Thumbs up, Thumbs down: Hovland represents APS, teachers with recent award

Published 5:21 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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Thumbs up to Emily Hovland. On Wednesday night, Austin High School teacher Emily Hovland was honored by the Southeast Service Cooperative’s STEM Forward as Outstanding Educator of SE Minnesota. Hovland was honored for her work with the Mower CEO Program, which encourages entrepreneurship and development over the school year and also has students creating their own business. The program has garnered several successes in Austin and continues to develop students for the future, but her award is also indicative of the passion teachers in education have for ensuring students are as ready as they can be for the next step.

Thumbs up for the upcoming caucuses. Usually this column will be reserved for things that have happened during the week, but we want to highlight the importance of people taking part in the political process at the grassroots level. This is where everything begins and it acts as a fortification point for people to become energized by the process and do their part to make sure voices are heard.

Thumbs up for APDT. It was another successful season for the Austin Packer Dance Team, claiming second place in high kick at the Class AA competition. As always, congratulations to Coach Kayla Sellers, her coaching staff and of course the dancers themselves for another successful season.

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Thumbs down for lack of election support. It’s troubling that the United States Congress is the source of frustration when it comes to allocating federal funds to help with the election process. State and local elections rely on these funds to secure systems from attacks, updating equipment and training staff. With an election season underway, it’s a source of apprehension for the future, especially in a process so many across the nation have been questioning already.