See what staff, friends and neighbors have to say

What do staff, friends and neighbors have to say?

Devan Bartels, district admin, CI alumna and parent:“I have my own kids in the district and with the overall advances in technology, I’m excited for them and their future. Here in Crosby – teachers and staff are willing to work together as a community to make it better for the students.”

“Our athletics programs give back to community and our community ed director has added more new programs each session. Something for every age from 3 years old to 90 .”

“As a student, I found the open classroom style at CRES annoying – you can hear other teachers talking and you find yourself listening to that instead of concentrating on what your teacher is saying.”


Scena Proondian, Cuyuna Lakes Foundation and C-I alumna:“I think the school district is essential if we want to have good leaders and citizens in the future.” 

“Remember that even a new car needs to be maintained or it will eventually fall apart.”

“Every place needs to keep up with changing technologies and needs and the district does a pretty job addressing them for students.”


Bruce Fletcher, retiree and former head of maintenance, elementary building for district 182, Emily resident: "They absolutely need to keep up with technology. Plus, they need to update equipment in the buildings. The problem with being so close to other districts or charter schools is that we need to be competitive so we don't lose students to those other districts. If those districts offer more, that's where parents will opt to send their children.”

“Our school community goes out of its way to help students in need; staff and teachers have paid out of their own pockets for books and meals--it's that kind of community."

Mike Gindorff, C-I alumnus and high school teacher:“I think the school is the foundation of your community. If you don’t have a good public school, then you don’t have much of a community.”


“The schools do a lot of service projects for community members from football players helping someone who had cancer with their move to helping older residents take their dock out or move a piano. Varsity players help with youth projects. Lots of our kids work in the community. They are also active in their church groups - my kids went on mission trips and visited the senior living home.”

“Parts of the school are old. If it rains heavy you see tiles leaking.”

“I coached football and baseball for 25 years and our facilities have some issues. In JV baseball, you have fans sitting with your team because there isn’t a dugout. The stadium bleachers, at the football stadium, have steps not ramps and our PA announcer took a good tumble. They should be made safer.”

Nick Zillmer, C-I alumnus and business owner: “This isn’t a new tax. People need to look at their tax statements– you are already paying this amount. We are maintaining the same tax rate and will be getting all these new improvements.”

What School Board Members Have to Say:

Jill Decent, C-I board member: "The heart of this growing and thriving community is our schools. We see each day that people want to invest their time, energy, and money into this community by bringing new life to buildings that were unoccupied and deteriorating.  They want to bring their families here to visit, rid our amazing bike trails, and just take in a whole new and exciting Cuyuna experience.  There's something to be said about that.

Well, we want the same thing to happen here! These buildings serve so many purposes, and in some way, shape, or form-directly or indirectly impace so many members of this community, and surrounding area. We want to imporve areas so that they become multi-purpose, such as the performance area at CRES, or the commons area in the High School. This opens up more opportunities for the community to utilize our facilities, and these are just a couple of examples of what's to come with improvements. Let's bring the local vendor and business expo back to the high school!

Our district employs some of the most amazing people! We're creating jobs and making lasting careers, from those who both grew up here, as well as decide to relocate here."

Barb Neprud, C-I School Board Member: “The passage of this referendum will allow us to upgrade existing facilities, which will attract the brightest and newest educators. Having the means to educate our youth with the newest technological advances will ensure they are better prepared for life after high school. Hopefully, partnerships can be formed with local businesses to promote career and technical education, and students will return to work in our surrounding communities with the skill sets needed to be successful. The opportunities could be endless.”

Joe Dwyer, C-I School Board Member:  “The tourism is definitely the conversation starter. What if? What if, this was not just a visit? What if we lived in Crosby-Ironton or in the Cuyuna Lakes area? These types of conversations become the stepping stone to growing our community. This is important because we owe it to our children to keep up with the changes that are happening around us. If we don’t keep up with the changes, then it falls by the wayside and then our community suffers. If we provide our kids with the proper opportunities, here, it puts them on the platform to someday be able give back to the community. This is an investment in our children to give back to the community in the future.”

Abby Geotz, C-I School Board Member:  “The point that needs to be stressed is that the time is now. Now is the time to move forward with asking our communities to approve this bond referendum. The timing is based on where we are with a mortgage that is about to be paid off, as well as where we are at with the technology that is available to prepare our students for the workforce, especially careers that require any type of technical knowledge and skills. 

Also, the timing is ideal right now, because there will never be another time in the future when our school district will be able to structure this type of bond levy question, that will generate this type of revenue for a zero-tax increase on the average homeowner. It makes more sense to keep up with the pace of change as it is happening, rather than trying to play catch-up, five or ten years down the road. It is cheaper to do this now. Our community has developed a more progressive and competitive culture. Our school district needs to mirror what the transformation that is happening in our community. The timing is, in fact, now.”

Bob Sandin, C-I board member, Rabbit Lake resident:  “Schools are important. If we don’t have a good school system, students will go to Brainerd, Pequot Lakes or Aitkin – it’s about the same distance to get to all those schools.” 

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