SARTELL -- A beloved employee of the Sartell School District celebrated a big milestone on Thursday.

Mary Lou Westra turned 90 years old and has no intention of slowing down. She has been working for the district since 2001 in both substitute paraprofessional and food service roles.

Sartell Middle School Principal Kurt Stumpf says she is a hard-working and dedicated member of the staff.

We are extremely fortunate to have Mary Lou and what's so impressive about her is that she fits this position into her daily schedule which I know is a grind for her because she golfs, she bowls, and she volunteers more than anybody that I know. So we're extremely fortunate for how active she is, that she still makes time for us two hours a day to come work with our kids.

Staff members, Student Council, and the Art Club came together to throw a birthday party with cookies, cards, and a photo booth. They also presented Westra with a golden whistle with her name engraved on the side.

Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzthum even stopped by and declared May 9th, 2019 Mary Lou Westra Day in the city. He says it was some of his past teachers who helped get him involved in the celebration.

I was contacted by a number of past teachers of mine here at Sartell Middle School asking if I would attend the celebration birthday party, and so I asked that rather than just attending, why don't we take it a step further and proclaim May 9th of 2019 as Mary Lou Westra Day in Sartell as a fun, commemorative way of giving back to her.


A few members of her family were in attendance: daughters Mimi Vreeland and Monica Mills, granddaughter Holly Waldoch, and great-grandchildren Keegan and Elsa Waldoch who are currently enrolled in the district.