By Teri Knight, News Director
Beth Kallestad is now the Program Coordinator for the City of Northfield, hired to help implement two of the council’s six-part strategic plan. Mayor Rhonda Pownell explained that one initiative is “diversity, equity and inclusion, a community that welcomes everyone” and the other is climate change impacts. Kallestad said, “While those two areas are somewhat different, they’re similar in that they cut across everything. We really just didn’t have one person that could help to focus on that and so my role is really to help see where all the pieces are and help the different departments carry out the pieces that apply to them.” City staff are charged with the actual work and Kallestad’s role will be to help staff coordinate and manage this very ambitious plan. As for climate change, it’s about mitigation, what we can do to help slow down the effects of climate change, she said, “…that’s
about energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, converting to renewable energy.” And resilience, how we cope with the effects of more storms. The city established a Climate Action Plan Advisory Board last year and also hired a consultant from the Great Plains Institute to work out the details of the initiative. Kallestad said there will be an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the draft plan when it’s ready later this summer. Kallestad said there’s really no budget set yet as it’s difficult to determine.
NHS graduates look forward, know they’re “enough” and remember how they made each other feel
Over 300 Northfield High School students graduated yesterday, 117 of those students graduated with a GPA of 3.7 or higher, 34 of them had a 3.5 to 3.7 and 56 are members of the National Honor Society. Principal Joel Leer quoted Rainer Maria Rilke, saying, “And now let us welcome the new year full of things that never were,” adding that it was a day to look back on with a smile but to also look forward with “perhaps even more delight.” School Board Chair Julie Pritchard talked of the music, arts and drama as well as the athletic achievements. She thanked the graduates for “sharing your talents, energy and passion with our community.” She said Northfield’s a better place because of their dedicated service on city boards and commissions and their hours of community service. Seniors Rachel Leonard and Logan Ledman were selected to give the student addresses. Rachel’s mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and she spoke of persistence and the lessons she learned from her mom, saying, “Lesson number one, every setback, every hardship that you are faced with, every setback, every hardship, give it everything you have.” Another lesson, the right thing may not be the easiest thing to do and might not be about you. After six months, her mother passed away. She said her mom never lost herself and, “That was success in and out of itself because that was enough. And in that, she taught me that I am enough and so are all of you.” Logan’s address was about what the students would remember, and what they wouldn’t. He included plenty of light-hearted jokes directed at school administration. He told his classmates that they will never forget how they made each other feel. He said, “Hug each other, smile with and at people you normally wouldn’t. Know that, even if everything else about today is replaced by the many successes and challenges you will survive, that feeling in you today, that feeling that says ‘You Did It,’ you can do whatever’s next, that feeling is the legacy of today.” Science teacher Jeanne Hanzlik was selected by the students to give remarks; she spoke of time, saying, “Don’t be too quick to wish for life to happen, look around, ask questions, talk of many things, take your time.” All the names of the graduates were then read and they received their diplomas. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann wrapped up the ceremony by inspiring the graduates to be altruistic, living a life of service. The complete audio is HERE.
NDDC awards grants to ten local artists
The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) was recently awarded a two-year $30,000 grant by the Minnesota Main Street, a division of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, to fund an “Artists on Main Street” initiative in downtown Northfield. Ten local artists have been selected to participate in the first year. Their artwork will be displayed in Ames Park, the Northfield Depot, the Riverwalk, on bridges over the Cannon River, and in areas around Bridge Square. These art and performance pieces are intended to be temporary installations. The full press release is: Artists on Main Street press release May 28, 2019