"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Schieler, Engebretson pound the ball down

The MACA girls are on a roll and showed that winning habit through Homecoming week.
The Tigers did not have the good fortune to have a home match during Homecoming week. But they sure took care of business, winning by sweep over Yellow Medicine East on Thursday. The game outcomes were 25-15, 25-10 and 25-14.
The success upped the team's win streak to three. Coach Kristi Fehr's squad has won five of their last six matches.
Fans and players are in a most upbeat frame of mind with Homecoming week reaching its apex today (Friday, 9/20). Today has the parade and the football game (against Benson) on the slate. MACA volleyball has a 5-3 overall record and 5-2 showing in conference.
Paige Schieler and Sydney Engebretson were forces at the net in the win over the Sting of YME. Schieler applied her own sting with the 13 kills she performed. Her numbers in good/attempts were 25/28. Engebretson pounded down eleven kills and had 23 of 24 good/attempts.
Terianne Itzen added to the mix with seven kills on 16 of 17 in good/attempts. Nicole Strobel was seven of eight with three kills. Haley Erdahl was good on all seven of her attempts and had two kills. Lacee Maanum went 11-for-13 with one kill.
Schieler went up to perform two ace blocks, while Engebretson had one.
Itzen topped the list in digs with her 19. Beth Holland broke into double figures with her 14. The list continues with Chelsey Ehleringer and her eight, Hunter Mundal and Erdahl each with seven, and Schieler and Engebretson each with five.
On to serving: Here, Holland stood out by performing three ace serves on 23 of 24 good/attempts. Ehleringer made her presence felt with two aces on 15 of 16. Itzen had two aces as well, achieved on 13 of 13. Engebretson had an ace to go with 10 of 11. Mundal had four good in five attempts, and Erdahl went five of five.
Ehleringer and Erdahl were busy setting the ball, finishing with 13 and 12 set assists respectively.
YME is having a struggling season and came out of Thursday at 2-12 in overall record, 2-5 in conference. Allie Zieske and Jordan Hinz each had four kills for the Sting. Madison Hagert accumulated 13 digs.
The Tigers will get back to the home court on Monday, 9/23, to play Lac qui Parle Valley.
Newspaper publishes paean
I noticed a feature article on a former superintendent in a recent Morris newspaper. I don't buy the paper but I can occasionally page through at a public place.
I saw a feature article on a fellow named Frank Fox. He is deceased.
I wondered at first if this was the first in a series of articles on former supers. That would be an interesting concept. I wrote a blog post at the time Dennis Rettke passed away, sharing some personal recollections and acknowledging what I felt were his strong points. All supers have strong points or they wouldn't have reached that level in their careers.
I'm starting to think the newspaper feature on Mr. Fox was a one-shot deal. It was written by someone not on the newspaper staff. Maybe someone with personal connections to Frank Fox just wanted to see this article, written as a paean, done. I don't blame them.
But I'm not sure that Fox, who really wasn't here that long (1947-56), needs to be put on a pedestal relative to any other supers. I suspect he worked in a time when people in his position had greater latitude to run the system, as opposed to a later time when unionization and the empowerment of unions created a quite different complexion.
I was in high school when a fellow named Fred Switzer was superintendent. I think Mr. Switzer had the misfortune of working in a time when the teachers union really had its claws out. I remember a time when the spectre of teacher strikes seemed to be looming quite regularly around Minnesota.
I remember attending a public discussion at the Grant County Fair, Herman, one year where an exasperated individual (I believe either an active or retired superintendent) talked about how teacher strikes were "tearing apart" small communities. Charlie Berg was part of that discussion, I recall.
Teachers unions still exist. But it seems the system has been tweaked so that their activities aren't as disruptive as they once were. Oh, we all love teachers. But we want to stay on an even keel.
Fred Switzer himself told me about the tremendous amount of time required to get every "i" dotted and "t" crossed in negotiations with teachers. I also seem to recall there was a nucleus or clique of teachers here - I could name names but I won't - who were aggressive and parochial on these matters, pursuing sort of a scorched-earth policy vs. that big bad administration (and board).
Working under these circumstances, it would have been impossible for Mr. Switzer to have wrapped up his career here drawing such warm feelings as did Mr. Frank Fox (evidently).
I would say Mr. Switzer was a "maligned" superintendent. Which means that he got criticism but that much of it was undeserved or overstated. He was here a long time. I think he knew the ropes.
It is true that some phases of extracurricular declined during Fred's tenure. Even here I'm not sure he deserves much if any of the blame. Schools were going through retrenchment that meant they'd have to bite the bullet and allow volunteers to play a bigger role, especially with elementary athletics.
Morris dragged its feet on this, and it was that nucleus of activist and parochial teachers, that I have already alluded to, that bears the blame. Volunteers were anathema to all their aims. I'm quite sure that if a volunteer were walking down a school hallway and said "hello," many of the teachers wouldn't say anything back.
I think this climate has been addressed now. The MACA extracurricular is right in line with other schools, maybe superior. But it was a tough battle to fight for a long time. I was there. I was at that sports banquet/program of infamy back in about 1987. Many of you not familiar might not even believe me, if I were to tell you bout it. It's not a "tale from the crypt" but it's close.
Mr. Switzer should get his due. Maybe the newspaper can continue a series of profiles of former supers. It's really a pretty good idea. That paean about Frank Fox was quite fine. Now let's see some more.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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