Educational equity fostered by EHS administrators with creative competition


Mia DiLorenzo, head staff writer

Following discussions on administrative equity within Edina Public Schools, the Edina High School administration brought forth a new idea: a student-led competition that centers youth voices within the decision-making process. The EHS Student Equity Solutions aims to find the best solutions to creating safe spaces, educational awareness, and resource distribution for students. Assistant Principal Michael Pretasky approached the administration with the intent of establishing a student-led and student-focused group that presented equitable solutions to existing issues within EHS. 


The high school administration, including Pretasky, worked alongside Paula Forbes, a Minnesota educational consultant specializing in equitable classrooms. “We started to craft an idea about how to create an event that would give students a chance to solve [equity-based] issues,” Pretasky said. Forbes helped district leaders brainstorm several ideas for equitable policies in the 2020-21 school year, and ultimately led the group to a discussion about a competitive event. 


Pretasky cited the response from Edina students as they processed George Floyd’s murder as the catalyst for this project. “The students at Edina High School have a lot to say [about equity] and have strong feelings about what a school should be and how it should feel,” Pretasky said. As part of a greater initiative to include the voices of students in school policies, the EHS administration plans to implement the winning solutions into district-wide protocol.


The initial group was composed of students from the Edina Student Senate, Edina Mosaic, and the EHS administration—all of whom worked during the summer to create a solidified plan for SES. As soon as the school year began, group members finalized the details of the competition and started to publicize the first meeting in early January of 2021. The Jan. 13 kick-off meeting will be held virtually and the Google Meet link can be found on the Edina Public Schools website.


As for the future, Pretasky sees this first event as an impetus for even more extensive action within the school district. “I hope this is the beginning of a tradition at the high school of

always looking for ways that we can be better, and helping students have the opportunity to lead the way,” Pretasky said.

Interested students can browse the Edina Public Schools website for more information in addition to attending the initial meeting.