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Pioneer Editorial: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer: Shorter honored as teacher of year

Congratulations to Jon Shorter, fourth-grade teacher at Horace May Elementary School. His colleagues recognized Shorter for his 31 years of dedication to children and positive learning. Congratulations also go to lay educator of the year Allen Benson, who volunteers with America Reads at Horace May, and support professionals of the year Jill Hanson, Solway Elementary School secretary, and Karen Tank, Bemidji High School nurse.

Cheer:?Theater changes

Cate Belleveau, the impetus that gave Bemidji Wild Rose Theater, is embarking on a new adventure, teaching in Kyrgyzstan this year, but the theater will continue under the management of Betty and DeeJay Arens and Steve Saari. Saarens Productions, a conflation of the two names, already has scheduled entertainment as well as auditions for a second show. They will also maintain the Fleur de Lis Gallery for area artists' exhibits.

Jeer:?Dumbing down

Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, hired Cedar Rapids-based Stamats Communications to help develop a new logo for the school. The idea was to promote the "Drake Advantage," but the symbol "D+" makes the school seem to instead offer to reward students for making low grades. How embarrassing that school authorities would accept the D+ concept, and even more surprising - they paid for it.

Cheer:?Taking initiative

Tom Damon wanted a mountain bike trail at Movil Maze. Rather than simply submit a request to the Beltrami County Commission or lobby for his project, he took it upon himself to build a three-mile single track at the park. His initiative also inspired other outdoors volunteers to work on the trail.