Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, June 11, 2020


An announcement from our District’s Rotary Foundation Team:  We are in Week #2 of our District’s “PUSH for $400K” for giving to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund, and we got off to a great start last week!  If you donated to the Annual Fund last week, thank you … your contribution will help make the lives of people better! If you haven’t yet donated, don’t worry … there is still time. The deadline for contributions is June 30, but there is no reason to wait until then!
Remember, there is a special opportunity as well: if you can give at least $365 (the equivalent of a dollar a day), some of our current Foundation Champions will utilize their recognition points to make you a Paul Harris Fellow. That’s right … For this special PUSH for $400K month, $365 is all it takes to be a Paul Harris Fellow!
While there is special recognition at this level, any amount is important, as it’s not about the amount or the recognition, but it’s about the impact you’re making. Your donation will help teach kids essential skills, prevent mothers and babies from dying, create peace, treat and prevent disease, provide economic opportunities and improve clean water and sanitation … all improving the lives of the recipients of our projects! 
Thank you for your gift to The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund this month as you help us PUSH for $400K!
This Week's Meeting
This week's speaker is Dayna Norvold on Northfield Housing Task Force hosted by Scott Wopata.
Rotarians Around the Globe
James Loe (6.10.2019), Chris Kennelly (6.13.2013), Laurie Williams (6.13.1996).

ZOOM in Thursday, June 11, 2020
Members: Watch for a separate email message with login information for this week's Zoom meeting.



To honor the life of George Floyd and acknowledge the aims of the protests that followed, the club shared a moment of silence. Bruce Morlan also shared Rotary International’s statement of its commitment to peace and justice, and its support for protests against racism. 


Our new Rotary-branded yellow polo shirts will soon arrive. Vicki Dilley will let us know about payment and distribution.

President Carlson said our second annual 4-Way Taste will be  a virtual event this year, due to you know what. The event team will present their plan to us on June 25.

Bruce Morlan said there openings in July for speakers. If you have an idea, please share it with him.


Bruce Morlan is celebrating an upcoming visit from his grandkids.

Alan Anderson’s wife celebrated a “big” birthday, and we are all on notice that she has earned her brown belt in karate.


George Davis spent most of his adult life working in science education, first in a high school setting, then 31 years at the post-secondary level. Early on, he focused his efforts on learning how students learn. He ushered in the use of computers and then watched as cyber education was amplified by the Internet. He’s been curious how students have adapted to distance learning, and invited Dr. Matt Hillmann, superintendent of Northfield School District, to share Northfield’s experience during the pandemic.  


Dr. Matt Hillman, Northfield Superintendent of Schools hosted by George Davis

The school district’s decision seven years ago to give each student in grades 3-12 an IPad paid off handsomely when the pandemic forced teachers to adapt to distance learning.

Superintendent Matt Hillmann said the technological architecture was in place to quickly develop distance learning instruction once the governor mandated schools be closed last March. Teachers had only three days to make the adjustment. The governor closed schools on March 15. Northfield had a scheduled spring break and then school resumed on March 31. 

Overall, Dr. Hillmann said the exercise has gone well. The district’s principles guiding the conversion were: relationships first; less is more in terms of homework and assignments; flexibility; and grace. He said they needed to acknowledge they would not always get this right on the first pass. But he said teachers have shown amazing creativity in their teaching and have made efforts to nurture the relationships that are the foundation of the learning experience.

Besides the short notice for teachers, there were other bumps in the road to distance learning. Some 65 families lacked Internet access. District officials scrambled with the help of Northfield’s Healthy Community Initiative and mobile carriers to find hot spots that could be used. Going forward they will work on consistency of expectations across the teaching staff, teaching the right amount of content, and keeping students engaged.

Dr. Hillmann said summer school will be done with distance learning. What school will look like in the fall will be determined by the end of July. His guess is they will start the week of Labor Day with some hybrid version of instruction. 

Students had mixed feelings about learning from home. They certainly missed the social aspect of classroom learning. Some were overwhelmed when assignments came due. The district found it especially challenging to provide the support and instruction for special ed students, Dr. Hillmann said. Ipads were issued to special education para-professionals so they could support their students. 

Online learning, in some form, is here to stay. Dr. Hillmann said. It will continue be one of the many tools in a teacher’s toolbox. It remains to be seen how it will be employed once students return to the classroom. And he thinks relationship building can be done long distance. The district will be reaching out to schools that have had success and learn from them.


June 18  — Pam Tschida, Fast for Hope 

June 25 — 4-Way Taste Plans

July 2 — Club Meeting, Transfer of Power

Barry Carlson, President

Barry's Buzz

Dear Rotarians,
Welcome to summer! 
This week we have humidity, sun, warm temps, thunderstorms and mosquitos! It actually feels like summer with the kids officially out of school. As I look forward to this summer I wonder what I will think back to it ten years from now? I believe I will enjoy the summer, but in a different way than I ever expected it to be.
This weeks speaker is Dayna Norvold hosted by Scott Wopata. She will provide us with an update of the Northfield Housing Taskforce. Lots going on here.
Speaking of “lots going on," your fundraising committees have been scrambling around trying to “tweak” our fundraisers for next year so we can continue to fund all the good we do here as a club locally and internationally. Do know there will be a 4-Way Test Festival, Jesse James Bike Tour and Northfield Rotary Turkey Trot? We still need you all to step up and help to make them successful!
More details in weeks to come, with changes happening each week because of the pandemic.
Most have heard, but Rotary's International Youth Exchange program is on hold for the year so we will not have any students traveling abroad nor coming to Northfield. We are fortunate that we will have Kopano thru next December! We will continue to plan for the following year.
Your board met via Zoom prior to our meeting today. I will give you an update next week. We are mostly trying to formulate a budget for next year and are hoping this budget allows all the service opportunities we as a club have done year after year.  ou have a dedicated board and we have great members so believe we as a club will be one of the best in the nation still!
Lastly, all of you should have received an email from the District and Rotary Foundation. I encourage everyone in our club to give some type of gift to the Foundation in the next ten days. They even have an incentive that a $365 gift gets you to a Paul Harris Fellow (usually it takes $1000). It would be great to have 10-20 new Paul Harris Fellows in our club and those that are Fellows getting their next pin!
Go out and serve, be safe!!


Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.