In this season of thanksgiving, it is fitting that American Education Week is also celebrated this month, November 18-22. I want to share my gratitude for the amazing staff at Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools and for our community that provides ongoing support for the work we do in educating students.

Our district theme this year is “Relationships Matter,” and the dedicated work of our 1,300 district staff in conjunction with families, community members and service organizations provide relationships with and for students to help all learners thrive.

As we celebrate public education nationally, I would like to share just a few recent examples of the great things district staff are doing locally to make a difference in the lives of our students. Their intentional work on a daily basis is focused on achieving our mission to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community.

The middle school band program recently hosted their first concert in the newly renovated Twin Oaks auditorium. Students delivered an entertaining performance in this beautiful new space that is the latest construction project to be completed thanks to community support. Staff throughout the district support the individual passions of our students and provide them opportunities to showcase their talents.

While Bridges Area Learning Center opened at the start of the school year, we recently held a grand opening so staff and our community could tour the building. More than 100 people turned out in a wonderful show of celebration for this program. Bridges staff foster a community of support by meeting learners where they are and personalizing the learning experience to help them find success.

As construction continues, I want to thank our custodial and maintenance staff, our administrators, support staff and teachers for their flexibility and teamwork. The culture of collaboration and a lot of hard work has created new and renovated spaces that will positively impact student learning now and far into the future.

The Laker Athletic Booster Club and our Activities Department organized a 5K run to raise funds for equipment for our new activities center currently under construction. Staff members, coaches, parents, student-athletes and community members came together to have fun as they supported our students and programs.

Last month more than 600 staff gathered at Prior Lake High School for a morning of professional learning led by our talented teachers and administrators who embraced shared leadership and collaboration to focus on advancing personalized, student-driven learning. It was an inspirational showing of the dedication our staff has to advancing their own learning on behalf of our students.

I recently helped serve lunch at Glendale Elementary School and was proud and inspired to work alongside staff serving healthy food with a huge dose of love and kindness to our students. Our Child Nutrition Services team helps fuel our students so they can focus on learning.

Last week we met with our bus owners to review inclement weather protocols, and I was reminded of the dedication of our bus drivers who safely transport our students to and from school each day. Drivers also build relationships with students as they greet them each morning.

I also spent time recently with the Early Learning Advisory Council at Edgewood School. This is a group of dedicated parents and staff who work together to serve students and families to provide the best programming possible for our youngest learners. This visit demonstrated the importance of parent input and a spirit of collaboration that enhances quality education in our district.

Between each of these examples have been countless other ways staff are engaging and supporting students, collaborating and showing that our relationships matter as we work to achieve our district goals.

As we head into American Education Week, please take the time to thank our teachers, administrators, support staff and School Board members who are dedicated to public education and to serving our community. I celebrate our staff and the entire district community. Thank you for your continued support.

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


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