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Morris Area Community Education

By Tony Reimers, Community Education Director

Thank you Morris Area community members, for making my first three months feel like a true homecoming! As I have said many times, during the interview process I was excited when I learned of the quality and scope of the Community Education program, and that it was strong and growing stronger. What I have found in the past three months has not only confirmed those expectations, but exceeded them. Morris Area Community Education (MACE) is a great program, and it is my pleasure to share what we do and why we do it. I would also like to invite your suggestions about our future together.

As someone born in 1972, that year has always resonated with me. What I did not know until recently was that Dean Greenwaldt was hired as the first Director of Community Education in Morris in 1972. Additionally, Jim Eidsvold, Merlin Beyer, Bill Underwood, Don Goracke, Pat Tanner, Willis Kelly, and Les Lindor all accepted invitations to form the first Advisory Council for Morris Area Community Education in, you guessed it, 1972.

And now in 2013, I would like to thank Amy Doll-Wohlers, Jana Koehler, Karie Hickman, Jeff Lamberty, Naomi Fynboh, Rob Lucas, Carla Peterson, Brian Solvie, Christy Hubbard, Brent Fuhrman, and chair Marshall Hoffman, the members of our current Advisory Council. I would also like to thank all those in between who have given so much time to make MACE what it is today. Without their guidance and support, our ZONE Program and biligual programs would be dreams, rather than realities. If you have any suggestions about future programs, feel free to contact me, or anyone on the Advisory Council.  Our purpose is to promote lifelong learning and to improve the quality of life in the Morris Area.

Our commitment to our community members actually starts before birth. In conjunction with the Stevens Community Medical Center and the Stevens County Ambulance Service, we offer “Labor, Delivery, and Beyond” classes on Monday evenings throughout the year. After a baby is born, we offer multiple classes through Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programing, and in recent years, MACE has added different PreK classes, including two bilingual classes. To learn more about our PreK and ECFE classes, please contact Diane Strobel, our early childhood program coordinator, at 320-589-4394 or by email at

For our school-aged children, the opportunities are varied and vibrant, including both enrichment and recreational classes. Currently, we are gearing up for basketball, wrestling, and Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre. When I walked around the school on Monday, Sept. 30, I couldn’t help but feel a tremendous amount of pride. On that one day, we had over 230 students involved in Community Education programs. Those 230 students were involved in gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, flag football, Tae Kwon Do, and ZONE.

Adults, don’t feel left out! We have many programs for you as well. If you like to cook, play basketball, fence, work with your dog, play soccer, ice skate, tumble with your preschooler, or learn more about technology or the Spanish language, we have something for you. Do you have an idea for a class, group, or program? We are always open to your ideas about how to create other opportunities.

In an effort to both inform you about our programs and collect feedback, you can find us on the Morris Area Schools webpage, our very own Morris Area Community Education Facebook page, through our Tiger Tracks mailing, and/or by receiving our Weekly Happenings via email every Tuesday. If you are not receiving our Tuesday email, send me your email address and I will get you on the list

Throughout the course of 2013 and into the future, my goal is to share what is happening in Community Education and to make our programs relevant and meaningful to you. Community Education is our opportunity to bring us together towards the goal of growing in ways that help our quality of life through lifelong learning. It is such a privilege to be home again and to be a part of our Morris Area community. Thank you for such a warm welcome.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at or 320-589-4394.