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Outstanding teacher

THUMBS UP: Beth Sletta has been an outstanding teacher in District 88 for some time, and its about time someone recognized it. This week Sletta, who teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses at Jefferson Elementary School, was recognized by Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom as its 2019 Outstanding Teacher of the Yea.

Sletta likes to emphasize agriculture in the classes she teaches and the school garden she coordinates. There’s a lot of science to be learned in growing plants and food.

Congratulations to Sletta for the well-deserved recognition.

Christmas giving

THUMBS UP: Christmas time is nearing, and local groups that spread Christmas cheer are hard at work this weekend. Earlier this week the students at St. Paul’s Elementary School packed and helped distribute Blessing Bags of gifts and useful items for home-bound seniors. The New Ulm Jaycees are busy today delivering food baskets for needy families that they packed last night. The Sertoma Club is holding its Santa’s Closet toy distribution today so that kids who might not otherwise have a very happy Christmas will find something under the tree on Christmas morning.

There are so many good, kind people who have been giving to these and other projects that it’s no wonder the season is becoming more joyful.

Walz stays home

THUMBS UP: Minnesota Governor-elect Tim Walz passed up a chance Thursday to travel to Washington to meet President Donald Trump and discuss issues of importance to the states. Walz stayed home, figuring it was wiser to spend his time getting ready for the transition to governor in just a couple more weeks.

Walz’s absence drew criticism from state Republicans, including Rep. Anne Neu, R-North Branch. She wants Walz to meet with Trump in the near future “and work to build a productive working relationship with the White House.”

Walz, with his 12 years in Congress, probably knows plenty of people at the federal already, and probably has even met Trump once or twice. And any attempt to build a “productive working relationship” with this dysfunctional White House is a waste of time.

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