Saint Peter School District

Home / Spotlight / Middle High School

Middle/High School



SPHS hosts annual Senior Awards program


Members of the Saint Peter High School graduating class of 2017 were honored Wednesday evening during the annual Senior Awards program at the school theater. Students were recognized for their efforts in three areas -- Achievement Awards, Honors, and Scholarships.


Among the highlights of the Scholarships part of the program included 62 scholarships being presented totaling $41,200 from The St. Peter/Kasota Chapter of Dollars for Scholars as well as Mo Issack being awarded the Al and Cathy Annexstad Hope and Inspiration Scholarship ($5,000 per year, renewable up to four years).


The following is a complete list of those recognized during Senior Awards program:



Instrumental music awards

John Philip Sousa Band Award - Peter Stelter

Senior Drum Major Award - Peter Stelter

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award - Winston Taylor

Vocal music awards

National School Choral Award - Katherine Schilling, Isaac Westphal

American Legion awards

Oratory Award - Connor Prafke, Alexandra Sandquist

Scholarship Award - Anna Amos

American Award - Wyatt Gillette

Citizenship Award - Katherine Schilling

Academic Achievement - Kelli Hanson

Essay Award - Kirby Taylor

Family Consumer Science - Krystalin Neary

Music (Vocal) - James Kelley, Grace Kvidera

Music (Instrumental) - Parker Sisler

Male Athlete - Jacob McCabe

Female Athlete - Kelli Hanson

Phi Beta Kappa Bood Award (Gustavus Adolphus College chapter) - Ingrid Harbo, Francesca LoFaro, Winston Taylor

Big South Academic Athletic All-Conference Award - Anna Amos, Mallorie Chabot, Alexandra Eberhart, Wyatt Gillette, Kelli Hanson, Ingrid Harbo, Frencesca LoFaro,Jordein Marquette, Connor Prafke, Margaret Ringler, Katherine Schilling, Claire Thompson, Isaac Westphal

MSHSL Triple A (Academics, Arts & Athletics) Awards - Eric Carlson, Kelli Hanson

Three-Year, Three-Sport Athlete - Mohamud Issack

Four-Year, Three-Sport Athlete - Anna Amos, Maccoy Blaschko, Alexandra Eberhart, Kelli Hanson, Jacob McCabe

U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Awards - Anna Amos, Jacob McCabe

St. Peter Scholar/Athlete - Katherine Schilling, Isaac Westphal

FFA Officer Chapter Reporter Award - Shyanne Baynes-Rodning

American Red  Cross Bloodmobile Award - Ingrid Harbo, Margaret Lehtinen

Faculty Award for Leadership & Academic Achievement - Kelli Hanson

Senior class officers - President: Adam McCabe; Vice President: Kaitlyn Brey; Secretary: Alexandra Eberhart; Treasurer: Jacob McCabe

Senior Mural Award - Krystalin Neary

SPHS Student Council Award - Ingrid Harbo – President; Margaret Lehtinen – Vice President; Margaret Ringler – Treasurer; Natalie Yang – Secretary; Members - Anna Amos, Keaton Dimock,  Alexandra Eberhart, Kelli Hanson, Xenia Loredo-Hollon.

International Student Recognition - Alexander Fuchs

2017 AVID graduates (Advancement Via Individual Determination) - Dillon Fischer, Carter Hrdlicka, Krystalin Neary, Joseph Wenner, Abdirahman Youssuf.


Honor Students (3.67 GPA or above) - Cady Belden, Kenna Burmeister, Mallorie Chabot, Kenia Gutierrez, Lillie Hagen, James Kelley, Hailey Kennedy, Grace Kvidera, Margaret Lehtinen, Xenia Loredo-Hollon, Jordein Marquette, Peder Ouren, Sierra Schaefer, Parker Sisler, Winston Taylor, Dawson Yost, Benjamin Zarn.

President’s Education Excellence Awards/High Honor Students (GPA 4.0 or above) - Anna Amos, Kaitlyn Brey, Eric Carlson, Karen Chen, Shelby Connor, Alexis Ellerbeck, Wyatt Gillette, Haley Goebel, Kelli Hanson, Ingrid Harbo, Rachel Huber, Francesca LoFaro, Abigail Mattson, Margaret Ringler, Alexandra Sandquist, Katherine Schilling, Claire Thompson, Isaac Westphal, Gracie Willaert, Natalie Yang.

Principal’s Leadership Award - Ingrid Harbo

National Honor Society - Anna Amos, Kaitlyn Brey, Kenna Burmeister, Mallorie Chabot, Karen Chen, Shelby Connor, Alexandra Eberhart, Alexis Ellerbeck, Wyatt Gillette, Haley Goebel, Kelli Hanson, Rachel Huber, Hailey Kennedy, Grace Kvidera, Francesca LoFaro, Abigail Mattson, Taylor McCarthy, Margaret Ringler, Alexandra Sandquist, Sierra Schaefer, Katherine Schilling, Isaac Westphal, Natalie Yang, Benjamin Zarn.

Lions Students of the Month - Anna Amos, Karen Chen, Wyatt Gillette, Kelli Hanson, Ingrid Harbo*, Francesca LoFaro, Margaret Ringler*, Katherine Schilling, Isaac Westphal. (* - Denotes Students of the Year.


Dollars for Scholars General Scholarships - Hajar Abdullahi, John Ardison, Roda Rayib, Alyson Deegan, Liza Erickson, Bailey Fitzgerald, Peter Hilligoss, Mohamud Isaack, Carter Hrdlicka, Xenia Loredo-Hollon, Zachary Miller, Zahra Mohamed, Connor Prafke, Amber Wang.

St. Peter Education Association Scholarship - Alexis Ellerbeck

St. Peter All School Reunion Committee Scholarship - Jordein Marquette

Sons of American Legion for Students of SPHS Scholarship - Benjamin Zarn

Scholarship America Mission Award - Rachel Huber, Hailey Kennedy

First National Bank Minnesota Scholarship - Natalie Yang

Kiwanis Club of St. Peter Scholarship - Shelby Connor

Dollars for Scholars Phone-A-Thon Scholarship - Kenna Burmeister, Grace Kvidera

St. Peter Youth Basketball Association Scholarship - Kelli Hanson, Jacob McCabe

David Michael Miller Memorial Scholarship - Lillie Hagen, Francesca LoFaro, Mohamed Mohamed

Alice Bergeron Memorial Scholarship - Hailey Kennedy

St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars 40th Anniversary Scholarship - Isaac Westphal

St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars Renewable Scholarship - Wyatt Gillette

Signe Chilstrom Memorial Scholarship - Kaitlyn Kalstad

David C. Rosoff Memorial Scholarship - Rachel Huber

Nicole Meier Memorial Scholarship - Margaret Lehtinen, Ingrid Harbo

Eldred Engel Memorial Scholarship - Grace Kvidera Krystalin Neary

P.E.O. Chapter CN Scholarship - Alexis Reese

Trinity Lutheran Church Scholarship - Alexandra Eberhart

Richard Reyelts Memorial Scholarship - Eric Carlson

Ken & Patsy Rossow Scholarship - Shyanne Baynes-Rodning

Bob and Nathan Bruns Memorial Scholarship - Hibo Yussuf

Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota Scholarship - MaKayla Smith

HomeTown Bank of St. Peter Scholarship - Brianna Sheehy

Riverside Dental Care Scholarship - Taylor McCarthy

Dranttell Sales and Service Scholarship - James Kelly

Eileen T. Miller Memorial Music Scholarship - Alexandra Sandquist

Nelson Printing Scholarship - Wyatt Widmer

Don Nesheim Memorial Scholarship - Maccoy Blaschko

Nicollet County Bank Scholarship - Cady Belden

Red Men Lodge Ottawa Tribe 49 Scholarship - Mallorie Chabot

Anonymous Memorial Scholarship - Katherine Schilling

Women Celebrating Women Scholarship - Margaret Ringler

Loren & Mary Bjerke Memorial Scholarship - Naimo Daud

Emily Herr Memorial Scholarship - Claire Thompson

Ameriprise Financial Scholarship - Reid Reicks

St. Peter Rotary Scholarship - Kenna Burmeister, Winston Taylor

Steve Koble Memorial Scholarship - Kaitlyn Brey

Fern Martinson Memorial Scholarship - Parker Sisler

The Fair Emporium Scholarship - Abigail Mattson

College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Scholarship - Karen Chen


River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic Healthcare Scholarship - Mallorie Chabot, Wyatt Gillette, Rachel Huber, Carter Hrdlicka, Hailey Kennedy

Kiwanis Educational, Inc. of the Minnesota-Dakotas District of Kiwanis International - Rachel Huber, Margaret Ringler

American Legion Scholarship Post #37 - Benjamin Zarn

2017 Ashley Rose Leonard Memorial Scholarship - Mallorie Chabot,  Shelby Connor, Alexe Dvorak, Alexandra Eberhart, Wyatt Gillette, Haley Goebel, Kelli Hanson, Hailey Kennedy, Xenia Loredo-Hollon, Adam McCabe, Taylor McCarthy, Alexis Reese, Reid Reicks, Alexandra Sandquist, Katherine Schilling, Jordan Schueneman, Brianna Sheehy, Benjamin Zarn

Raymond Jim and Dorothy L. Cain Scholarship - Shyanne Baynes-Rodning

Bolton & Menk Scholarship - Katherine Schilling

St. Peter Fire Department John Kennedy Memorial Scholarship - Hailey Kennedy, Taylor McCarthy, Krystalin Neary

Al and Cathy Annexstad Hope and Inspiration Scholarship - Mohamud Issack

AVID Scholarship - Carter Hrdlicka

St. Peter Youth Wrestling Club Scholarship - Wyatt Gillette

Minnesota Coaches Wrestling Association Scholarship - Wyatt Gillette

Andrew Kruger Memorial Scholarship - Kelli Hanson

Nicollet Lodge #54 Scholarship - Rachel Huber, Alexandra Sandquist

St. Peter Trap Team Booster Club Scholarship - Maccoy Blaschko, Alyson Deegan

Band Aides Instrumental Music Scholarship - Peter Stelter

Graceland University Dean’s Merit Scholarship - Thais Caceres-Fugon

The University of South Dakota Coyote Commitment Distinction Scholarship - Alexis Ellerbeck

University of Minnesota Iron Range Scholarship, College of Biological Sciences & Dean’s Scholars Program - Margaret Ringler

Gustavus Adolphus College Dean’s Scholarship Legacy Award - Krystalin Neary

Gustavus Adolphus College Dean’s Scholarship Legacy Award - Haley Goebel

Gustavus Adolphus College Dean’s Scholarship Legacy Scholarship, Tuition Grant,

Minnesota State Grant - Abigail Mattson

Occidental College Honors Scholarship - Anna Amos

Puget Sound Trustee Scholarship - Francesca LoFaro

Jackrabbit Guarantee - Kenna Burmeister

Jim Hughes Memorial Scholarship - Alexis Ellerbeck

Greg Wiese Scholarship - Jacob McCabe

Thalia Lopez and Larry D. Taylor Educational Scholarship - Naimo Daud

Edward H. Schultz Scholarship - Naimo Daud, Bailey Fitzgerald, Kelli Hanson, Jacob McCabe, Margaret Ringler, Katherine Schilling.

SPHS National Honor Society inducts 37 new members
Thirty seven new members of Saint Peter High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) were inducted at a special ceremony Wednesday evening at the SPHS gym.
The ceremony included a special ‘Welcome’ message from Jana Sykora, SPHS counselor, and the Sponsor’s Message from SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger.
After senior NHS members Kelli Hanson and Maggie Ringler provided information on the history and future of the SPHS NHS Chapter, four other senior members reviewed the qualifications for membership -- Karen Chen (Scholarship), Isaac Westphal (Leadership), Alexis Ellerbeck (Service), and Ali Sandquist (Character).
Juniors Sienna Wiebusch and Lily Werner then announced each of the 37 new inductees which was followed by the ceremonial lighting of the NHS Candles. During this time, the new inductees recited the NHS pledge: “I pledge to uphold the high purposes of the National Honor Society to which I have been selected; I will be true to the principles for which it stands; I will be loyal to my school; and I will maintain and encourage high standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.”
Senior Wyatt Gillette provided the closing remarks for the evening which was followed by the processional for the final NHS induction ceremony held at the current SPHS/MS building.
2017 SPHS National Honor Society members
(* - denotes new inductee)
Sumeya Ali *
Anna Amos
Greta Anderson
Lillian Anderson
Leif Annexstad
Matthias Annexstad
Sarah Borgmeier
Kaitlyn Brey
Yana Burgess *
Kenna Burmeister
Josephine Carlson
Mallorie Chabot
Alexander Chadwick
Karen Chen
Shelby Connor
Suzanne Dietrich
Kaitlynn Dirks *
Anja Dulin *
Nicole Ebeling
Alexandra Eberhart
Alexis Ellerbeck
Drew Elofson *
Jacob Emley *
Benjamin Epper *
Danielle Epper
Wyatt Gillette
Haley Goebel
Kylie Grack *
Eleanor Grinnell *
Adeline Guappone *
Kelli Hanson
Zoe Haugen *
Kate Hildebrandt *
Rachel Huber
Ellie Johnson
Rebecca Johnson *
Jordan Keeley
Reegan Kelly
Hailey Kennedy
Mackenzie Kienholz *
Kiara Krueger *
Grace Kvidera
Sophia Lee *
Kennady Legg *
Nora Leonard *
Francesca LoFaro
Abigail Mattson
Olivia McCabe
Taylor McCarthy
Bailey More *
Claire Nuessmeier *
Kayla Oeltjenbruns *
Alexis Orth
Isaac Peterson *
Payton Portugue *
Trevor Powers
Rose Prins *
Marlen Ramirez *
Shannon Rao *
McKenna Reese *
Jade Reicks *
Margaret Ringler
Kayley Ronnkvist *
Alexandra Sandquist
Sierra Schaefer
Katherine Schilling
Nicholas Seitzer
Rafat Solaiman *
Signe Tyson *
Elijah VanGrootheest *
Sophia Weelborg
Jacey Welp *
Lily Werner
Amelia Wernsing *
Isaac Westphal
Sienna Wiebusch
Xeanna Willaert *
Natalie Yang *
Benjamin Zarn 
Mackenna Zelenka *



SPHS spring play hits stage this weekend

This is last-ever senior high play on current theater stage


This weekend’s Saint Peter High School spring play is a historic one of sorts as it will be the last-ever production for the senior high theater students at the current theater. Starting with the 2017-18 fall play, the productions will be done at the new high school building.


This year’s spring play is “You Can’t Take it With You”, a comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. The shows will take place this week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the curtain going up each night at 7:30 p.m. Lyn Vavreck is the director with Theresa Warren serving as technical director.


“Having the last show in this theater is somewhat bittersweet,” Vavreck said. “We’re so excited about the new theater, but this place has been our home for so many years.  There are a lot of great memories here.  This show will be another special memory. We decided to do something where we can have a lot of fun!”


According to, “You Can’t Take it With You” is, a madcap, idealistic comedy that reinforces the idea that you can only live life to the fullest by doing whatever makes you happy.


“Grandpa Vanderhof and his wacky family, the Sycamores, have been happily living their zany lives in his house by Columbia University in New York for many years. This family (and their friends) are a madcap group of eccentrics, marching to the beat of their own drum, with pride and joy. Their hobbies include collecting snakes, building fireworks in the basement, writing a myriad of plays that never get published, and taking ballet lessons. Things like stress, jobs, and paying taxes to the government are for other people, not for them! But when practical young Alice Sycamore becomes engaged to her company’s Vice President Tony Kirby, the Vanderhof/Sycamore clan must straighten up to meet the new in-laws. Disaster ensues when the Kirbys arrive at the wrong time and, despite the best laid plans, see Alice’s family in all of its crazy glory. The evening ends with everyone in the house getting arrested, and Alice ending the engagement. It isn’t until Grandpa’s wise speech to Mr. Kirby about the importance of living life to the fullest that the two families find a way to accept each other, and love conquers all.” --


Admission to the play is $5 for adults and $3 for students and tickets are available at the door. Also, SPHS Activities passes are accepted for admission!


The following is the cast and crew list for the spring play:


Grandpa Vanderhof - James Kelley

Penny - Mara Johnson

Paul - Peter Stelter

Alice - Sophia Lamor

Essie - Lauren Mayer

Ed - Isaac Westphal

DePinna - Parker Sisler

Rheba - Aidan Bistrup

Donald - Kyle Fogal

Boris Kolenkhov - Josiah Johnson

Tony Kirby - Kaiden Burmeister

Mrs. Kirby - Maggie Ringler

Mr. Kirby - Winston Taylor

Henderson - Kenna Burmeister

Gay Wellington - Nora Leonard

Olga, Grand Duchess - Ali Sandquist

Police and/or detectives - Noah Faulstich, Ken Ringler

Understudies - Maggie Lehtinen, Katie Engeldinger

Crew - Dani Epper, Aurora Severson, Shayla Kelley, Matt Johnson, Gavin Fuller, Madelyn Tollefson, Morgaine Miller, Grace Kvidera, Amanda Seppika, Katie Hamman, Clayton Schrumpf, Jack Leonard, Garrison Rushing, Aidan Bistrup, Aidan Schrumpf, Josiah Johnson, Kaiden Burmeister, Noah Faulstich.


Saints speakers prepared for state tourney

SPHS to have 10 students take part in prestigious event


A large contingent of Saint Peter High School speech team members will be making the trek to Apple Valley High School on Saturday to compete in the 2017 Minnesota Class A State Speech Tournament.


Eight Saints’ entries, comprised of 10 SPHS students, will be competing in the preliminary rounds starting with Round I of the preliminaries at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday. Round II begins at 11:45 a.m. and Round III starts at 1:15 p.m. The Championship Round (finals) for all events begins at 3:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and it is open to the public. For a complete state tourney schedule go to


Those Saints competing at the state tourney includes seniors Connor Prafke (Discussion), and Ali Sandquist and Parker Sisler (Duo); juniors Rachel Quist (Storytelling), Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking), Lily Werner (Drama), and Eleanor Grinnell; and sophomores Isaac Peterson and Sophia Lee (Duo), and Lauren Mayer (Drama).


This will be the fourth state trip for Prafke and third for Solaiman while Quist, Grinnell, Lee, and Mayer will be making their second trips to state. The other four Saints qualifiers will be competing at state for the first time in their careers. Quist placed seventh in Storytelling at state in 2016 while Prafke earned a medal for finishing eighth.

Seniors excited about state meet

For the three SPHS senior state entrants, the state meet marks one last hurrah in their Saints’ careers and they are excited about the opportunity to compete one more time.


“It’s great to be going back to state for the fourth year in a row,” Connor Prafke said. “It would be great to do better than last year at state (placed 8th), but this being my senior year, it is just the gravy to the end of my career. It’s going to be weird next year when I’m not doing this, so I want to make the most of my last week and just enjoy it.”


“This was my first time making finals at section and to make it to state during my last year is amazing.” Ali Sandquist said. “As they were counting down the finalists (at sections), with each name they called I felt a little relief and a little more tension as they got closer to the top three (which qualified for state). This is a perfect way to close out my speech career on such a high note by making it to state and it would be great to make finals there.”


“This is my first time qualifying for state, and after missing state by one place last year it feels so good to finally make it,” Sisler said. “I sort of had a chip on my shoulder going into sections this year. My goal all along this season was to get to state. Now my goal is to give it our best and, if possible, to come home with a medal.”


Coach Fish’s last meet as Saints mentor

SPHS head coach Tom Fish, who was named Minnesota Class A State Coach of the Year in 2008, announced recently that he is retiring from his middle school science teaching position as well as stepping down as coach of the Saints’ speech program.


“Teaching and coaching are really my passions and it will be tough to step away from something I love so much,” Fish said. “However, I felt the time was right to retire and turn the program over to someone else. This is a great group of kids we had this year and I’m anxious to see how they do at state. I’m always optimistic we will have some reach finals.


“With only three of our 10 kids competing at state being seniors, we will not be leaving the cupboard bare by any means. There is a solid foundation for next season coming back and I’m sure the success of the program will continue long into the future.”


Fish started with the Saints’ speech program as a judge, under long-time SPHS speech head coach Don Fosburgh and Wendy Severns before joining Severns’ staff as an assistant coach. He took over as head coach around 2005.




Connor Prafke named to MN Speech All-State team


The Minnesota Speech Coaches Association (MSCA) has released the names of those speech competitors who have earned their way onto the 2017 All- State Speech Team.


The 66 speakers, qualifying for the inaugural team, did so by reaching a rigorous set of milestones over the course of their speech career. Included in this year’s All-State selections is Saint Peter High School Connor Prafke, who will be participating at this Saturday’s Minnesota State Class A Speech Tournament in Discussion.


Each student, who is recommended by their coach, must be a graduating senior, has been part of their teams subsection or section team for at least three years and has qualified for the state tournament for at least two years. In addition, the speakers  selected to the All-State Team must demonstrate their use of speech skills in at least three other activities. Many of the speakers have used their speech communication skills in activities such as  student council, National Honor Society, theatre or leadership in the athletic arena.


MSCA President, Jason Olson commented, “These students represent truly outstanding well-rounded individuals who are the type of leaders we hope will bring positive change to our society through their powerful voices and actions. They deserve to be recognized for their passion and commitment.”


The All-State students will receive their award at the Minnesota State High School League State Speech Tournament on April 21-22 at Apple Valley High School. The 66 students to be honored, along with their schools, are listed below.


2017 MSCA All-State Speech Team


Kate Brause - Apple Valley

Jane Michaelson - Apple Valley

Arianna Rotty - Apple Valley

Austin Meyer - Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

Nick Steinhofer - Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

Molly Tengwall - Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

Josie Ross - Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Angello Bell - Blackduck

Ellie Cleveland - Blackduck

Matthew Metzler - Blackduck

Miranda Rice - Blaine

Miranda Felton - Cannon Falls

Rachel Hartman - Cannon Falls

Amanda Wulf - Cannon Falls

Jordynn Zier - Cannon Falls

Kush Brahmbhatt - Chanhassen

Sam Buisman - Chanhassen

Hailey Frye - Chanhassen

April Grabner - Chanhassen

Patrick Quinn - Chaska

Megan Frisk - Crookston

 Michaila Hicks - Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Kaitlin Siegert - Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Anna Leonard - Duluth Denfeld

Paul Filonowich - Eagan

Benjamin Pankow - Eagan

 Kevin Bi - East Ridge

Quintin Walker - East Ridge

Alicia Zhang - East Ridge

Nathan Utecht - Eden Valley-Watkins

Lauren Carlson - Fairmont

Mikayla Soelter - Fairmont

Christine Harrington - Fergus Falls

Andraya Parenteau - Hawley

Hannah Paulson - Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted

Ashley Lau - Lakeville North

Olivia Shoemaker - Lakeville North

 Knute Oldre - Luverne

Dylan Thorson - Luverne

Samantha Ykema - Luverne

Charlotte Lena - Mankato Loyola

Isabel Zwaschka - Mankato Loyola

Ryan Hankins - Maple Grove

Fariza Hassan - Maple Grove

Tyler Russell - Maple Lake

Charlotte Lim - Mounds View

Lahiri Naikwad - Mounds View

Leah Roberts - New York Mills

Jesse Ray Bissen - Orono

Myah Jane Schultz - Park Rapids

 Max Bulver - Prior Lake

Christina Laridaen - Prior Lake

Sarah Ferrier - Prior Lake

Matthew Ternus - Rogers


Carter Peter - Underwood

Matthew Koring - Walker-Hackensack-Akeley

Rose Kruse - Wabasha-Kellogg

Emily Horning - Windom

Austin Jones - Windom

Christian Lohrenz - Windom

Aidan Beckman - Winona Cotter

Noah French - Winona Cotter

Emily Perkins - Winona High School

William Vouk - Woodbury

Delaney Belcastro - Wrenshall




Saints to host Section 2A Speech Tourney this Friday


Saint Peter High School will be well represented at Friday’s (April 7) Section 2A Speech Tournament, held here at SPHS, with 30 students qualifying to compete.


Those 30 Saints (26 entries) will be competing Friday for berths in the Minnesota State Speech Tournament, set for Saturday, April 22, at Apple Valley High School. The top three placewinners in each of the 13 categories will earn state trips.


A total of 22 schools will be represented at the Section 2A Tourney with 166 entries competing throughout the day.


Doors open at 3:30 p.m. on Friday with the first preliminary round set to begin around 3:50 p.m. and the second preliminary round starting around 5:10 p.m.. Finals are scheduled to begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. with the awards program starting around 8 p.m. Admission to the Section 2A Tourney is FREE!


“We have one of the toughest sections in the state and we encourage people to stop by to check out these talented young people who put in a lot of hard work each season,” St. Peter coach Tom Fish said.


Creative Expression - Mikinley Prafke, Penelope Panciera.

Discussion - Connor Prafke, Carrigan Miller.

Drama - Lauren Mayer, Lily Werner.

Duo -  Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee, Ali Sandquist & Parker Sisler, Abby Jurewicz & Molly Jurewicz, Rae Smit & Aubrey Landsom.

Extemporaneous Reading - Grace Kvidera.

Extemporaneous Speaking - Rafat Solaiman, Ingrid Harbo.

Great Speeches -  Sumeya Ali, Nora Leonard, Sammi Hofferbert.

Humorous - Maggie Lehtinen.

Informative - Eleanor Grinnell, Vanessa Krueger.

Original Oratory - Rahma Jamac, Kayley Ronnkvist.

Prose - Lexie Ellerbeck, Rose Prins.

Storytelling - McKenzie McCann, Rachel Quist, Lillie Sund.



Seventh graders take part in Regional History Day event


Several Saint Peter Middle School seventh grade students took part in the National History Day event at Minnesota State University-Mankato recently through their work with Mr. Boe’s U.S. History Class. 


National History Day is an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12. History Day teaches students to:


* - Conduct in-depth research

* - Use primary and secondary sources

* - Read a variety of texts

* - Analyze and synthesize information

* - Write and present historical content


Students choose a topic that relates to an annual theme, research that topic, and develop their research into one of five presentation categories: research paper, exhibit, documentary, performance, or website. Students may then enter their projects into History Day competitions at school, regional, state, and national levels.


Saint Peter Middle School History Day Regional qualifiers include (listed alphabetically) Emilee Bauleke,  Luke Borowy, Nathan Braam, Sarah Busse, Rowan Dahlseid, Victoria Ely, Elijah Faulstich, Katie Gurrola, Najwa Hassan, Bayleigh Johnson, Halima Khalif, Anna Klatt, Eva Kracht, Jaiden Landsom, Elyssa Meixner, Makayla Moline, Lauren Odland, MacKenzie Pettis, Brooke Rehnelt, Grace Remmert, Lilly Ruffin, Cadence Selzler-Campion, Zach Smith, Maija Tollefson, Kenna VanZee, David Winnett,  Eleanor Winterfeldt, and Hannah Wohlers. 


Those Saint Peter Middle Schoolers qualifying for the MN National History Day event include (listed alphabetically) Nathan Braam, Elijah Faulstich,Eva Kracht and David Winnett, and Hannah Wohlers. That event is set for April 29 at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). 




SPHS speakers advance 26 entries to Section 2A meet

Saints roll to North Sub-Section title with 222 team points


It was an outstanding day for the Saint Peter High School speech team as it took home first-place team honors with 222 team points in the Section 2A, North Sub-Section Tournament held at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High School on Tuesday.


The Saints qualified 26 entries (top 6 advance) for the Section 2A Tournament, held on Friday, April 7, at SPHS, and also had two speakers earn first alternate honors. All seven of the Saints’ seniors also advanced to the Section 2A meet.


“This is the first time in my career that we’ve ever had all of our seniors advance to the section meet,” SPHS coach Tom Fish said. “Overall, it was another outstanding day for our team and now we’ll focus our efforts on getting ready for sections, which will feature some very tough competition.”


Doors open for the Section 2A Tournament at SPHS at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 7, with the preliminary rounds starting soon after that, according to Fish. The top three in each of the 13 categories will advance to the Minnesota State Speech Tournament held on April 22 at Apple Valley High School.


“We have one of the toughest sections in the state and we encourage people to stop by to check out these talented young people who put in a lot of hard work each season,” Fish said.


The Saints results from the North Sub-Section meet are as follows:



Team standings (top 5 of 9 teams)

1. ST. PETER 222; 2. Medford 66; 3. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 48; 4. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 46; 5. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 40.


Saints individual results

(Top 6 advance to Section 2A Tourney)

Creative Expression - 1. Mikinley Prafke; 2. Penelope Panciera.

Discussion - 1. Connor Prafke; 5. Carrigan Miller.

Drama - 1. Lauren Mayer; 3. Lily Werner.

Duo -  1. Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; 2. Ali Sandquist & Parker Sisler; 4. Abby

Jurewicz & Molly Jurewicz; 6. Rae Smit & Aubrey Landsom.

Extemporaneous Reading - 3. Grace Kvidera; 7. Megan Beran.

Extemporaneous Speaking - 1. Rafat Solaiman; 2. Ingrid Harbo.

Great Speeches -  2. Sumeya Ali; 3. Nora Leonard; 4. Sammi Hofferbert.

Humorous - 5. Maggie Lehtinen; 7. Maddie Doose.

Informative - 1. Eleanor Grinnell; 3. Vanessa Krueger.

Original Oratory - 2. Rahma Jamac; 3. Kayley Ronnkvist.

Poetry - 7. Sarah Fadness.

Prose - 2. Lexie Ellerbeck; 3. Rose Prins.

Storytelling - 2. McKenzie McCann; 3. Rachel Quist.


Saints speakers win Medford tournament


Saint Peter High School’s speech team took home top team honors at the 11-team Tiger Tournament at Medford on Saturday.


The Saints took first place in two individual categories and second place in five others to amass 109 points to win the team title. Mankato Loyola was second with 97 and Winona Cotter third at 84. St. Peter, once again, scored points in 12 of the 13 individual categories to help its cause.


Those Saints who took hope first-place finishes included Ali Sandquist and Parker Sisler (Duo) and Rachel Quist (Storytelling). Runner-up honors went to Lily Werner (Drama), Winston Taylor (Extemporaneous Speaking), Kayley Ronnkvist (Original Oratory), McKenzie McCann (Storytelling), and Eleanor Grinnell (Storytelling).  


The Saints results are as follows:



Team standings (top 5 of 11)

1. ST. PETER 109; 2. Mankato Loyola 97; 3. Winona Cotter 84; 4. Blue Earth Area 33; 5. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 31.


Saints individual results

Creative Expression -- 5. Mikinley Prafke.

Discussion - 3. Connor Prafke.

Drama -- 2. Lily Werner; 3. Lauren Mayer.

Duo -- 1. Ali Sandquist & Parker Sisler; 5. Aubrey Landsom & Rae Smit.

Extemporaneous Reading -- 3. Grace Kvidera; 6. Megan Beran.

Extemporaneous Speaking -- 2. Winston Taylor; 4. Ingrid Harbo.

Great Speeches -- 4. Nora Leonard.

Informative -- 2. Eleanor Grinnell.

Humorous -- 4. Maggie Lehtinen; 5. Servanda Alcantarta.

Original Oratory -- 2. Kayley Ronnkvist; 5. Rahma Jamac; Finalist - Ingrid Harbo.

Poetry -- 5. Becca Johnson.

Prose -- 6. Lexie Ellerbeck.

Storytelling -- 1. Rachel Quist; 2. McKenzie McCann.



SPHS Blue team wins third straight AcaDec state title


The SPHS Academic Decathlon Blue team took home an impressive haul of personal medals at Minnesota State AcaDec Competition. The state meet concluded on Monday at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska.


Blue team members include (list alphabetically) Aidan Bistrup, Karen Chen, Benny Combs, Becca Johnson, Josiah Johnson, Marlen Ramirez, Charlie Redmond, Winston Taylor, and Elijah VanGrootheest. Their coach is Mary Behrends.


This is the Blue Team's third consecutive win and qualifies them to participate in the U. S. Academic Decathlon National Finals in Madison, Wisconsin, to be held April 20-22.


"Among the personal accomplishments were overall medals earned by freshmen Charlie Redmond (third place) and Benny Combs (first place ) in the Varsity Division," Coach Mary Behrends said. "Junior Aidan Bistrup finished third in the Scholastic Division and Seniors Karen Chen (third place) and Winston Taylor (first place) were overall medalists in the Honors Division. For Taylor, it was his fourth top finish at state, a first time accomplishment for our team.


"It was also the team's fourth consecutive Super Quiz championship, a separate competition based on the same curriculum.  The theme of this year's Decathlon has been World War II."


The SPHS White team also competed, and individual medals were earned by Francesca LoFaro, Katrina Creel. Kayley Ronnkvist, Grace Kvidera and Dawson Rettig.  Also participating were alternates Sophia Weelborg and Noah Gassman.

Swiss exchange student enjoying time at SPHS
A new face has been roaming the halls of Saint Peter High School this semester as Alexander Fuchs, an exchange student from Switzerland, started classes in January and will be here through the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.
Alexander, who is 18 and a senior at SPHS, recently had time to answer a few questions about himself and how his life in Saint Peter is going so far. Here are his responses:
Family info (parents' names, siblings, etc.): My parents are Kerstin and Thomas Fuchs. I have no siblings, but I do have a cat named Wolly. My host parents are Kris and James Sack of St. Peter. They have no kids but they do have a dog, Emma.
Hometown info (i.e. location, population, etc.): I live in Münchenstein, a suburb of Basle. Both are in Switzerland and right next to France and Germany. The population of Münchenstein is about 12,000 people.  The population of Basle and the surrounding suburbs is about 820,000 people. The suburbs are mostly in Switzerland, but also in Germany and France.
Is this your first time visiting the U.S.? No, my parents and I did a west coast trip and also visited Hawaii and New York City.
What are your impressions so far of life in the U.S.? The life here is pretty amazing. I’ve done a lot of exciting things here that I never could do in Switzerland, such as ice fishing and four-wheeling.
What things have you liked so far about your visit? I love the people and the food here.
What are some things you miss most about life in Switzerland? I definitely miss the Swiss chocolate and bread.
Have you been able to keep in contact with your family and friends back home? Yes, I stay in contact with them over Skype and WhatsApp.
What has/have been your biggest challenge(s) adjusting to life in the U.S.? The biggest challenge for me was to get used to driving everywhere by car. In Switzerland, I mostly used public transportation.
What are your hobbies/interests? I’m a Boy Scout leader and I also enjoy skiing, skateboarding, and playing the guitar. I hope to discover more interests during my time here. I’m excited to try 4-Wheeling, summer skiing on Buck Hill and other activities.
Future plans: The school system in Switzerland is different. I have two more years of high school left and then I’ll go to college. I’m not sure what I’ll major in at this time. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying everything I can during my stay here. I plan to visit the Twin Cities and the Mall of America.


Saints speech team takes first at Scarlet Invitational

Saint Peter High School’s speech team took home top team honors at the 12-team Scarlet Invitational at Mankato West High School on Saturday.

The Saints rode the strength of four individual titles and four second-place finishes to win the team trophy with 146 points followed by Mankato Loyola with 111 and Mankato West at 92. St. Peter scored points in 12 of the 13 individual categories to help its cause.

Those Saints who took hope first-place finishes included Connor Prafke (Discussion), Lily Werner (Drama), Nora Leonard (Great Speeches), and Maansi Bhakta (Prose). Second-place honors went to Mikinley Prafke (Creative Expression), Lauren Mayer (Drama); Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking), and Eleanor Grinnell (Informative).  

The Saints results are as follows:


Team standings (top 5 of 12)

1. ST. PETER 146; 2. Mankato Loyola 111; 3. Mankato West 92; 4. Fairmont 46; 5. Maple River 40..

Saints individual results

Creative Expression -- 2. Mikinley Prafke; 5. Penelope Panciera.

Discussion - 1. Connor Prafke.

Drama -- 1. Lily Werner; 2. Lauren Mayer; 6. Breeley Ruble.

Duo -- 3. Ali Sandquist & Parker Sisler.

Extemporaneous Reading -- 5. Grace Kvidera; 6. Morgaine Miller.

Extemporaneous Speaking -- 2. Rafat Solaiman; 4. Ingrid Harbo.

Great Speeches -- 1. Nora Leonard; 5. Sammi Hofferbert.

Informative -- 2. Eleanor Grinnell.

Original Oratory -- 5. Ingrid Harbo.

Poetry -- 5. Becca Johnson.

Prose -- 1. Maansi Bhakta; 3. Lexie Ellerbeck; 5. Rose Prins.

Storytelling -- 4. Rachel Quist.


SPHS senior named a National Merit Scholarship finalist

A Saint Peter High School senior was among a group of approximately 15,000 seniors nationwide who were named as finalists for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship program.

Karen Chen, the daughter of Meilin Huang of St. Peter and Tieniu Chen of Waukesha, Wis., recently received word about this prestigious honor during a visit with SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger.

“I stopped by her office this morning (Monday) to tell her that I’d been accepted to Carleton and she just happened to be opening the National Merit Finalist letter,” Chen said.

“We are thrilled to have Karen represent Saint Peter High School as a National Merit finalist,” Engeldinger said. “This honor only comes along once in awhile for a school our size, and when it does we are especially proud. Karen is a very serious student who is very deserving of this honor.”

Chen moved to St. Peter before the start of her junior year and prior to that attended Nicolet High School in suburban Milwaukee, Wis. She took time out of her recent busy school day to answer a few questions about receiving this honor.

What were your initial feelings when you found out you had earned this prestigious academic honor? -- Happy, grateful!

What does this award mean to you, personally? -- It's a recognition of the effort and dedication I and my support group - my mom and family, teachers, friends, and schools - have put in through the years. It will also help support my education financially through Carleton College’s (Northfield) award of several thousand dollars per year for National Merit Finalists.

What are your future plans (college, major, etc.)?-- I'm super thrilled to be attending Carleton College this fall!! After considering liberal arts colleges across the country I decided that my heart was set on Carleton and applied early decision. I'm going to be exploring subjects like art, science, and history and probably continuing to study math.

As for the future beyond that, I'll quote the word association from my Carleton app: “It's uncrystallized, but I'm trying to make it a gem."

About the National Merit Finalist program

National Merit Scholarship finalists have an opportunity to continue in competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be awarded this spring.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. It was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.


Saints’ speakers finish third at Crusader Classic

Saint Peter High School’s speech team took part in the always-tough Crusader Classic at Mankato Loyola on Saturday and came away with three individual first-place placings as well as a third-place finish, out of 16 schools, in the team standings.

Connor Prafke continued his early-season success by taking top honors in Discussion, while teammates Winston Taylor (Extemporaneous Speaking) and Rachel Quist (Storytelling) also took home first place medals. Rafat Solaiman (Extemporaneous Speaking) was the Saints’ lone second-place finisher. In all, 13 Saints placed high enough to earn team points.

Winona Cotter won the team title with 117 points followed closely by Fairmont with 98 and St. Peter with 92.

The Saints results are as follows:


Team standings (top 5 of 16)

1. Winona Cotter 117; 2. Fairmont 98, 3. ST. PETER 92; 4. Mankato Loyola 59; 5. Mankato West 57.

Saints individual results

Discussion - 1. Connor Prafke.

Drama - 3. Lily Werner.

Duo - 3. Ali Sandquist & Parker Sisler.

Extemporaneous Reading - 5. Grace Kvidera.

Extemporaneous Speaking - 1. Winston Taylor; 2. Rafat Solaiman.

Great Speeches - 4. Nora Leonard.

Humorous - 5. Maggie Lehtinen. Finalist - Servanda Alcantarta.

Informative - 4. Eleanor Grinnell.

Poetry - 5. Becca Johnson.

Prose - 5. Maansi Bahkta.

Storytelling - 1. Rachel Quist; Finalist - McKenzie McCann.

For complete team and individual results go to


Saints' speech team takes first at Worthington

Saint Peter High School’s speech team kicked off the 2017 in grand fashion taking first place at the 19-team Worthington Trojan Tournament on Saturday.

The Saints were missing several key speakers, who were competing in the Section 2A One-Act Play Contest, but still had several outstanding individual efforts with three first-place and a two second place finishes. Those taking first included Connor Prafke (Discussion), Maansi Bahkta (Prose), and McKenzie McCann (Storytelling), while Mikinley Prafke (Creative Expression) and Nora Leonard (Great Speeches) placed second in their respective categories.

Saint Peter finished with 102 team point to take home the first-place hardware while Tracy-Milroy Balaton was second with 50 points. The Saints results are as follows:


Team standings (top 5 of 19)

1. St. Peter 102, 2. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 50; 3. (tie) Worthington and Murray County Central 47; 5. Minneota 42.

Saints individual results

Creative Expression - 2. Mikinley Prafke.

Discussion - 1. Connor Prafke.

Drama - 3. Lily Werner.Duo - 4. Abby Jurewicz & Nora Leonard.

Extemporaneous Reading - 3. Morgaine Miller.

Extemporaneous Speaking - 3. Rafat Solaiman.

Great Speeches - 2. Nora Leonard.

Original Oratory - 5. Kayley Ronnkvist; 6. Ingrid Harbo.

Poetry - 6. Becca Johnson.

Prose - 1. Maansi Bahkta

Storytelling - 1. McKenzie McCann; 3. Rachel Quist.

For complete team and individual results go to


Hanson, Carlson named SPHS’s 2017 Triple Award winners

Saint Peter High School seniors Kelli Hanson and Eric Carlson were recently announced as the school’s 2017 Triple A (Academics, Arts, and Athletics) Award winners and will now move on to vie for the Section 2A Triple A Award.

Established in 1988, the Minnesota State High School League’s Triple A Award is sponsored by AAA-Minnesota and Fairview Sports and Orthopedic Care. The award goes to high school seniors who have a “B” or better grade point average (GPA) and participate in League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities. Triple "A" Award recipients are selected by a multi-level process involving the League's member schools and administrative regions.

The following are brief profiles of this year’s winners:

Kelli Hanson

The daughter of Lori and Brent Hanson, Kelli carries a 4.353 weighted GPA and has taken a rigorous course load during her time at SPHS, including Advanced Placement (AP) and College in School classes.

“I was surprised and very honored to learn I won the award,” Hanson said. “Academically, there are a lot of girls in my class who are very smart and I know the competition for the Triple A Award was very tough.”

During her time at SPHS she has been member of the Student Council her junior and senior years as well as being part of the National Honor Society where she was recently voted as part of that group’s Leadership team.

The talented senior is a four-year participant in the SPHS choir program having been a member of the Concert Choir, Varsity Choir and Saints Chorale.

On the athletic fields, Hanson has won varsity letters in four sports -- softball, basketball and tennis. She took part in the State Tennis Tournament as a junior in doubles where she placed sixth and has earned All-Big South Conference honors in softball as well.

Her future plans, at this time, include attending Simpson College (Indianola, Iowa) and major in exercise science. During her time there she hopes to participate in either tennis or softball.


Eric Carlson


The son of Lisa and Kirk Carlson, Eric carries a 3.989 weighted GPA and has worked hard academically during his time at SPHS through a challenging class schedule. He also has taken AP, PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Option), and College in School courses during that time.


He has taken a special interest in French classes during his time at SPHS and has participated in the French Le Grand Concurs test competition, placing seventh in the state of Minnesota which earned him a bronze medal and a Certificat Laureat National.


“It’s a great honor to have been chosen for this prestigious award,” Carlson said. “Having this on my resume’ will help out a lot as I apply for scholarships for college. There are a lot of other guys in my class who could have won this, so I am grateful for this opportunity.”


Carlson has been active in the fine arts program at SPHS through his involvement with the Concert Choir, Varsity Choir, and Saints Chorale during all four years here. He received a superior rating his junior year during the section contest.


Athletically, Carlson has been a three-year member of the Saints boys varsity soccer program, including capping his soccer career by serving as captain his senior year and earning All-Big South Conference honors. In the spring, he is a three-time letterwinner for the Saints boys golf program where he served as a captain his junior year and earned All Big-South Conference honors.


Carlson’s future plans include attending college at either Gustavus Adolphus College or DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.) and majoring in either engineering or actuarial science. He also hopes to participate in choir and soccer at the collegiate level.


SPHS one-act to compete at Sub-Section contest Jan. 28

Saint Peter High School theater students are gearing up for the Section 2A, Sub-Section 7 One-Act Play Contest set for Saturday, Jan. 28. Mankato Loyola is the host school for this year's meet which will be held at Fitzgerald Middle School (110 North Fifth Street) in Mankato.

Last year the Saints won a tiebreaker over Loyola to finish second behind St. Clair at the Sub-Section 7 contest to earn a spot in the Section 2A contest. Those schools competing this year include St. Peter, Loyola and St. Clair once again, along with Cleveland, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, Madelia, and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown. The top two plays will advance to the Section 2A Contest on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Le Sueur-Henderson High School.

This year’s SPHS one-act play is “937”, written by Don Zolidis, and the cast and crew will put on a free public performance on Monday, Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the SPHS theater.

According to the website, the play is set in “May 1939. Captain Schroeder pilots the SS St. Louis, a luxury ocean liner, away from its home port in Hamburg, Germany. His goal: to deliver 937 Jewish refugees out of the hands of Nazism and into the safe port of Havana, Cuba. But when Cuba is the first of several countries to deny the refugees safe harbor, a vicious Nazi plot is exposed. This historical drama chronicles the perseverance of the St. Louis' passengers and their struggle to find freedom, safety, and even, love. A heartbreaking story of betrayal and hope in one of history's darkest times.”

“I chose this play for two reasons,” Lyn Vavreck, SPHS’s one-act director, said. “First, I saw a challenge for a very talented group of students to do a serious historical drama, to increase their versatility as actors.  Next I felt that this story from our past has an eerie connection to the current refugee crisis.

“Looking back, I was surprised that the U.S., and even Canada were among the many who denied refugees, using the same reasons we hear today. This story is one of the many lost stories of the Holocaust and how the world failed the Jewish people in their time of need.”

The following is the cast and crew for this year’s SPHS one-act play entry:


Schroeder – James Kelley

Otto - Josiah Johnson

Max – Peter Stelter

Jacob – Kaiden Burmeister

Benitez – Winston Taylor

Martha – Mara Johnson

Selma – Sophia Lamor

Elise – Sophia Lee

Sofi – Lauren Mayer

Marlene – Katie Engeldinger

Lenya – Gloria Toupence

Pres. Bru – Parker Sisler

Hans – Dawson Yost

Elderly woman – Eleanor Grinnell

Ambassador – Katrina CreeL


Crew – Noah Faulstich & Aiden Bistrup

Lights – Dani Epper

Sound – Trevor Gurrola

Spotlight – Aurora Severson



SPHS announces 2016-17 ExCEL Award winners
Two members of the Saint Peter High School junior class, Sienna Wiebusch and Rafat Solaiman, were recently announced as this winners of the school’s 2016-17 ExCEL Award.
The ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) Award program recognizes Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community. The award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League and Wells Fargo.
“The Saint Peter High School committee that chooses the MSHSL ExCEL award winners could not have done a better job when they selected Rafat and Sienna,” Steve Alger, Saint Peter High School’s Activities Director/Dean of Students, said. “Without a doubt they embody what the ExCEL award is all about.  Their leadership amongst their peers in invaluable whether it is in the classroom, on the athletic field or in the community.  We are very proud that they are representing Saint Peter High School at the next level of the ExCEL award selection.”
Here are brief profiles on the two SPHS ExCEL winners:
Sienna Wiebusch
Wiebusch, the daughter of Corey and Cinde Wiesbusch, has a 4.1 grade point average (GPA) and has balanced her schedule at SPHS with a wide range of athletic and arts activities.
“I feel very honored to have been selected from all the applicants to represent Sain Peter High School for this award,” Wiebusch said. “It's feels good to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication I have put into my school, and community. I look forward to continuing to serve and give back to this wonderful community.”
A member of the National Honor Society since her sophomore year, Wiebusch also has been a been a member of the SPHS Student Council, Project for Teens, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The junior standout has lettered in soccer three times and was named an All-Big South Conference player this past fall. She helped guide the Saints to the state tournament her sophomore year and has been elected a captain for 2017. Wiebusch also lettered in basketball  and is one of the captains for this year’s team. She also has lettered in track two times.
Among her volunteer activities includes church activities (Sunday School leader, youth group), Fun Run volunteer, basketball camp helper, and doing landscaping work with senior citizens.
Her future plans include attending college, but she isn’t sure on a major yet.
Rafat Solaiman
Solaiman is the son of Mohammed and Afroja Solaiman and carries a 4.15 GPA and has kept busy during his time at SPHS with a variety of academic, athletic and arts activities. He has also been very active in his community.
“I'm very honored to receive this award,” Solaiman said. “While I know our grade consists of many talented guys, I was pleased to know I was chosen for this award. As I am very glad to join the group of past award recipients, I hope that I will be able to win the regional excel award in hopes to represent our school well.
Academically, Solaiman has consistently been a member of the SPHS A Honor Roll and also is involved with the Project for Teens program at the school.
The multi-talented junior has taken part in both choir and band, including being a two-time state finalist Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA) for piano. Solaiman has also excelled in speech having earned two trips to the state tournament.
Athletically, Solaiman has earned multiple letters in soccer and tennis, including being a part of the 2016 State Doubles runner-up duo and the 2015 State Consolation team champions.
His volunteer activities outside of school include helping out at the Benedictine Nursing Home, Saint Peter Public Library, Kind Vet Clinic (Animal Shelter), SPHS Dollars for Scholars Phone-A-Thon as well as working as a tennis instructor and a youth soccer referee.
He plans on going to college after graduation but he is undecided on a school yet. He most likely will study something in the medical field.
SPHS P4T group works with eighth grade health classes
Saint Peter High School Project For Teens (P4T) students spent the better part of second and fourth block on Monday (Dec. 19) interacting with eighth grade health students on a variety of social issues teenagers are facing these days.
"We did some different scenarios that demonstrated healthy relationships and warning signs of unhealthy relationships," Shea Roehrkasse, SPHS's P4T advisor and 8th grade health teacher, said. "We also demonstrated what consent is and looks like and then held some small group discussions."
Project For Teens is a group run through The United Way out of Mankato that looks for different leaders at SPHS that want to promote smart healthy decisions to the middle school students and the community.
"We look for students thay not only can say what a good decision is but also demonstrate themselves by how they live and act," Mr. Roehrkasse said. "Our leaders go into sixth, seventh and eighth grade classrooms and talk to students about a variety of topics that they already know about but can benefit hearing from a different source.
"This is our second year and I am extremely excited about the group that we have this year. Monday was our first day in the classroom and I could not have been prouder of the job they did!"


SPHS fall play set for Nov. 17-19

This year's performance is ‘Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ 


Saint Peter High School’s drama department will stage “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” for this year’s fall play.  


This year’s fall play will have some historical significance as it will be the last fall play SPHS students will perform at the current theater. Next year the fall play will be staged at the theater in the new Saint Peter High School building.


Performance dates are set for Nov. 17,

18, and 19 at the SPHS theater and show times for each performance are set for 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for student K-12 and seniors. SPHS activities passes are accepted for admission.


Scott Hermanson is the director while helping him out this year are Karen Steinhoff (assistant director), Robbie Deering (choreographer), Kim Braunger (orchestra), and Lyn Vaverek (technical director).


“Rehearsals have been going great,” Scott Hermanson, SPHS fall play director, said. “The students are having fun learning the music and dances.”


Here is a synopsis of this year’s show from the Rogers and Hammerstein website:


“The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. Joseph, his father's favorite son, is a boy blessed with prophetic dreams. When he is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of adventures in which his spirit and humanity are continually challenged. He is purchased by Potiphar where thwarting advances from Potiphar's wife lands him in jail. When news of Joseph's gift to interpret dreams reaches the Pharaoh (wryly and riotously depicted as Elvis), Joseph is well on his way to becoming second in command. Eventually his brothers, having suffered greatly, unknowingly find themselves groveling at the feet of the brother they betrayed but no longer recognize. After testing their integrity, Joseph reveals himself leading to a heartfelt reconciliation of the sons of Israel. Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless.”




Narrator(s) - Lillie Hagen, Rachel Quist

Jacob - Matthew Witty-Frank

Reuben - Dawson Yost

Simeon – Winston Taylor

Levi – Josiah Johnson

Judah - Chandra O’Brien

Issachar - Noah Faulstich

Zebulon - Matthew Springer

Dan – Liam Dixon

Naphtali – Kaiden Burmeister

Gad – Jaden Neubauer

Asher - Clayton Schrumpf

Joseph – James Kelley

Benjamin – Gabe Wilson

Potiphar - Peter Stelter

Mrs. Potiphar -  Shannie Rao

Pharaoh – Parker Sisler

Butler - Connor Prafke

Baker - Ruot Nyak

Jailer - Mikinley Prafke

Ishamalites (2) – Julia Marlow, Sarah Fadness

Camel (2) – McKenzie McCann

Chorus (Dancers, Pharaoh’s Servants, Potiphar’s Servants,  Leah, Rachel , Zilpah, Bildah, wives) - Nia Weiss, Paige Claeys, Mara Johnson, Nora Leonard, Katie Engeldinger, Eleanor Grinell, Isabel Panciera, Katie Hammen, Lauren Mayer, Gloria Toupence, Teagan Weiss


Lights/Sound – Dani Epper, Noah Gassman

Spotlight – Haydon Grams, jack Leonard

Stage Crew – Kortney Figueroa, Katrina Creel, Josiah Johnson, Kaiden Burmeister, Aurora Severson, Precious Sheridan, Garrison Rushing, and Nicole Schilling.




SPHS FFA members fare well at National Convention


Saint Peter High School FFA members returned from the recent annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., with numerous awards and accolades for the local chapter and their membership.


Highlighting the weekend was the Dairy Evaluation Career Development Event team of Nick Seitzer, Matthias Annexstad, Leif Annexstad, and Emily Annexstad.  Jacob Pehrson was the team’s alternate.  The team placed fifth overall out of the 40 states that were represented in the national contest.


“They are considered a gold-ranked team (based upon their finish),” Gena Lilienthal, South Central Agri-Science Academy’s FFA advisor, said. “Matthias placed ninth out of 160 participants and earned a $600 scholarship. The students took a knowledge test, provided an impromptu herd management presentation on livestock reproduction practices, evaluated six sets of cattle, and delivered three sets of oral reasons.”


The South Central Agri-Science Academy’s FFA chapter, which includes SPHS students, received a Silver-Star National Chapter Award (two out of three stars) at the National Convention.  This award application highlights the chapter’s activities and their impact on student, chapter, and community development.  


“Last year was the first year our school submitted a National Chapter Award application about our program of activities and chapter goals,” Lilienthal said. “We placed in the top 10 at state so our application was sent to nationals and received a silver rating, which is exciting because it was our students first time competing. Shyanne Baynes-Rodning and Jacob Pehrson attended the banquet to receive our plaque.”


The final highlight was SPHS alum Alexia Riley (2014 graduate) receiving the prestigious American FFA Degree, which is awarded to FFA members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA.


“Alexia is our first-ever American Degree recipient since the re-establishment of the agriculture education program at St. Peter High School,” Lilienthal said. “The award is given to members who carefully manage an individual hands-on agricultural project for numerous years.”


Did you know....


* - The National FFA Convention is the largest annual convention in the nation, with over 64,000 students in attendance.  It hosts the largest career/college fair that spans over 17 acres.  


* - FFA is not an extracurricular organization or club.  It is legally a part of every agriculture education department in the nation.  Every state and national event is connected to national standards and classroom content.   


* - Our FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Dollars for Scholars to host phonathon Nov. 12 & 13
St. Peter High School students will be participating in the 32nd annual St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars phonathon November 12 and 13.  Students will be calling you between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  We hope you will consider making a pledge to support scholarships for our 2017 SPHS graduates.
In past years, this event has taken place during the months of February or March.  This year we are transitioning our phonathon to November, to better align with college admission timelines.  You are welcome to mail your tax-deductible contribution before or after the first of the year to best meet your needs.  We encourage receipt of gifts by February 1 so funds can be used for our 2017 graduates.  Donations can also be made electronically from our website .
This year celebrates the chapter’s 40th year of providing scholarships to more than 2,000 St. Peter and Kasota students.  One gracious recipient stated, “Because of this scholarship, some of my financial worries will be lessened and I will be able to focus more on my studies.” Another said, “I am very grateful to be living in a community that is as supportive as St. Peter.”
If you are interested in sponsoring a named scholarship that will bear your name, the name of your business or organization, or the name of a local individual you would like to honor or memorialize, Dollars for Scholars gives you the option to sponsor one for a minimum of $500.  Please call Terry Hoehn at 934-1795 or email for additional information.
About St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars®
Dollars for Scholars is a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides local graduating seniors with financial and academic assistance to help them pursue higher education. Last year the affiliate distributed more than $43,000 in scholarships to area students. More information is available at
About Scholarship America®
Scholarship America mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Since 1958, Scholarship America has distributed more than $3.1 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 2 million students, funding both entry-level and multi-year scholarships and emergency financial grants. More information is available at





Tailgate Tour event to be held before Saints football game at Gustavus


The NFL Network Thursday Night Football Tailgate Tour will touch down in St. Peter on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 1:30 p.m. at the Gustavus Adolphus College’s Hollingsworth Field prior to the Saints’  game with Big South Conference rival, New Ulm. Kickoff for the game is 3 p.m.


This family-friendly event is free and open to the public and features games and activities for all ages, football-themed prizes. There also will be a chance to enter to win a Protocol Galileo remote-control drone and camera. Winner will be announced at halftime.


The Thursday Night Football Tailgate Tour program is a partnership between the NFL Network and Charter Spectrum. Area sponsors include the United Way, Schmidt Windows and Siding, Snell Motors, Open Door Health, South Central College, Taco John’s, Family Podiatry, and CCI Communications.


“The United Way is pleased to be a sponsor for the St. Peter High School Tailgate Party and encourages all community members to attend.” Gail Gilman, United Way’s Regional Director, said.


In 2017 the United Way will be funding Creative Play Place, Gustavus Big Partner Little Partner Program, Gustie Buddies, Children’s Weekend Food Program, Nicollet County Senior Transportation Program, Project for Teens and St. Peter School Readiness.


In addition, more than 35 other United Way programs serve individuals and families in St. Peter and throughout Nicollet County. The United Way’s Campaign started in August. According to Gilman the United Way is currently just over 25 percent of its goal.


“The St. Peter Campaign Thermometer Banner is displayed on the Riley-Tanis Law Office building, located on the corner of Minnesota Street and West Grace Street,” Gilman said. “Community members are encouraged to watch the campaign’s progress.”


Those wishing to support the United Way can contact Gilman at




SPHS senior named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist


Saint Peter High School senior, Karen Chen, was among a group of approximately 16,000 seniors nationwide who were named as semifinalists for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship program. The list of semifinalists was announced today (Wednesday).


Chen, the daughter of Meilin Huang and Tieniu Chen, received word recently that she has been named a semifinalist, an honor she is very excited about. Chen moved to St. Peter before the start of her junior year and prior to that attended Nicolet High School in suburban Milwaukee, Wis.


“Semifinalists are selected based upon their PSAT scores, and estimated cutoffs for each state are listed online, so I had a pretty good idea that I might be chosen,” Chen said. “I found out officially two weeks ago when Mrs. Sykora (SPHS counselor) emailed me to meet with her and Mrs. Engeldinger (SPHS Principal) for a surprise. It still was a surprise because I’d expected the semifinalists to be announced later, and I’m really happy and honored I qualified either way.”


National Merit Scholarship semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.


To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. Semifinalists will be notified in February 2017 on if they’ve achieved Finalist status.


“My next step is to take the SAT and fill out an application,” Chen said. “As part of the process, I have to write a personal statement on either an experience I’ve had, a person I’ve met, or an obstacle that I’ve overcome that has influenced my life.


“I’m still trying to sort out which colleges to apply to, but I have a rough list. I haven’t settled on a field of study, but I am leaning towards something STEM related.”


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. It was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

SPHS Class of 2016 fares well in ACT test results
Saint Peter High School’s graduating class of 2016 once again compared very well against the rest of the state for the ACT college readiness test scores. SPHS students scored above the state average in all five of the testing scores (Composite, English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science).
“This was the first class in which every student in Minnesota was provided the opportunity to take the ACT test their junior year, which is great because we want all students to think of themselves as college bound,” SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger said. “Our students and staff should be very proud of these results.”
In the past, only students in this state who anticipated going to college took the ACT test. However, the state of Minnesota mandated that schools provide the ACT test to all members of the Class of 2016 during their junior year and provided funding for that purpose. The state ended that mandate after one year, but Saint Peter, as well as several other schools across the state, opted to continue with the program of offering and funding the ACT test to juniors.
A total of 136 members of the 2015-16 senior class at Saint Peter High School took the ACT test and had a Composite score of 21.4 compared to the state average of 21.1. Local results for the other four testing areas (with state average) included: English 20.3 (20.0), Math 21.7 (21.2), Reading 21.5 (21.3), and Science 21.7 (21.3).
“We are especially excited about the improvement our students showed in math, compared to the state average,” Engeldinger said. “The year before we were one-tenth of a point below the state average compared to being one-half of a point above the rest of the state this year.
“Saint Peter High School is proud of our students and their performance. We feel these results also validate the academic programs we offer as well as the work our teachers are doing.”
State scores above national average
According to the Minnesota Department of Education, approximately 100 percent of Minnesota’s high school graduating class of 2016 took the ACT college entrance exam as an 11th or 12th grader. In total, 64,145 students—an increase of 17,283 students or 37 percent over the class of 2015—took the exam, which historically is an important access point to postsecondary opportunities. Especially notable were the significant increases in the number of students from groups that are traditionally underserved.
Minnesota’s average score of 21.1 exceeds the national average of 20.8, with more Minnesota students meeting each of the four benchmarks—English, reading, math and science—than did students across the country, 29 percent compared to 26 percent nationally. While the state’s score dropped from last year, Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius indicated that other states that had opened access to more students had seen similar drops.
"I will gladly celebrate greater equity and opportunity for Minnesota kids any day of the week," Cassellius said. "We anticipated that our statewide average score might decrease as we opened up the ACT to all students, but we are opening doors and raising the bar for all kids, especially those we have left behind before."


SPHS athletic trainer using new online record system

A new athletic training online record system is being used for the first time this year by Saint Peter High School Athletic Trainer Allison Kanaman in time for the Saints’ fall sports seasons.

The Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (AT-PBRN) Electronic Medical Record system is a web-based medical documentation and injury surveillance tool for athletic trainers. The EMR system was designed and developed by athletic trainers in partnership with Essentialtalk, an international technology communication company.

“This system will allow me to electronically enter injury evaluations, treatments, etc.; making the record keeping process much more efficient and confidential.” Kanaman said. “With the addition of our medical injury records, researchers in Athletic Training will take these results and add them to their current research database and will work to develop better modes of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of all types of orthopedic injuries.”

The EMR is compliant with the data acquisition, storage, and transmission standards set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Health information obtained using the EMR is not stored locally on computers. Instead, data is uploaded in real-time and transmitted to secure, redundant servers.

CORE-AT Electronic Medical Record System

The EMR is comprised of a documentation system as well as an Injury Surveillance component. Within each of these two components are several primary pieces that create the complete system.

Capabilities of the CORE-AT Electronic Medical Record and Injury Surveillance System

1. Patients are able to log themselves in and after they hit submit, the page goes back directly to the login page, so other patients cannot see login information.

2. Has the ability to register new patients, record personal demographic information, initial injury demographics, complete injury evaluation, daily treatment notes, progress notes, and discharge evaluations and summaries.

3. Information entered is also paired with insurance codes, so if a patient would need information for insurance, it is already coded.

4. Shows economic value of athletic trainer, by calculating the dollar amount for every single treatment provided by the athletic trainer.

5. Can generate reports such as average time lost by an athlete, injury break down by sport, gender, etc. Injury trend reports can also be created and analyzed to implement prevention strategies.

6. One of the unique features of the EMR is the built-in patient-oriented outcome instruments. For each injury that is recorded into the system, a series of general and region-specific outcomes instruments are available for the patient to complete. These instruments provide valuable information to the athletic trainer regarding how the patient is progressing with his or her injury, and the overall effectiveness of the care being provided.

Integration of patient-oriented outcomes will help to improve clinical practice, not only with individual patients, but also within the profession as a whole, as we work to characterize athletic training practice through the work of the AT-PBRN clinicians and researchers.

For more information on the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (AT-PBRN) Electronic Medical Record system go to or email Allison Kanaman at