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Our View: New school, new attitude?

As students filed into the new Hillside Elementary School building in New Richmond on Monday, it was a good reminder that the local district has come a long way in a few years.

In the not too distant past, the School District was knee deep in controversy. Every time local residents turned around, there appeared to be new troubles for our schools.

Some of the problems related to inadequate facilities for the education of the community's younger generation. Some of the problems related to leaders and community members who seemed more interested in criticizing than in finding solutions. Some of the problems could also be blamed on uncertain economic times which had people worried.

Whatever the reasons for the discord, it was a big mess and the community suffered as a result.

But since voters approved a building referendum in April 2007, a new page in this School District's history has slowly turned.

The atmosphere around here (thanks to the efforts of the School Board, Superintendent Morrie Veilleux and the New Richmond Area Front Porch Project) is decidly different today. There are more positive vibes floating around now than negative ones. The turn-around is a welcome change.

We're hopeful that the positive turn continues to grow. With the major renovations at Starr Elementary and new high school building taking shape near Hillside Elementary, the District should be in good shape to educate our young ones for years to come.

The improved facilities will ensure that obstacles to a quality education are reduced. And teachers, staff and administrators should feel valued as a result of the impressive investment made by local voters.

It's not much of a stretch to believe the old adage that as a school district goes, so goes a community. The past couple years in New Richmond have proven that.