Congrats to CIHS welding program

Dear Editor:

We would like to congratulate Ed Burns and Tim Saxton on Tim’s gold medal win in Welding at the National Skills USA contest last month in Kansas City. This is a great accomplishment and speaks to the high level of skill that Mr. Burns has cultivated in his students in the welding program at Cambridge Isanti High School. He has not only taught his students how to weld, he has helped them develop strong character skills.

When our son was in Mr. Burns’ program, we had the opportunity to travel to Kansas City and watch him compete in the Nationals. What we saw had a lasting impression on us. There were so many hard working, talented young people led by dedicated teachers in the many, many vocational programs. These programs are sadly under recognized in our schools and deserve the support of our community and our school board.

To get to the National level, a student has to take first in the State Competition and Mr. Burns has taken many State Champions to Kansas City from Cambridge Isanti High School. Our son placed 5th in 2004 and the following year Jon Blumhoefer placed 4th. So Tim, we are proud to hear that you are Mr. Burns’ first National Champion. As parents we have seen how much work and perseverance it takes to get to that level. You were competing against the top one percent of the nation’s high school welders and now you are number one. Congratulations again to you!

As you retire, Mr. Burns, it will be very difficult to replace you. Not many people may realize you live in St. Cloud and were at school every morning by 6:30 to be available to any students that needed extra help or wanted to get extra practice in. Thank you for all that you have done. You will be greatly missed!

Russel and Cheryl Sailer, Cambridge