As I often do, I want to again offer praise for the many wonderful and talented young people in our community. I have talked before about what a wonderful education our young people receive at the Forest City School and that the ability of our high school students to take classes at Waldorf University and NIACC during their junior and senior years gives them a definite "leg up.”

I have bragged about the large number of our graduates being named to Dean's Lists at their respective colleges and universities, but I was never able to substantiate my claim we do far better than most communities in that regard.

That is, until now. I have done some detective work with Iowa State University as my "case in point," although I believe what I discovered would hold true as well in other colleges and universities attended by our young people.

There were about 8,700 students named to the spring, 2017, ISU Dean's List and with a total undergraduate population of about 30,700, this equates to 28.4 percent of the undergraduate student body. And while I could be off a student or two, I believe there were a total of 30 Forest City graduates from the classes of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 attending Iowa State the spring, 2017, semester.

I counted 16 Forest City graduates on the spring, 2017 Dean's List. This equates to a percentage of about 53 percent or nearly double the 28 percent referenced above for the entire student body.

Now, a professional statistician might find some flaw in my methodology or feel a sample of 30 students is not large enough to be statistically sound, but I do feel it confirms what I have been opining all along.

I also want to add the caveat I am in no way suggesting that the Forest City students who were not named to the Dean's List are in any way "flawed." I attended Iowa State as an undergraduate and I know firsthand it's darn tough to make the Dean's List. It requires a 3.5 GPA to be named to the Dean's list and a GPA well below that number can still be very commendable and I know all of these young people will graduate from Iowa State and go on to make us proud.

But there is much more.

Our excellence in the fine arts continues. The marching band received the overall highest score at the Algona Band Day on September 30 and for the 37th straight year received a Division I rating at the Iowa State Marching Band competition at Fort Dodge on October 7. Joan and I recently saw the high school performance of the musical "The Battle of Boat." It was superb and the talent exhibited by our young people was truly "over the top."

On the athletic front both the boys' and the girls' cross country teams finished second in the Top of Iowa Conference West. The volleyball team continued its record of excellence and made it to sub-state competition. Strictly from a win/loss perspective the high school football team had a very difficult season. But we need to look behind the record. These young men displayed amazing character and perseverance in the way they dealt with a very difficult situation. They never gave up. They were very supportive of their teammates. We can all be very proud of these young men.


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