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2009 Graduate – Christopher Brunner


Christopher BrunnerIn early June of 1873, it was reported that grasshoppers were working their way toward Minnesota from the Dakotas and destroying everything. Although people in the Sherburn area at that time paid little credence to the threat, it was reported that the insects reached Jackson County by June 8, 1873. If the wind was favorable they could make ten miles in one day.

By June 18, 1873, they arrived in Martin County like a snowstorm until the ground was nearly covered. They took a special liking to the English Colony’s beans, and it was said that within 24 hours there wasn’t a beanstalk left standing. Some farmers of that time grew tobacco, which was also a favorite of the grasshoppers.

Many thought the grasshoppers would not survive the harsh winter. However, the following April they began to hatch. By the end of June 1874, they had cleaned out many fields of grain, including beans, corn, and even potatoes.

Many settlers of that time began to lose faith in the future of the country and left. Finally, in the spring of 1877, Governor Pillsbury set April 27, 1877, as a day of fasting and prayer for deliverance from the pests. People gathered in their respective places of worship and joined in prayer. In the early summer of that year, when the grasshoppers had developed to the point where they could fly, they all at once rose up to the sky and left the area. Sailors on the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean were said to have found insects floating on the water. They had left this area without depositing any eggs, and thus ended the grasshopper years.  Ah, the power of prayer.

Please meet Christopher Brunner of the formally grasshopper infested Sherburn, Mn.  He also needed some prayer for more school choices than the public, government run option.

Christopher did attend public high school and was very popular.  He made friends easily and was enjoying an active teen social life.  Unfortunately his academic endeavors suffered greatly due to that social life.  With all the friends and activities, he found it difficult to concentrate on his classes.  The large class sizes did present a unique challenge for Christopher.  The individual attention he needed simply was not available.

After sharing his concerns with his family, the decision was made to “homeshool.”  Christopher researched the Internet and decided on Citizens’ High School.  With the self-discipline needed, Christopher finished 3 and a half academic years with Citizens’ and, finished with a respectable 3.6 GPA.

Christopher now reports, “It feels good to check the Yes box for high school graduate on job applications.”  He has held a couple different jobs since graduating and both require a diploma.  Christopher will be attending the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) to become  a certified motorcycle mechanic.  Until then, he is enjoying helping out his folks, snowboarding, and working on saving money for school.

Christopher Brunner is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for September 2009.