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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To this year’s Albert Lea Teacher of the Year finalists.

Congratulations to the five people who were identified this week as finalists for Albert Lea Teacher of the Year.

The district posted on its Facebook that the finalists included Jenni Braaten, a social worker for the Area Learning Center and Albert Lea High School; Lisa Dugger, licensed school nurse; Burke Enger, in technology at Southwest Middle School; Kevin Gentz, a math teacher at the high school; and Amber Jensen, a third-grade teacher at Sibley Elementary School.

All teachers in no doubt should receive extra thanks this year for all the work they’ve done to adjust to teaching and keeping students safe during the pandemic, but these teachers have been identified as going above and beyond.

Thank you also to the committee that works on this award every year and making the awards ceremony happen, albeit in a nontraditional sense.

To people who litter.

As the snow begins to melt, it’s sad to see all of the trash that is surfacing that has been left behind over the last few months.

If you’re walking anywhere in town and you see some trash on the ground, do everyone a favor and pick it up.

Picking up trash is also a good opportunity to teach stewardship to your children or grandchildren. Grab some gloves and a trash bag and start in your own neighborhood.

Though there is still snow that needs to melt — and there will likely be more trash that surfaces once that is done — we hope people will get a jump-start if they are able in helping to beautify the community.

To another new COVID-19 death this week.

News of Freeborn County’s 24th COVID-19 death on Thursday was a stark reminder that the effects of the pandemic are still ongoing, despite the vaccinations that are underway.

We encourage people to continue following the guidelines recommended by health officials, including wearing face masks, following social distancing guidelines and maintaining strong hand hygiene.

Though there is significant progress being made with vaccinations, there is still much work to be done. As of Wednesday, 5,499 people in Freeborn County had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,275 people had the completed series.

Be respectful of your friends and neighbors who have not had the opportunity yet to be vaccinated, some of which could still be considered vulnerable.