Career Academy a step toward ‘reimagining high school’

Mascot Spuddy greets the crowd assembling for the grand opening of the MHS Career Academy. (Photo/Russ Hanson.)

More than 400 parents and neighbors poured through the new Moorhead High School Career Academy Friday, watching the ceremonial ribbon being cut and hearing more exciting news – including announcement of a 10-year pledge of $1 million toward the academy’s health careers curriculum.

The gift from Sanford Health, also earmarked for renovating the MHS athletic complex, is one of many received from corporations in support of the academy’s state-of-the-art teaching laboratories. In addition to medical careers, the dedicated labs focus on automotive technology, engines, welding, metal fabrication and woods, construction and culinary arts. Eight flex labs are equipped to adapt to a variety of study areas, including two with special elements for art classes. Integrative technology classrooms support students with a high-speed virtual desktop environment.

Before inviting guests to see the 177,000-square-foot facility for themselves, Superintendent Brandon Lunak noted that the academy has emerged from a multi-year community-wide initiative to “redefine the educational future for Moorhead schools.” He added, “We are grateful for the support of our higher education, community and business partners.”

High school principal Josh Haag pointed out that the purpose of both the academy and the new academic wings at Moorhead High is to make sure that each Moorhead student has the opportunity to discover their passions, explore their options, work toward industry certifications and gain work skills and experience. He called that “modern career exploration,” saying it will “build confidence through academic discovery to prepare for college, career and beyond.”

Mayor Shelly Carlson stressed the academy’s positive impact on the city and region: “While our city’s children have gained an amazing educational and vocational opportunity, the city of Moorhead benefits as well. Our community is much greater than the sum of its parts. Nowhere is that more apparent than here, where public and private entities have come together for the common good of the city, our school, our businesses and our citizens.”

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