Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:59 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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To improvements made in the Albert Lea graduation rate in 2022.

New data released this week from the Minnesota Department of Education shows an almost 7% overall increase in the graduation rate with Albert Lea Area Schools last year.

At Albert Lea High School, the graduation rate increased by about 1% to 86.6% of students graduating in four years. The Online Academy graduated 100% of its students, and the percentage at the Area Learning Center improved from about 30.8% to almost 42% in four years.

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While there is room for improvement, we applaud the teachers and educators who have worked diligently to connect with students and help them learn and grow.

Your hard work is paying off.

We look forward to seeing these numbers continue to rise in the coming years.

To the TNR program underway in Albert Lea.

Thank you to the city of Albert Lea and nonprofit organization Camp Companion, which are collaborating to bring about a large-scale trap-neuter-return program in the community.

The program seeks to trap stray and feral cats in the community, bring them to a veterinarian to be vaccinated and then spayed or neutered, and then returns them to where they started.

The goal is to better manage the city’s cat population in the problem areas.

Volunteer Dee Amberg said the program not only enhances the neighborhoods where there are presently large cat colonies, but also enhances the cats themselves, as well as the whole community.

She encouraged people who are feeding cats, as well as people who may not be pleased that there are cats in their neighborhood, to reach out to Camp Companion at 507-951-7801.

We appreciate the city and Camp Companion for working on a solution for this issue and look forward to seeing the success of the program for the long-term.

To many unanswered questions about the termination of Freeborn County Administrator Candace Pesch.

It’s coming up on two weeks since the termination of Freeborn County Administrator Candace Pesch, and information about the decision is still far and few between.

During the special board meeting on Tuesday, board Chairman John Forman read a statement that indicated “the majority of the board concluded that the administrator had not gained the confidence of a majority of the board members during her initial six-month probationary period.”

Because the discussion on the issue occurred at a closed session, the more specific reasons have not been stated, leaving the public to speculate.

Especially considering the turnover in administrators in recent history, we believe the public deserves more explanation.

As the public, we deserve to know why, and we encourage the county board to remember the taxpayers, who ultimately pay for this position. More transparency on this issue may get to the source of why the county may be struggling to find some consistency in this position.