The Shakopee School Board last week approved a plan to honor late superintendent Gary Anger with a plaque in every school building.

Anger died in August after a battle with cancer. He was superintendent of Shakopee schools for just 10 months, but district administrators and teachers say he made a big impact in that time.

Anger came on board as superintendent in the wake of controversy sparked by former superintendent Rod Thompson, who was convicted last year of bribery and embezzling money from the district.

School board members had solicited ideas from the community to honor Anger, and the final idea was presented last week at a meeting. The plaque will have a photo of Anger and a poem written by him about living life to the fullest — the same poem that was printed on a handout to be taken by guests at his funeral.

“I love this,” Superintendent Mike Redmond said. Redmond knew Anger and his family personally.

“’The best part of life is living it,’” Redmond read from the poem. “It seems like an appropriate tribute and dedication to Gary. It’ll be a very positive representation in each of our buildings.”

Administrative Assistant Sarah Koehn has been working with a company to create the plaques and told the board that her contact at the company also knew Anger.

“I was led to this vendor and started to correspond with someone via email,” Koehn said. “She said, ‘This is near and dear to me. My kids went to Red Pine.’”

Anger used to be the principal at Red Pine Elementary in Eagan.

The school board members were supportive of the tribute and asked that plaques be placed in every school building and at the district office.

“I’ve always liked the poem and I think it’s a wonderful way to recognize, remember and celebrate Gary,” board chair Reggie Bowerman said.

Reporter and Lifestyle Guide Coordinator

Amanda McKnight has been a Southwest News Media reporter for four years. Amanda is passionate about accountability journalism and describes herself as spunky and assertive. She enjoys running, knitting, exploring nature and going on adventures with her hu


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