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Our View...Be true to your school

Anyone of a certain era will remember the old Beach Boys song, “Be True to Your School.”

“Be true to your school now

0 Talk about it

Just like you would to your girl or guy

Be true to your school now

And let your colors fly

Be true to your school.”

Songs of that era were filled with hot cars, cool chicks, angst over lost love, lots of “do-wa-diddies” and all sorts of seemingly outmoded topics such as devotion, loyalty and pride. And while some of those things are admittedly outdated, there’s a good deal that can be said for others. 

School pride, whether it is worn on your shirtsleeve or buried deep below the surface, is not something to be taken lightly. It’s what keeps kids here in their home town, attracts others, and makes schools more than just another institutional stepping stone on the pathway to career and freedom.

School pride comes from many things — friendships, relationships, experiences and environment. All are inextricably interwoven to generate the sort of passion and loyalty that translates into pride.

Next week, the Cloquet School Board will host the first of four public meetings intended to field input on the district’s current facilities needs and how best to address them. With a staggering $13 million price tag on critically needed repairs at the middle school and additional needs at other facilities, it’s something that must be addressed. Construction of a new middle school is one of the primary alternatives and that, of course, would be an even bigger financial commitment to the long-term future of the district.

Administrators, board members and a group of engineers and architects have done their homework on various courses of action, but so far those action plans are only words on paper until the citizens of the district have the chance to voice their input and opinions.

These meetings are not intended to be just “lip service,” but rather a very real turning point for the district and all of its schools. A robust turnout for these meetings is crucial to planning the next few months, years and decades.

While some will choose to let their pocketbooks lead the way, others will let their pride take the lead. It’s your kids, your community, your schools. You be the judge which way to go.

Wendy Johnson


Note: The first community meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Cloquet High School cafeteria. Other meetings are Feb. 10, March 3 and March 31, at the same time and location.