Dear Jemtegaard Families and Community,

I have been a middle school principal for eighteen years and can’t imagine doing anything else. Many of our staff have also been middle school teachers their entire careers. Parents and community members often ask me, “Why would you work in a middle school?” The answer is simple; it is the most challenging and rewarding work. We love the action, excitement, trials and tribulations, smiles, tears, great days, struggles, and growth we see in our students. Our collective staff mindset is clear as we support our middle school students on their journey. Our students are just trying to ‘work it out,’ and we are there to help them.

So what are they trying to ‘work out.’? The middle school years are such critical years. Decisions, experiences, and relationships can set a student’s chances for success for a lifetime. We aim to guide and support your students to navigate and thrive during this physical, mental, and social change. We are there to help them find their identity as learners and citizens. We help them navigate relationships and esteem issues and find self-worth. We are there in their best moments and their most challenging days. We are there.

We also want you to be there with us. Your child’s success at middle school is significantly increased when there is a strong partnership between the school staff, student, and caring adult. It is the three legs of a stool. It is hard to support when all three legs are not present. We all want the same thing for our students; to help your student become a happy and successful learner and human being. Your student needs you more than ever at this age. Let’s work together.

Our focus at Jemtegaard is Joy, Mastery, and Learning (JMS) this year. We want our students to enjoy each class as they explore, are challenged, collaborate, debate, assess their growth, and learn. Our staff is focused on their professional learning communities and classrooms to meet our goal that all students can master grade-level learning standards. Finally, we want our students to be successful scholars to have the skills to succeed no matter the learning challenge.

We have had the pleasure of educating your student for three years. The time will go fast, but it is impactful, and the lessons can last a lifetime. Thank you for entrusting your student with us. We take this responsibility seriously as we know the significant impact that Jemtegaard Middle School can have on your child. Welcome Aboard to the 2023-24 school year. It’s going to be an exciting ride. 


David Cooke


Jemtegaard Middle School