MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Gov. Tim Walz will deliver the State of the State address Sunday from his former classroom at Mankato West High School.
“There’s just a lot of excitement about him returning home to his former classroom to deliver this address,” said Sherri Blasing, principal of Mankato West.
Before entering politics, Walz and his wife, Gwen, were public school teachers for more than 20 years.
“You can see that in all they do [by] the way that they put education and children first,” Blasing stated. “I think leading through this pandemic, people have realized how important our schools are. Not only academically, but from basic needs, such as healthy food all the way to the social, emotional wellbeing that schools do provide.”
Mankato West is getting ready for the big event, but perhaps the most special preparation will be placing Walz’s terracotta soldier back in his classroom where it once stood.
Walz served 24 years in the Army National Guard. This soldier was brought back from China on a trip Walz took with a group of geography students.
Blasing says the soldier has been a badge of honor for the teachers at Mankato West.
“The most senior world geography teacher gets to have that in their classroom, so we’ll try to make sure that’s in his classroom for the day of his address,” Blasing added.
Blasing also agrees with Walz’s new Due North Education Plan, which aims to help students catch up on learning while closing the opportunity gap and transforming our education system for years to come.
“We share the same values that when he was here, and he’s continuing on with those values, you know, such as providing a school community that’s antiracist and culturally affirms all of our students and one that is providing engaging relevant experiences that are authentic so when students leave our walls, they are prepared for life after high school,” Blasing explained.