Margaret was unable to to preside at today's meeting due to an emergency surgery today to repair a torn retina.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Margaret!
Cindy introduced Todd Kruse, President of the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce.
Linda LaFond announced that the Gold Plate Dinner theme will be " The Roaring 20's", so start thinking about a costume, if you plan to wear one.  As Linda put it, "period dress will be admired but not required".
Don't forget that we are hosting the second Area 9 Social for local Rotary Clubs.  We'll meet at the Exchange (across form our regular meeting place) this Thursday, January 15th, from 4:30 - 6:30.  Champagne will be served.  Join us whenever you are able.  Make-ups will be available to attendees.
Val reminded us that the Clean Water Forum, sponsored by the Anoka Club, will be held on Thursday, February 12th at the Green Haven Golf Course, 2800 Greenhaven Road, in Anoka.  Breakfast is from 7:15 AM-8:15 AM and the program is from 8:00 AM -10:30 AM.  Register at
Many thanks to Bev for hosting the Holiday Party.  A great time was had by all!
John Risdall reported that his second cataract surgery went as well as the first and that he can now fully appreciate his colorful ties.
Paul Fournier said that our serenade for his 81st Birthday was the best he's heard in over 30 years.  We're wondering about his hearing.  (see photo below)
Dana introduced our speaker, Connie Hayes, superintendent of the Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District. Connie expressed appreciation for our $500 contribution to the Rotary District 5960 Literacy Program, which will be used to fund print and digital resources for Northeast Metro 916 students.  District 916 is a specialty district serving eleven school districts in the north and east metro, operating under a joint powers agreement among the member districts.  Member school districts include Centennial, Columbia Heights, Forest Lake, Fridley, Mahtomedi, Mounds View, North St.Paul - Maplewood – Oakdale, Roseville, South Washington County, Spring Lake Park, Stillwater and White Bear Lake.  ISD 916’s board of directors is composed of one member from each of the participating districts.
Disrtict 916 services are focused in three areas:
  • Educational Services, including Alternative Learning Centers, Career and Technical Centers, grants, research and staff development.
  • Special Education Services, including programs for physically, mentally and emotionally challenged students as well as staff development and assistive technology training.
  • Administrative Services, including shared legal, transportation and interpreter services.ISD 16 also consolidates existing member district programs for increased efficiency.
The key benefits of ISD 916 are: (from ISD 916 website)
  • Innovative and quality educational options that are not available to students in their home districts.
  • Staff will be retained, resulting in a better learning environment for students.
  • Northeast Metro 916 will be partners with districts and others in creating and delivering quality programs and services.
  • Programs will be led and delivered by people who have the competency to do the job.
  • Northeast Metro 916 is recognized as an educational option that provides a high return on investment.  
Northeast Metro 916 has an annual budget of 67.7 million dollars and its 650 employees serve nearly 5,000 students each year, with the majority receiving services for emotional/behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders.  Intermediate School Districts operate on a fee-for-service basis, with student services funded by tuition which is billed to the student’s home district.  Superintendent Hayes is pictured with Dana below.