Joe Bowen covers education (mostly K-12) and American Indian affairs for the Bemidji Pioneer.
He's from Minneapolis, earned a degree from the College of St. Benedict - St. John's University in 2009, and worked at the Perham Focus near Detroit Lakes and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis before heading to the Pioneer.
- Member for
- 2 years 7 months
LAPORTE—After a meeting earlier this month where many parents and other community members said they opposed a potential athletic co-op with a neighboring district, Laporte Public School leaders on Monday outlined about $252,000 worth of spending cuts, many of which School Board members had already enacted, and new revenue streams, some tentative, that could bring in more than $100,000.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools' graduation rate climbed again last year. About 76 percent of students in the school district's class of 2018 graduated on time, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education. That figure is about one point higher than last year's and the highest since 2003, the earliest year for which data was readily available on the department's website.
BEMIDJI—The drums were loud, and they thundered, on and off, for hours. Drummers and dancers from 17 northern Minnesota schools headed on a Saturday earlier this month to Remer, where staff at Northland Community Schools had organized Minnesota's State Drum and Dance Competition, an hourslong competition powwow for students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
BEMIDJI—Andrea Goodwin's eyes welled up before her name was even called. Bill Blackwell, Jr., executive director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University, had dropped too many hints: her same-computer-same-time work ethic and the time she volunteers tutoring and mentoring other students, including Blackwell's wife, who's working toward the same social work degree.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji educator wants to encourage a more positive discourse at his school.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools leaders formalized an initial round of spending cuts this week as they work to close a projected budget shortfall. School Board members on Monday agreed on about $600,000 worth of cuts to spending on licensed staff from the district's general fund. The measure they approved indicates a net reduction of only $84,000 in total, but that's because district leaders plan to pay for several new positions with "restricted" money they expect to receive from grants or from the state or federal governments for pre-kindergarten or special education.
BEMIDJI—Some Bemidji Area Schools students got a taste of Ojibwe language and culture Thursday. Gordon Maajiigwaneyaash Jourdain's first language is Ojibwemowin and he teaches at Duluth Public Schools' Missabekong Ojibwe Immersion Program. Jourdain is an experienced storyteller who speaks more-or-less extemporaneously, and he spent most of Thursday regaling students at Bemidji Middle School and Gene Dillon Elementary with tales from his youth.
BEMIDJI—As Bemidji Area Schools gets a handle on a projected $1.3 million budget deficit, school district administrators Monday said they've thus far identified about $900,000 in staffing reductions.
LAPORTE—Leaders at Laporte Public School and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District are set to tentatively consider a sports co-op between them. On Monday night, Laporte school board members are set to discuss forming a sports co-op with Walker, according to their agenda. About 12 miles south, their counterparts at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley are scheduled to meet at about the same time to consider a staff request to "investigate options" for the same. Staff and officials from the two districts uniformly stressed that Monday's discussions are preliminary.
LEECH LAKE—Is that a fisher or a bear in the night sky? At Leech Lake Tribal College Thursday, it was the former in Michael Price's "StarLab," where he told attendees about Ojibwe star knowledge at the college's fourth-annual Across the Universe family night.