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

Monde Schwartz, Assistant Principal

I am excited to welcome you to Prairie Winds Middle School!  Our mission is to assure learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.  

I believe that more than anything, education has the potential to enrich a person’s quality of life and am proud to be an educator.  It is not only my responsibility, but my privilege to ensure every student has access to an equitable education, especially those who are least able to advocate for themselves. Because there is so much potential concentrated in one area, I’ve always thought of school as an exciting place.  I enjoy being around students on a daily basis and find the field of education energizing and highly rewarding.

I have been an educator in the Mankato Schools and my husband and I have lived in Mankato since I taught Social Studies at Mankato East High School in the mid-nineties.  I have three children who all graduated from the Mankato Schools who are continuing their educations by attending college.   

I am honored to be part of the Prairie Winds community and the journey students and families take toward growth and development.  

Monde Schwartz
Assistant Principal

Aaron Hyer, 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