Over the past few weeks, Cambridge-Isanti Schools have celebrated School Board Appreciation Week and #PublicSchoolsProud Week. As I think about the foundation of our community and society, I believe nothing is more important than the education of our citizens for the future of our democracy and our country’s economic prosperity. Children in our Cambridge-Isanti Schools are fortunate that our community agrees and shows tremendous support for students and learning.
I am genuinely honored that professionals from other fields within our community, including finance, business, community development, management, and education give so generously of their time and talent to help lead our schools. I’m talking about our seven school board members, of course. We are fortunate to have the support of an excellent and thoughtful School Board who genuinely embraces our Bluejacket values of honesty, respect, responsibility, self-discipline, and compassion. I’d like to thank Tim Hitchings, Gary Hawkins, Lynn Wedlund, Heidi Sprandel, Aaron Berg, Nicole Johnson and Carri Levitski for their service to our schools and community. They lead with integrity and make decisions based on the best interest of our students and our community.
If you follow our schools on Facebook or Instagram, I hope you enjoyed some of our recent #PublicSchoolsProud posts. Our students and teachers are innovative learners who value a well-rounded education, achieve at high levels, and are responsible contributors to our community. They are the leaders of tomorrow.
We have close to 700 students, grades 7-12, who participate, learn and perform outstanding music in our bands and choirs. In competitions with other schools and local concerts, they entertain packed performing arts centers, filled with proud relatives and members of our communities.
Their performances are matched in excellence by our competition One Act Play, which featured a cast and crew of 26 Bluejacket students who earned a Starred Performance (the highest rating possible) in the Mississippi 8 Conference and qualified for the Section 7AA Finals. Over the years, our One Act Play has earned many trips to the state high school league (MSHSL) festivals.
We have 25 students participating and excelling in Math League. Winning the Rum River Division Championship as a team, two of our students finished in the top ten of our division. Congratulations to Jack Larson and Nathan Coc. And in courthouses around the region, we have 18 students who argue and excel in Mock Trial, gaining an appreciation of the rule of law from both the defense and prosecution of a legal case.
For our students who prefer storytelling, prose, interpretation, research and extemporaneous speaking, our Speech Team is outstanding. With 45 students participating in 13 public speaking categories, our team has won five team championships to start their season. The best is still to come.
While music, performing arts, Math League, and Mock Trial have been around for decades, our students are also preparing for technology careers — some of which are yet to be invented.
We have 46 students in middle and high school competing on our robotics teams through the First Tech Challenge (middle school) FTC and First Robotics Competition at the high school. Special congrats to our Robotics’ Team as they won the competition in Duluth, and will be heading to World Competitions in Detroit later this school year. They will also compete at the University of Minnesota in March. Our robotics team routed a path for college scholarships for recent Bluejacket alumni due to the problem-solving skills learned in robotics and excellent preparation for this high-demand career.
Through all of these co-curricular opportunities, our students have the opportunity to pursue their passions, gain a sense of belonging and purpose, learn teamwork and collaboration skills and gain confidence in their communication skills — the “soft skills” that future employers seek.
I hope you can see why in Cambridge-Isanti Schools, we are #PublicSchoolsProud, and invite you to follow our Cambridge-Isanti School page on Facebook to follow other accomplishments throughout the year. Thank you for your continued support of our students and our schools.
DR. NATE RUDOLPH is superintendent of Cambridge-Isanti School District #911.