By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor
Veteran school administrator Marcia Love was hired last month to serve as a part-time interim superintendent for the Caledonia Public Schools system.
The native of Harmony brings a wealth of classroom teaching and school administration to the six-month position.
She graduated from Harmony High School, earned her bachelor’s in elementary education from Mankato State University, her masters degree from Winona State University and did graduate work at Drake University.
Love taught elementary education in Preston for two years, Harmony for six years and served as a combined elementary school principal for the Harmony and Mabel-Canton school districts.
She then served as the elementary school principal for the Elk River (Minn.) School District for one year and then served as the superintendent/elementary school principal for the Mabel-Canton School District for 3.5 years.
Love moved on to the Plainview School District, where she was the district’s superintendent for six years. Then she retired…for a short spell.
She then agreed to serve as the interim superintendent at Mabel-Canton, which turned into a 2.5-year stint, before retiring once again. That was three years ago.
About a month ago, Love consented to come out of retirement once again.
“I’m excited to be here,” Love said last week. “The residents of this school district are so supportive of their school. The referendum vote, which passed by a three to one margin to continue the current levy is a testament of just how supportive this community is. The community showed amazing support.
“The kids haven’t changed over the years, but society certainly has,” Love observed. “Society has placed so many demands on parents and in turn, schools have taken so much more responsibility on social issues. This has taken the focus away from education.”
Love said declining enrollment, which means cuts in state aid and state budget issues that have resulted in the state withholding a portion of that payment again this year, have made the school budgeting process much more challenging.
Unfunded state and federal mandates are another area that has tied school administrators’ hands.
“We must be very conservative,” Love noted.
Love pointed out that during the late 1970s and early 1980s, enrollments at most schools in the area were on the upswing. But because the economy was quite sluggish during those years, the challenge was to try to find ways of providing space for more students when money was tight.
“We had increasing enrollments, but it was still quite challenging,” Love recalled.
Love, who has been a part of the education system in Southeast Minnesota for most of the past four decades, said she has enjoyed working in an area were people are so supportive of their school districts. She pointed to the fact that all of the area school districts have continued to support operating levy referendums during the past decade, during tough economic times is a true indicator of just how important local education is.
She and her husband Bob still operate a farm west of Harmony. They have two sons and five grandchildren.
You can contact Charlie Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org