Cogwheel Archive

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | 7.1.10

July 8, 2010

Today’s Program: Legislative Update from Rep. David Bly and State Senator Kevin Dahle

Happy Birthday: Pete Stolley (6/29), Scott Richardson (7/1), James Grabau (7/4)

Next Week: Elder Collegium (Bill Carlson and Ed Lufkin)

Last Meeting:

Northfield Middle School Principal Jeff Pesta suggests middle school students are like “wet cement.” They are still malleable, but it is during these three critical years that their identifies and life habits are formed. Thereafter, he posits, change is possible, but it is more difficult, often coming with a cost.

Jeff has spent 14 years in school administration in four different school districts. He says there are no more “at-risk” kids here than in other places. He estimates that about 5 percent are truly in harm’s way. They are resilient, but it is critical that each one has a at least one caring adult who appreciates them and the challenges presented by adolescence.

He is implementing a number of strategies to help middle school kids adjust to their time of life. He is developing a sixth grade transitions program to help kids make the leap from elementary to middle school. He is promoting a pyramid model of student resources to help his staff find help for those who are struggling.

Poverty remains a common theme for those truly at-risk and it is a vexing issue. Jeff says he tries to just deal with each student, one at a time. He reminded us that middle school is a critical time. “Any investment spent on middle school students is worthwhile,” he said.

New Member: Nancy Amerman was inducted into the club. Her daughter, Ruth, was in Lithuania this past year. Nancy has a prospective outbound still in high school. Welcome to the club, Nancy.

Guests: Roberto and Luisa (Amerman), Laurie Pappas (Ophaug), Martha Rogers (Rogers)

Scholarship Enhancement: Judy Brown-Wescott


There will be a passing of the torch today. Chris Weber will succeed Rick Estenson as our fearless leader. Please thank Rick for his outstanding leadership this past year, and thank Chris for assuming his rank.

Luisa and Roberto were bid a fond farewell. They are both now on a Rotary trip to the East Coast. They are scheduled to depart for home shortly after their return.

Nominations for the club’s Good Neighbor Award officially closed yesterday, but if you have a really good nominee, there is a good chance Carl Caskey would allow it to be considered. Remember, the nominee should be someone from outside the club who has demonstrated service above self and whose work has contributed to a stronger, more cohesive community.

Club members and their families are invited to the Estenson Fieldhouse Thursday, Aug. 5, for a summer social. Besides the food and fellowship, there will be a concert by one of the bands here for the Vintage Band Festival.

Coming Up

July 15 – Missi Ahrens – Classification – (Williams)

July 22 – Topic TBA – (Ness)

Welcome Our Newest Members:

Dayna Clemment, Peter Schmelzer, Mark Henke, Nancy Amerman