Talk of the District

with Malinda Lansfeldt, Interim Superintendent
Malinda Lansfeldt

Talk of the District is where you will find monthly updates from our interim superintendent Malinda Lansfeldt.  If you have comments, concerns, or questions, Ms. Lansfeldt can be reached via email at lansfeldtm@stillwaterschools.org.

Even before I came to be the superintendent in Stillwater Area Public Schools, I’d heard a lot about Pony Pride. Having lived and worked next door to Stillwater for years, I knew this district well and I knew it was a special place. I knew it was a community of caring people, and most importantly, a place that loved and supported its kids.

That is what attracted me to Stillwater schools and that is what I am most proud of today as I prepare to leave. In the past five years I have seen time and time again how our educators and staff poured so much love into the lives of your students. It’s not just teachers; it’s every single one of the district’s custodians, paraprofessionals, secretaries and administrative assistants, cooks, principals and support staff. In this district, kids always come first and there isn’t an employee anywhere who doesn’t contribute to their success. 

Likewise, this community continuously and generously supports its schools. Just in the past few weeks we’ve seen that exemplified so powerfully as parents, grandparents, business leaders and local officials came together to pull together an incredible send off for our graduates. When there is a need, this community rises up to fill it because Pony Pride runs deep and kids always come first.

I am incredibly proud to have led this district and I’m in awe of the staggering list of things we’ve accomplished together. We completely restructured our schools to better meet the needs of students. From grade configuration changes to expanding social and emotional learning supports, our community has come together to make positive changes for our kids. We’ve seen our students empowered. They’ve been given a voice and a platform to share their thoughts and ideas. Our staff, too, has been re-energized and renewed. This district is being recognized locally and nationally for its efforts to improve learning for our students. In so many ways, the Stillwater school district is stronger than ever.

But the work is not done yet. As we know, we are at a pivotal moment in history. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the face of education and our educators are at the center of that. They’re also being asked to deeply reflect on equity issues and consider their role in helping break down barriers for marginalized students and families. They’ll be asking you - this greater Pony community - to work along with them to find solutions to right the systemic injustices in our school system. There are no quick fixes. It will require each and every person to listen carefully, reflect deeply and fight boldly for the kids I know this community loves so dearly.

There is no doubt in my mind that this school district will prevail. Stillwater schools have the most professional and capable group of educators I have ever had the pleasure to work alongside. They have the biggest hearts. The brightest minds and the most courageous spirits. With the communities’ support, they’ve already begun to change the world for the students of Stillwater Area Public Schools. And I know this community will not stop until every single child feels safe, welcome and successful.

I wish you all the best and I will be watching and cheering you on every step of the way. I am, and forever will be, the biggest Pony fan! Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving as your leader.