press now report on the activities of the communities that once were served by these four newspapers."

Of all of the changes Richard has witnessed, he sees changes wrought by the rising lake as the most startling. The rising lake has caused critical changes to the landscape and to the lives of the people of the Lake Region. Richard says, "The biggest story of the century is the rise of Devils Lake." He says the town of Minnewaukan, where he has steadfastly dedicated untold hours, will be in serious jeopardy if the lake rises another five feet. He says, "When I moved to my present home, the lake was eight miles away. Now it’s in my back yard."

Richard knows first hand the angst we are enduring as the saga of the lake continues and as we continue to hope for the stabilization of this great lake.

One would hope that as time goes by Richard will take up his pen to write about the community and region he knows so well. Though he says, "I don’t think I have a book in me," there are those who would disagree with him. He does admit, "I’ve been around a long time" and further states, "I’ve been collecting things in my mind." He certainly has a great sense of history, a love of his community and of course the writing skills. Doesn’t it seem like that is how books are born? Time will tell.

Benson County Farmers Press editor Richard Peterson (center) receives the "Unsung Hero Award" from its sponsors. On the left is Amy Heilman of Ramsey Bank & Trust Co. and on the right is Jeff Wahl of Lake Chevrolet. (Devils Lake Journal photo by Sue Kraft)

NESC Lego tourney held in Lakota
The NESC regional Lego League tournament was held Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Lakota Community Center in Lakota. Lego teams participated from Dakota Prairie, Rock Lake, Four Winds, NorthStar, Central Middle School (Devils Lake), Leeds, Rolla and Minnewaukan. Officials from the state FLL tournament served as judges. Awards for first, second and third were presented and each participant received a certificate.
Winners of the competition were Dakota Prairie first place, Minnewaukan second place and Leeds third place. All teams except Minnewaukan planned to compete in the state tournament January 30 at the Bette Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks. Admission is free. Opening ceremonies are at 9 a.m. and awards are scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
First Lego League introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover career possibilities and learn to make positive contributions to society.

The Minnewaukan team took second place at the Lego tournament. Left to right are Alex Beecroft, coach Eric Arness and T.J. Worthey.

Members of the Four Winds team were, left to right, Bryce Medicine Stone, Chase Shaw, Noah Herman, Terry Fox, Vincent Shaw, Shandiin Goodbird, Alexis Lohnes and Coach Lawrence Bull. Not pictured are Nadean Goodbird, Daija Alberts and Denzel Knutson.

The Leeds team was composed of, left to right, coach Patti Yoder, Jessica Sexton, Nikara Nelsen, Devin Schwanke, Joe Silliman, Richelle Darling and Garrett Featherstone. Not pictured is Lane Ritterman.

5,200 new books
The Warwick School Library recently received 168 boxes of new books, which is one of the results of the library grant received this year. Shown unpacking the books are librarian Karlene Warner, left, and librarian paraprofessional Deb Bertsch. The total dollar amount was $113,396.39 for the 5,239 books. New shelves are on order.

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