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Mark Dayton visited Lake Middle School on Friday where he spoke with eighth grade students currently enrolled in the Advancement Via Individualized Determination (AVID) program.

Gov. Mark Dayton visits Lake Middle School

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Lake Middle School welcomed a special guest to the school last Friday.

Gov. Mark Dayton visited the school April 12 to talk with eighth grade students who are in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.

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The AVID program targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard.

"The goal of AVID is to close the achievement gap so students can be successful in college," said LMS AVID teacher Casey Tody.

This is the first year that LMS has offered AVID.

"It actually focuses kids in regards to not only what they think they need but what they actually need in order to be successful throughout their high school careers," LMS principal Molly Roeske said.

As part of the program, students hear from guest speakers every other Friday and April 12 was Dayton's turn.

"It's important knowing information what it takes to get somewhere," Roeske said. "The speaker helps keep them thinking and realistic about what it might take to reach their interests as a career."

Dayton's appearance was arranged by LMS math teach Marit Sullivan, who used to be on Dayton's staff.

Dayton's presentation consisted of students asking the governor a variety of questions including how he became interested in politics, what he wanted to be when he was a middle school student and what some of the best perks are about being governor.

"I get to wake up every morning and do great things for the state of Minnesota," Dayton said. "The best perk is I get to do the job."

Dayton also discussed with students the importance of college and keeping their focus.

"Perseverance is key," he said. "That's true with everything in life - you have to stick with it."

In regard to their choices after high school, Dayton told students that they have two choices - to go to college or to find a job that doesn't require a college degree.

"Those are your choices," he said. "You have a guaranteed success or not.

"If you go to college you'll have a fantastic life."

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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