I am a city boy, born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis. My world changed in December when I took a job at the Perham Focus as the newspaper's main reporter. Now, here I am, in a town of just over 3,000 people, learning what small town living is all about. Some people have a way of always attracting the spotlight, but my “focus” will be on those who quietly go about their day making this community a better place to live. And since this is my new journey, too, I wanted to document my discovering what this "Perham pride" thing is all about. Everybody in Perham has a story, unique in their own way … 1 in 3,000.

Meeting Brooke

Brooke Adamczyk and I take a selfie on Monday afternoon. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)
Brooke Adamczyk and I take a selfie on Monday afternoon. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Brooke Adamczyk is a familiar face to many around Perham. She’s lived here her whole life, and her husband's family owns Gene’s Sportshop on Main Street.

“I’m all Perham,” Adamczyk said.

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This fall, Adamcyzk is preparing for a new chapter in her life as she begins a career as a second grade teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School.

Following high school, Adamczyk went to college for sales and marketing, and worked at Arvig before staying home with the couple's three kids.

Adamczyk says she was on the fence about going into sales or teaching after high school.

“In my heart I wanted to go into teaching, but I didn’t,” she said.

When her boys started school at St. Paul’s, Adamczyk started to establish relationships with teachers and soon decided she had to get a degree in teaching.

Taking online classes and earning her degree through Grand Canyon University gave her the flexibility to learn, and still fit in with her busy schedule.

Now that she’s ready to teach, Adamczyk says she’s excited about everything. She says the kids she already knows in second grade are her dream class.

“The kids are so sweet, we’re going to have a lot of fun,” Adamczyk said.

Adamczyk’s family is in its fourth generation of attending St. Paul’s: her grandfather, father and her children have attended.

Adamczyk says St. Paul’s and St. Henry’s schools offer an opportunity to learn about God that is different from public schools.

“It gives you special bonds with your classmates, there’s so much that you get out of it,” she said. “Especially with the world these days, you need that love and support.”

In her free time, Adamczyk said her life revolves around her three boys ranging from 11, 8 and 6 years old, including hunting, fishing and lots of baseball games.

Adamczyk said Perham has so much to offer in such a little town with everyone looking out for each other and wanting the best for everybody.

She would tell anyone going back to school to listen to themselves and follow their heart.

“Do what you want to do, make your dreams come true,” she said. “This school is where I wanted to be at, after my education, it happened at the right time. I couldn’t be more excited.”