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Westbrook, Minnesota
May 21, 2014     Sentinel Tribune
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May 21, 2014

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Inside Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Page 3 Class of 2014 graduation From page I He wondered what he and luck m life" the dreaded junior high,  i,,, his classmates will do with Following the senior where teachers go to die!" !: their lives. He noted his class has the potential to do great things with their lives. Some will become business men, bankers, accountants, mechanics and so forth, they will go on to do good for oth- ers and themselves. "I know this day will be one that we remember," he said. He wondered what his class should do with the money they saved up. He thought maybe they could get Mrs. Kleven a walker, or who knows, maybe a Hoveround, he joked. In closing Bums took a moment to talk about their classmate Teng Yang who passed away over a year ago. "He was a great guy, and nothing would've made us happier than to have him sit- ting with the rest of his class today," Bums said. Yang had a saying, which became the class motto, "Today is the best day to be a Good Friend." I want to thank all of you for the memories and wish you all the best of addresses, the WWG Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Constance Knott, sang "We Can Share a Dream." Then the Charger Band performed "Pixar Movie Magic," under the direction of Brenda Derickson. Mr. Richards introduced the high honor students, fol- lowed by Superintendent Loy Woelber introducing the commencement speaker Mrs. Beth Kleven. Beth Kleven, former teacher, started her address with a personal talk stepping down from the podium to address her former students. She told them, "Hey you made it! Hard to believe. You all look so spiffy-so ready to get that diploma and walk out those doors. But not yet, not quite yet. First one more speech. She had most of these kids starting in eighth grade. She recalled when the school went from a K-4 school at both sites to a Jr - Sr High School and K-6 school. She remembers thinking, "oh no, She wondered what she would do with a bunch of squirrely, no idea what they are doing, emotion -driven, pimple laden 13, and 14 year olds? With all those things attached, she said, "What a good time I had! Of course, at times, I would have traded all of you for a good cup of cof- fee, but there were few days like that." She compared the prob- lems of her generation with the problems of their genera- tion. Hers was an unpopular war, drugs, and the hippie movement. Theirs is about terrorism, an ever changing electronic world, media pro- motions of being an adult before they are adults, and the regular terrors of just growing up. She said, "for many of these students sitting in front of us, Sleep was just an option during the school year." She talked about the many extra curricular activities that took away sleep time early in the morning and many eve- The WWG Class of 2014 chuckled at some of the com- ments made by address speaker Beth Kleven. nings. There was football, cheerleading, baseball, bas- ketball, volleyball, track, golf, and much more. "In addition to all the extra curriculars there, of course, was the school day,"she said. "There was a reason for cranky kids, drowsy kids, kids who really weren't with it some days. For many of these very involved, very dedicated stu- dents, there weren't enough hours in the day." These students weren't just in classes. They were thoughtful, involved kids willing to put in incredibly long days to achieve for teachers and coaches who were also willing because they cared. This group of young men and women repre- sented WWG well, and leamed necessary skills need- ed for their futures. "I salute you, Class of 2014. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with those of us lucky enough to have worked with you at Westbrook Walnut Grove," she closed. Following the com- mencement address Principal William Richards presented the graduating class. Diploma's were presented by Chairperson Marvin Kleven. The Class of 2014 moved their tassels and threw their mortar board caps into the air. The class marched out of the gymnasium to the tune of Fanfare and Processional by the high school band. The class formed a reception line in front of the high school. WilderFro=pageiMUseum Open House After renovating the depot building the museum opened in the spring of 1981. Since that time the museum has continued to expand to a full campus of buildings and a modem spacious visitor cen- ter and gift shop. In 1982 Industrial Arts teacher and one of his classes converted a small shed into the chapel. In 1984 Home Ec teacher Donna Knudson's home - ec class :renovated a small graine;?owned by Conrad Steenb the one room school house. In 1987 the Bob McVenes exhibit hall was built where the current visitor center and gift shop is located. In 1988 a man in a pickup truck lost control of his vehicle and drove it through to the inside of the building. In 1993 Grandma's House was purchased from Pat Peterson along with a large building to the rear of the property. About a year later Grandma's House opened with a variety of displays including a large doil collec- tion from Kathy Mischke. It includes a hands on area for children along with displays of Garth Williams Illustrations, new story boards for the Laura room. The large building was remodeled in 1999 and com- pleted in 2001. This large display area is called Heritage Lane and has local displays including many community artifacts. There is a display of equipment from the former Walnut Grove Tribune news- paper office, a general store, a local telephone switch: board, and many pioneer tools and a hands on general store display. A building was donated and converted into the Eleck Nelson homestead it was refurbished in 2003 and opened in 2004. At the same time the sod front dugout was built showing how the Ingalls lived when they "were along Plum Creek. Several murals from Minnesota artists have been added to the depot, and Heritage Lane the past few years. In 1999 the McVenes building was remodeled into a visitor center and gift shop and opened the spring of 2000. In 2011 the museum began the first phase of remodeling the visitor center. Additional space was added to the gift shop, and office area. In 2012 phase 2 of the plan began more than dou- bling the visitor center and gift shop, along with more storage space. Board members include: Jim Kleven - president; Cathy Baumann - vice-president; Lori Johnson - treasurer; Beth Kleven -Secretary; Lynn Swanson, Robyn Hansen, Carolyn Enstad, Jesse James, Ed Fornberg. Sandy Carpenter, Stanley Gordon, Greg Hansen, Dan Warner, Kari Maas, Steve Hanson. Honorary board members: Edna Lessman, Shirley Knakmuhs, Kathy Mischke. Museum Staff: Amy Ankrum - director; Nicole Elzenga - collections manag- er; Sarah Warner - office assistant; Kenni Ahonen, Marlys Pemble, Rose Pederson, Wendy Rogotzke, Hannah DeSmith, and Kalee Mischke. Above: TV star memorial wall display. Right: Laura's Writing Legacy wall display. The museum will be hold- ing their annual open house on Memorial Day weekend with free admission to the museum campus. The Walk of Lights will be held Sunday at 7:00 p.m. If you have never seen the museum or have not seen it for a while stop by and see what is new. \\; YOUR GUIDE TO.FOOD, FUN & ENING F, IR ARE, Laura lngalis Wilder Museum 40th Anniversary Celebration and Walk of lights Dedication Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 7 p.m. at the Museum in Walnut Grove Refreshments will be served Bring a lawn chair to enjoy the presentation and dedication in comfort. Afterwards, stroll through the buildings and view all the history they hold. 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