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Saluting Our

Healthcare Heroes

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On Wednesday, May 12th - in honor of Murray County Medical Center’s ‘Hospital Week’, staff from MCMC joined each other in front of the hospital for what they thought was just an all-staff photo. Employees were surprised with a secret drive-by salute from the Slayton Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, Slayton Fire Department, and Murray County Medical Center Ambulance. The secret salute was planned by hospital administration and the employee wellness committee as a special way to recognize staff at Murray County Medical Center for all of their hard work and continued commitment to patients in the county during an especially difficult year due to COVID-19. Thank you to each and every one of our healthcare heroes for their continued passion in keeping our community safe!

By Theresa Nysetvold


As doors open wider after a long pandemic, so also do opportunities for business and economic growth.  Vacancies at the county level are filling and when the new position of Economic Development Coordinator was created it was filled by our own Justine Wettschreck.  The long-time Avoca resident has returned to her home county to use her expertise, passion and experience for the benefit of all.

Justine grew up in Forest Lake, MN and married Eric Wettschreck.  “My husband was in the navy for ten years and we moved a lot,” she explained.  “We knew we wanted to move back to Minnesota and settled on Avoca!  In 1995 we bought a converted school house and have always enjoyed our rural, open space.”  They raised their three children here and Ms. Wettschreck developed her skills in writing and communication.  “In high school I loved writing and working on newspapers, so my training is from experience,” she remarked.  In 2004 Justine began reporting for the Worthington Daily Globe newspaper, and for the past eight years she has been the news director at Radio Works, a business with four local radio stations serving southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.  These positions, along with eight years of serving on the Avoca City Council and the board of the Southwest Crisis Center have taught her invaluable lessons about the inner workings of communities, businesses and infrastructure.  Ms. Wettschreck said, “I’m excited to bring this knowledge and newspaper reporting experiences to this job.”

The position of EDA Coordinator for Murray County is a combination of positions held most recently by Amy Rucker and Christy Riley.  Justine will focus on economic development, tourism, succession planning and coordinating services for all of the cities in Murray County.  “This is about retention and growth,” she explained.  “Covid has been hard on our businesses but it’s also revealed our weaknesses, like our gaps in broadband services.”  Ms. Wettschreck will work with her four-person EDA board to educate businesses about available funding sources and where to invest in long-term improvements.  “I can help new business owners - we are committed to getting people here and keeping people here through contacts in housing, daycare, etc.”  

Ms. Wettschreck reports directly to County Administrator Thomas Burke and works closely with her board.  Her goals are to visit every city council and eventually every business in the county.  She plans to work closely with city administrators as well, because we all have the same desire to live and work in a robust county that provides all the services we ever need.  If you’d like to contact Ms. Wettschreck, send an email to: or call 507-836-6023.

Murray County Hires new EDA Coordinator

Blake Schmitz is committing to Jersey Gators College Prep School in Pittman, NJ. Jersey Gators Postgraduate Program’s mission is to prepare graduating high school student athletes for acceptance into NCAA or NAIA colleges and universities—while playing competitive football. Pictured above with Blake are Lucas Freeman, Adam Neubarth and Patrick Freeman. 

Pictured below is Blake with his family.

End of year message


Parents, guardians and MCC community members: The end of another school year is upon us and this school year was one like no other.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, Safe Learning Plans, social distancing, quarantining, crowd limitations, activity restrictions, and so much more; it definitely made things challenging in so many ways. Now that we are planning for graduations, year-end projects, finals and celebrations; it reminds us that the summer break is indeed near. As we finish the 2020-2021 school year, I want to thank you for being understanding, working with us, and your continuing support of our District. It looks like we are going to be able to reach our goal of maintaining in-person learning (for the most part) throughout this school year. Our students inspire and make us proud every day. Their efforts and accomplishments are proof of the dedication of our parents, staff and community. 


Our staff is committed to the care of your children as individuals and leaners. This has been so evident every day in our buildings this year and also on our extra-curricular playing fields/courts. Our teachers, support staff, coaches and administrators have demonstrated their attention to the emotional and educational needs of our students during these trying times. When decisions are being made, we are always looking out for the best interest of our students to drive this decision making process. 


As residents, you support the district through your tax dollars and attendance at special events and athletic contests. This year looked different than any other year in this realm and it is our greatest hope that next year will be back to a “normal” year. Murray County Central has obviously benefited financially from our families and communities. With this support, we are able to provide for identified needs of our students and community. We also have benefited from the many volunteers over the years that are a vital part of the education system at MCC. This too we hope to get back next year! 


As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, we are actively preparing for the start of school for 2021-2022. Our back to school registration days are set for Tuesday August 10th and Wednesday August 11th. The first day of school next year will be on Tuesday, September 7th for grades 7-12 and Thursday September 9th for grades K-6. 


We are also planning for a 5-week summer school in July and early August for identified students and credit recovery. Students and parents will be contacted for this opportunity regarding dates, times, meals, and transportation. 


While we are always proud of our current accomplishments, we know that there is always room to improve. We will build upon our strengths, examine current practices and make changes necessary to move the district forward. Preparation for the future includes initiatives and plans to improve our students’ academic performance through our ongoing strategic planning process which is the blueprint to improve the quality of education for MCC students.  


As stakeholders you trust that the school board and administration not only ensure a high-quality education for all students but that we are also responsible stewards of your tax dollars. Your continued support of the district propositions over the years and of our strategic planning initiatives confirms your belief in us. We collectively pledge to continue our efforts of financial transparency and accountability to you. 


On behalf of the board, the administration, the faculty, and our support staff, we thank you for your continued interest in our efforts. Parental and community support are hallmarks of a healthy and growing school system. Thank you!


In education,

Joe Meyer

Superintendent, Murray County Central Public Schools

Rebel Roundup

Janet Voges

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