Why I love Albert Lea
Published 10:39 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023
John Double is an Albert Lea resident and works in the Albert Lea Area Schools as the executive director of Community Education.
Albert Lea has been my home since August of 2010, and I enjoy all that it has to offer in some way every day. I am proud to call Albert Lea my home and truly enjoy our community. When I think about why I love Albert Lea, three major reasons come to mind: the people, the opportunities and the community.
When I think of Albert Lea, the thing that I enjoy the most are the people. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know so many people from so many places and to hear their stories. I found friends and neighbors that I now consider family. I found Cindy, who (along with our dogs) brings joy to my life every day. I found a community full of people willing to connect on some level. These connections are often initiated through one of our workplaces, through mutual friends of ours, through a customer service/retail connection or just by getting to know people while being around Albert Lea.
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I’ve always believed you can tell a lot about a place by the people who live there. The way the Albert Lea community supports its own and steps up during challenging times speaks volumes about the quality of the people living here. Over the past decade or so, our community has faced some challenges as any community does. Knowing I am part of a community that steps up and pulls together to support our community members is important to me and makes me proud to be an Albert Lea resident.
My decision to move to Albert Lea started with an opportunity. In August of 2010, I was hired by Albert Lea Area Schools as an administrative dean at our Albert Lea High School. I still recall pulling up to the school for my interview and being so thoroughly impressed, and a little intimidated. After being hired, I quickly learned that the students, staff and families in our school district were also amazing and getting to know them was very rewarding. It was the start of a string of opportunities for me to continue my leadership journey while growing with our school district and community.
Something that drives me is that I seek to make a positive difference in the lives of others. It is strung through my past all the way back to elementary school. Albert Lea offers many opportunities to make that positive difference and to make a positive impact. I am invested in many organizations and learned the positive impacts of involvement, allowing me to recharge my energy. I have served on the board of directors for Daybreakers Kiwanis, Kennel Club of Freeborn County, Country Club Estates H.O.A., Albert Lea Family Y, United Way of Freeborn County and the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.
Growing up in Winona and spending a significant part of my life on the North Shore of Minnesota, water played a major role and is a key element in my life. There is something about it that can positively impact your mental health and well-being. After a challenging day, a walk or drive by one of the lakes helps me reset before getting home or moving on to the next thing in my day. Albert Lea’s lakes are a true community asset and were a huge positive when I moved to make Albert Lea my home.
Albert Lea also has so many events and things to do. The quantity and quality of city parks, and the proximity to state parks, are another community asset that is not seen in many places. It is something to definitely be appreciated. Compared to other cities our size, we offer so much more in our community. Whether looking to attend one of the many events or festivals held year-round, take in the annual county fair, enjoy a meal at one of several dining establishments or enjoy a walk around Fountain Lake, the variety of options make Albert Lea a great place to be.
Why do I love Albert Lea? The people are outstanding, the opportunities are plentiful and the community is amazing.