Commissioner Jax tours schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 1999

Beyond the headlines and television clips, Gov.

Thursday, October 28, 1999

Beyond the headlines and television clips, Gov. Jesse Ventura is a friendly, intelligent and humorous man, Christine Jax said Wednesday.

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The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning, Jax was in Albert Lea to see how the school district has implemented the latest technology and improved its facilities through a $35 million bond referendum.

Stopping at several schools, Jax spoke briefly to students in an architectural drafting class at Southwest Junior High. The students asked what she thought of Ventura.

&uot;I like the governor an awful lot,&uot; she said. &uot;He is somebody I know personally. I like him a lot. He is really smart … He is also funny. He has a great sense of humor.&uot;

She said she had to be careful what she said because the news media could use her quotes out of context, but added that the governor is well versed in education, as well as agriculture, business and other issues.

Ventura doesn’t receive the credit he deserves, she said.

Jax said she was impressed with the facility improvements and technology in the district.

&uot;If I don’t get out of St. Paul, I will lose touch,&uot; said Jax, a former professor of education at St. Mary’s University in the Twin Cities. &uot;I want to go to places where great things are happening. That’s what I’m here to see.

&uot;The environment and technology you have here are outstanding,&uot; she added. &uot;I want to take what I see to other ends of the state. I can say, ‘You should do what Albert Lea is doing.’ This was great. I was impressed with the students.&uot;’

During the visit, Jax toured the new media centers at Southwest and Sibley Elementary School. She also stopped at Community Education.

She also commented about declining enrollment in Albert Lea; enrollment here is projected to decline by 1,000 students in the next 10 years.

&uot;I think they (the community) need to look at the declining enrollment and why they’re losing enrollment,&uot; she said. &uot;The community needs to answer this as a community.&uot;