Rebuilding a legendary program begins with community support

New community education director seeking instructors for winter catalog

Andrew Lesch recently started work as the new community education director for Detroit Lakes Schools.<br/><br/><br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES – The Detroit Lakes Community Education catalog was a go-to for those looking to learn new skills or start new hobbies. Then the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down and habits changed. As restrictions loosened, programming remained paused. Then the program director resigned.

Andrew Lesch recently joined the community education program as its director. He is hoping to partner with community members and organizations to increase classes offered in the winter catalog.

Lesch said upon taking the director position in Detroit Lakes, he was quickly impressed with the offerings to young learners and saw potential to “grow all aspects of programming.”

While new to the community, he quickly observed an active population that spanned all ages. He noted that he is looking forward to working with others to provide opportunities where residents can learn and connect with other people.

He encouraged anyone interested in teaching a community education class to call 218-847-4418.


Classes for adults and youth are being organized for the winter community education program. If anyone is interested in teaching a class, they should call the new Community Education Director Andrew Lesch at 847-4418 or email him at
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Lesch recalls how youth programming impacted his life

A career in education has always been on Lesch’s radar. With a passion for learning it made sense to make a career in education. His childhood experiences with community education were so profound that stepping into the specialized field of community education director was a natural choice.

“I was involved a lot with the YMCA programs (as a child),” he recalled. “It gave me a sense of belonging and the ability to connect with kids that I otherwise would not have known outside of school.”

Lesch grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D., and worked in Chaska, Minn., and Bemidji, Minn. before applying for and accepting the Detroit Lakes community education director job. He noted his family looked to move closer to other family members residing in the area.

Lesch earned his community education license from Minnesota State University Moorhead in May and lives in Fergus Falls, Minn. with his wife, Jessica, and their two toddler boys.

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