Back in May I dedicated this column to encouraging community members to consider becoming part of our volunteer registry – a database comprised of community members who have skills, careers, life experiences, history or information teachers may find of value in classrooms.

At the heart of this effort is a desire expressed by the community for the school district to do everything it can to make best use of the opportunities our community members can provide. We are blessed to be located in a community with a wide range of abilities and life experiences! 

Our hope is to create a database of community members who can offer our youth a broader view of the world in a classroom environment.

Many of you reading this column have a wealth of knowledge that can directly benefit our children and young adults as they contemplate life decisions about career, service, family and more. As a school district, it is our duty to share as much of the world with our students as we can to prepare them for life beyond school.

In an effort to make this as easy as possible for our community, we have set up a sign-up form available at the district website. Simply go to the Community Education homepage ( and look for “Be a volunteer guest speaker” under the “I want to...” dropdown menu. A simple six-prompt form will take your contact information, area of experience and intended audience.

The list is shared with staff as a resource. Teachers have the ability to search the list for speakers relevant to a classroom subject or general curriculum and access volunteers who can add depth and breadth to a topic.

We can’t place a high enough value on the opportunity to learn from, and question, people with first-hand knowledge about careers, historical moments, hobbies and a wide variety of other subjects.

We hope you will consider making your wealth of knowledge available for the benefit of the next generation of citizens as they prepare to make their own way.

If you have any questions about our volunteer speaker registry, please contact Community Education Director Brett Carlson at 651-674-1025 or

Dr. Deb Henton is superintendent of North Branch Area Public Schools. 

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