My name is Paula Leland Garnett, and I am the new Zone One Director! I grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and graduated from Denfeld High School, a tradition in my family. My parents and their siblings also graduated from this high school. I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin and have had many interesting and wonderful positions within the field of education. I have had the opportunity to be a teacher at all levels (pre-kindergarten through high school and including college), principal, superintendent, and a district representative to the Minnesota State Department of Education.
My husband, Bill, and I are very fortunate to currently be teaching at our respective high school alma maters, East High School and Denfeld High School. Bill’s areas of expertise are mathematics and technology, mine are English and the Language Arts, Elementary Education, and music. Bill is a great photographer and enjoys taking pictures of sports events, especially involving East —and yes, sometimes, even Denfeld!
Bill and I have been members of Sons of Norway, Nortun Lodge, in Duluth for many years. Bill wrote the newsletter and I have held a variety of positions including president, vice president, and marshal. My association with Sons of Norway, unlike my husband’s, began early in life when a friend’s mother (who was born in Norway) took us along to a special event at the Lodge where I remember seeing all the beautiful bunads. What a thrill it was to experience this along with sampling some of the delicious Norwegian delicacies! Additionally impressive to a child was the regal atmosphere of Norway Hall itself!
Through the years, Nortun Lodge has experienced gains and losses in membership. I am the current president once again, and we are trying to increase our numbers that have really dipped over the years. Our programs have been interesting, fun, and contribute to the members’ learning about their culture, and many ideas have been generated by the members themselves. I believe that is important. In many of my monthly newsletter, I have continued to emphasize that we need to support one another, working cooperatively to build upon each others talents and abilities. We need to strengthen our collective membership so that others will want to join us and share in the fun! As the old adage states, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
Through my position as Director of Zone One, I hope to learn ways to build up membership; what types of programs other Lodges are offering their respective member-ships and how these ideas come about; and how membership works productively together for the good of the Lodge to realize Lodge goals.