Our class in the world

One common theme that we talk about in class is that Albert Lea is a great place to grow up.  I was born and raised in Albert Lea, and even attended Lakeview Elementary myself for most of elementary school.  We also talk about how we live in a great and interesting world.  My beginnings in Albert Lea led to studying physics in college, engineering in graduate school and working as a design engineer for 5 years before I switched careers to become a teacher.  Before moving back to Albert Lea, I lived 10 years in Michigan and have been fortunate to travel for both work and pleasure.  Students are excited to learn when they realize what we are doing connects to the world.  I often wonder where my students will venture to and where they will end up.

People head to interesting places from Albert Lea.  One of my friends growing up in Albert Lea, Mike Lammers, used to show me his model rockets and we’d launch them from his house north of town.  He’s been working at NASA for years now and is featured in this NASA youtube clip because he is one of the four new flight directors for NASA:


His promotion announcement:


Here are 15 of my favorite pictures taken from this past summer when I help lead a trip of 42 high school students from Minnesota and Ohio on a People to People exchange to Eurore:

125 211 361 587 595 770 772 773 868 874 959 990 1545 1962

All of these teachers in Albert Lea had Judy Knudtson during her career as a high school English and journalism teacher:

2006 Judy Knudtson group picture (2)

Pelicans on Albert Lea lake.  This is why we have boat tours on the “Pelican Breeze.”

2007 Pelican Breeze AL lake (2)

I mention to students that going to college also means meeting people.  A friend of mine had her wedding in the Black Hills of South Dakota.   After a hike up Harney peak, one can see why they are the black hills.

Black Hills 06-27-09 (33)

The Grand Canyon, one thing we study in 4th grade is rocks and minerals–this is a must see connection:

Grand Canyon 07-03-07 (34)

Bryce Canyon–one thing we study in 4th grade is rocks and minerals–this is a must see connection:

Grand Canyon 07-05-07 (34)

Sedona–I traveled here when working at the Toyota Proving grounds near Phoenix.  Makes 4th grade lessons on erosion more interesting–we don’t have this to look at in Minnesota.

Grand Canyon 07-07-07 (20)

Each year I try to show my students large bubbles.  One summer in college I worked at Florida State University studying liquid crystals (one simple form of them is soap and water).

Lakeview Bubbles Mark 05-30-08 (6)

One of our previous state representatives, Rich Murray, invited me to be his guest at Governor Dayton’s “State of the State” address.



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