Brett Albin, MTS Secondary’s art teacher works with students to help them discover their inner artist and talents they maybe didn’t know they had. Her classroom studio is the glass walled room that looks out over the community space where students dine, work and connect. The art generated in her classes is displayed throughout the beautiful new MTS Secondary building.

Ms. Albin also brought another passion with her that she’s shared with students during her tenure at MTS— outdoor exploration. In college Ms. Albin worked as a canoeing and backpacking guide which was a large part of why she decided to become a teacher. Bringing outdoor experiences to her twin cities-based students at MTS is a mission of hers.

Speaking of missions, she connected MTS with nonprofit programs Big City Mountaineers and YMCA Camp Menogyn.  They, along with BOLD/GOLD, a YMCA based program, and a grant from “Save the Boundary Waters” help make these trips possible for MTS students. We are so grateful.

Through the years Ms. Albin developed seasonal camping trips for her students in the winter, summer and fall.  As with any great exploration, every trip’s adventures and stories are unique. Mr. Lin and Ms. Jepma joined the group as chaperones, and every year staff are engaged in the trips which is such a remarkable shared experience with their students.

The group that recently finished the winter trip had a great time. But don’t take it from me, listen to the MTCS podcast, You Matter Here: Not an ogre, just Mario and hear all about their most recent trip. After listening, I think you will understand why these trips matter so much.

Some of the stand-out insights from students shared about this trip:

  • Students didn’t have wifi, so they couldn’t use our phones except as cameras, and because of that were freer to try new things and explore and they did.
  • Shared experience made students feel more comfortable making new friends, outside their normal groups at school.
  • A powerful connection with nature and the dogs that led their sleds.

Opportunities and experiences like this are another way MTS Secondary is not your average school. Staff are encouraged to share their gifts and talents and students benefit from rich, new experiences.

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