How Fairmont Area Schools Prepares Students for Successful Careers

How Fairmont Area Schools Prepares Students for Successful Careers Main Photo

28 Feb 2024

The motto of Fairmont Area Schools is “Inspired Learning for Life,” and you can see this concept put into practice at any grade level in the public school district. From an early age, Fairmont students learn a mixture of core concepts and behavioral traits that will help them through life. Educators pair STEM ideas (science, technology, engineering, and math) with soft skills like problem-solving and mindfulness.  

“As employers ourselves, we know the value of a well-rounded individual that we look for in hiring for our system,” says Andrew Traetow, Superintendent of Fairmont Area Schools. The administration within this district wants to help students develop into adults who are hirable because of their skills – but also because of their character.

Traetow and his staff prepare students for different career fields starting in early childhood education. From future engineers to artists and mechanical professionals, there are learning opportunities in Fairmont. In honor of Youth Leadership Month, we’re highlighting how our local school district is preparing the leaders of tomorrow. 

Good Habits Start in Elementary School

Parents who move to Martin County can feel confident in their choice to send their students to Fairmont Area Schools. There is a fully operational STEM program for students in grades K-6 with dedicated staff members who develop projects and lesson plans that promote strategic thinking. These lessons balance empathy with problem-solving, which means students look at the big picture of the tasks at hand while also developing the technical skills – like coding and computer science – to solve them.

“Fairmont is a great place to grow up and get a good education,” says Ned Koppen, Coordinator of the Fairmont Economic Development Authority. “I know several teachers and education staff in the area who are passionate about helping students.” 

Students Choose From Dozens of Career Paths

Once students enter secondary education, grades 7-12, they can start to explore different career paths. Teachers follow the core standards set by the State of Minnesota but also provide opportunities for students to be exposed to new ideas and concepts. The goal is to show students what is available to them.  

Students who are college-bound choose from 25 College in Schools (CIS) courses that introduce them to the rigors of university-level education while still in the high school classroom. Students who opt for CIS courses can graduate high school with an associate's degree. This makes college more affordable while giving Fairmont students a headstart in their studies.  

Students can also choose from five vocational academies that offer classes and training at all grade levels.

“Every sector of our workforce is searching for good quality employees,” says Traetow. “We need to do our part as an educational system to make sure kids have well-rounded skills to contribute to whatever sector of the workforce they go into.” 

The Business Community is an Essential Part of Fairmont’s Education System

Fairmont Area Schools offers several electives for students who are eager to grow their careers before they graduate. Many of these programs wouldn’t be possible without support from the community. Here are just a few areas of study that students can focus on because of local businesses:

  • Agricultural development
  • Automotive repair
  • Construction Trades
  • Culinary arts
  • Education 
  • HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance
  • Music and performing arts 
  • Welding

In each of these programs, local companies donate their time and resources to the school district. In the HVAC department, which is a rare program for K-12 schools, a local company helped develop course modules and worked with vendors to donate materials for students to work on. In the agriculture academy, the local advisory committee is working to assist in operating land owned by the school district so students will have an active farm experience. Even the music students get involved locally and engage in partnerships with the Fairmont Opera House.  

A Thriving School System Prepares Students for Diverse Futures

Fairmont students come from a variety of backgrounds. They have countless unique interests and goals. They all have different futures ahead of them. The teachers and staff at Fairmont Area Schools continue to support students and help them pursue their interests. This means any graduate can become a leader in their field.

“I can’t say enough great things about our staff, our administration, our school board, our community, and all that they do to provide a well-rounded education so our students have the skills both academically and in terms of character development to contribute locally or globally,” says Traetow.  

To celebrate Youth Leadership Month, you don’t need to look any farther than the nearest classroom. Fairmont students are curious, mindful, and ready to face any problems their careers throw at them. 

Follow Fairmont Economic Development to Learn More

The strong public school system is just one reason to love living in Fairmont, Minnesota. Learn more about life in Fairmont by connecting with Fairmont Economic Development. Keep up with our activities in the local community to see how we make life better for large employers, local businesses, and individual residents.