True engagement of students and staff not only takes time, resources and people, but also a different approach to how we structure school, our curriculum and student’s participation with it all.
Pulling from personal and professional experiences, Ray Kidd hopes to do just that and more as St. Anthony - New Brighton School District’s new Student Engagement and Equity Coordinator.
“When I was a student, I didn’t feel like school was my thing, but I was good at taking tests and doing work independently,” said Kidd. “What I’m trying to do now is move away from more of the institution and the structure and into more of the messy, relationship-based work. We need to understand our students and the community and start building key relationships between the two.”
Student success is predicated on the belief that each St. Anthony - New Brighton (SANB) learner that steps through our doorway has a purpose, a voice and a choice. It’s that belief that drives our purpose. Whether you’re teaching within school walls, leading students through an after-school activity, or coaching a sport, our staff and administrators lead intentionally as they uncover the passion and power of each student.
Being the head coach of the St. Anthony Huskies Football team, Ray Kidd holds the unique position of being both a leader on the field and in the schools.
“I’m now able to see the system and structure of the institution but also witness the struggle of the student,” Kidd said. “That struggle could come in the form of truancy where that student then gets suspended. I can now take it a step further and figure out the core of the problem. We’re getting into the messy work – the part that I love.”
“Ray has a phenomenal way of connecting with students,” said Hope Fagerland, Director of Student Services. “With his previous experience as middle school dean, he has already developed relationships that will change the way our district ensures students are both emotionally and academically engaged,” Fagerland continued.
In addition to student engagement, Ray will also help develop systems that show staff how to provide equitable and high support to students, while holding them to high expectations, and being accountable for their actions. After all, the relationship our students have with our staff is the first and, in most cases, the most important partnership they can have.
“Our goal is to create an equitable learning environment for students, where student voice and choice is wholly and authentically represented,” said Fagerland.