GENEALOGY: The Chippewa County Genealogical Society is celebrating 40 years of tracing family trees at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Central Lutheran Church, 28 E. Columbia St., Chippewa Falls.

A short business meeting will be followed by information about the society’s history, including short presentations by its founders.

All attendees will be required to wear masks and social distancing will be observed.

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RECOGNIZED: Chippewa Valley Technical College has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA for 2019 by the Arbor Day Foundation, the fifth consecutive year the college has earned the designation.

The national program honors colleges and universities for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

The effort to gain Tree Campus USA recognition for CVTC began in 2015 as an independent study project by now-CVTC graduate Olivia Myers on the encouragement of Landscape, Plant and Turf Management instructor Susan Frame.

Efforts of the Facilities team and groundskeepers are also instrumental in earning the award.

To gain the distinction, CVTC must have a tree plan, a tree advisory committee, and adopt arboriculture practices.

In conjunction with The Lower Chippewa Invasive Partnership, CVTC Horticulture students removed invasive species from a wind break area at the West Campus.

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CVTC AWARDS: Chrystal Reidt, a full-time welding instructor since 2008, and Ron Keys, a chemistry and physics instructor since 2001, were named the 2020 winners of the John Frank Excellence in Education Award at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

It is CVTC’s highest teaching award.

In addition, English instructor Andrew Freeburg was honored with the Domer Award for new faculty members and history instructor Jonathan Hedeen was named the winner of the Kohler Award for part-time faculty members.

Reidt said her philosophy is to focus on preparing the students to succeed in industry.

“My main goal is to help people, and I have been accused many times of having high standards,” she said. “If I fall back to lower standards, my students fail in industry, and that is unacceptable to me. I associate my success to my students’ success in the classroom, as well as industry.”

Keys said his philosophy of teaching always culminates with passion.

Keys also served on the Mondovi school board for 12 years.

“There has never been a single day in my 30-plus years of teaching that I awoke not wanting to go to work as a professional educator,” he said.

“For me, curiosity as a science teacher drives the passion,” Keys said. “Or is it passion of science that drives the curiosity? I am constantly searching for that next exciting lab or updating a mediocre lab to higher standards.”

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AWARD: Junior Achievement of Northwest Wisconsin has named Pete Farrow its 2020 JA Hero.

Farrow has been general manager and CEO for 21 years at Group Health Cooperative in Eau Claire.

Farrow’s involvement in Junior Achievement has involved volunteering in his children’s classroom, serving on the JA golf outing, and serving on the organization’s board of directors.

In previous years, Farrow was campaign chairman for the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley and chairman of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.

From staff reports

Contact: 715-833-9207,