Minnesota State Academy for the Blind

Vision & Mission

Vision Statement

MSA empowers every student to achieve, care, and thrive in an ever-changing world.

Mission Statement

MSA provides a rigorous, student-centered educational program in a fully accessible, language-rich environment to maximize each student’s full potential. Additionally, MSA provides statewide resources and professional expertise to parents, families, partners, and educational programs in Minnesota.

Guiding Beliefs

MSA Believes:

  • Families are valued partners in fostering the development of each student’s full potential.
  • Students are the primary focus of all decisions and they will have opportunities to participate in decision-making.
  • Students thrive by becoming independent, active, lifelong learners to the greatest extent possible.
  • Students’ development of understanding, appreciation, and respect for individual and cultural diversity is valued.
  • Students require an accessible language and communication-rich environment so continuous opportunities for planned and incidental learning can occur in and outside the classroom.
  • Students require ongoing opportunities to directly interact with a variety of peers and role models to develop positive self-identity, as well as social-emotional and advocacy skills.
  • Students gain valuable life skills and benefit from other learning opportunities in a safe, caring, supportive, and accessible environment during school, after school (Student Life), and community-based activities.
  • Students must be given the tools necessary to locate, access, and use resources/supports within their school and community.
  • Students prepare for a successful transition to education, work, and citizenship after graduation through an array of quality programs, services, and the use of state-of-the-art technology.
  • Students achieve communication competency and gain access to the world by maximizing their use of assistive technology.
  • All staff members need to have high expectations for all students, so that students can develop high expectations for themselves.
  • All instructional and residential staff members are responsible to provide appropriate resources, universal design for learning, and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all students.
  • All staff members require ongoing quality professional development and support to optimize their ability to meet the needs of students.
  • All staff members are responsible for contributing to the achievement of the school’s vision, mission, and guiding beliefs.
  • All MSA community members thrive with effective communication and collaboration.
  • MSA is a valued resource for information and outreach activities to support students, parents, families, and school districts statewide.


For Our Blind, Visually Impaired, and Deafblind Students, MSA Believes:

  • The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) is foundational to the instructional program and provides a pathway to independence.
  • Instruction in Braille and the use of Braille throughout the student’s educational program, as appropriate to the strengths and needs of the student, is vital for maximizing students’ literacy and academic development.
  • Accessible Educational Materials (AEM: Braille, large print, audio, digital) are vital for maximizing every student’s academic, cognitive, social-emotional, and self-identity potential.
  • Orientation and Mobility (O&M) skills are vital for students to know where they are and how to safely navigate their world.

Contact Information

400 6th Ave S.E.
Fairbault, MN 55021
Phone:507-384-6700 Fax507-333-4825
Website: https://www.msa.state.mn.us/2/home

Title Name Phone Email
Superintendent Terry Wilding 507-384-6601 terry.wilding@msa.state.mn.us
Education Director John Davis 507-384-6701 john.davis@msa.state.mn.us
Athletic Director Charles Lechtenberg 507-384-6714 charles.lechtenberg@msa.state.mn.us
Track Coach Stacy Akemann 507-384-6718 stacy.akemann@msa.state.mn.us
Asst. Track Coach Meghan Needham 507-384-6715 meghan.needham@msa.state.mn.us
Wrestling Coach Charles Lechtenberg 507-384-6714 charles.lechtenberg@msa.state.mn.us
Cheerleading Coach Stacy Akemann 507-384-6718 stacy.akemann@msa.state.mn.us
Swim Coach Stacy Akemann 507-384-6718 stacy.akemann@msa.state.mn.us
Forensics Coach Jamie Jindra 507-384-6722 jamie.jindra@msa.state.mn.us
Choir/Rock Band Jennifer Pelletier 507-384-6725 jennifer.pelletier@msa.state.mn.us
Mascot Gophers
School Colors Maroon & Gold