BY EILEEN PERSIKE
In week two of our 10-week series featuring Forward Rhinelander’s top 10 citizens under age 40, we highlight a fourth-generation Rhinelander resident.
Mike Cheslock, School District of Rhinelander Community Education Coordinator
How would you encourage other young people to get involved in their communities?
• Find something you are passionate about and go for it! There are many community groups in the Rhinelander area. Find out what they are and what their missions/purposes are. Get to know as many people in the area as possible, build relationships and stay connected.
Who are your mentors?
• Throughout my youth, both of my parents encouraged me to learn as much as possible by being social with other people. In my early adulthood, while enrolled in classes at Nicolet College, I met and later became friends with Jim Brown and Karen Isebrands Brown who worked at the college at that time. They encouraged me and gave me great advice. They still remain important mentors in my life. I’ve also learned a lot from the wonderful folks at the school district. They continue to provide new challenges that help me grow personally and professionally.
To date, what are you most proud of accomplishing?
• I am most proud of how I’ve been able to help keep the School District of Rhinelander and the community tied together, through event planning, program offerings, communication pieces, and general outreach. I feel it’s important for the community and the schools to have a positive relationship with one another. I am also proud of the time I spent as program director of the YMCA of the Northwoods (2004-2008). They gave me my start and we accomplished some great things there.
What is your favorite thing about Rhinelander?
• For me it’s the perfect-sized town. I like the slower pace compared to a bigger city. I also enjoy the lakes, rivers, woods and all the outdoor activities that go along with them. Most of the people are kind too, and will help a fellow Hodag if need be.
If you could change one thing about Rhinelander, what would that be?
• I’d like to see the community more on board with encouraging young adults to come back to the area. Rhinelander is a good place to work, play and raise children. While many community groups have made this a focus, I still think there can be a negative stigma about the area among young folks. I hope we continue to improve the community to make it a great place where people to want to live.
To read Top 10 Under 40 features previously published, visit starjournalnow.com.