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Wayfinder Blog

We are a district of trailblazers. The Trailblazer is the first to break ground on their quest for discovery. Innovative and driven, the Trailblazer blazes new pathways to explore and learns from the world around them. The Wayfinder Blog is your trail map. It contains stories, features and resources about how we enable our students to blaze their own trails.

Feature Stories

Parkin creates a sense of belonging and connection at BHS
  • Building Community

Finding a sense of community is essential for everyone. Being able to express yourself and be a part of something bigger than yourself while feeling truly connected, seen and celebrated is something we all strive for. Luckily for Burnsville High School (BHS) teacher Landen Parkin and his students, these important concepts are a big part of daily life. 

wayfinder fall-winter 2022 volume 3 - from bhs comics to pixar studios - kelsey mann cover image

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davin alt and a classmate sit in a helicopter

The classes Davin took often provided hands-on learning experiences, but most importantly, he was able to earn important certifications that would be instrumental to his future. During hybrid learning his junior year, he started the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program with remote days focusing on theory and concepts and in-person days being focused on building skills and real-life applications like helping patients with daily activities and being a patient liaison.

Read More about Davin’s hands-on journey into healthcare
Four male elementary students practice playing their instruments

Those are just two of the many instruments students get the chance to play over the course of the year in Instrumental Music. The program, which started in the 2020-21 school year, gives each fifth-grader the opportunity to take 3-4 small-group lessons with instruments from each of the four orchestra instrument families - strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion. 

Read More about Innovative approach puts instruments in hands of every One91 fifth-grader
District 191 teacher Julie West sits at a table with a sewing machine

Whether it was teaching swim lessons out of her parents’ backyard pool as a teenager, participating in beauty pageants in high school, running a sewing school for young children as a stay-at-home mom, managing home-based businesses, supervising student teachers, doing preschool screenings or teaching students how to cook, she explored opportunities where she could thrive as an educator, entrepreneur and artist. All these experiences have helped shape her into the innovator that she truly is.

Read More about A passion for sewing places BHS alum at the forefront of a future fashion pathway for students 
student working on her laptop in a burnsville high school classroom

There are a lot of different options for students to pursue after high school, ranging from starting a career to pursuing a degree. The new Associate of Arts Pathway at Burnsville High School (BHS) lets students get a head start on what comes next in a way that no other district is doing, by earning an associate degree without ever leaving the building. 

Read More about A college degree by graduation will soon be possible for BHS students
Students learn practical, professional skills in Culinary Pathway

Students at Burnsville High School have access to a wide array of career pathways that they can explore, but only one results in projects that they can eat. Growing from its roots in the Family and Consumer Sciences department program, the BHS Culinary Pathway has expanded to 21 class sections a year, all of which are full of students eager to learn new skills.

Read More about Students learn practical, professional skills in Culinary Pathway