I was born and raised on the Iron Range and graduated from Eveleth-Gilbert High School. I moved to the Twin Cities for college and lived there for 15 years.

In 2013, my husband, three kids, and I moved back to Eveleth for an opportunity with my family’s business: Lundgren’s in Eveleth. Our oldest was starting kindergarten so we toured both Parkview Elementary and Franklin Elementary.

Parkview was new, clean, up-to-date, and what we envisioned for our kids! Ultimately, we chose Franklin because we live and work very close to the school. The teachers and staff at Franklin have been wonderful and we love the charm of the old school. In addition, our kids think it’s pretty neat that their great grandparents went to the same school.

The history is definitely special, but the concept of a brand-new school built and designed for today’s standards is so much more important. I think my grandparents would have agreed.

In the Twin Cities, we lived in the Orono School District which includes at least 6 different communities within a 50-mile radius. The district population is similar to the Eveleth, Gilbert, Virginia areas; the K-12 enrollment is less than 3,000.

Orono has been awarded for being one of the best at both the state and national levels. Their athletic programs are many and are frequently in the news. Their facilities are beautiful and on one campus, which is not in the middle of the district, nor in the biggest community.

The communities have their own identities, but many people identify as living in the Orono area. Our area is a lot like the Orono area. We could have a school district just as great and just as impressive. Our kids could have just as many opportunities for academics, arts, athletics, and extra-curriculars. Location of the new school shouldn’t matter as we are one area: The Range.

At Lundgren’s, we built a new facility last year. We could have continued to repair our 50+ year old building with the sinking foundation, leaky roof and walls, dull lighting, outdated equipment, and wiring on the verge of a fire. Instead we chose to invest in our community, our customers, our employees, and our future. It’s much easier and more efficient to work in a well-lit building with safe wiring, proper drainage, and equipment designed to service the vehicles of today and not 1964.

Sure, we lost some history and identity in the process, but the future is so much brighter!

As a business owner, I’m thrilled to give our students more opportunities to stay on the Range.

The school to local business relationship is absolutely invaluable. Auto sales is a rewarding career and a stepping stone for many people.

Currently, there is a national shortage of technicians and new people going into the field. Accounting, IT, customer service, marketing, management, and more are essential to the success of any business. These are all positions that an academies model would support, benefiting both our kids and our businesses.

Most will agree we live in God’s country. We want our area to survive long after mining is gone. Our teachers and staff are among the best.

We want what’s best for our kids. Let’s take this incredible opportunity to move forward in a direction best for everyone! Vote “yes” on May 14th!

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