Accolades for Remme

NEW ULM – Scores of current and former school employees, school board members, community leaders, family and friends attended an open house for retiring District 88 Superintendent Harold Remme at the New Ulm High School gym Wednesday.

MC Duane Winter, chair of the school board, recapped milestones in Remme’s 45-year career, in education, of which the last 16 were spent here, before yielding the floor to New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman.

Beussman read a proclamation praising Remme’s “dedication” and “constructive contributions” to the school district and community and declaring May 22, 2013, Harold B. Remme Day in New Ulm.

Next, Britta Babel, a senior at New Ulm High School, thanked Remme for helping make the district not only “a great place to receive a good education” but also “enjoyable place” for students.

Janelle Woodbury, a math teacher, spoke on behalf of the New Ulm Education Association.

She described Remme by expounding on adjectives and nouns that set him apart as a leader: “tireless,” providing “stability” by steering the district through “turbulent” financial times, “patience,” “availability,” “hard-working,” “tenacious,” “fair,” “very humble” and “kind.”

Jim Thomas, a friend and neighbor who spoke next, shared a few personal thoughts, and also praised Remme as “a public servant who has gone way above what most public servants do in terms of time, energy, intellect and service.”

Tim Plath, Principal of Minnesota Valley High School, stressed Remme’s ability to initiate and sustain collaboration with all area schools. Plath spoke of Remme in terms of “balance, juggle and communicate”: ability to “balance” the needs of all students, “juggle” the responsibilities of the position, and “communicate” effectively with other educators and the community.

With a nod and an apology to President Abraham Lincoln, Sue Ullery, former school board chair who worked with Remme for 12 years, modeled her speech after the Gettysburg Address. She also highlighted Remme’s grace under pressure, hard work and ethics.

Mark Bergmann, High School Principal, drew on the analogy of a man saving baby turtles on the sea shore one at a time, braving waves and seagulls, to highlight Remme’s efforts on behalf of each student.

In turn, Remme acknowledged the accolades by expressing gratitude to his family and each and every staff member he has worked with, be it a teacher, paraprofessional, bus driver, custodian or cook, and also shared some humorous stories.

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