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Where We Came From, Where We’re Going:
SAGE Academy’s History

During the summer of 2001, three educators, two parents and a board member came together, after receiving news that the school they and their students loved would no longer be offering secondary grade levels. Their commitment: to create a new high school, focused on diversity and global education, to serve the community.

“SAGE has at the heart of its mission to celebrate diversity, while creating a school of excellence with a global and international focus.” – Marilyn Thompson, founding member and administrator

To that end SAGE has welcomed over 30 International exchange students
from areas as diverse as Afghanistan, South Korea, Kuwait, Ukraine, Brazil and China. Today SAGE students hail from Liberia, Nigeria, Iran, Asia, and South America as well as all areas of the U.S.A.

SAGE opened its doors to 65 students in August of 2002.

In the first two years, while we sought a permanent space of our own, SAGE shared space first with MN Transitions Charter in South Minneapolis, and later with a church in New Hope. On Halloween Day in 2003, students and staff stepped across the threshold of our home in Brooklyn Park, MN.

In our new school building, students built their computer stations, painted the murals on our walls, laid the steppers and wood chips out front, planted foliage, and built our Peace Pole. To this day, this is the largest student designed and built Peace Pole in the world.

SAGE is truly a community of student and staff efforts, both physically and emotionally. 

SAGE has been a member of the EdVisions Coop with an active involvement in project-based learning since its inception. We were created in part to serve those Odyssey students who were no longer served due to their high school being dissolved. More than that, though:  SAGE was a dream and vision brought to life by educators who firmly believed that smaller schools with more individualized programming were the answer to meeting the needs of students whose learning did not meet the more traditional methods of instruction. SAGE offers both educators and students the opportunity to be creative, to think “outside the box,” to allow student voice to be heard and to be more community-centered.   

Projects allow  students to be the teachers as well as learners while acquiring life-long skills of teamwork, problem solving, decision making, research and presentation. These are all skills required by businesses and colleges as well as necessary skills for everyday life.

SAGE also embodies the ethics of committed citizenship by requiring three credits of service learning prior to graduation. Expeditions also remain as an integral part of SAGE as we continue to expose students to their communities locally, nationally and internationally; thus, fulfilling our mission of “Learning Outside the Walls.”
SAGE is proud of its history, the success of its students and the strong community of its staff, students and families.

SAGE Academy’s Founding Members: Diane Scholten, Marilyn Thompson, Todd Cota and Beth Hawkins

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