Welcome to Prairie Winds Middle School!

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

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 wife Tara and I have three future Cougars (Grace, Hannah, and Jonah). When we are not cheering on the Cougars, we are usually watching 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

Meet our Administrators

Aaron Hyer, Assistant Principal

I am grateful to serve as Assistant Principal at Prairie Winds Middle School. I believe that all students have the potential for greatness and it is our job as educators to cultivate that greatness. Middle school is an exciting time to for students. Each year students will transition and grow academically, emotionally, and socially. They will acquire new skills that will enhance their ability to apply their learning. We are committed to providing a challenging and rigorous learning environment that fosters collaboration and individual growth.

I have been an educator for 15 years and have taught elementary and middle school students in Rochester, MN and Burnsville, MN. I served as the Dean of Students at PWMS for two years prior to becoming the Assistant Principal. I have three children, including two middle schoolers and am married to a middle school teacher.

Aaron Hyer

Assistant Principal

Melissa Brueske, Dean of Students

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Steve Rustad Headshot

Prairie Winds Middle School
Steve Rustad, Principal
1200 Prairie Winds Drive
Mankato, Minnesota 56001
(507) 345-6625
[email protected]