Principal's Greeting

Picture of Mr. Rustad

Welcome to Prairie Winds Middle School!

It a great honor to be a member of the Mankato Area Public Schools and I really enjoy being part of a school community that is recognized for its academic excellence and community outreach.


Before coming to Mankato, I spent my first four years teaching Social Studies, Language Arts, and Reading at two different schools (Floyd B. Olson Middle School and Lincoln Community School)  in North Minneapolis. While there, I gained a deeper understanding of what it looks like to work with diverse student populations and to have rigorous expectations for all students.  


After my time in Minneapolis, I started working in the Robbinsdale Area School district. I worked at Robbinsdale Middle School for seven years in a variety of teaching positions (social studies teacher, reading teacher, academic support teacher) and leadership positions (Instructional Coach and PBIS Coordinator). During my time at Robbinsdale Middle School, I received extensive training in culturally relevant teaching practices, professional learning communities, Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS), and holistic approaches to education (International Baccalaureate).


My fundamental belief as an educator is that all students can attain high intellectual performance if they are engaged in high operational practices.  This means that as educators, we must create rigorous and relevant learning experiences that not only enhance the strengths of all students but will also address and support their areas of need. It is my belief that every student that walks through the doors of Prairie Winds Middle School is deserving of the very best educational opportunities.


My family and I are proud residents of the Eastside. I am a South Central Minnesota native, having spent my childhood years growing up in Mankato, attending elementary school here. I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity to return home.  My wife Tara and I have three future Cougars. We have two daughters and one son (Grace, age 7, Hannah, age 4, and Jonah, age 2). The Rustad family loves the Gophers. We rarely miss a Gopher football or basketball game. Ski-U-Mah!


It is my honor and privilege to serve the amazing families of Prairie Winds Middle School.  I look forward to partnering with you in an effort to give all students a rigorous, relevant, and well-rounded education.


Steve Rustad

Principal, Prairie Winds Middle School

Contact: Steve Rustad