Administrator’s Corner: School year has started with optimism

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

Guest column by Ron Wagner

It has been an amazing and humbling start to our journey together. Since joining the community on July 1, we haven’t stopped having conversations one community member at a time.

Ron Wagner

Our students and staff have begun their new school year with optimism and excitement. Staff kicked off their first day back with a welcome back at Hammer Field and a wonderful lunch downtown at Wind Down Wednesday. Students packed their backpacks and put on their smiles for their first day of school. The bus stops consisted of parent/caregiver hugs, some tears and a wave of “have a good day.” Our schools have continued to celebrate the start of the school year with school picnics and our athletes beginning their 2022-23 seasons. We are looking forward to building a new normal together.

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Our district goals for the year are:

• Ensure high quality core instruction focusing on tier 1 of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support.

• Strengthen the professional learning communities and data cycles.

• Ensure systems are in place to provide a safe environment for students and staff- physically and emotionally.

• Focus on the social well-being of students and staff through social emotional learning.

• Buildings achieve level 2 certification in High Reliability Schools: Effective Teaching in Every Classroom.

• Maintain a 12% fund balance.

• Build community across the district while focusing on culture and climate.

Albert Lea will continue to be centered on students in our mission: “To ensure individual academic, social and emotional growth that leads to engaged citizens and lifelong learners.” We are committed to the academic excellence for each student as we partner with the community to ensure a positive experience.  Building positive relationships in our schools and the community will be a value of mine as the superintendent and for students and staff. Albert Lea has an amazing staff that all have important roles and responsibilities in supporting our students. I look forward to each day of opportunity to positively impact our students’ experiences.

Albert Lea is an amazing place to live, learn and grow together. The values of family and community sit deep in our work and in my own personal beliefs. I look forward to our birth to adult vision of excellence — together we move forward.  

Ron Wagner is the superintendent of Albert Lea Area Schools.