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People in the News October 21, 2021

Greg Gropel

Former school principal Jim Harner celebrated his 50th year as a member of the Luverne Rotary club on Tuesday, Oct. 19. He joins two other 50-year members who have attained Rotary’s golden anniversary status: Walter Tofteland and George McDonald.
Jim was proposed for membership by the late postmaster Arlo Bierkamp in 1971 and became a member of the club on Oct. 16, 1971.
Jim hails from Kossuth County, Iowa, graduating from Swea City High School. Upon high school graduation Jim entered the Army. Later, he returned to Iowa where he continued his education in Fayette, Iowa, graduating from Upper Iowa University.
With his degree in education, he landed his first teaching job in Grundy Center, Iowa.
During the next three summers Jim attended school in Greeley, Colorado, where he earned a master’s degree from Colorado State University.
While in Grundy Center, Jim married college sweetheart Delores Schultz, a Mason City, Iowa, native.
With his master’s degree in school administration, Jim and his family left Grundy Center and moved into Minnesota where Jim served as school principal in Wycoff.
After four years in Wycoff, the Harner family moved to Zumbrota. In 1971 the Harner family moved for the last time to Luverne, where Jim served 22 years as middle school principal before retiring from the local school system.
As Jim slowly approaches the celebration of his 89th November birthday, he remains active in the Rotary Club.
For many years Jim was the leader in the club’s Rotary International Youth Exchange Program, navigating young Luverne school students safely into a foreign land for a year of education and cultural awareness, as well as finding caring host families to open their loving hearts and warm home to a foreign exchange student to attend school in Luverne.

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