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Reading is the key Renowned suspense writer to tout impact of literacy at Leadership Conference


The concept that literacy is important to school children is an obvious no-brainer to school board members, superintendents and other education policymakers. Literacy is the foundation for learning—and for the closing keynote speaker at the 2014 MSBA Leadership Conference, literacy also helped lay the groundwork for his illustrious writing career.

Bruce Lombard Renowned author William Kent Krueger will speak Friday, January 17, during the closing session of the 2014 MSBA Leadership Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Krueger—a St. Paul resident and a former child development researcher at the University of Minnesota—has published 15 novels. His best-selling “Cork O’Connor” mystery series is set in fictional Tamarack County in the Minnesota Northwoods. The saga’s protagonist, Corcoran O’Connor, is the former sheriff of Tamarack County. The latest book in the series, “Tamarack County,” was released in August 2013. Krueger’s work has received a number of awards. He attributes his success as a writer to all those wonderful stories he read as a child. To Krueger, the importance of literacy can be summed up in this quote: “Anybody who believes they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” William Kent Kruger

“Literacy is a window to the world,” Krueger added. “Literacy, for so many kids, is the only way they are ever going to travel to another country or to meet another culture or to have the experience of walking in someone else’s shoes. Literacy is important in that it is one certain way that everyone can have access to the world.” Krueger said, in his experience as a student, the teachers he loved the most were the ones who read to the class. “In elementary school, I honestly can’t remember learning specific things, but I clearly remember the period of time every day when a teacher would sit us down and read to us—or would

8     MSBA Journal/Leadership Conference Program

2014 Leadership Program/January-February Journal  

2014 January-February Journal and Leadership Conference Program