What our schools mean to me

My youngest child graduated from the Stillwater school district June 9. From here, she will attend the University of Minnesota to study biomedical engineering – and she goes there extremely well prepared.

When I look back on her graduating class, the colleges that the SAHS graduates will attend are a "Who’s Who" of the best universities in the country: Harvard, Yale, West Point, University of Minnesota and Wisconsin, St. Olaf, etc. It speaks well of our school district.

Even more impressive is that this is what happens every year at graduation from SAHS. Students leave here well trained and they continue to succeed until, ultimately, about 50 percent of them return here to raise their families and start the cycle all over again. They leave here and come back as top physicians, engineers, lawyers, musicians, they command nuclear submarines, start and own businesses, become career military officers, and on and on. That cycle of successful SAHS graduates returning to make their lives here is what makes this community so strong and we need to keep it going.

Dr. Corey Lunn’s commencement address laid out the strengths of this district. When he was looking to come here, he said he looked at districts that had academic success or success in activities or success in the arts. In Stillwater, he found all three. It’s part of the reason he not only wanted to work here but quickly moved his family here to raise their young children.

What Dr. Lunn described is what my children have experienced. They have been fortunate to have some extraordinary teachers on a regular basis who have made sure that their academic experience is strong. They have had world-class coaches – some of the best in the state and nation for their sports and been on some of the most storied teams in the state. Their experience in Stillwater’s music program has been absolutely world class and we know why it’s the envy of every other school district in Minnesota.

On behalf of our family and our two graduates of SAHS – thank you to our schools for all you do and for an excellent job well done. To the community – this is a resource that is at our core and is a big reason why this valley is what it is today. We need to protect these schools for years to come.

John Sievert