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Post-secondary success is how we measure our schools’ success

posted Jan 31, 2017, 9:48 AM by Brenda Williams   [ updated Jan 31, 2017, 9:49 AM ]
I want to thank and acknowledge the challenging community engagement and planning work that has and continues to take place across all of our school district’s communities. As a resident-member of our “lakes region” I couldn’t be prouder of the number of individuals that have stepped up to take a part in mapping out the future of this great region. Furthermore, please know that everyone at Pequot Lakes Public Schools is eager to assist in meeting some of those identified challenges, to include strengthening the bond between school and community.

I challenge each of you who may or may not have a student in our local schools, be it Pequot Lakes, Pine River, Crosslake or Nisswa, to make a call to your local principal for a tour. I have no doubt that you will have your socks knocked off when you see the programming and talent in both students and staff in our local schools. The talent that exists in this region in our youth is simply amazing. What’s even more spectacular is the programming that these students are being exposed to on a daily basis. Students in our high schools today, as early as 10th grade, are engaged in curriculum and coursework from Calculus II to Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Just yesterday, I walked into our Robotics labs where staff and students are working to design from scratch a robot that will be capable of doing extremely complex activities. This project requires a complex business plan, integration of the trades in both manufacturing and design, computer programming, and engineering. Most importantly, this is all possible because of the investment all of you have made and continue to make in our local schools. Thank you!

Our community’s and region’s challenge is to keep some of this talent in the area in order to grow our local industries and small businesses. In a recent planning session with the Pequot Lakes Thriving Communities Initiative, it was very clear the vision is to develop our local workforce through student internships, partnerships between schools and businesses, building workforce/education alliances promoting available jobs to all ages, and investments in good schools. We at Pequot Lakes High School welcome these partnerships. In addition, we at Pequot Lakes High School measure our success in how well our kids do once they leave our schools. Every day, I hear students telling me what they want to do after high school and how they plan on leaving our region in order to do it. When I inform them about some of the high-skilled, high-wage jobs that exist in our region, they are shocked at the number of opportunities that exist.

Your partnership is needed to continue to educate students on the vast opportunities that exist in this region. In fact, I could really use your help on February 15th from 8AM to Noon at Pequot Lakes High School as a participant in our 2nd annual Career Fair. This event puts local community members in touch with our students as they interview for future careers. All of our students in grades 9-12 are working to develop post-secondary plans. When they sit across from someone in a career they are pursuing, it allows them to discuss and explore what to expect as they enter follow-up training and higher education. Please contact the High School office at 568-9210 if you are available to assist in the event.

-- Chip Rankin, High School Principal