Patriot Perspective: It really is a good day to be a Patriot
Why do so many people say they chose to live in this area because of the great schools? Why was Pequot Lakes High School voted the No. 1 school in the Brainerd lakes area? Why did someone provide an anonymous $100,000 donation to the Patriot Foundation this past fall?
Reputations are not earned by nice buildings alone. The positive reputation of Pequot Lakes Schools has been earned through many, many years of dedicated staff working tirelessly to ensure student success.
This past week at the district Employee Recognition Celebration we honored some fabulous educators and support staff who have served this community for 20, 25, 30, 35 and even 40 years.
We intentionally invite past retirees of the school district to attend the annual celebration, and a look around the room explains a lot about why Pequot Lakes Schools is the district of choice in central Minnesota.
Pequot Lakes School District has benefited financially from steady enrollment growth for more than two decades. Growing districts get to have discussions about adding programs and staff instead of discussions about what to cut or who to lay off.
Unlike most districts around us, Pequot Lakes has not had to make major reductions over the past several years due to diligent planning and increased enrollment.
The community has supported updates to facilities and the district recently installed a large, roof-mounted solar panel array that will produce about 25% of the electricity consumed at the secondary campus thanks to the help of Region Five Development Commission and Rural Renewable Energy Alliance.
The positive culture in our schools and the professional and diligent work of our staff have consistently resulted in a 90% to 96% graduation rate and the highest test scores in our region.
It is truly a great day to be a Patriot!
And yet the Patriots still want to be better. All three school leadership teams are implementing the High Reliability Schools frameworks, and Pequot Lakes Middle School recently achieved level 1 certification, "Establishing a Safe and Collaborative Culture."
In pursuit of creating a more rigorous, relevant and personalized learning experience, Pequot Lakes High School has established a successful internship program with nearly a dozen students working in local businesses.
The district rolled out a 1:1 Chromebook program this past year and will be launching a new student information system (currently Skyward) and learning management system (currently Moodle) in 2020-21 to augment the personalization of learning.
It is a great day to be a Patriot and you can be a part supporting the excitement! The recently relaunched Patriot Foundation has provided innovation grants this year for five different teachers, and it will be handing out 10 $1,000 scholarships to graduates at Senior Awards Night later this month.
Donations to the Patriot Foundation is one of the best ways to express pride in our schools, and donations can be made online at www.patriot-foundation.org.
Thank you for supporting the Patriots!
Chris Lindholm is Pequot Lakes School District superintendent.