North Branch Area Public Schools is losing a very important member of its family in Kim Salo. Words can hardly do justice to this loss.
Kim’s service to the school board began in 1998, but her service to the community began as a levy supporter even before that. Her experience in working on a successful levy fostered a desire to serve in a greater capacity. A passion for children and education made the school board a perfect fit.
Sometimes events and individuals are brought together by fate. Kim came to the school board at a time when it would soon need strong leadership. Years of growth would end at the turn of the millennium and economic realities and funding issues at the state level would create a “perfect storm” for NBAPS.
For the vast majority of her tenure on the school board, the school district faced declining enrollment, shrinking budgets, and a community increasingly frustrated with a situation beyond its control.
As board chair, Kim was a strong, graceful leader through these difficult times; never failing to keep the best interests of students forefront in her mind. She presided over numerous difficult decisions.
Despite often having to make unpopular choices, and in an era where political discontent most often leads to changes in leadership, Kim was re-elected time and time again. In the seven-plus years I have had the privilege of knowing her, the reason has become very plain.
Community members, while not always in agreement with the school board, did agree there were few better to lead through difficult times. That is a testament to Kim’s character, compassion, and single-minded devotion.
I have learned so much from her. The community has largely weathered the storm with her leadership. As we move forward to brighter days, it is upon a foundation laid by Kim’s strong leadership.
Thank you Kim! Thank you, on behalf of the staff, students, families, taxpayers, business leaders, and all who have benefitted from your service.
— Dr. Deb Henton is superintendent of North Branch Area Public Schools