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After 17 years with Perham-Dent district, Krueger to retire

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After 17 years with Perham-Dent district, Krueger to retire
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

By Louis Hoglund

The principal who helped initiate the middle school concept in Perham's brand new Prairie Wind Middle School will be retiring after this year.

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Principal Kitty Krueger has been in education for nearly 40 years--17 of those in Perham.

"We owe our present middle school philosophy to Kitty," said Perham-Dent school board member Bridgit Pankonin at the Feb. 11 board meeting.

A staunch supporter of the grade 5-8 "middle school," as opposed to the old "junior high" philosophy, Krueger was active in promoting the middle school structure locally and within the Minnesota middle school principal association. She joined the statewide professional group in 1996, and has served as executive director for the past nine years.

"Middle school children have such different needs than elementary or high school students," said Krueger, who became a "believer" in the 1980's. "Educators need to recognize their uniqueness. They are not miniature high school students."

"Even when I'm not here physically, I will continue to support the middle school philosophy...and I hope the school continues with it," said Krueger.

Krueger started her career as a college instructor, at her alma mater Bemidji State University. She later earned advanced degrees through St. Cloud State and the University of North Dakota.

"I am so privileged to be in this school district...It has been a career high for me," said Krueger of her years with the Perham district

Prior to Perham, Krueger was principal and superintendent in Borup, from 1985-1991. She was also an administrator in Plummer and Eagle Bend. For several years, she taught language arts, in Clarissa for a year, and also at the Golden Valley Lutheran College--which now houses the Perpich Arts Institute.

Krueger will depart from a district that has high academic standards--but is facing serious financial strain. The night that the school board officially accepted her resignation, on Feb. 11, there was a lengthy discussion about potential budget cuts of $2 million over the next four years.

"I hope and trust that the community will stand up and support our educational system, and keep us the 'School of Champions,'" said Krueger. "We are in dire straits of losing what we have established. Perham is a very progressive community, and I believe the schools will be supported."

Krueger plans to stay in the Perham area, take more time to golf, continue her antique hobby and possibly dabble in real estate.

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