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He grew up and went to school here in Hastings. He is a graduate of Hastings High School. He returned to Hastings Middle School in 2004 as a counselor. Last week, Black was honored as the Hastings District 200 Employee of the Year at the annual recognition program May 17. All district employees vote for the winner. Superintendent Tim Collins was the master of ceremonies for the program. He offered comments (shared from other staff members) about Black. "As a guidance counselor at the Middle School others are in awe of Charlie's kind, soft and understanding demeanor.
They like living here. In the most recent Dakota County Residential Survey, residents continue to rate the quality of life in Dakota County very highly. Dakota County has completed a regular, periodic survey of residents since 2001. This year's survey was handled by the National Research Center Inc., and was administered by mail to 2,600 randomly selected households in February.
The 2013 Rivertown Days button design is done, thanks to Dave Youngren and Natasha Hill. The planning has begun for the events and activities. The annual Rivertown Days, sponsored by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and RBC Wealth Management, will be held July 18-21. Some events have already been confirmed. As it has for years, the Edina Realty Medallion Hunt will kick off this year's festival the week of the festival. Each day a new clue will be released daily at the Edina Realty office, 1649 S. Frontage Road.
When Charlie Black and Ellen Rademacher wrote a letter nominating Rick Wheeler for the counselor of the year award, they described him as a "silly, little, fun-loving guy who seems to know everyone." They said he always has a smile on his face and that people are drawn to him. But there is so much more to the man who has been part of the middle school for 25 years. Black and Rademacher also described him as "wickedly smart," and they said he is someone with a deep understanding of the adolescent mind, and, equally important, the mind of the parents of adolescent. Last week, Wheeler was se
The Orange Dragon Art Gallery, sponsored by the Hastings Prescott Area Art Council (HPAAC), has opened its new youth gallery featuring art from area children. The youth gallery, "Sky's the Limit," occupies the back room of the Orange Dragon, located at 122 Orange St. The first junior exhibitor in Sky's the Limit is Prescott third grader Elspeth Dempsey-Rice.
A new cemetery marker for a Hastings man who was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War will serve as the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend in Hastings. The annual Memorial Day observance is set for Monday, May 27. The marker dedication for Sgt. James Akers will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 24, at Oakwood Cemetery (located on Featherstone Drive near General Sieben Drive). Akers, a Civil War veteran killed on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg. His remains were returned home in November of that year.
The event began in 2009 with a "What If" grant from the Hastings Public Schools Foundation to celebrate students' artwork and writing at Kennedy Elementary School. It has continued each year thanks to continued funding from the grant. This year's Beyond Imagination evening will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at Kennedy Elementary School. The event was modeled after a similar event in Northfield, according to second grade teacher Amy Mitchell. "It was inspiring to the Kennedy staff," she said.
There are 34 first-graders and 34 seventh-graders at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. That probably was the first inclination this prayer service,"God Counts," was going to be unique and special. "The SEAS seventh graders do a prayer service each year, but this is the first time we've partnered up with the first graders," said religion teacher Kathy Gleich.
A century well lived ... and still going strong. Helen Gergen was born April 10, 1913, to Paul and Emma Endres. She grew up on a farm in rural Hampton with her parents and siblings. This week, she turned 100 years old. Helen attended a rural grade school which was just on the corner of their farm so she did not have far to walk. It was just a one-room classroom. "We went up to fourth grade -- we had one teacher and about 20 students," she said. "She taught all grades." After fourth grade she went to St. Mathias Catholic School in Hampton, which was about two miles from home.
The Hastings Community Education Little Learner Scholarship Fund recently received a grant from the United Way of Hastings. Now, it is attempting to match, if not exceed, that grant through a special fundraiser May 7 at the Hastings Country Club. The Hastings Community Education Early Learning Advisory Council is sponsoring the event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is $5 at the door. The evening includes light appetizers, a wine tasting (for an additional charge) and a "Not So Silent" auction.