March Issue 2021

Coordinator's Corner

This isn't going to shock you but the best part about working in education is the daily encounters with our students. They never fail to amaze me. In all of our communication channels, I constantly share how inspiring my staff is; ESPECIALLY over the past year. BUT, what you should also know is how truly inspirational our students have been in that same time frame. They have inspired myself, my staff, and each other despite the countless trials and tribulations they have faced personally but also within the unrest this world has provided to them. If you have a moment to interact with any one of our students, I have great faith that you will leave that conversation with a newfound source of optimism and positive energy. In this part of the school year, I tend to be pretty worn out after our "recruiting" season. My empty tank has recently been totally filled by interactions with business students sharing their passion projects, becoming "Tik Tok famous" with our Student Advisory Council, and chatting with seniors about their future plans but also what they have taken away through participating in MNCAPS. To our students, thank you for all the ways in which you inspire us!

We are pleased to share that those daily interactions will now occur in-person four days a week! Starting Thursday, April 15th, we will transition from our current schedule back to in-person four days a week. (Wednesdays will remain Flex Days.) The week of April 12th will be the week we transition. See our plan to make the adjustment:

  • Monday, April 12 - No School - Transition Planning Day for Staff
  • Tuesday, April 13 - No School - 11th grade ACT
  • Wednesday, April 14th - No School - Grading/Flex Day
  • Thursday, April 15th - Return to In-Person Learning for remainder of school year

If your student is planning to remain in Distance Learning, please confirm by sending Ann Deane at

The Schulze Innovation Scholarship Award Recipient - Leah Schuerkamp

This month we received exciting news that our 4th MNCAPS student received the Schulze Innovation Scholarship from the University of St. Thomas. 2019-2020 MNCAPS Alumni and class of 2021 Prior Lake High School student, Leah Schuerkamp, will receive a scholarship that pays full tuition for four years at St. Thomas, but it also grants her access to the highly competitive Schulze Innovation Program, which only admits 10 freshmen each year. This 10 person cohort is able to supplement their education at St. Thomas through additional educational experiences such as individual mentors, hands-on projects, and access to networking and internship opportunities. Additionally, when students graduate they are given access to a network of business advisors and startup capital if they decide to launch a startup.

This is the 3rd straight year MNCAPS students have applied and the 3rd year that at least one of our Foundations of Business Pathway students have recieved the award. Leah is following in the footsteps of three MNCAPS Alumni who are currently in the Schulze Program, Aviral Chauhan (class of 2020), Xander Smaby (class of 2019) and Corey Kaisersatt (class of 2019). All four are standout students who engaged in many of the opportunities MNCAPS offered to learn new skills, grow their network, and develop as professionals. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and look forward to watching their future careers unfold!

MNCAPS Mentor Moment - Handling Workplace Stress

Sample Student Questions for March - helps get the conversation started!

  • 1. How do you define stress?
  • 2. Describe what role stress plays in your professional and personal lives
  • 3. Is stress always a negative thing? Discuss positive aspects of stress
  • 4. How do you recognize it when others are stressed?
  • 5. When you recognize you are feeling stressed or are in a stressful situation, what strategies do you use to control the stress?
  • 6. Does your company do things to help employees manage stress?

Education Guest Instuctor - Mackenzie Madsen and Kiersten Nelson

Mackenzie Madsen and Kiersten Nelson, ISD 719 teachers, spoke to Education pathway students about culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) teaching and learning. Students engaged in activities that put the concepts into practice and supported the unit in their Multicultural Education class.

Education Guest Instructor - Corinna Lyons

Corinna Lyons, ISD 719 Native American student liaison, spent time with the Education pathway students sharing Native American history, stories, and hopes for a time “where we can end racism and celebrate the gifts of all people.”

BIZ MIX Guest Instructors - Ugo Wear Co-Founders, Melenie Cole and Vicky DeRouchey

Ugo Wear Co-Founders, Melenie Cole and Vicky DeRouchey, visited Biz Mix virtually to share their entrepreneurial story. They took students through their business journey and how finding passion in your work in important. Students then had an opportunity to share their own personal passion projects that they are working on spring semester!

Healthcare Year 1- Guest Istructor Greg Spindler

Guest Intsructor, Greg Spindler, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) gave context to content for our students. Thankful for Greg’s support of our MNCAPS students. Besides explaining what a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is, his main take-aways - “Need to focus on resiliency and keep moving forward!” and “Volunteer!

Healthcare Labs

It won't cost students an arm or a leg to get a "leg up" on experiencial learning. Feels good to have students back in person doing hands on learning. Introducing first aid splinting skills. They can’t practice on each other, but manikin legs and skeletons make for good patients too!

CPR Training

Year 1 Healthcare Students also experienced CPR Lab with Adult and Infant Manikins. Hands on experiencial learning helps students with learning life-saving skills put into action.

History of Diversity in Healthcare Poster series:

In honor of Black History Month, Year 1 students celebrated "Diversity in Healthcare" by acknowledging key contributors, and contributions, to healthcare that are recognized as culturally diverse. Each student chose a person, agency, or significant component of healthcare to research, discuss with peers, and create a poster recognizing the topic.

Click on link below to access posters.

MNCAPS Student Advisory Council

Student Advisory Council members and other student volunteers provided tours and virtual pathway Q&A sessions to help prospective students get a feel for the MNCAPS experience. If you know a current 10th or 11th grader interested in MNCAPS, we are still accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year. Pathways available:

  • Design + Marketing
  • Education
  • Foundations of Business
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Professional Selling
  • Trades (PLHS students only)

All Pathway descriptions and course listings are available at

Apply to MNCAPS Now

Link to pathway options.