Waconia High School

For those who don’t know the difference between flank and flat iron steaks or what makes a rib eye better than a round steak, Mr. Jensen’s meat class is for you.

“Meat science is a section in the environmental engineering class,” Mike Jensen, science teacher, explained. “I got the idea of adding it to my class when a student called me and said they had just shot their deer but they didn’t know how to skin it.”

Jensen was able to take that idea, develop it, and incorporate it into his curriculum thanks to a mini grant he received from the School District 110 Foundation.

“We give mini grants to staff who want to try something new in the classroom but need some extra funding to make it happen,” Roger Sauerbrey, School District 110 Foundation board member, said. “Funding for the mini grants comes primarily from employee payroll contributions. Employees donate $5 to $10 a pay period and when we get a lot of them to participate, it can add up. The more people who participate, the more of an impact we can have.”

Jensen used the Foundation funds to not only develop the meat science curriculum but he also received his food safety certification.

“The funding really allows us to explore our passions and, considering the incredible reaction I got from students, I may develop an overall meat science course. It’s just becoming a lost skill. This class gives me the chance to have a more complex conversation with students about where food comes from and why they should care,” Jensen said.

The Transitions program also received a mini grant from the School District 110 Foundation.

“We brought in a group called Upstream Arts,” Jenni Sebora, special education teacher, said. “It’s an art in residence group and they helped students communicate through the arts. It was really an amazing program for our students.”

Transitions is a program for 18- to 21-year-old students who are transitioning into adulthood.

“It was absolutely fabulous. Throughout the six weeks they taught our students social skills in a very fun and creative environment, mostly through acting. To see some of these students break through during their time with the artists was really cool to see,” Sebora said.

The School District 110 Foundation also awards scholarships to graduating Waconia High School seniors. The 2017 graduating class received close to $12,000 in scholarships.

“Most scholarships are for $250, and most every student who applies receives a scholarship. The dollar amount can change depending on our resources,” Sauerbrey said.

There are several ways the Foundation raises funds for the scholarships, including Give to the Max Day. This year it will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16. Anyone wanting to support the Foundation during Give to the Max day can do so by visiting district110foundation.org and clicking on the giveMN.org button. Funds raised will support the scholarship program.

Sauerbrey says the Foundation is working on building an endowment so they can have an even greater impact on generations to come. For those who want to learn more about the School District 110 Foundation, visit the website at district110foundation.org, email Roger Sauerbrey at rlsauerbrey@frontiernet.net, or call (952) 657-2431.