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By Jesse Utz 

Gems in the Coulee: Dr. Dennis Carlson

Jess Shut Up

 


Sometimes the hard work of one man can go unnoticed. But in the case of Dr. Dennis Carlson, we have a new Pre-K-through-12 school that cannot go unnoticed. Since his arrival here in Coulee Country, he has made an impact. He would be the first to tell you that it has not all been smooth; and yet, time and time again things just seem to get done under this school district superintendent’s watch. As a matter of fact, he is not done yet improving things around here.

Obviously, the new school is a big portion of what he has accomplished here, but there are some smaller things that will have just as big an impact. The hiring of great leaders and teachers will also have a long-lasting effect, as will his tenacity at securing funds for our district. Under his watch, we have seen a school built, science programs flourish, sports teams bloom and after-school programs grow. The staff has grown into a solid group of individuals with similar goals in mind. Discipline problems have gone down during his watch and Raider Pride has continued to rise again.

I remember when he was taking staff and community members on the first tours of the school. The school was not yet complete, but his passion for showing us what he and the school board had worked so hard for was right on his sleeve. There was a glow in his eyes, not from the dry wall dust but because he knew the importance of this building to the community. He also knew that many many times over the years, this dream of a new school had been looked into and fizzled out.

But Dr. Carlson was not going to let something that was so needed and deserved go just because of a few obstacles. He contacted whom he needed to, was a “bulldog” with them and would not go away quietly. I believe that is the same passion he wants to instill in our kids and his current staff at Lake Roosevelt: “Don’t give up.”

With people in general, sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. The same is true for Carlson. Not everyone has agreed with his approach or decisions, but the truth of the matter is this: He got something done that many thought was impossible. With the new Lake Roosevelt Schools, he does not just affect today’s students and citizens, but countless generations of future Raiders.

Thank you Dr. Carlson, for your tireless effort in improving Raider Nation and setting the bar high for us all. Enjoy your retirement well, if you ever really get one. We look forward to you living among us. We will see you at the home games, cheering loudly, of that I am sure.

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