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Savage Pacer Column (Oct): Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle

Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle's column for October 2019

Burnsville High School students are showing that One91 is #CommunityStrong

Dr. Theresa Battle, Superintendent

I’m still pretty new to the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 community, and I’m still learning every day. 

One thing that’s become crystal clear in just a few weeks: When it comes to being Community Strong, Burnsville High School students are walking the walk.  

On Oct. 5, 80 students and 12 adult advisers - mostly as part of student groups or teams - spent part of their Saturday morning participating in Green Apple Day of Service at BHS. Together, despite rainy, cold conditions, they gave more than 100 hours of work to clean the school grounds and frontage road, and prepare the giving garden for winter. 

This is the latest and maybe most visible example of our students serving the community, but it is certainly not the only example.

In September, 117 BHS students invested their time and talents in providing more than 1,000 hours of service at 245 different service activities through the school’s Youth Service program. That’s providing a value of more than $26,000 to our community. Already, three of our students - ninth-grader Enrique Calderon, sophomore Asher Giese, and senior Ryan Mokandu - have been recognized with National Community Service Awards for their commitments to others. 

Our students are also leaders when it comes to important community conversations. 

Several of our students participated in and helped lead the Savage Community Conversation on Race on Sept. 26. Their strong voices and commitment to ensuring their community is strong and welcoming are absolutely essential. And earlier this month, members of the BHS Black Student Union attended the YWCA It’s Time to Talk Forum on Race event, learning new skills to bring back to their school and sharing their thoughts and experiences in a dialogue on racism, equity and inclusion. 

Later this month, Burnsville High School students will attend The Student Conference with hundreds of students from around the Twin Cities metro area. Together, they will share their perspectives on the future of public education and discuss what integrated, equitable and excellent education for all students could look like. When we talk about building schools that meet the needs of learning, we have to start with authentic student voices, and District 191 students are at the forefront.

There’s no doubt. Our students are servant leaders. We can all be proud of them and proud of our staff for the support and inspiration they provide. One91 is truly Community Strong.

This column first appeared in the Savage Pacer on Oct. 8, 2019 
Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 13:56