By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

One of the things that new elementary principal Susan Link emphasized when she was brought on to replace Gina Meinertz on an interim basis, was an emphasis on improving school culture.

She looks at her role through a critical lens of “how can we improve?”

So when she reported to the Caledonia school board at the October meeting, Link emphasized the speakers that resonated with her at the recent Minnesota Principals conference held in early October.

Keynote speaker JC Pohl, an award winning producer and nationally recognized speaker and certified counselor spoke to the group about building a strong school culture.

“That should be the first priority for every school leader,” said Link  of the messages that stuck with her delivered by Pohl. 

Pohl emphasized things like

• what does your school look like?

• What is the impression your students get when they walk down the halls and into your school?

• How do you students feel when the walk into the building?

• Are they greeted by staff and other students as they walk down the hall.

Link expressed that her takeaway was “every student and staff member should know your motto for the school year and support it daily.

Link also emphasized that data, via the Warrior Way awards, suggests that the 2019-2020 school year is off to a positive start.

“We had drawings for our Warrior Way awards with PBIS,” she said. “Student behavior has been much better this year thanks to the staff and supports we have built in.”

Other news:

• MS/HS principal Nathan Boler met with the technology provider for the district Dependable Solutions to look at the current technology needs and also look ahead to future needs.

• Boler also met with Southeast Technical College about a possible LPN program being offered for students at Caledonia. Students could be one class short of being an LPN by the time they graduate via the program.

• Boler has jumped into the scheduling options for the 2020-21 school year.

“The enrollment at the middle school high school continues to rise which may require some changes to staffing and scheduling,” he said.

• The board approved the winter coaching contracts of Shay Mahoney for wrestling, Brad King for boys basketball, Scott Sorenson for girls basketball and Jackie Johnson for gymnastics.

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