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Not just another school year

When the calendar turns over to August, it signals that another school year is on the horizon (even though there are still some Northeast Nebraskans who think classes shouldn’t resume until after Labor Day).

But if there are those who are thinking that the 2019-2020 school year will be just like recent years, we would beg to differ.

We note, for example, the opening of the Little Panthers Preschool in the former Our Savior Lutheran Church building at the corner of 25th Street and Norfolk Avenue. It’s impressive how the former worship facility has been transformed — and on a tight renovation schedule.

We’re also impressed with how Melissa Jantz, who heads up the program for the Norfolk Public Schools, has sought to be inclusive in working with representatives of other preschools — private and parochial in nature — to share information on a variety of topics. That can only serve to benefit all of the preschools and the children who attend.

We also offer best wishes to Drew Urban, who is the new principal at Christ Lutheran School, as well as the Rev. Pat McLaughlin, who has been named the president of Norfolk Catholic Schools.

Both are important aspects of the overall educational system in Norfolk. New leadership often brings with it fresh ideas, but there’s also bound to be a learning curve, too.

On a more somber note, two parochial schools won’t be opening their doors this fall. The leadership of Keystone Christian Academy and Park Avenue Christian both have decided that enrollment numbers, finances and other factors dictated that classes not be offered this fall. We’re sad to see them go.

Northeast Community College will be beginning a new school year under the leadership of two interim co-presidents in Mary Honke and Steve Schram as the college’s board of governors continues its diligent work in hiring a new president to succeed Dr. Michael Chipps, who retired in late May.

Norfolk High will continue to see its career academy offerings expand this fall as more students realize the benefit of that kind of an educational pathway.

So, as one can see, it won’t be just “another school year.” Lots of changes are in store for students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents as the new year begins. It’s bound to be an exciting time.

In other news

Community is the driving force behind Norfolk’s upcoming ’Fork Fest. Spearheaded by the Norfolk Arts Center, ’Fork Fest brings together area artists, musicians and restaurants for an event that celebrates our creative community. This is the fourth year for the festival, which will be held on…

It’s time to break out the spade and garden gloves. I’ve been inspired by recent visits to unbelievably beautiful flower gardens. I think we could transform an empty spot around the farm into an oasis of color.

I haven’t always been interested in the great outdoors. Growing up with three older brothers, I was introduced to fishing poles and guns at a young age but was never fully immersed in the sports. After they left for college, the desire to be out in the woods faded until I met my husband.

Jimmy Johns

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