The ISD 361 School Board voted Unanimously to appoint Dale Johnson as the newest Director filling a vacancy for the resignation of Emily McGonigle. All board members emphasized the quality of both applicants. The other applicant was Reynold Calder.
Below is the letter Dale Submitted to the School Board.
"VACANT SCHOOL BOARD POSITION
My name is Dale Johnson. I returned to International Falls after completing my career
in commercial real estate and construction for several large corporations including
Target and Wells Fargo Bank. After graduation I was fortunate enough to be accepted
to Harvard thanks to the support I received from teachers, coaches and counselors at
I graduated from Falls High in1967 and currently have a grandchild attending the high
school. This past school year I coached the JV track team and thoroughly enjoyed the
My experience as a student was very positive. It has been disappointing for me,
personally, to see the school district struggle with shrinking enrollment. My interest in
being on the school board is to see if that can be rectified. I understand enrollment is
tied to the population and the economy but also that school performance and reputation
have a reciprocal affect.
Problem solving success by using the ability to think and respond differently, negotiating
settlements by being willing to compromise, communicating information verbally and in
writing effectively, managing contracts, contractors and support staff and influencing
people are all skills I’ve learned in my work experience in “Corporate America."
The school board should provide students with a safe, challenging and supportive
environment that allows them to explore a wide variety of studies and electives to
develop their interests and aspirations. The school board should author a curriculum
that provides students with the education to be successful in what ever career path is
chosen after high school and is inclusive of the needs of all students.
Declining student enrollment is an issue that threatens the future of the school.
Funding is a function of enrollment and a decline inhibits the district’s ability to compete
for teachers, offer advanced programs and satisfy all students ’needs. The community
suffers when the schools are forced to make cuts. New residents look first to quality
education opportunities for their children. New employers want to be assured an
educated work force is available into the future.
Options to consider are: drawing back students who have chosen other schooling
options by marketing the school district’s advantages, combining schools within the
district through curriculum instruction sharing, exploring ways to make better use of
existing education facilities, forming alliances with neighboring school districts (including
those in Ontario) to provide a more unique learning experience, partnering with local
resources such as Voyagers Conservancy and indigenous organizations.
An ideal future would see student enrollment growing, curriculum expanding and the
community growing with more opportunities for students to prosper."
He was chosen over Reynold Calder. The following is Reynold's letter to the board;
"Application to fill vacancy on
District 361 School Board
Introduction: My name is Reynold Calder. I graduated from
Falls High in 1967. An important part of my high school
experience: I was a member of the 1965 State Hockey
Championship Team. In 1967, I was selected as the All-State
goalie for the State of Minnesota. Subsequently, I became an
inductee to the Bronco Hall of Fame. After high school, I enlisted
in the U.S. Army and served in Viet-Nam. After my military
service, I attended Bemidji State and received a Bachelor of
Science Degree in secondary education. After teaching for two
years, I attended graduate school for two years in Oklahoma.
Later attending Luther Seminary. My academic and teaching
career did not resume until! later in my work life. In 2010, I
obtained a teaching position at Keyano College in Fort
McMurray, Alberta. In 2013, I retired and in 2016 moved home to
I am interested in the position as board member as I have had a
life long interest in education. I feel education is the key to a life
well lived, despite the difficulties life brings to everyone. The
ability to persist and strive each day depends in large part on our
The skill set I hope to bring to the board are: an ability to listen,
an ability to analyze, and an ability to communicate succinctly
and effectively. Perhaps, the most debilitating factor of
leadership would be a Board that is distant from the students and
the community. Therefore, the relationship between the school
board, the students, and the community should be constructive
A couple issues facing education today are financial concernsJ
and school safety. I applaud the work the school board did
during the Covid Crisis. However, dealing with the current issues
may be equally challenging. Solving these issues necessitates a
full-fledged effort to obtain community buy-in and a feeling of
participation. The key to that success: communication with the
The ideal future for our school district would include support from
the community, student academic excellenceJ and an activities
program that is inclusive. Those ideals are probably not realistic
or achievable. They are markers for the direction which we,
collectively, can point towards. What this means for students is,
equal opportunity for success during their high school
I look forward to the opportunity to working with the board in a
unifying and enjoyable manner.
Reynold K. Calder
Contact Information Redacted"
This video is bookmarked for the beginning of the discussion about the candidates.
Video Source: https://youtu.be/R3YDqXSfDKc
Ted Saxton and TedBot
All articles contain some level of assistance from artificial intelligence. The content the AI is trained on is publicly available and will often be cited in the article whenever possible.