Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 7:59 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

To 2019 Teacher of the Year Kris Burnett.

Congratulations to Hawthorne Elementary School teacher Kris Burnett, who was recognized during the annual Teacher of the Year ceremony Wednesday at Albert Lea High School.

Burnett has taught kindergarten for 23 years, before which she held other roles related to education in the Albert Lea area, including substituting.

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She was described as having a positive attitude and a way with children, always showing kindness and patience.

We also recognize the other five finalists: Lakeview special education teacher Joie Willner, Southwest Middle School vocal music teacher Mary Bissen, Lakeview fifth-grade teacher Matt Bitz, Lakeview interventionist Heather Heitman Alford and Area Learning Center English teacher Paula Olson.

Our children and our community is better thanks the impact of all of you, and we are grateful for such dedicated teachers in the district.



To a crowded Sibley Elementary School.

Thank you to Albert Lea Area Schools officials and members of the school board for beginning to discuss crowding at Sibley Elementary School. The school presently has 431 students enrolled, compared to the 330 at Halverson Elementary School, 339 at Lakeview Elementary School and 419 at Hawthorne Elementary School.

The district states Sibley has the highest population of students who are open-enrolled.

According to research, class size is one of many factors that can influence student learning, and we encourage the district to continue discussing options to alleviate this concern.

We appreciate the attention to this issue and urge the school board and officials to make this a priority.        



To Albert Lea Area Schools being recognized as one of the best districts in the nation for music education.

Congratulations to the school district for being named a Best Communities for Music Education recipient by The NAMM Foundation. The district was one of 623 districts across the country to receive the recognition. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, music educators in the district answered questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.



To the Albert Lea Family Y’s Livestrong at the YMCA program.

Thank you to the Albert Lea Family Y and the three instructors who lead the Livestrong at the YMCA program. The 12-week exercise program is for cancer survivors or those undergoing treatment.

It not only empowers the participants to use the exercise machines at the Y and to continue a healthy lifestyle once the class is over, but it also encourages camaraderie with the other participants, who have had similar life challenges.

We hope others who have had cancer or who are undergoing treatment consider joining this program in the future.

It is a huge benefit for the community.