Each year the week before Thanksgiving is American Education Week. It is a fitting time to pause, reflect and give thanks for the many people throughout our community who play important roles to ensure our students receive the best education possible.

Every year we choose a theme for the school year. This year it is “We are PLSAS: All In.” This theme symbolizes the amazing work our staff did last school year and honors the synergy and momentum that has continued this school year.

Our teachers have faced unique challenges and tremendous pressures since the pandemic began. All the while, they have been “All In” by remaining dedicated to our community’s children in meeting them where they are in their learning journey and taking extra care to support the social and emotional needs of students that are so evident since the pandemic began.

We also honor our many support staff who have been “All In” throughout our buildings, everyone from bus drivers, child nutrition teams, custodians and technical support staff, to health services, paraprofessionals, secretaries, Community Education and Kids’ Company staff. Each and every one of our staff members work hard to ensure students have what they need to be successful.

And we are grateful to our families and our community who have been “All In” in supporting students and the work of the school district. Most recently, 126 parents volunteered to serve students lunch during a time when our district, and schools throughout the state, have struggled to fill open positions in our cafeterias. These volunteer shifts were filled in just over an hour, which shows the compassion and dedication of parents in our community. Thank you!

Our administrative staff have been “All In” leading through a pandemic and supporting staff while remaining flexible and student focused. Whether helping out in a lunch line or substitute teaching when needed, we have tremendous leaders in each of our buildings who rise to the occasion when our needs are the greatest.

We also recognize the accomplishments of our students. From our youngest learners in early childhood to our senior class, to our adult learners who choose our popular community education classes, they have been “All In” to adaptability caused by the pandemic.

Pride and thanksgiving can be seen throughout our district in so many ways. American Education Week is officially Nov. 15–19. Please take time to reflect and celebrate our public school community. Together we make our Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools’ mission to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community come to life.

Dr. Teri Staloch is the superintendent of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools.