It is an exciting time to be a S hakopee community m ember! Whether you are a parent with little ones or big ones, a grandparent, or a community member with no students in the district, there is something for every member of Shakopee to be excited about.

There has been a shift in how we think about education in Shakopee, and getting the community involved in the learning process has been a key to success. The impact has been far reaching.

Recently, Shakopee High School held its Saber Showcase and Career Expo. It’s an event that allows students to display their talents and impressive skill sets across all of our career academies. In addition, 46 businesses and organizations shared their knowledge and expertise with our students throughout the course of the evening.

An event like this is an indication of the hard work that has been done the past several years to move Shakopee to a Ford Next Generation Learning school. Everyone from students and parents to teachers and district administration have been involved in this incredible transformation. The reason for this change is to create small learning communities that lead to real and relevant experiences for our students with the goal of better preparing them for their post-secondary plans.

The difference with the most recent Saber Showcase is that it took the tradition of sharing student work and experiences, but added the flavor and flare of the academy model. The event focused on student learning infused with authentic experiences all because of the community involvement and the businesses that are investing in the future of our students.

Our community partners have a huge stake in the success of our students and have generously donated their time, talents, and treasures to Shakopee High School because they believe in our youth. This is a truly unique partnership and one that is student-centered and beneficial to the entire Shakopee community, whether it be in education or in the local economy.

The academy designation ceremony on the evening of the Saber Showcase was an opportunity to recognize our partners that have invested in our future. Our par tners are giving students incredible opportunities to grow and the contributions they are providing to engage students and adults in their learning is all-encompassing.

The Saber Showcase is an impactful event that helps students and teachers grow and develop. The event was a great opportunity for our students and families who are not yet at the high school to learn and get excited about the wonderful programming and offerings they have to look forward to.

We asked for community involvement and people responded to the call. The parking lots surrounding the high school were full and the foot traffic that evening to support our young leaders was a welcoming sight.

The evening was so successful because our community BELIEVES in our youth. Thank you for your continued commitment to our new learning model. It is an exciting time to be a Saber and we hope you join us for our next Saber Showcase on May 29 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for what is sure to be a continued celebration of learning and incredible talent.

Jeff Pawlicki is principal of Shakopee High School.

South regional editor

Deena is the regional editor for Shakopee, Jordan, Prior Lake and Savage and is passionate about uncovering the truth. Deena also enjoys gardening, playing tennis and up-cycling furniture.

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