In the Know Column: Strong schools, strong communities

Posted by Rick Sansted on 9/27/2021 10:45:00 AM

By Rick Sansted, Superintendent, Alexandria Public Schools

Strong schools build strong communities.  It has been great to have all of our students learning in person to start the school year.  We are excited to welcome over 4,000 students on a daily basis across our district.  

Our homecoming week helped highlight the start of the school year: dress up days, fireworks, hall of fame induction and the community parade helped create a fun week.  We have a number of celebrations and points of pride to share as we start this school year. 

  • The school district is proud to welcome over 30 new teachers to our A Team! These new teachers will be supported through our New Teacher Induction Program, a three-year mentorship program that embeds professional development and peer support.
  • Over 800 students, grades 6-12, are participating in co-curricular activities this fall.
  • Fourteen Alexandria Area High School graduates and current students have been named 2021 AP Scholars based on their performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
  • Jessica Chipman, theatre arts/English Teacher at Alexandria Area High School, was named the Minnesota Educational Theater Association Educator of the Year for 2021.
  • Jason Lattimer, spplication specialist at Douglas Machine, is the 2021 recipient of the Alexandria Public Schools annual ACE Award (A Champion in Education). The award recognizes individuals who support public education through advocacy, partnership, service, or donation of resources. Jason has volunteered over a span of more than 15 years in a variety of areas that have enhanced our students’ educational experiences. 

Student service
A couple of themes that come to mind when I think of our community include service and generosity.  These themes are playing out with our young people as they continue to look outside themselves in how they might support others in our community and beyond.  Some examples of student service that have taken place or are in the planning stages this fall include:

  • Our wrestling team completed a cleanup for Smokey Timbers Camp on Lake Miltona.
  • Tom Roos and our girls soccer program supported the Haitian Initiative Soccer Camp this past summer.
  • Dig Pink fundraiser supported by our girls volleyball team focused on cancer research and a team effort for a Habitat for Humanity home build.
  • Our cross country teams completed a ditch clean up on Douglas County Highway 4.
  • Go4theGoal fundraiser conducted by the boys soccer team to support pediatric cancer research.
  • Our girls swim team is teaming up with Sauk Centre this year in October for a breast cancer fundraiser and will promote awareness by wearing pink swim caps.

Thanks to our students, parents, staff and community as we kicked off this school year.  Strong schools, strong communities.