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Two teachers from the local area attended the Rachel’s Challenge Educational Summit in Dallas, Texas, June 23-25, through a sponsorship provided by Dakota Electric Association. Jennifer Chappuis, Cannon Falls, District 252, and Lisa Sammlar,  North Trail Elementary, District 192, learned strategies to replace bullying and violent behavior with kindness and respect.

Rachel’s Challenge, a non-profit organization started by the Scott family after the Columbine shootings in 1999, hosts the conference. Rachel Scott, whose life was marked by kindness and compassion, was the first victim in the tragic shootings.

The Educational Summit provides educators with an opportunity to learn practical classroom applications for social and emotional learning. Speakers at the event included: Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father; motivational speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby; educator Dr. Philip Vincent; educational researcher Dr. Robert Marzano; educational psychologist Dr. Michele Borba and many others.

Dakota Electric has sponsored the Rachel’s Challenge program for many local high schools in the area and saw this as another way to help schools provide a good learning environment.

“The Awaken Summit was uplifting and positive,” Chappuis said. “Truly an amazing experience. Each and every presenter left me feeling inspired and ready to tackle the upcoming school year in ways I never thought. Again, best staff development I have ever been to.”

“I am very glad I was allowed to attend this workshop,” Sammlar said, “because it energized me and inspired me to become an even better Student Advocate, and I will take the lessons I learned and pass them on to staff and other counselors in our district.”

“We saw this conference as a way to continue the positive support of our schools through a proven organization,” Peggy Johnson, Dakota Electric’s community relations director, said.

A member-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 104,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member-owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.