Teamwork applauded for Veterans Day program success

Middle school Battle of Books is put on the school board's radar.

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Detroit Lakes School Board Student Liaison Annie Houglum (right) spoke to the school board about her impressions of the recent Veterans Day program while school board Treasurer Jennifer Pedersen (left) listens.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — The Detroit Lakes School Board applauded students and district leadership for making the Veterans Day program a success.

During the monthly school board meeting on Monday, Nov. 28, Josh Omang, the high school principal, said he had the “easy job” of steering a ship that many others had sailing smoothly. Among the hands on deck was Rob Ullyott, a high school social studies teacher. Ullyott applauded the students who stepped in to tackle video production and music for the event, as well as being ambassadors for the more than 50 guest veterans that attended the program. Other staff members who participated in the program were also recognized.

“So you can see, it was just a great school effort,” Ullyott said. “There are a lot of people that should get a congratulations on this one.”

Detroit Lakes School Board Student Liaison Annie Houglum said the student feedback that she heard regarding the veteran program was positive. For her, she was particularly impressed with the stories of veterans who served in World War II and the Color Guard’s salute.

“It was so cool to see,” she said of the program.


Detroit Lakes School Board Chair John Steffl (right) presented a letter of recognition to Joshua Omang, the high school principal, for his efforts with the recent Veterans Day program.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

In addition to recognizing the efforts of those who made the Veterans Day program possible, the school board also provided a certificate of appreciation to Jena LaPlante, Ellen Schirmer and Jen Barberg. LaPlante helped create the District Branding Guide; Schirmer was recognized for the years of Legion Tea put on for the schools and Barberg was acknowledged for her work as a Detroit Lakes Middle School student council advisor.

“I work with a lot of great middle schoolers who have lots of great ideas,” Barberg said. “And we have a lot of stuff planned for December.”

Some of the educational fun includes working with the Becker County Museum on a Lego project and kicking off the “Battle of the Books.” In an email after the meeting, Barberg explained the “Battle of the Books” requires students to sign-up to compete in the literacy battle. The battle has teams of three students read 24 books total before the end of the school year. The teams that succeed are eligible for big prizes.

“The competition is held in May,” Barberg said. “They are asked trivia questions about the books in order to test their comprehension and memory of the characters, setting and plot elements.”

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The Detroit Lakes School Board presented Jennifer Barberg, a middle school language arts teacher, for her work as a student council advisor.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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