We Learn Not For School But For Life - SAHS Motto

About Stillwater Area High School

Stillwater Area High School
Stillwater Area High School

Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) was designed to provide a personal education in a beautiful, campus-like setting that celebrates the uniqueness of the St. Croix River Valley. The building is organized around a curved main corridor, a reflected image of the river that unifies architectural design with the educational program.

The first high school was built in Stillwater in 1873. As the first high school accredited by the North Central Association (now known as AdvancED) in 1903, Stillwater Area High School claims a special sense of history. The community takes pride in this legacy and this was translated into the architectural elements of space, light, texture and color in the new high school which opened in 1993. The cliffs of the river valley inspired the texture and color of the bricks. The shape of the historic Washington County Courthouse cupola is echoed in the bell tower, the dramatic rotunda inside the main entrance, the fine arts lobby and the cafeteria clerestory. The windows also reflect the architecture of the late 1800s that is prominent in the St. Croix Valley.

The school's 139 acre site encourages a strong program in the natural sciences. The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) includes fields, ponds, mixed forests and wildlife. The ELC enhances formal classroom instruction by giving students an opportunity to explore the relationship between self and nature and to develop an awareness of the interdependence of natural and human environments.

Stillwater Area High School operates on a six period day with two semesters a year, allowing its 2,200 students ample opportunity to participate in a variety of courses. The rigorous academic program prepares college-bound students for the world of work. Stillwater Area High School offers Advanced Placement courses in the areas of English, French, Spanish, Art History, U.S. History, American Government, Psychology, Biology, Calculus, Statistics and Chemistry. The school has emphasized both reading and writing initiatives across all curricular areas in order to maintain and continually improve student learning. Students also have opportunities to participate in off-site learning as well, including post-secondary education at local technical colleges and four-year universities.


An excellent leader is able to build bridges and foster a communal approach to academic excellence through leadership, management, communication, and ongoing professional development. The leader must be a true innovator who provides a clear vision for the organization’s future. Their vision is based on data and communicated through word and actions while developing further understanding of clear goals and objectives.

College and Career Planning

To support all students in transition to post high school education opportunities the administrative team at Stillwater Area High School developed a process called the “Six-Year Plan” in conjunction with our strategic plan Vision 2014.

Supporting Student Learning to Ensure All Students Experience Success

In preparation for year three of Professional Learning Community implementation, a pilot of a tiered intervention system was necessary. In the fall of 2011, the Student Learning Support program was implemented. When a student falls three or more assignments behind in any one of their courses, teachers may refer a student for a before school or after school intervention session.

21st Century Learning Opportunities

Individualized pathways for students, Post secondary schedule options to prepare students for a 21st Century educational experience, Self directed learning experiences, 21st Century engineering experiences for students, collaborative learning experiences for staff and students, blended learning experience for students, using technology to create greater efficiencies. 

Professional Development of Staff to Improve Teaching and Learning

A school is only as good as the teachers who create the conditions for learning. Quality staff development and ongoing training and support is a goal of this specific improvement. During 2007-2012 the professional development shifted at the secondary level, 7-12. As secondary principals we identified a significant need to improve the training we provided staff so it was focused, specific, and related to improving student learning.

Improving Communication with Staff and Students

During the 2009-2010 school year, staff asked for greater communication in a weekly email format. Through this format, information and operations detail is communicated to staff on Mondays. Through this format, it has allowed the senior high school administration to focus more on leadership development with staff during the monthly face to face staff meetings.

Innovative Ways to Support Student Learning Needs

Pony Brew Coffee Station provides work experience students with opportunity to plan and implement a marketing plan to serve coffee and other hot beverages to staff and students. This has provided leadership opportunities to students who were struggling to find their way. The success students have seen through this addition has made it one of the best additions we have made.