Save Our Team!

Posted by Lori Dale On September 11, 2021 Comments Off on Save Our Team!

This is a difficult post to write. I hope that you will forgive my writing in “first-person” instead of the traditional journalistic “third person” that I usually strive for, in light of the subject of this post.

The Granite City Gearheads need your help right now or we will cease to be as a team. I believe that St. Cloud area students will lose something very valuable. It will leave this district as the only district in our area (with the exception of Royalton, which is much smaller) to not have an FRC team.

This is happening because the district has made the decision that all sports and activities must start by 4 pm. Our wonderful Coach, Corey Applegate, and all of our mentors, with the exception of myself, work in the community and therefore are unable to be at Apollo until 5:30. The district speaks of putting the team on hold, but that is essentially a death sentence. Once that has happened teams rarely if ever come back.

So we need a new Coach. The ideal person would be someone that will have the support of many excited team members with many of the following skills of engineering, business, critical thinking, and other life skills that can be mentored using robotics. If you know of someone with those skills who might be interested, please have them contact the school district. They could also look for the job posting on the district’s available positions pages. it’s job ID 5815, I don’t see a way to create a link to the individual job, but here is a link to the page. When I load it, the position is at the top of this page.https://www.isd742.org/Page/1052?internaltransferform.Url=&all=1

Another possible solution would be to find a new location. We are exploring a couple of alternatives, but so far we have not received a response to our inquiries. If you know of a location where they will allow us to meet after 5:30 please let us know!

Finally, if you want local students to be able to be a part of the original, largest, and (in my opinion) best robotics organization, and the only one in Minnesota where students can letter in Robotics, please talk to or email a school board member. I am convinced that if the district understood what they will be losing they would make greater efforts to keep this team alive.

As someone who has been a part of this organization for 10 years, first as a parent, then as a mentor, I have seen what this team can do for kids. I have seen students grow in skills and confidence. I have seen students find their direction. I have loved being a part of this team, and I retain a passion for FIRST. That will not change. I am a “lifer”. I am all in. I am beyond disappointed that something so valuable can be lost because of issues of meeting times and places. Please consider what you can do to prevent this loss for our district and students.

Here are a few of the pictures that I will retain from my time with the Gearheads. I am a bit of a “paparazzi” with the team, so I have literally thousands of pictures that I could share. However, Word Press only allows a few, so I had a hard time picking photos. I will try to add a few under “comments” on our Facebook post.

2013 10,000 Lakes winners!
With our alliance partners as finalists in 2018. This qualified us for Championships
All smiles at the 2018 Regional.
2020 “bag and tag” (not all members were present when the photo was taken)
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