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Northland Steps Up: 46 paintings for 46 high school seniors. A Two Harbors teacher’s heartfelt gift to students

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TWO HARBORS, MN -- 2020 high school seniors didn't get a prom.

No spring sports season.

No traditional graduation ceremony.

No grad parties.

But seniors in Two Harbors did get something special this week from a teacher, who was determined to create a positive memory for his students.

Carl Freund is technically an English teacher.

Lately, though, he has been busy with art.

"It was kind of therapeutic for me with COVID," said Freund.

Stuck working and doing everything else at home, Freund re-discovered his passion for painting.

Tuesday morning, two months worth of that passion went on display outside Two Harbors High School.

Freund took 46 3x3 inch canvasses, and painted each of the school's seniors a personalized piece of art.

He showed us what each one was and for whom they were made.

"This one is a kid who's really into video games," said Freund. "And this one is a kid who loves snowboarding."

Then Tuesday, each student was asked to come by the school to pick up their painting.

Each student received a painting based on their interests and personalities.

"They're just little paintings of reflections or connections I've made with them or something they shared with me," said Freund.

And on the back of each painting was a personalized haiku.

Gifts from a teacher who feels for his students.

"They've experienced a lot of loss. A lot of the last things they could do they lost," said Freund. "I thought I could give them a first."

"It's memorable. It's something we will remember this crazy year by," said seniors Jada and Riley Larson.

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Dan Wolfe

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