North students participate in Honor Band
Five 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 12th. 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.
North STEM teacher chosen for Google Certified Innovator program
North Intermediate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teacher Angela Potts has always strived to stay on top of the latest educational technology advancements which would benefit the school’s students.
Potts recently was given an opportunity to go to the epicenter of educational technological innovation when she was named as one of only 34 candidates from around the world to be chosen to participate in the Google for Education Certified Innovator program. As part of that program, Potts will attend the in-person Innovator Academy program, held on Google’s campus in Mountain View, Ca., on February 24-26.
“This is an amazing opportunity and it is a bit overwhelming all at the same time,” Potts said. “I had applied two years ago to get into the program, but didn’t get chosen. Now that they’ve revamped the program, it is an honor to be chosen as one of the first ones to be a part of it.
“The application process began around Thanksgiving (2015) and took about a month to complete. As part of my application I submitted an innovation project which I felt would impact education as well as develop a plan to implement that project. Included in that were two certification exams, a vision deck Google Slide Show, my ideal classroom set up, and a one-minute video presentation explaining the project. It was a pretty intense process, and when I received the email telling me I had been accepted into the program it was such an exciting moment.”
According to the Google for Education website, its Education Certified Innovator program is a 12-month professional development experience aimed at energizing creative leaders in education. It was built from the same magic that was present in each of the previous Academy sessions, but it has now been extended into much more than a one-time event.
Certified Innovators help their organizations, each other and Google push the boundaries of what’s possible in education. As ongoing participants in this community of educators, they transform the organizations they’re serving, advocate for change, and grow their own capacity as thought leaders. The new program focuses on helping Innovators launch a transformative project to help improve education in their schools, regions, or the world. Support includes mentorship, online learning activities, and the in-person Innovation Academy.
“Our school administration has been very supportive of me applying for this program,” Potts said. “When I return from the Academy, I will meet with Dr. Peterson and Darin (Doherty) to fill them in on what I learned during my time there and begin working on ways to incorporate what I’ve learned into our classrooms.”
“Going back 15 or 20 years, school districts had technology coordinators who used to keep track of the number of computers a school had and then that changed to instructional technology specialists who were in charge of how those computers were used,” North Intermediate Principal Darin Doherty said. “Now we are really trying to switch gears with technology and focus on innovation with student-driven work and this is such a great opportunity not just for Mrs. Potts but our district as well. The networking opportunities she will have as part of the program will be very special and she will be able to bring a lot of great ideas back with her.”
Sixth grade jazz band debuts at North assembly
The new Ninth Street Jazz Cats! ensemble, consisting of North Intermediate sixth grade band students, made its public debut on Friday, Jan. 29, during North's Dare to Read assembly that afternoon.
The Ninth Street Jazz Cats was created as a Community Education class that meets after school on Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. under the direction of Lauren Shoemaker. The group started practicing together for the first time on Dec. 1, 2015, and a new session of the class (and continuing group) begins next Tuesday, Feb. 2.
During Friday’s public performance, the Ninth Street Jazz Cats! performed it's debut song "Tyrannosaurus Charlie,” which was written by Dean Sorenson (Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota). The group played in front of a full crowd at the assembly.
Students involved with the Ninth Street Jazz Cats! include Elijah Faulstich, Zach Smith, Lexi Johnson, Maija Tollefson, Sky Gassman, Deanna Domagala and Nathan Braam.
North Intermediate Student Council members and several North staff members helped package up nearly 5,500 pounds of non-perishable
items for transport to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf
North Food Drive makes sizable donation to local Food Shelf
North Intermediate’s Student Council set a goal to collect 3,000 pounds of food for this year’s annual Food Drive, which was realistic considering they collected nearly 3,500 pounds last year.
This year, North students and staff went above and beyond expectations as they nearly doubled that with 5,491 pounds of non-perishable items being delivered to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf on Friday morning.
Mr. Malz’s sixth grade class was the top class overall bringing in 771 pounds in donated items while other grade winners included Ms. Bjorklund’s fifth grade class with 392.5 pounds, Ms. Friedrich’s fourth grade class with 333 pounds, and Ms. Steele’s third grade class with 251.5 pounds collected.
The following is the overall grade totals:
Sixth grade - 2,282 lbs.
Fifth grade - 1,178.5 lbs
Fourth grade - 1,114.5 lbs.
Third grade - 916 lbs.
Overall total - 5,491 lbs.
(2014-15 School year stories)
North fifth graders take in-depth look at Civil War
Fifth graders from North Intermediate had the opportunity to get an in-depth look at the Civil War through a special program held at the St. Peter High School theater on Monday.
Arn Kind, a long-time educator from Mankato and a member of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment reenactment group based out of Fort Snelling, talked to the students about:
* The causes of the Civil War
* Important events leading to the war.
* The reason men volunteered to go off and fight in America's bloodiest war.
* The daily life of the typical soldier.
* The soldiers' uniforms & equipment.
* How the Civil War was fought.
* Civil War drill & tactics including -- facings and marching; Manual of Arms; and the loading and firing procedures during battle.
* The terrible cost of this tragic war.
A very important part of Arn Kind's presentations are the artifacts, uniforms and equipment that students will be albe to observe, handle, and interact with as part of their hands-on experience in living the history.
The time of his visit worked out well for the students as it coincided with their social studies' unit on this country's Civil War.
Third graders learn important lessons about food
Third graders at North Intermediate had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the importance of food and nutrition and where their food comes from with the help of the staff at the St. Peter Food Co-op.
St. Peter Food Co-op Education & Outreach Coordinator Becca Haack-Damon visited each of the third grade classrooms four times during the week of May 11-15. During the classroom visits, Becca focused on the following lessons:
* Lesson #1 -- Eating a balanced snack; sunflower seeds, crackers, cheese, radish. The students sorted the foods into the food groups
* Lesson #2: Eating the Rainbow -- Becca talked about how food colors are good for parts of your body -- purple grapes-memory; orange=carrot=vision; red=pepper=heart;green=peas=bones and teeth. The students made refrigerator pickles at the beginning of class and ate them at the end.
* Lesson #3: Your Food comes from DIRT -- Becca had the kids feel, smell, taste the food and then write adjectives to describe it -- Carrot, grapes, pepper, peas. They also had the students lay out cards in the order they were produced -- dirt, grass, cow, and cheese.
* Lesson #4: Where Food Comes From; She had maps up and talked about different foods and where they came from (far away places) and then she talked about eating locally Samples were tomato, cheese
On the final day of the week (May 15) the third graders visited to the St. Peter Food Co-op to check out its garden and talk about how seeds sprout. The kids also were given seeds to take home and watch grow.
"Becca also talked about the many classes the Co-op has for kids for free," North third grade teacher Jo Johnson said. "On May 26th there is a free class after school with samples to try and art projects to do. She had several other classes that were available all for free."
Summer band lessons offered at North Intermediate
Those students going into fifth grade for the 2015-16 school year who are interested in summer beginning band lessons can pick up registration forms in the North Intermediate office.
Saint Peter Community & Family Education is sponsoring the program and Lauren Shoemaker will be the instructor. These lessons will take place in the North band room and lesson times and group practices will be determined.
The cost is $84 per student (may be paid in two installments) and registration forms with payment are due at the Community & Family Education Office (Suite 207 in the St. Peter Community Center) by July 27. Scholarships are available.
Registration can also be done online at www.stpetercommunityedonline.com.
These lessons are optional, but highly recommended. The attention given to each student in daily lessons provides the students a great start on their instruments which may otherwise take several weeks to accomplish.
The goal of these lessons will include the following:
* Instrument assembly and care
* Tone production
* Hand positions
* Playing songs with the first 5 or 6 notes
* Playing together as a band.
For more information contact the Saint Peter Community & Family Education office at (507) 934-3048, ext. 0.
North’s Math Masters teams earn medals at Bethany Lutheran College event
Two sixth grade Math Masters teams from North Intermediate took part in the competition held at Bethany Lutheran College on Friday, March 6, and came away with several medals for their efforts.
North sixth grade teacher Emilie Veith serves as the Math Masters advisor for the program at North.
According to Veith, the students competed in three different rounds -- Fact Drill, Individual, and Team. There were 164 students taking part in the event in all which made up 33 different teams that represented area schools. Those North students who placed included:
Fact Drill Round (out of 164 students)
Leigh Preimesberger - 1st place
Maya Preimesberger - 3rd place
Jack Leonard - 13th place
Kelson Lund - 14th place
Sophia Rao - 17th place
Individual Round (out of 164 students)
Leigh Preimesberger - 3rd place
Sophia Rao - 4th place
Maya Preimesberger - 11th place
Jack Leonard - 20th place
Team Round (out of 33 teams)
North 1 (Sophia Rao, Anna LoFaro, Maya Preimesberger, Leigh Preimesberger and Morgan Kelly) - 4th place
North 2 (Jack Leonard, Jesus Juarez, Kelson Lund, Aden Kurdziolek, Connor Snay) - 7th place
North Intermediate band students take part in Southern Minnesota Middle Level Solo Ensemble Festival
Six students from North Intermediate sixth grade band and one student from St. Peter Middle School band participated in the local band director association’s Solo/Ensemble Festival.
This year’s festival was held on Saturday, Feb. 7 at United South Central Public School in Wells. This Festival was open to band students in regional Middle Level Programs (Grades 5-8).
Each of these students worked for several weeks with their band directors, Lauren Shoemaker (North) and Dave Haugh (Middle School), to prepare a solo, or duet or small ensemble to play for a judge who critiqued the performances in areas of tone quality, note and rhythmic accuracy, use of dynamics, and musicality.
The judges took time with each soloist or ensemble to compliment the skills that are progressing and offered suggestions for improvement. Certificates were awarded for each rating (Superior, Excellent, Good, or Participation). Here are the results from the local performers:
* -- Superior ratings went to sixth grade soloists Morgan Kelly on clarinet and Lizzy Orth on trumpet as well as the duet performed by flutist Kitara Eccles and clarinetist Samantha Hill.
* -- Excellent ratings were awarded to the duet performed by Megan Beran on clarinet and Paige Meyer on trombone. Eighth grade tuba soloist, Mikinley Prafke also earned an Excellent rating.
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.
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 the younger 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.
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.
More photos from the festival can be found on the Saint Peter Public School's Facebook page by clicking here.
School patrol has key job of helping North students cross streets safely
Group gets new crosswalk warning signs for intersections on Washington Avenue
It’s been a busy school year so far for the North Intermediate School Patrol as the patrol members make their way out each morning and mid-afternoon to help students cross the busy intersections near the school.
The school patrol recently received two crosswalk warning signs from the St. Peter Police Department as a way to improve safety. The new signs replace cones patrol members had been using at the two busiest intersections near the school -- Flandrau Street and North Washington Avenue as well as Traverse Road and North Washington Avenue. These signs warn drivers that state law requires them to “stop” for pedestrians in crosswalks and are more visible than the shorter orange cones the patrol had been using.
“Washington Avenue is one of the more dangerous locations for our students to cross,” Hughes said. “We had been previously using cones, but had asked the police department for any suggestions and Police Chief Matt Peter's was very generous and ordered us signs to use. The signs help slow traffic and help reinforce the cross-walk rules.”
This year’s school patrol is divided into three teams with Lauren Niemeyer, Ben Obermiller and Carter Wendroth serving as captains. Each team is on patrol once or twice per month.
“Patrol is going very well this year, we have had several compliments from school staff, and parents on how nice and helpful the patrollers are,” Hughes said. “Patrollers are rewarded for all their hard work in May and will be going to a Minnesota Twins baseball game.”
The other members of this year’s North Intermediate School Patrol, in addition to the aforementioned captains, includes (listed alphabetically by last name) Ellie Davis, Alexis Flowers, Abigail Haggenmiller, Celia Hawbaker, Alyssa Hrdlicka, Noah Hunt, Jesus Juarez, Morgan Kelly, Audrey Kennedy, Reece Krenik, Christina Krueger, Aden Kurdziolek, Kathryn Larson, Nolan Larson, Jack Leonard, Kelson Lund, Paige Meyer, Logan Moe, Ryan Nelson, Elizabeth Orth, Autumn Pauly, Kiara Rahman, Jakob Rimstad, Ty Roessler, Ryan Sandland, Owen Schaffer, Aidan Schrumpf, Zachary Segler, Miranda Seham, Brady Sowder, Connor West, Dylan Whitsel and Victoria Zachman.
Third graders learn about winter survival
Shannon Bode of Alliance Pipeline (second from right) and Windy Block of Nicollet County Emergency Management (far right) hand out winter survival starter kits to third graders at North Intermediate. (Photos by Kurt Hildebrandt)
By Kurt Hildebrandt
School Information Coordinator
Representatives from Alliance Pipeline and Nicollet County Emergency Management along with emergency personnel from the city of St. Peter visited third grade classrooms on Friday to talk about winter weather survival.
“For the past four years, Alliance Pipeline has been sponsoring third grade weather talks and provides a donation, bags and flashlights for the winter survival starter kits,” Shannon Bode of Alliance Pipeline, said. “It is exciting to educate the children on winter safety so they can go home and educate their parents.”
Windy Block of Nicollet County Emergency Management was also on hand to talk to the students about the specifics of the winter survival kits as well as provide winter survival tips, which are important this time of year in Minnesota.
As part of the activities, each of the third grade classes had the opportunity to go outside of the school to see an actual city snow plow and St. Peter Police vehicle up close.
Alliance Pipeline is a 36-inch pipeline shipping high pressure natural gas from British of Columbia to Chicago . The total miles of pipe is approximately 2000 and Alliance has compressor stations every 120 miles and block valve sites every 20 miles. In Minnesota there are have 2 compressor sites in Bird Island and Albert Lea as well as an area office in North Mankato.
“Each year the organization donates 1.8 million to communities in which we operate through for safety, environment, energy education and leadership education,” Bode said.
North students far surpass goal during annual Food Drive
More than 3,400 pounds of food collected, breaking five-year record by 1,200 pounds
Members of the North Intermediate Student Council helped their school collect nearly 3,500 pounds of food for the St. Peter Area Food Shelf during their annual Food Drive.
By Kurt Hildebrandt
School Information Coordinator
A lot of people will have a much happier holiday season thanks to the determination and effort put forth by the North Intermediate student body as they hosted their annual Food Drive recently to benefit the St. Peter Area Food Shelf.
A goal to collect 2,200 pounds of food was met and far exceeded. When all of the food was delivered to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf and staff there counted every last can and weighed, school officials learned students had collected 3,488.1 pounds during this year’s drive.
The North Student Council helped organize the Food Drive and then it was up to each of the individual classrooms in grades 3 through 6 to collect the food. Each class kept a running total of the number of items collected and, in all, students donated 4,927 items.
The following is a breakdown of each grade and the class winners:
North Food Drive final totals
Total pounds collected = 3,488.1 lbs.
Total # of items collected = 4,927
Sixth grade total = 2,262 items (Malz’s class was tops with 794 -- other classrooms participating were Myrha, Cosgrove, Onken, Veith, Kaus)
Fifth grade total = 841 items (Helget’s class was tops with 199 -- other classrooms participating were Lusty, Berling, Preheim, Robinson, Gareis)
Fourth grade total = 807 items (Nelson’s class was tops with 165 -- other classrooms participating were Guoppone, Vavreck, Friedrich, Stoecker, Johnson)
Third grade total = 1,017 items (Galetka’s class was tops with 266 -- other classrooms participating were Bennet, Johnson, Lenhoff, Hassing, Hartfiel, Landsteiner)
North band students take part in master classes
These North sixth grade band students took part in the Master Class sessions in New Richland on Nov. 1. Those pictured here includes: front row (l to r), Lizzy Orth, Samantha Long, Vanessa Krueger, Torin Harbo, Haydon Grams; back row, Paige Meyer, Megan Beran, Ben Obermiller, Obet Alcantara-Alvarez and Kyler Wachtel.
A group of talented sixth grade musicians from North Intermediate School had the opportunity to attend Master Class sessions with other young musicians from five other schools on November 1 in New Richland. .
In all, a total of 10 North students attended the Master Class sessions where the students were grouped together with other students from other schools who played the same instrument(s).
Doherty making smooth transition back to North
(Note: this is the second of four stories in which the Spotlight will check in with each of the Saint Peter School District's administrators, who are taking on new roles for this coming school year.)
It didn’t take Saint Peter Public School administration and school board members long to find a permanent replacement for the principal’s position at North Intermediate after former principal, Karen Coblentz, resigned midway through the 2013-14 school year because she was moving out of state. Retired district administrators Nancy Kluck and Bill Dixon were brought in on an interim basis to fill out the school year and filled in admirably for the short term, but a long-term solution for the position was announced early last spring.
Long-time St. Peter educator and then-South Elementary Early Learning Center Principal Darin Doherty was hired to transition “north” to take over as the top administrator at North Intermediate last spring. Since then he has been very busy with the transition even though he didn't "officially" move into his new role until July 1.
“It’s great to be back at a place that is really very special to me, because this is where it all started for me when I came to St. Peter in 1997,” Doherty said. “I really enjoyed these past two years working at South, and the staff and students were so great to work with, but it’s not like I’m moving very far away. I’ve just moved across town and I’m very excited about the transition.”
Doherty said there are about three or four teachers remaining on staff at North from when he first started teaching there 17 years ago. However, even though there are several new faces, he feels comfortable he will be familiar with all of the staff by the time school starts after the Labor Day weekend.
“You can count on one hand those teachers who were here when I started, but I do know a lot of them from other experiences and this summer I’m planning on meeting with all of them at some point to go over our plans for the upcoming school year,” Doherty said. “I’m also looking forward to get to know the new staff, and because of a lot of recent turnover, there are quite a few I haven’t worked with before. It’s exciting coming back to a familiar place but with so many new faces, too.
“I’m also looking forward to when the students return (on September 2). I’ll know a lot of the third and fourth graders because they were at South when I was principal there, and I look forward to getting to know the fifth and sixth graders as well.
“Until then, there is still a lot of work to do to get ready for the new school year, but we’ll be ready for the students once classes do begin.”