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    Dear Students,

     Welcome to 7th Grade!  You are now beginning a new and exciting chapter of your life.  Like most experiences you will encounter in life, it is what you make of it. Please, make the most of this opportunity to learn and grow as a person.  I am proud to be your teacher and a fellow Cougar!

     To give you a little background of who I am, here is a brief life summary.  I grew up on a dairy farm in rural Minnesota where I was very active in athletics and extracurricular activities.  After high school I served four years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps traveling to various countries, mainly in Asia. I then worked my way through the University of Minnesota where I earned my teaching degree and coaching certificate.

     This is my twenty-seventh year of living in Lawrence.  My daughter, Jasmine, is 22 years old and she is in banking.  My son, Karl, is 21 years old and he is serving in the U.S. Air Force. My youngest child, Lily, is eleven years old and is in fifth grade. The summer of 2000 I traveled to Scandinavia to learn more about my family history. I graduated from KU in May of 2003 with my master’s degree. I completed my doctoral courses at KU in May of 2006. Each summer we travel to Minnesota and Colorado to visit family.  This summer we also toured the West Coast.

     I taught sixth grade for four years at Kennedy Elementary and this is my twenty-third year at our middle school.  In addition to teaching English Language Arts this year, in past years I have taught Guided Studies, Math and World Geography. I also coach wrestling, track and field. 

     I highly encourage you to become involved with various activities at South Middle School and in our community.  This is a time in your life to expand your vision and achieve goals that you strive toward as a life long learner. I look forward to getting to know you better, not only as a student and athlete, but most importantly as a person.  You will be surprised how much we will learn from each other this year.  I really enjoy teaching here.  It is a very positive and safe place to learn.                                                                       

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Olson  330-2765 dolson@usd497.org