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Thune: Stay committed to excellence

SALEM -- Students in Salem had a chance to hear a bit of advice from a U.S. Senator Friday. Students welcomed Sen. John Thune with roaring applause in the McCook Central gymnasium after Thune toured the newly remodeled school serving about 336 K-...

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Sen. John Thune speaks to second graders in Teresa Keehn's, left, music class at McCook Central during a visit by Thune to the school on Friday morning in Salem. (Matt Gade/Republic)

SALEM - Students in Salem had a chance to hear a bit of advice from a U.S. Senator Friday.

Students welcomed Sen. John Thune with roaring applause in the McCook Central gymnasium after Thune toured the newly remodeled school serving about 336 K-12 students in McCook County.

Before hearing some topical political questions from students, Thune offered some advice to those in attendance as they prepare for their futures.

As the school transitions into a new two-story, 36,386-square foot addition, Thune told students education is not always about winning an athletic event or getting an “A,” but rather staying committed to excellence. The two-term U.S. senator then offered the students a nugget of insight on the best way they can serve their community.

“It’s just the little things day in and day out you look at and say, ‘I can make a difference in the life of somebody else,” Thune said. “If you’re thinking about other people and not about yourself all of the time, you’ll find yourself being a lot more considerate.”

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Prior to his speech, Thune toured both the recently opened and existing sections of the school, including the shop classroom where students are refurbishing an old tractor and the new music room where second-graders practiced their singing.

After taking a tour through the school, currently in the midst of a $7.1 million renovation, Thune was happy to see one of the more populated rural towns in South Dakota improve upon its 92-year old facility.

“It’s going to be a really nice addition when it’s done,” he said. “It’s really exciting to see what’s happening here.”

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