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North phy ed teacher to lobby in D.C.


A North Intermediate physical education teacher, Kirsten Guentzel, is heading to Washington, D.C., lobbying to make P.E. class a bigger priority in MN schools.  


On April 26, Guentzel will meet with Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, asking for their support in fully funding the Title IV, Part A grant under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This federal funding will help support health/PE programs nation-wide.


“Physical education is now considered a core subject, yet many schools continue to reduce and cut this subject area,” Guentzel said. “PE is not your father’s PE. Students are now developing physical literacy skills through movement activities to improve their health and well-being.”


Guentzel continues to fight obesity at North Intermediate through a video production called, Jammin’ Minute. Every morning students exercise to a video produced by 6th grade students to get their brain ready for learning.


“Research shows the more active kids are, the better they learn. Just by standing up you activate eight percent more of your brain,” she said.


Guentzel is a strong advocate for her students by discussing the ESSA Act with Commissioner of Education-Brenda Cassellius last month and Congressman Tim Walz, as she escorted him on stage at a national convention held in Minneapolis last spring.


Guentzel is a Board of Director for MNSHAPE (Minnesota Society for Health and Physical Educators) as the Vice President-Elect for Physical Education. She also recently returned from Boston, presenting on assessment in physical education at the National SHAPE Convention.


North’s Math Masters team fares well at Regionals

The North Intermediate Math Masters team competed at the annual Regional Competition at Bethany Lutheran College on Friday, March 10, and came away with several high placings in both the team and individual rounds.

“I am so proud of these students for taking on an additional activity after school .  Their hard work and effort paid off.  It is exciting to see students excel in mathematics.” Math Masters coach Emilie Kaus said.

The following are the results for the North Intermediate Math Masters students:

Regional Competition Results:

109 students from the region competed individually and those individuals made up 23 teams.

Fact Drill Round (Completing 75 problems in 5 minutes)

Erica Gullickson placed 4th out of 109

Individual Round

Erica Gullickson placed 2nd out of 109

Sophie Matarrese placed 8th out of 109

Ben Kennedy placed 9th out of 109

Elodie DeVos placed 10th out of 109

Team Round

North Intermediate 1 placed 6th out of 23

(Sophia Grigsby, Ben Kennedy, Sophie Matarrese, Alexa Rassbach and Gavin Selly)

North Intermediate 2 placed 3rd out of 23

​(Elodie DeVos, Jasmyn Black, Erica Gullickson and Maya Pettis)
North students participate in regional Honor Band 
Seven students from North Intermediate were selected to participate in a regional Honor Band hosted by the Middle Level Band Directors of Southern Minnesota.
Students were nominated by their band directors as strong players in their local bands. A committee of band directors created the final selection to have a well-balanced band of 107 players.
The North band students who participated prepared four songs with their band director, Lauren Shoemaker before going for a full day of rehearsals, sectional rehearsals and performance on March 4th. They finished the day with a concert which they played in the Knowlton Auditorium of Austin High School. The students, who participated, really enjoyed their day meeting students from 35 schools in Southeastern Minnesota and Northern Iowa and learning more about playing their instrument.
Shown in the accompanying photo are the North Honor Band students: (l to r) Eleanor Kennedy-Bass Clarinet, Audra Bixby-Percussion, Heidi Weber-Trombone, David Marlow-Trumpet, Sophia Matarrese-Clarinet, Liliana Hughes-Alto Saxophone, and Karla Torres-Bass Clarinet.
Doherty honored by MN Elementary School Principals' Association
The Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) recognized Darin Doherty, principal of North Intermediate School, St. Peter Public Schools, with the 2017 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award.
Principals are responsible for a school’s instructional, school culture, and resource leadership. The award honors principals whose exemplary leadership and sustained efforts have made noteworthy contributions to the operation of effective school learning programs — improving education, their communities, and their profession. He was recognized by colleagues statewide on February 2, 2017 at The MESPYs, the premiere elementary principal celebration of the year celebrated during MESPA Institute, the annual statewide convention of Minnesota’s elementary and middle level principals.
Doherty summed up his educational philosophy in a quote, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”
Doherty was nominated by MESPA Southwest Division principals for “everything he does for MESPA Southwest Division, especially his leadership on EPAC [Elementary Principal Action Committee].”
Among his most significant career accomplishments, Doherty includes: helping to lead a regional group of educators in the development and implementation of a “Leadership Institute” for South-Central Minnesota educators at Minnesota State University, Mankato; designing and coordinating the Doherty, page 2 annual “Innovation Zone” professional development conference held in Mankato, MN for regional PK-12 teachers and administrators; and helping to lead in the research and early implementation of STEAM integrated learning experiences for primary students at South Elementary Early Learning Center, St. Peter.
Past honors and recognition received by Doherty include: Leadership Institute Design Team Member through Minnesota State University, Mankato and National Award for Professional Development School work as a teacher on special assignment. MESPA members selected 12 of their peers to receive the 2017 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award.
Jon Millerhagen, MESPA Executive Director, congratulated the award winners by saying, “MESPA members who receive the Division Leadership Achievement Award are the heart and soul of their schools, their communities and our association. They are true leaders who empower their schools to be successful. Our association benefits greatly from their wisdom, energy, expertise and commitment.”
2017 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award Recipients
 David Oehrlein, Paynesville Area Schools, Central Division  
 Garin Bogenholm, Roseville Area Schools, East Suburban Division
 Tammy Goetz, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis Division
 Patrick Smith, Osseo Area Schools, North Suburban Division
 Amy Maki, Mesabi East Schools, Northeast Division
 Jim Torkelson, Brainerd Area Schools, Northern Division
 Barbara Evangelist, St. Paul Public Schools, St. Paul Division
 Sam Richardson, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, South Suburban Division
 John Huttemier, Waseca Public Schools, Southeast Division
 Darin Doherty, St. Peter Public Schools, Southwest Division
 Karen Keffeler, Wayzata Public Schools, West Suburban Division
 Judith Brockway, New York Mills Public Schools, Western Division


North band students participate in Southern Minnesota Middle Level Solo Ensemble Festival

Thirteen students from North Intermediate’s Sixth Grade Band participated in the regional band director association’s Solo/Ensemble Festival. This Festival was held on Saturday, Feb. 4  at Owatonna, and was open to band students in regional Middle Level Programs (grades 5-8).

“Each of these students worked for several weeks with me to prepare a solo or duet to play for a judge who critiqued the performances in areas of tone quality, note and rhythmic accuracy, use of dynamics, and musicality,” Lauren Shoemaker, North band director, said. “The judges took time with each soloist or ensemble to compliment the skills that are progressing and offered suggestions for improvement. Certificates are awarded for each rating (Superior, Excellent, Good, or Participation).”

The following are the results for the North participants:

* Ninth Street Jazz Cats, North’s sixth grade jazz band, earned a Superior rating.

* Sixth grade soloist Elodie DeVos on French Horn earned a Superior rating along with four duets performed by flutist Sophia Grigsby and clarinetist Alena-Marie Frederick, clarinetists Isabeau Fuller and Karla Torres, clarinetists Eleanor Kennedy and Sophia Matarrese, and percussionists Audra Bixby and Norah Timmerman.

* Excellent ratings were awarded to the duets performed by David Marlow on trumpet and Heidi Weber on trombone as well as the Saxophone duet performed by Liliana Hughes and Claire Meyer.

“Each judge also selected a “Best In Site” solo or ensemble that received special recognition, a chance to play for a larger audience and a trophy,” Shoemaker said. “Percussionists Audra Bixby and Norah Timmerman were selected for this award by their judge as being the best he heard all day!”

The St. Peter students who participated in the Solo Ensemble festival were treated to a performance of soloists and ensembles that earned this distinction as their day concluded. These performers shared their music to inspire other students toward more challenges in their playing.

“The Solo and Ensemble Festival is intended to provide practical ways to quickly improve student’s playing ability, motivation to improve individual musicianship, and increased poise and confidence while performing,” Shoemaker said. “This opportunity also prepares musicians for future opportunities in High School Solo/Ensemble Contests and a greater understanding about contributing to the overall success of their school band.”



North's annual Book Fair begins with online event on Feb. 2
North Intermediate will host its annual Scholastic Book Fair and this year there will be two different options for purchasing books -- an online event from February 2 through February 22 and the regular book fair in the media center from February 15 through February 22.
The online Book Fair can be accessed at Online orders will ship the week of February 26.
This year’s theme is “Happy Camper”. To learn more about the Book Fair being held at the North Media Center check out this video →
The dates/times for the in-house book fair are as follows:
Wednesday, Feb. 15 - 7:20-7:50 a.m., 2:30-3:15 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 16 - 7:20-7:50 a.m., 2:30-3:15 p.m., & 4:30-6 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 17 - 7:20-7:50 a.m., 2:30-3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 21 - 7:20-7:50 a.m., 2:30-3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 22 - 7:20-7:50 a.m.
Teacher wishlists will be on display.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the fair (i.e. setup/takedown, cashier, etc.) we’d love to have you! Visit to sign up.
Operation Homefront donates school supplies to North Intermediate
A donation of school supplies, to be shared with students of need, was made to North Intermediate recently through the local chapter of Operation Homefront, a volunteer group which assists military families during difficult times in a variety of ways.
One of those ways Operation Homefront helps those families with school-aged children is through their Backpack Brigade program, which collaborates with area Dollar Tree stores as well as with its membership to collect school supplies and then distributes them to those families. If there are any supplies remaining they can be donated to local schools to be given to other students of need.
Local Family Readiness Group Leader (FRG) of F CO 134BSB Angie Glassel said her FRG supports the Saint Peter and Saint James Armory military families and works with the Dollar Tree stores in Mankato, North Mankato, and New Ulm to collect supplies and after this year’s effort was completed there were supplies still remaining.
“As we were going through the leftover supplies at the our picnic, Abigail Lorentz (a sixth grader at North)  inquired about the possibility of donating some of the supplies to her school, which I thought was pretty special on her part,” Glassel said.
Arrangements were made for a box full of supplies to be delivered to North recently, and school staff there will make sure they get in the hands of those who may need them.