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Letters | Bemidji Pioneer | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


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This letter is paid content. I moved to the Bemidji area in 1972 from my home state of Iowa to help my family run a resort in the Cass Lake area. I hadn’t planned on staying long up in the wilderness of Northern Minnesota, but as time passed I quickly grew to love the beauty of the area, the diversity of its residents, and the spirit needed to survive its brutal winters.

I became an art teacher and spent a few years in Northome Minnesota before budget cuts sent me in a different direction. Fifteen years passed while I worked as a commercial printer before I had the opportunity to return to the classroom. I strived to make the most of my second chance, doing everything I could to build an art program that was an integral part of student’s lives, and a valuable member of the school community.

Over my twenty-four years teaching in Bemidji, its citizens voted many times to support strong schools and programs like mine. I can’t say that we always had adequate funding needed for our classes, but I do know that we made a difference in many students’ lives. The arts are the highlight of many students’ day, but are first on the chopping block when funding is tight.

Bemidji Schools are at a disadvantage with overwhelming transportation costs and underfunded federal mandates. The Corona Virus has also strained district resources without any real help from the government. For these reasons and more I plan on voting Yes on the referendum. I have faith that the good citizens of Bemidji will see the district’s need and respond with the spirit needed to keep Bemidji Schools the “Star of the Northland”.

Mike Ohl

Bemidji, Minn.

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