Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Casselius visited Crookston Public Schools Thursday, specifically Crookston High School and Washington Elementary School, to connect with students, teachers, staff, administrators and the Crookston School Board. Over half a dozen students from Highland Elementary School greeted Casselius in the District Office Conference Room with treats and conversations about what they think makes their schools safe.

    “What do you think I should tell the governor, like what could we do to help improve schools across the state?” Casselius asked the Highland students.

    One student answered saying what they thought their school does that is good is that “there’s at least one person there” that will stop a fight if it happens. CHS junior Damian Hodgson added that  there’s a teacher who is there if a student is feeling bad and having a rough time and that they can go into her office and talk to her about it, and she can help them out.

    After the table discussion, Casselius got a small tour of CHS with Principal Eric Bubna, School Resource Officer Don Rasicot, Superintendent Chris Bates, and School Board members Frank Fee, Patty Dillabough and Kari Miller.

    Following the tour, Casselius went to Washington School to meet with Principal Denice Oliver where they discussed the need for Crookston to keep its early childhood funding that is at risk of going away in 2019 if the legislature doesn’t take appropriate action.

    “Just really excited about the people I’ve met, the school board members and their commitment, and the school principals and superintendent just doing a great job with the teachers for kids.” Casselius told the Times Thursday.