The assignment for students on the Eagle Pod newspaper was to interview and write about someone involved in education who was somehow tied to their school. So students in Carol Blair's fourth and fifth-grade gifted class at Moon Lake Elementary set out to get their stories.
One student chose to write about the school nurse. Another interviewed a student who ran a marathon. Cheerleaders became the subjects of stories along with the crossing guard lady and principal Elise Landahl, too.
Ten-year-old Nate Cromwell is one of those kids who likes to go big. He decided he wanted to know more about superintendent Kurt Browning.
‘"I wanted to interview him because he's the boss of all in the people in the School District," Nate said.
Blair sent off an email requesting an interview with the boss — or better yet, a classroom "press conference." Then other students would have the opportunity to ask questions and classroom photographers Hannah Young, 10; Crystal Hobby, 9; and Korah Garnett, 9, could hone their picture-taking skills.
It was also the perfect way to put into practice the note-taking and public speaking skills students had been working on in class — how to properly introduce yourself, look your subject in the eye and offer a handshake. In the end, students would write and design their own newspaper page, some that would be featured for parents to see at the school's end-of-year student showcase.
The superintendent arrived at Moon Lake with a little kick to his step and for an hour, Browning stood in the Eagle Pod portable classroom fielding questions.
"I always welcome opportunities to get out in classrooms — particularly when it's student-initiated," Browning said. "He thought about who he wanted to invite to his classroom, and that was me. I was flattered."
Nate, a fourth-grader, came prepared, reciting the polite and proper protocol that his teacher taught all the students.
"My name is Nate Cromwell, from the Eagle Pod newspaper. Do you mind if I ask you some questions?"