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Pillager school wins honors for innovation

The Pillager Public School District was honored Wednesday for its creative learning program geared toward primary students, grades fifth through eighth.

The University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs recognized the school district, among 25 local government projects, for finding new methods to reach their residents with greater effectiveness and at a lower cost.

Placing first in the "School" category at the Local Government Innovation Awards, Pillager's Metier (pronounced meteor) experiential learning program—which seeks to encourage students to build their lives and careers around the concept of "flow," or the happiest state where one feels and performs best—was lauded in a University of Minnesota news release as a program that "achiev(ed) significant impact" for its students.

According to the news release, the Metier program found success by incorporating help from the community, colleges, organizations and people to share education and career paths. This enables students to sample from 15 career fields over the course of two years.

Metier, with the support of the National Joint Powers Alliance and the Bush Foundation, will meet with more than 15 schools in November to encourage replication of the program.