Every old Northern city has a Lincoln school in it. It was a post Civil War tradition. In my old hometown of Mankato we lived two blocks from that City’s Lincoln Junior. When I attended a different junior high we all called the richest school in our community “Stinkin Lincoln.”
I write this post as one more response to Loren Martell’s piece in the Duluth Reader. In it he mentions some horrific things he was told when he knocked on doors two years ago for his school board campaign. Art Johnston and I both did the same and all three of us heard similar tales. These were in large part the basis of my infamous comment that our schools were suffering “gangrene.”
Two years ago we were still reeling from the Red Plan. Lincoln Middle School’s new principal Brenda Vatthauer got the shock of her life and feared that she had bitten off more than she could chew. I want to tell my readers that one of the very best hires made in the last couple of years is Ms. Vatthauer. I’ve mostly stayed out of her hair but my first meeting with her revealed to me that she was a woman of exceptional common sense, good humor and innovation. She has made great strides despite too few resources to calm down what had been a school flying apart. It still isn’t a piece of cake at Lincoln but I want it noted that the school is in good hands no thanks to the folks to fixed our schools with the Red Plan.