The reason Sartell is such a thriving, dynamic, wonderful city to live in is very simple, really. Its people are adept at working together.
One can see that in how the city staff works together as a unit to solve problems and to explore opportunities. That team spirit came to the forefront in the wake of the Verso paper mill disaster last year, but it’s been there all along. The police and fire department personnel, along with city staff, worked incredibly as a team during those long, anguished days and nights.
The ability to work together is everywhere evident in Sartell’s schools, and it’s no wonder at all most people who move to the city cite “excellent school system” as their reason. The newspaper hears that again and again from new residents and from those who have lived in the city for a long time.
This working together in community spirit is especially evident to the Newsleader news staff. Through hundreds of Sartell-based stories throughout the years, that community spirit has been a constant, recurring theme. Typically, when there is a triumph or success of some kind, people involved are quick to give credit to others or to laud the team effort.
The following are just two recent examples. In a news-story interview with teacher Jen Richason, who was named statewide Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year, she praised her students, their parents and the Sartell community for the honor that was bestowed upon her. Those supportive qualities, especially her keenly interested and bright students, create an environment in which it’s “easy” to be a good teacher, Richason said. And this was not false modesty at all. Richason, in a kind of hushed voice of awe, elaborated on how and why Sartell is such a supportive place to work. Such strong support, she said, naturally brings out the best in people’s efforts.
Another Newsleader story is about the Sabre Dance Team, who took two honors at the state tourney at Target Center last weekend. One of the dancers interviewed, Ashley Regnier, gave credit to the hard work of all of the team dancers. And so did the head coach, Kelly McCarney. The dancing awards, she said, are a direct result of tight teamwork, Regnier said, giving special praise to the teamwork of the coaches. That theme surfaces again and again in news stories about school successes – academic, athletic and in all extracurricular programs. Students and teachers and other residents give credit where credit is due, to individuals involved, but they always underline the importance of the team and the support system that helped individuals achieve what they did. They make it abundantly clear that success does not occur in a vacuum – that many sources nourish it and make it possible.
Such sterling qualities, of course, are not unique just to Sartell. But anyone who has worked in the city and observed its workings for any length of time will testify the spirit of community in Sartell is indeed remarkable. Alive and well.
And it’s refreshing these days to hear people not crow about “me, me, me” but rather “us, us, us.”