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Superintendent Cory McIntyre visits STEP for roundtable discussion

McIntyre listening to a student (02/16/2024) On Feb. 9, Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent Cory McIntyre facilitated a conversation with students at the Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) for the fifth of several scheduled student roundtable discussions throughout the district.

Superintendent McIntyre values student voice in the decision-making process and ensures the district provides a safe, welcoming, positive school environment.

During the hour-long sessions, McIntyre and other school district administrators want to hear what the high school experience is like from the student perspective and learn ways to improve. View photos from the superintendent roundtable discussion at STEP.

The conversation with students attending STEP proved to be a little different than those at the district’s five traditional high schools. Students shared that while they have made a decision to attend courses at STEP, they also had experiences to draw upon from their home high schools.

The comments from students about their experience at STEP included having the best teacher-to-student relationship they have ever had, feeling the expectations are higher because of a more focused learning environment and that the program has provided a space to discover who they are.

Superintendent McIntyre had the students share their thoughts on what makes them feel safe at school, barriers to learning, how the district is supporting the overall well-being of students and how well the district celebrates diversity.

When asked about clubs and activities offered at the high schools, one student said, “I don’t see myself being where I am without my coaches.” Another student commented, “I love the diverse clubs offered at my home school, like African Dance.”

The students also had the opportunity to ask questions, which led to learning more about what a superintendent does, why the high school schedule starts earlier than the other school levels and the hope for more STEP-like programming at the five traditional high schools.

Joining Superintendent McIntyre from STEP were Jessica Lipa, career and technical education director; and Carter Gerlach, career and technical teacher. Dr. Joshua Delich, associate superintendent for high schools; Becky Brodeur, associate superintendent for middle schools and student services; and Nate Manaen, director of student services, were in attendance from the district.

Superintendent McIntyre has met with students from Andover, Anoka, Blaine and Coon Rapids high schools and will attend events at Champlin Park, Sandburg Regional and Anoka-Hennepin Technical high schools, and the COMPASS program in the coming weeks.