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Carlson is Friend of Education award winner

Retired biology teacher remains active in teaching local youth WORTHINGTON -- Education has always been dear to the heart of Worthington resident Dale Carlson. His dedication was rewarded during the annual Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce ban...

Dale Carlson

Retired biology teacher remains active in teaching local youth

WORTHINGTON -- Education has always been dear to the heart of Worthington resident Dale Carlson. His dedication was rewarded during the annual Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce banquet in February. Carlson was in Texas when he heard news he was the recipient of the award.

"I'm very appreciative in terms of receiving it, but I'm not doing these things to gain personal credit," he explained. "It's nice to be recognized for my involvement, and I hope this will stimulate other people to be active in youth work and education."

Carlson has been active in the community since he and his family moved here in 1964 when he took a job at Worthington High School as a biology teacher. After working at WHS for two years, he was hired as a biology professor at then-Worthington Community College in 1966. Carlson served as Executive Vice President of Academic Services at Minnesota West's Worthington campus from 1985 until retiring in 1998.

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Even though he is retired, Carlson continues to play an active role in education and within his community.

Carlson helped charter the Early Risers Kiwanis club in 1968. Over 43 years later, he is still engaged in education and has served as president of the Kiwanis club for the past three years.

When Prairie Elementary opened in 2001, Carlson helped charter the K-Kids club in an effort to teach students how to become actively involved in their school and community. The group of approximately 70 third- and fourth-grade students meets twice a month with several Kiwanis members and an academic advisor.

The meetings offer insight into community service and teach students the official parliamentary procedures of Kiwanis meetings. He also helped charted a similar organization, VOKK (Volunteer Optimist Kiwanis Kids) at the Worthington Middle School.

"It's been a very enjoyable experience for me," Carlson said of his involvement with K-Kids and VOKK. "Of all the Kiwanis events I have been involved in, I think I've gotten more personal satisfaction with working with these kids than anything I've done with the Kiwanis."

In addition to his work with the Kiwanis, Carlson is also involved with various education foundations, serving as the president of the District of Minnesota Dakotas Education Scholarship Foundation, the American Lutheran Church Scholarship Fund and board member to the Minnesota West, Worthington campus, Scholarship Foundation.

"I do enjoy working with young people and helping them in any way I can," Carlson added of his work with local scholarship organizations. "I get so much enjoyment out of helping students have the opportunity to get an education."

Carlson does not view his involvement in local organizations as anything special; instead, he believes it is his responsibility to give back to the community that has blessed him.

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"The community has been good to me. My wife and I raised our family here and we enjoy Worthington," Carlson said. "I feel that people should give back to the community and I try to do that."

Education and community service have been an integral part of Carlson's life for nearly half a century and he anticipates many more years of dedication are yet to come.

"I enjoy being active in a variety of activities," he added. "I hope to continue volunteering as long as my health permits."

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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