Tricounty News

KAHS Junior High Awards Program May 23


Awards presented 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 23

Band Awards (Mr. Haake)

Outstanding Band Members

Grade 8 Trinity Erickson

Grade 7 Rachel Merten

Most Improved Junior High Band Member Brendan Maurer

Visual Arts (Mr. Linn)


Pelzer to retire after 38 years in Kimball

After 38 years of teaching, all of them at Kimball, daily plans will help structure her days in retirement

Kim Cunningham came to Kimball to teach in 1976. She had received her degree from Augsburg College. She was hired to teach P.E. and health, and maybe one sectionw-Pelzer of science. Today she teaches Life Science, Biology, Medical Terminology (a college-level course), and Human Anatomy/Physiology. She was a volleyball coach in Kimball for more than 25 years, and also coached gymnastics and track (until the budget cuts).

She earned her Master’s degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona in 2001.

“Miss Cunningham” became “Mrs. Pelzer” when she married Dean Pelzer. They now live on the Pelzer farmstead near St. Augusta.


She’s been called to teach in Africa

Teaching in Kimball for 25 years has been wonderful, but her heart is being pulled elsewherew-DebSchmidt1

Deb Schmidt started teaching at Kimball in 1989, after teaching in two private schools in Fairmont. That first day, the new elementary school building wasn’t finished yet. For instance, three classes of third grade met in the media center, with packing boxes serving as wall dividers.

In these 25 years in Kimball, she has taught Title I for three years, and second, third, fourth, and sixth grades as well as multi-age for six years. She loved teaching the multi-age class. She has been a fourth-grade teacher for several years now.


They started work together, will retire together


w-Steve--Ann-Palm197After applying for the same jobs, they met on their first day of work in 1977w-Palms

Kay Douglass, then principal of Kimball Elementary School, hired Steve Palm and Ann Downham. It didn’t matter a lot to either one which of the two positions they filled, but Steve was hired first for fifth grade (where there was a student who required physical help every day) so Ann got the second/third-grade class.

They met for the first time on the first day of school.

Over the years, they became friends, took bartending jobs at the V.F.W. in St. Cloud together and, in their words, “started hanging out and doing stuff together.” They became engaged in February 1981 and were married that July. No one knew they’d even been dating. They remembered the day their boss found out: Kay Douglass came rushing into the lounge exclaiming, “I’m a matchmaker, I’m a matchmaker!”


Musician takes early retirement





His last high school concert as conductor was Monday, May 19, 2014w-140519-haake-last-concert-011

When Keith Haake arrived to teach at Kimball, in 1984, he already had his Master’s degree, had taught college for two years, and had been performing professionally for years.





“I never thought I’d stay here,” he says. He thought Kimball would be a brief stop on his pro- fessional path. After a few years, he decided that little schools deserve good and consistent music programs too. Thirty years later, he retires leaving an incred- ibly strong music program here.

Haake had shoulder replace- ment surgery just after the winter concert, and was out for three months recovering. He’s returned, part-time, with the long-term substitute Laura Bolliat covering afternoon classes.

He's gone backward, pain-wise, though. He came back to conduct- ing too soon. This is why he’s retir- ing now, and will spend the summer months recovering more.