Submitted by brian on



As you read this, the ROCORI School District will be just returning from the Thanksgiving break!  The pace of the school year has been quite rapid and it is amazing to think that we have completed more than a third of the year already.  There are a lot of things happening across the district and at all levels of our system.  I thought I would take a few moments to highlight some of the issues.



Congratulations are extended to Ken and Judy Salchow (the Candy People!)!  Ken and Judy were named, at the American Legion Auxiliary Teacher Tea, as the Friends of Education for the ROCORI School District!  Ken and Judy have been at the senior high site on either Thursday or Friday every week of the school year for the last decade!  

Ken and Judy became a part of our district family as we invited community members to have a “Friendly Presence” in our buildings shortly after the tragic incident of 2003.  They have been a part of the district, and most importantly the lives of our students, since!  Ken and Judy also attend as many activity events as they are able sharing candy, trivia and interaction with our students! 

Congratulations to the Salchows and thank you for the consistent efforts to make a difference!



During the early release from school on Friday, November 22, the staff was invited to engage in presentations by the Top Twenty organization!  We have chosen Top Twenty as a district theme for the year in relation to professional development efforts as an approach to continue to build positive building and classroom environments.

We continue to work to implement concepts from Top Twenty into our system and our culture in the ROCORI Schools.  The idea behind Top Twenty is that we all have choices in how we interact and engage.  We can exercise decisions to act in positive, productive and supportive ways (Top Twenty) or we can choose to act in negative, divisive and critical ways (Bottom Eighty).  The focus of the work is to be aware of our choices and to, as much as possible, make conscientious choices to act in the positive manner.

The theme for the afternoon was a Positive Culture.  As the information was shared (both in presentation and the supporting textbook), the four cornerstones of developing a positive culture are 1) Job One—Help Others Succeed; 2) Communicate:  “You Matter”; 3) Honor the Absent; and 4) See the Problem—Own the Problem.  The presentations to staff members were powerful illustrations of these principles!



The American Legion Auxiliary Teacher Tea conducted during American Education Week is always a very positive experience!  The ladies of the Auxiliary work so hard to prepare a nice reception for the ROCORI Staff! They truly want to honor the work that is done with the students of the district.  The opportunity to engage in a positive event like this, in a great setting, is always very meaningful! 

Also during the week, the Richmond Legion Auxiliary hosts an afternoon reception for the staff at Richmond Elementary School and St. Peter and Paul Elementary School.  This is also a very nice event.

Thank you, Auxiliary members, for the nice receptions and the wonderful support of the schools in our district!



In the fall of 2014, additions will be made to the ROCORI Athletic Hall of Fame.  Nominations for inductees are currently open and anyone in the community may nominate a ROCORI athlete, coach or program supporter for consideration. 

There has been considerable internal discussion about the location of the Hall of Fame.  The current location, just outside the middle school gym, has been filled.  We have 39 members of the ROCORI Hall of Fame and there are spaces to recognize 39 people!  Because of the space and the construction of the new gymnasium, Joel Baumgarten has been leading some internal discussions about a new Hall of Fame area.

Although decisions are not final, it appears that we are moving toward a relocation of the Hall of Fame to an area just off the Commons.  Discussions with local contractors indicate that a new granite space could be developed that might allow nominations and recognition for the next 40 or more years!

Assuming a move is made, the process would include recognition of the current members as well as space for new members of the ROCORI Hall of Fame.  The coaches association, ROCORI Booster Club, the athletic department and Joel Baumgarten have been very much engaged in the discussion of this idea and how, best, to continue the recognition.



One of the elements of discussion related to the Athletic Hall of Fame, if it is moved to the Commons area, is to determine what to do with the space currently occupied.  As Mr. Baumgarten has had discussions about the relocation, one of the ideas that is developing is to adjust the current space to an Arts Wall of Fame.

The idea behind this is that the ROCORI School District has a long history of success in various forms of the arts.  Because the Hall of Fame has focused on Athletic nominations, development of a Wall of Fame in other areas would extend the recognition opportunities to others in the district.

The arts recognition could be centered on visual, performing and creative arts forms.  Those who have had success or contributed to the success in programs such as music, band, choir, theater, visual arts, or other areas would be nominated, just as they are in the athletic program, and then a selection committee would determine entries into the Wall of Fame.  There are many details to be worked out, but this is an exciting development from the discussions about the spaces in the building.



At a recent meeting of the Central Lakes Conference (CLC) Governance Board, recognition for fall activities success was shared.  Although many of the items are determined in the field of competition, there were awards shared that are determined by coaches and teams.

As the information was shared, it was noted that the ROCORI Girls Cross Country team received the CLC Sportsmanship award. The ROCORI football team received the CLC Sportsmanship award for the second year in a row.

Congratulations to these teams for this recognition!  It is a pretty powerful and impressive statement from other coaches and teams to be recognized as the sportsmanship award winners.  It means that the sportsmanship evident in the conduct, behavior and performance of our teams was exemplary—certainly qualities to be commended!  Congratulations ROCORI athletes and coaches for demonstrating high standards of sportsmanship throughout the season!