Small stones – substantial significance

Students find a unique and moving way to remember two recently deceased faculty members.


Deb Kadrlik

All of the small stones were painted by a variety of students, adding color in front of the elementary school.

Linda Kranz states in her childrens’ book Only One You, “There’s only one you in this great, big world. Make it a better place.” The Cannon Falls Elementary School is striving to spread kindness and make our great, big world a better place by starting small. Inspired by the childrens’ book and Mrs. Linda Lindor and Mrs. Kiley Reich-Winberg, two teachers that left an everlasting impact on the local community, the teachers of the elementary, the workers at Zumbro Valley Landscaping, and the elementary students of Cannon Falls all worked together to construct a painted rock garden to decorate the front of their school. This vibrant splash of color was brought to The Lantern’s attention by Mrs. Deb Kadrlik, a third grade teacher at the Cannon Falls Elementary School. She explained the process of how creating this colorful reminder impacted others. 

There’s only one you in this great, big world. Make it a better place.”

— Linda Krans

It all started at a PBIS meeting where the idea was brought up and kicked into gear when Dave Peterson, the Director of Facilities/Maintenance, gave the project the green light. After that, elementary and high school art teachers, Michael Gunderson and Brett Zimmerman, helped the children and teachers of the elementary paint their own rocks with unique and beautiful patterns. Meanwhile, Zumbro Valley Landscaping was getting the area outside the school ready for the intricately decorated rocks. Thanks to the Lindor and Reich-Winberg families donating the painting supplies, rocks, and benches, the project was able to progress quickly and efficiently. Once again, the names Lindor and Reich-Winberg have inspired the community to aim to leave a positive mark on the world.

Mrs. Lindor and Mrs. Reich-Winberg both passed away from breast cancer not long ago. However, they have not left the hearts and minds of the residents of Cannon Falls. The two elementary teachers profoundly influenced the community with their kindness, patience, and love so strongly that even while they’re not with the students and teachers, they’re still striking inspiration into the minds of people everywhere. Their altruism will never be forgotten.

What those two teachers left behind is a gift. It’s a life lesson for upcoming generations of kids to learn from. It’s the aftershock of them shaking the foundations of the Cannon Falls community. But most importantly, it’s the secret to a joyful, successful life and it’s seen in the painted garden of small stones that hold a substantial significance.