By Matt Lukshaitis Pine River Area Schools Superintendent As we hit the end of the fifth week of the new school year, people ask me, "So,\u00a0how's it going this year at Pine River?" Some of the folks who ask are parents,\u00a0some are teachers and some are students. Occasionally, this question is asked\u00a0by other educators, coaches or visitors here from the Wexford-Missaukee\u00a0Intermediate School District or other districts. When Pine River staff, teachers, parents, coaches or students ask me, I say,\u00a0"We are having an awesome year! Overlooking our football field and track, we\u00a0have a new concession stand, courtesy of the Buck Pride Group - basically a\u00a0$160,000 donation from a dedicated group of coaches, community members,\u00a0teachers, administrators and one phenomenal individual (who contributed half\u00a0the funding, thank you so much Mr. Rob Feeley). We have new technology - six\u00a0grades out of nine have one-to-one Chromebooks in the 4-12 building - new\u00a0interim assessment programs to help students and teachers understand where\u00a0we have gaps in the curriculum and where we have student growth, and we are\u00a0implementing new K-5 and 6-12 school improvement plans!" Our School Improvement Committee spent a year studying our academic\u00a0strengths and weaknesses and we have developed a solid plan for addressing\u00a0our areas of concern. As a result, this summer we conducted extra days of\u00a0teacher training for Chromebook use and project-based learning. How are things going this year? Well, things are going great due to a dedicated\u00a0teaching and support staff, parents and administrators who care, and students\u00a0overflowing with pride! When folks outside the community ask me, I look at them at say, "It's a great time\u00a0to be a Buck!"