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JEREMY OLSON COLUMN: I am excited to be here and serve this community

As I continue to meet the staff of Bemidji Area Schools, I am impressed by the dedication to our students and families that I continue to see

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Greetings! I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve as the next superintendent of Bemidji Area Schools.

I want to start out this community communication by introducing myself and my family. My name is Jeremy Olson and I have the good fortune to be married to my wife, Becky, who most recently worked as a special education paraprofessional.

We have four children: Naomi, Abby, Lydia and Anna. As a family, we enjoy the lakes and woods of northern Minnesota which make Bemidji a natural draw. We feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful area of the state.

This year will mark my 15th year as a superintendent serving districts in North Dakota and Minnesota.

I started my career as a superintendent at Pingree-Buchanan School District, then served as a split-time superintendent for both Underwood and Henning School Districts.

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For the past four years, I served as superintendent for Crookston Public Schools. Prior to my time as a superintendent, I was a teacher and principal serving the communities of the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota and the Cheyenne River Tribe in South Dakota.

I believe that these experiences have prepared me to lead the Bemidji School District and I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity to help carry on the work of the district.

Taking over for former superintendent Tim Lutz, who announced his retirement plans at a Jan. 24 school board meeting, Olson is eager for the collaborative opportunities throughout the community and honing in on his skill set once the school year starts.

In the short time that I have been here, I have been trying to connect with community members and learn about Bemidji.

I have had the opportunity to attend a Greater Bemidji meeting and learned about the work that is being done to not only attract new people into the area, but also to advance projects that will improve the local economy. I was also instantly impressed with the forward-thinking and collaborative nature of this group.

As I continue to meet people, I am pleasantly surprised by how proud people are of the community of Bemidji and the opportunities that this community has to offer.

In these first few weeks, I have been amazed at everything that Bemidji has going for it; fireworks, art festivals, summer activities, economic development and expanding business opportunities, just to name a few. There appears to be a spirit of optimism and excitement about the future of the community of Bemidji.

As I continue to meet the staff of Bemidji Area Schools, I am impressed by the dedication to our students and families that I continue to see. It has been extremely rewarding to see just how much our staff care not only about the students that they work with, but also the families that we serve.

I am also impressed by the great array of opportunities that are available to our students from Preschool offerings, STEM opportunities, Career Academies, College Level Courses, as well as all of our extracurricular activities. What I have discovered in my short time in Bemidji is that we have so much going for us.

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If you would like to connect with me about Bemidji Area Schools, please call (218) 407-9645 , email me at dr_jeremy_olson@isd31.net, or stop by the District Office located at 502 Minnesota Ave. NW in downtown Bemidji.

I am excited to be here and want to get to know our community. I am proud to serve as your superintendent. Go Jacks!

Jeremy Olson is superintendent of Bemidji Area Schools. He can be reached via email at dr_jeremy_olson@isd31.net.

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Jeremy Olson assumed his role as Bemidji Area Schools new superintendent on July 1.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

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