Saint Peter School District

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New Saint Peter Triple ‘A’ Capital Campaign is underway
By Kurt Hildebrandt - School Information Coordinator
When construction of the new Saint Peter High School began in late 2015, a capital campaign was also launched that sought private donations for enhancements to the school. For almost two years now, the goal of the fundraising effort has been to add features to what is already included in the building project.
The final component of the capital campaign is the Saint Peter Triple ‘A’ program which invites donations in the area of academics, arts, and athletics.
“We have what we need from the taxpayers to make this a fantastic educational facility for the next 100 years,” St. Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said. “The Triple ‘A’ program and our other campaign efforts provide enhancements that will improve the educational opportunities for not only our students but also the community as a whole.”
According to Peterson, early fundraising efforfts were very successful with gifts to enhance the South Central Minnesota Agri-Science Academy (housed at SPHS) and develop a capstone chemistry laboratory.
Earlier this year, the school district revised its Partners for Success program to provide business advertisements in the new 2,000-seat high school gymnasium.  To date, 11 businesses have committed to the “Premier Partner Plus” program.  Along with other gymnasium features, a  videoboard is being installed which can be used for a variety of educational, informational and entertainment purposes.
The Saint Peter Triple ‘A’ program is designed to provide individuals, families, and groups with the opportunity to be forever connected to the opening of the new school. The initiative invites gifts from $25 to $5,000.
“Opening a new school is a community event, and we want as many people who are willing and able to have the opportunity to feel connected to this very special time in Saint Peter’s history,” stated Peterson.
Donor wall part in the works at new SPHS
All donors contributing $250 and above will have their names placed on the new SPHS Donor Wall, located in the commons area of the new school. (See accompanying flyer below for artist’s rendering of the SPHS Donor Wall and other info on.)
The Donor Wall will be unveiled to the public at the new SPHS Ribbon-Cutting Open House set for Saturday, August 26. Donors interested in having their names on the wall at the open house need to indicate their commitment by July 1.  Gifts and additional information can be submitted to:
Saint Peter Public Schools Capital Campaign
100 Lincoln Drive
Saint Peter, MN 56082
Please contact the District Office at (507) 934-5703 if you have questions or would like additional information about the Saint Peter Triple ‘A’ program!


District 508 hosts annual Staff Recognition reception

Seven retirees and two 25-year employees honored at May 3 event
Seven retiring District 508 employees and two long-time staff members were honored at the annual Saint Peter Public Schools’ Staff Recognition Open House Reception on Wednesday.
A large crowd of family, colleagues, and friends were on hand to at the reception, which was held at Gustavus Adolphus College’s Jackson Campus Center.
Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson led the recognition event with District 508 School Board Chair Mark Karlsrud providing the welcoming statement. School board members Ben Leonard and Tim Lokensgard assisted with the presentation of the gifts to each of the honorees.
Those retiring staff members who were honored, along with years served at District 508 and their current position, included (listed alphabetically):
* Tomas Fish (1988-2017) - SPMS science teacher, Saints speech coach. * Kathy Gessner (1996-2017) - Head cook at North Intermediate.
* Joanne Johnson (1991-2017) - North third grade teacher.
* Corinne Kreft (1995-2017) - SPHS/MS Family & Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher.
* Kevin Menk (1991-2017) - SPHS custodian.
* Shirley Nickel (1991-2017) - Accounts payable clerk in District 508 office.
* Jane Oachs (1991-2016) - North Intermediate paraprofessional.
The long-time employees who were honored for reaching 25 years of service included:
* Joni Anderson - School Readiness teacher (St. Peter Community Center).
* Beth Kallaus - Special Education teacher at South Elementary.


District 508 to host Community Conversations events May 2 & 7

Public input sought on what skills SPHS students should have upon graduating
On May 2nd and May 7th, the Saint Peter School District is holding community conversations to gather public input on the skills students must have upon graduating from Saint Peter High School. All members of the greater Saint Peter area are invited to participate and share their ideas.
The conversations are being conducted in collaboration with the Gustavus Adolphus College Communication Studies Department. The events will consist of a brief overview session followed by small group discussion facilitated by Gustavus students. Input gathered at the event will be assembled into a public report, which will shape the new educational goals for Saint Peter students.
“Public education needs to continue to reflect our community’s priorities, which means the school district better have ways to regularly collect information and provide opportunities for engagement,” Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said, highlighting the need for community involvement in shaping education policy.
Community members are invited to attend either event: May 2 from 6-8pm in Alumni Hall at Gustavus or May 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Room 219 at the Community Center. Rides to the event on STP Transit will be free (Dial-a- Ride at 888-880- 4696). Free childcare will also be provided to participants; please call STP Community and Family Education to reserve child care by April 28. Additionally, language translation services will be available.
For more information on the deliberation go to For questions, email


District 508 honors school board members during Recognition Week

The Minnesota School Boards Association set February 20-24 as Minnesota School Board Recognition Week in Minnesota as a time to build awareness and demonstrate an appreciation for the important work of locally elected school officials.
Saint Peter Public Schools is joining public school districts across the state to celebrate School Board Recognition Week to honor board members for their commitment to Saint Peter students. “Strong schools are a key component to a strong community, and our members devote countless hours to make sure our schools are helping every child reach their fullest potential,” Superintendent Paul Peterson said. “They spend countless hours studying education issues and regulations, they ask tough questions and do a great job articulating our community’s expectations for education.”
“There is no doubt that our school board members work hard to make sure the school district’s work is transparent, ethical and straightforward. Even though we make a special effort to show our appreciation in February, their contribution is a year-round commitment.”
School board members for Saint Peter Public Schools are:
* Mark Karlsrud, Chair
* Ben Leonard, Vice-Chair
* Jon Carlson, Treasurer
* Charlie Potts, Clerk
* Drew Dixon, Director
* Tim Lokensgard, Director
* Bob Meeks, Director


Host families needed for Spanish students attending summer Gustavus camps

Each year Xperitas invites a small group of teenaged students from Spain who are attending the “Gustie” Basketball and Leadership Camp at Gustavus Adolphus College.

This summer Xperitas is welcoming 15 Spanish students, ages 13- 18, and is looking for families interested in hosting these students. Host families commit to housing a student from June 25 through July 16.

At the end of their family stay, students will join the Basketball and Leadership Camp. Students will then return to Spain at the end of July. The host families are expected to include the student in their family activities and traditions and to speak English in the home throughout their home stay.

Xperitas believes that hosting international students benefits not only the host family and international student, but also the entire community.  By sharing daily experiences, family traditions and being part of the extended community, cross-cultural competencies are built and interpersonal connections are made that can last a lifetime.

To learn more about hosting an international student, please contact Sarah Dietman, the English Program Manager at Xperitas. She can be reached by email at or by calling (612) 436-8294.

About Xperitas

Xperitas is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting global citizenship through authentic immersion experiences. Xperitas offers programs that embody true language and cultural immersion, inspire personal connections with diverse individuals and communities worldwide and provide transformational experiences for our participants.


River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic donates piano to SPHS

Saint Peter High School’s music departments received a generous gift of a baby grand piano from the River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic (REHC) which will benefit not just the school but the community as well.
The Bergmann baby grand piano was purchased for $7,000 back in 2009 by the REHC Foundation when the hospital and clinic was first opened. While it was used often during the facility’s early years, it hasn’t been used very often recently.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to be able to give back to Saint Peter Public Schools and the community,” River’s Edge CEO George Rohrich said. “This piano has kind of languished here of late in the clinic area. I think in the three years that I’ve been here I’ve only heard it played once.
“Having this piano here was the perfect idea for the time when this building first opened, but it really doesn’t have a purpose for our needs any more. It is a great feeling to know that kids and adults will be able to learn using this piano. This is a great next phase for it.”
Saint Peter High School vocal music instructor Scott Hermanson said the baby grand piano will be moved to the current SPHS/MS building and then eventually out to the new high school when it is completed in time for the 2017-18 school year.
“It is great to receive such a wonderful gift that will benefit so many people here at Saint Peter High School and the community,” Hermanson said. “Our plan is to use it as a rehearsal and classroom piano in the new choir room when we move to the new building this fall.”



School board approves 2017-18 and 2018-19 calendars
Classes to start at new SPHS on Sept. 7, 2017; other buildings to start Sept. 11, 2017
Action taken by the Saint Peter School Board, at their regular December 19 meeting, has finalized the calendar for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school year.
As part of this approval, classes for the 2017-18 school year are slated to begin at the new Saint Peter High School building (grades 9-12) on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Students attending South Elementary (grades K-1), North Intermediate (grades 2-4), and the new Saint Peter Middle School (grades 5-8) next fall will have two days of conferences on Thursday, Sept. 7, and Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, with classes starting the following Monday (Sept. 11, 2017). The last day of classes for the 2017-18 school year is Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
The School Board traditionally follows a practice of adopting a two-year calendar and did so again this time around. The Board’s Calendar Committee met on numerous occasions this fall to review calendar options for the next two school years and presented its recommendations to the School Board at the November meeting.
“The start of the 2017-18 school year will bring with it many new and exciting changes for students at Saint Peter Public Schools,” Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said. “These calendars allow us a proper amount of time to get moved into our new building and get adjusted in our other three buildings in time for the 2017-18 school year as well as set the schedule for the following year.”
Starting with the 2018-19 school year, Saint Peter Public Schools will resume starting classes on the Tuesday after Labor Day. That year school will start on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018.


SPHS/MS to host annual Veterans Day program on Nov. 11

The annual Veterans Day program at Saint Peter Middle/High School is set for 9:25 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, at the school gym. This program is put each year by the SPHS/MS social studies department.
All area veterans are welcome to attend and this year’s guest speaker will be St. Peter veteran Dave Johnson. Johnson, who is retired from South Central College (Mankato) where he served as Dean of Students, was a member of the U.S. Army Reserves from 1968 to 1975, and was SFC Platoon Leader with Charlie Company of the 205th Infantry Battalion in Mankato.
Johnson is currently is a member of the St. Peter Veterans Memorial Board as well as being active with the Vietnam Era Last Man’s Club of St. Peter and a member of the William R. Witty American Legion Post 37 of St. Peter. He also serves as chair of the Vietnam Memorial Day Committee; and is involved as a volunteer for the Disabled American Veteran’s kettle corn fundraising. He and his wife, Jo, reside in St. Peter and Johnson has four children, Staci, Grant, Mitch and Marty, all graduates of Saint Peter High School.
Music for the program will be presented by the Saint Peter Concert Choir, under the direction of Scott Hermanson, and the Saint Peter High School Concert Band, under the direction of Dave Haugh. Members of the William R. Witty American Legion Post 37 Color Guard will also participate.
A special veterans’ recognition will also be presented by SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger honoring those SPHS alums who have served in the armed forces.

Tami Skinner recognized as MCEA Regional Community Educator of Excellence

Tami Skinner, St. Peter Community Education Director, has been chosen as the Regional Community Educator of Excellence by the Minnesota Community Education Association. She received her award at the MCEA Fall Conference which took place at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud on Oct. 12-14.

Tami is shown in the accompanying photo receiving the Regional Community Educator of Excellence award from Minnesota Community Education Association’s (MCEA) Executive Director Bob Meyer.

MCEA recognizes, thanks and celebrates the outstanding contributions made by practitioners and supporters of community education from across Minnesota. Nominees represent the best of the best: persons committed to working together, creating opportunities, persisting through challenges and partnering with others.

Tami has been an active MCEA Member for 12 years. She served on the MCEA Board for 4 years. She also served on the MCEA Connecting the Dots Planning Committee and has been a Fall Conference Committee Member. Tami has been the Co-Chair of ACE, a Regional Community Educator monthly meeting involving twenty plus local communities.

Tami is also active in her community; she is a member and Past President of the Nicollet County Historical Society. She is currently the Chair of St Peter Reads, a community based book annual book read and leads Blending Journey, an immigrant family connection program. The program connects new immigrant families to St Peter families as a way to blend the community.


SPPS to induct five into Hall of Fame on Oct. 8

Saint Peter Public Schools will induct five new members into its Hall of Fame during a breakfast induction ceremony starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the SPHS cafeteria.    
Admission is $8.50 per person and tickets can either be purchased in advance from Sandy Clementson in the SPHS Principal’s Office or at the door. The cost of the admission does include breakfast.
Those five individuals chosen as the newest members of the Hall of Fame include alumni -- Donald Olmanson (class of 1949), John Lager (1958), Gayle (Hanson) Olson (1973), and Jennipher Wiebold (1987), and Gil Carlson, former Superintendent and High School Principal.  
The Saint Peter Public Schools Hall of Fame was established in 2008 to honor outstanding individuals who have earned significant distinction or achievement in their chosen field or volunteer endeavors. It was originally called the Saint Peter High School Hall of Fame, but the Saint Peter School Board changed the name earlier this summer to allow it to become more inclusive for people to be nominated.
Alumni are no longer required to have graduated from Saint Peter High School to be eligible, and staff eligibility is now extended to those who worked at any of the schools in District 508.
Nominations for the Class of 2016 were received and reviewed by a selection committee comprising of the high school principal, high school guidance counselor, one member of the All-School Reunion Committee, one member of the Saint Peter Education Foundation, and one member of the Saint Peter School Board.


Early Childhood Screening set for Oct. 6-7

The Saint Peter School District is providing Early Childhood Screening on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7. Early Childhood Screening is a free developmental check‐up that is required by the State of Minnesota for children entering public schools.
The district typically screens children between the ages of 3½ and 4 years old. It is best to have your child screened before they are 5 years of age. Screening identifies children who may have health or developmental concerns and allows for appropriate assistance as early as possible. This assistance helps children get off to a good start when they enter school. Parents gain information about their child's health and overall development at screenings, in addition to available resources that help children grow. Please note that screening is NOT a readiness test for kindergarten.
If you have a child that was born before 4/6/2013, has not already been screened and has not already started kindergarten, please call the Saint Peter Community and Family Education office at 507- 934-3048 to schedule an appointment.
District census information is used to identify and reach out to parents for screening appointments and other school related information. Parents new to the district or parents with a new baby are invited to call 507-934-3048 to make sure they are on the census.


SPPS Hall of Fame to induct five new members

Five new members will be inducted into the Saint Peter Public Schools Hall of Fame at a special induction ceremony to be held during Saint Peter High School’s Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 7-8).

Those five individuals chosen as the newest members of the Hall of Fame include alumni (year of graduation) -- Donald Olmanson (1949), John Lager (1958), Gayle (Hanson) Olson (1973), and Jennipher Wiebold (1987), and staff -- Gil Carlson, former Superintendent and High School Principal.  

“We are thrilled to honor the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame,” Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said. “The Selection Committee had a challenging job with many deserving nominees.  We are so honored to recognize the 2016 class for their achievements and for the impact they have had throughout the United States.”

The Saint Peter Public Schools Hall of Fame was established in 2008 to honor outstanding individuals who have earned significant distinction or achievement in their chosen field or volunteer endeavors. It was originally called the Saint Peter High School Hall of Fame, but the Saint Peter School board changed the name earlier this summer to allow it to become more inclusive for people to be nominated.

Alumni are no longer required to have graduated from Saint Peter High School to be eligible, and staff eligibility is now extended to those who worked at any of the schools in District 508.

Nominations for the Class of 2016 were received and reviewed by a selection committee comprising of the high school principal, high school guidance counselor, one member of the All-School Reunion Committee, one member of the Saint Peter Education Foundation, and one member of the Saint Peter School Board.

The following are brief bios on each of the Class of 2016 Hall of Fame inductees:

Donald Olmanson (Class of 1949) -- Long-time family physician at St. Peter Clinic (31 years) who also spent time in Burma assisting famed surgeon, Dr. Gordon Seagrave. Very active in the community of St. Peter as well as in Nicollet County through many civic, service, and church groups/organizations. St. Peter School Board member for 12 years, including serving as board president.

John Lager (Class of 1958) -- A long-time aerospace engineer with Martin-Marietta Aerospace as well as with Boeing Aircraft. A senior research scientist who worked on the Titan Missile, Space Shuttle, Hubble Telescope, and other top-secret projects. An avid hunter and fisherman, he changed careers in the mid 1980s and became a very successful self-taught professional taxidermist. Past President of the Colorado State Taxidermy Association.  

Gayle (Hanson) Olson (Class of 1973) -- Clinical Instructor for the Athletic Training Education Program at Florida Southern College and also serves as an athletic trainer providing care for the FSC athletes. Education Coordinator for SwimEx, traveling internationally to train people in aquatic therapy. A Titleist Performance Institute Level Three Golf Fitness Professional. Served as an Athletic Trainer for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1984 Summer Olympic Games (Los Angeles) along with the U.S. Figure Skating’s national and regional events and many other international and national sporting events. 2013 National Athletic Trainers’ Association Most Distinguished Award winner.

Jennipher Wiebold (Class of 1987) -- An Associate Professor and Rehabilitation Counseling Program Coordinator at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo) in a joint appointment with the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies and Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. Has received more than $3.5 million in research and training grant funding which have helped over 50 people earn Master’s degrees in rehabilitation counseling and to receive specialized training in blindness and low vision.

Gil Carlson (Staff) -- Long-time administrator with the Saint Peter Public School system. Served as Superintendent of Schools (1993-2003), High School Principal (1983-1993), and Assistant High School Principal (1978-1983). Well known for his tireless efforts to help District 508 and St. Peter community rebuild after devastating tornado on March 29, 1998. A community- minded leader who was involved with the Sertoma Club, United Fund Board, Lions Club, United Way, St. Peter Chamber of Commerce, and River’s Edge Hospital Board, to name a few.

For more information on the previous SPPS Hall of Fame inductees go to and click on the "Hall of Fame" button on the upper menu bar.