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2015-16 MS/HS Archive



SPHS French students take summer trip to France

A group of Saint Peter High School French students returned recently from two weeks spent learning about the people and culture of France.

“I would say that we packed in all the wonder that two weeks could hold,” Mary Behrends, SPHS French teacher and trip leader, said. “I am sure the girls were tired when they got home.”

The nine students, all girls, spent the first week touring the country including visits to the landing beaches of Normandy, visiting castles in the Loire Valley and enjoying the spectacular view of the sea in Brittany, among the many highlights.

The students also spent most of the second week as guests of French families in the suburbs of Paris. Each student stayed with a different family and got a first-hand look of what everyday family life is like for their French hosts.

“This was an especially fine group,” Behrends said. “When our luggage took an extra day to reach us, there was no whining.  They went to work figuring out how to share what they had -- nine girls with one tube of toothpaste and one deodorant.  They were in it together from the very beginning.

“They excelled at being curious, attentive and adventurous travelers and were an outstanding reflection of our community, nation, and, of course, their families.”

This tour was organized by Vistas in Education, a Minneapolis based company that specializes in student travel to France. Vistas in Education also has an office in Paris.

"I have been trusting them with our students since 1992, always knowing that Michel Wolf, the company president, will be there in person to meet our flight.” Behrends said. “This is even when we are delayed nine hours as we were this time, and arriving late at night.

“I will begin thinking about another tour for 2018 in the coming months. But for now, it is time for summer!”



Saints' Trap Team fares well at state tourney
Congrats to the SPHS Trap Team for its strong performance at the 2016 Trap Shooting State Championship at Alexandria Shooting Park on Monday.
Highlights from the state meet included Hunter Wendroth (2nd in Novice Boys division) and Julia Powers (3rd in Novice Girls division), while the SPHS Novice team placed 2nd overall out of 22 teams. Wendroth hit 60 out of 75 clays on the day while Powers connected on 54 of 75.
Other teams competing included the Varsity team, which placed 18th out of 22 teams with Blake Makela leading the way by hitting 87 out of 100 clays, and the Junior Varsity, which placed 14th out of 22 teams with Ben Eide and Bennett DeBlieck leading the way hitting 83 of 100 clays. A combined scored was also kept of the Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Novice results and the Saints, who were ranked 22nd coming into state in Class 7A, ended up 17th out of 22.
"It was a great way to end the season and we had about a dozen kids shoot their best scores of the year up at State, which was great to see," Doug Boyer, Saints' co-head coach, said.
Anyone interested learning more about the 2017 SPHS Trap Team program can contact Doug Boyer at or by calling (507) 380-7342.
"To participate, students have to be firearms safety certified," Boyer said. "They can take the class online through the Minnesota DNR website (, but they do have to take part in a Field Day, which we will be offering out at the Caribou Gun Club in the fall."


SPHS hosts annual Senior Awards Night


Saint Peter High School hosted its annual Senior Awards Night ceremony at the school theater Wednesday evening. 


The event recognized students for their academic, athletic and artistic accomplishments and numerous scholarships were also awarded.


The following is a complete list of the awards/scholarships presented at Wednesday's ceremony:



(Instrumental Music)

John Philip Sousa Band Award - Jennifer Bergeson.

Senior Drum Major Award - Samantha Mitchell.

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award - Kaelan Weiss.


(Vocal Music)

National School Choral Award - Margaret Conlon, Kaelan Weiss.


(American Legion Awards)

Oratory Award - Skyler Hochstein, Katherine Sandquist.

Scholarship - Jennifer Bergeson.

American Award - Noah Hildebrandt.

Citizenship - Mariel Ferragamo.

Academic Achievement - Desmond Krueger.

Essay - Jarret Yeager.

Family Consumer Science - Elizabeth Baumann.

Music (Vocal) - Taylor Graft, Jacob Marlow.

Music (Instrumental) - Jacob Marlow.

Male Athlete - Aaron Leeb.

Female Athlete - Ella Wiebusch.


(Phi Beta Kappa Book Award)

Gustavus Adolphus College Chapter - Alexandra Baskfield, Kaelan Weiss, Gretchen Niederriter.


(Big South Conference)

Academic Athletic All-Conference Award - Magdeline Anderson, Avery Bachman, Carmen Bistrup, Emily Carpenter, William Chadwick, Margaret Conlon, Brady Hanson, Ezekiel Haugen, Jordan Hermel, Noah Hildebrandt, Alexander Hoehn, Aaron Leeb, Autumn Maas, Jacob Marlow, Joseph More, Kaelan Weiss, Sidney Welp, Nathaniel Wenner, Ella Wiebusch.


(Minnesota State High School League)

Academic-Arts-Athletics (Triple A) Awards - John Walker, Ella Wiebusch.


(Saint Peter High School Awards)

Four-Year, Three-Sport Athlete - Brady Hanson, Bradyn Klubben, Aaron Leeb, Alyssa Lokensgard, Joseph More, Megan Roach, Ella Wiebusch.

Three-Year, Three-Sport Athlete - Avery Bachman, Ezekiel Haugen, Alexander Hoehn, Nathaniel Wenner.

U.S. Marine Corps Distinguised Athlete Awards - Ezekiel Haugen, Alyssa Lokensgard.

Army Reserve Scholar/Athlete - Magdeline Anderson, Alexander Hoehn.

Erik & David Aasen Award - Emily Carpenter, Noah Hildebrandt,  Aaron Leeb.

Senior FFA Award - Andrew Baker (President), Emily Annexstad (Secretary), Cody Vacek (Treasurer).

American Red Cross Bloodmobile Award - Alexandra Baskfield, Travis Brock.

American Red Cross Red Cord - Taylor Graft Skyler Hochstein.

Faculty Award for Leadership & Academic Achievement - Emily Annexstad.

Senior Class Officer - Noah Hildebrandt (President), Taylor Graft (Vice President), Brigette Boyer (Secretary), Margaret Conlon (Treasurer).

Senior Mural Award - Zoey Bartlett.

Student Council Awards (Officers) - Alexandra Baskfield (President), Hannah Baskfield (Vice President), Ella Wiebusch (Treasurer), McKenna Aune (Secretary), Gretchen Niederriter (Historian).

Student Council Awards (Members) - Rahma Abdi, Brigette Boyer, Travis Brock, Melissa Chalupnik, Rebecca Favre, Mariel Ferragamo, Victoria Garza, Madeline Harvey, Noah Hildebrandt, Skyler Hochstein, Alexander Hoehn, Desmond Krueger, Samantha Mitchell, Alison Rinehart, Rachel Weelborg, Kia Williams.

International Student Award - Tobias Mittermayer ( Austria).

2016 AVID Graduates (Advancement Via Individual Determination) - Ahmed Aden, Cullen Bruce, Bradyn Klubben, Taylor Laabs, John Henry Lee, Quinn Rapking, Taylor Reichel, Alison Rinehart, Mara Weller, Kia Williams.



        Honor Students (Maintain 3.67 GPA or above during grades 9-12) - Avery Bachman, Mallory Blaschko, Brigette Boyer, Margaret Conlon, Allyssa Hagen, Mason Legg, Colton Lusty, Autumn Maas, Jacob Marlow, Samantha Mitchell, Joseph More, Krishna O’Brien, Rachael Obermiller, Alexander Quist, John Walker, Sidney Welp, Nathaniel Wenner, Noah Wilson, Connor Winter.

President’s Education Excellence Awards Program & High Honor Students (Maintain 4.0 GPA or above during grades 9-12) - Magdeline Anderson, Emily Annexstad, McKenna Aune, Alexandra Baskfield, Hannah Baskfield, Jennifer Bergeson, Emily Carpenter, William Chadwick, Melissa Chalupnik, Rebecca Favre, Mariel Ferragamo, Taylor Graft, Ezekiel Haugen, Noah Hildebrandt, Skyler Hochstein, Alexander Hoehn, Lauren Juell, Jordan Kienholz, Desmond Krueger, Aaron Leeb, Koleman Lund, Gretchen Niederriter, Alison Rinehart, Sara Ronnkvist, Katherine Sandquist, Kaelan Weiss, Ella Wiebusch, Jarett Yeager.

Principal’s Leadership Award - Alexandra Baskfield.

National Honor Society - Magdeline Anderson, Emily Annexstad, McKenna Aune, Avery Bachman, Alexandra Baskfield, Hannah Baskfield, Jennifer Bergeson, Mallory Blaschko, Brigette Boyer, Emily Carpenter, William Chadwick, Melissa Chalupnik, Margaret Conlon, Rebecca Favre, Mariel Ferragamo, Taylor Graft, Brady Hanson, Ezekiel Haugen, Noah Hildebrandt, Skyler Hochstein, Alexander Hoehn, Lauren Juell, Jordan Kienholz, Desmond Krueger, Aaron Leeb, Mason Legg, Koleman Lund, Autumn Maas, Jacob Marlow, Samantha Mitchell, Joseph More, Gretchen Niederriter, Alexander Quist, Sara Ronnkvist, Katherine Sandquist, Kaelan Weiss, Sidney Welp, Nathaniel Wenner, Ella Wiebusch, Noah Wilson.

Lions Club Students of the Month - Magdeline Anderson, Alexandra Baskfield, Noah Hildebrandt, Alexander Hoehn, Desmond Krueger, Aaron Leeb, Gretchen Niederriter, Katherine Sandquist, Kaelan Weiss.

Lions Club Students of the Year - Noah Hildebrandt, Desmond Krueger.



Dollars for Scholars - Rahma Abdi, Yaxye Abdulahi, Faduma Abdullahi, Ahmed Aden, Alexandra Alt, Kobe Anderson, McKenna Aune, Andrew Baker, Levi Ballman, Jennifer Bergeson, Carmen Bistrup, Mallory Blaschko, Emi Bollum, Brigette Boyer, Travis Brock, Melissa Chalupnik, Margaret Conlon, Victoria Garza, Allyssa Hagen, Brady Hanson, Mitchel Harlow, Madeline Harvey, Jordan Hermel, Jacob Lamb, Jacob Marlow, Alexis McCann, Jack Olinger, Tanner Peterson, Alexander Quist, Megan Roach, Abdul Salam, Joseph Siebels, Rachel Weelborg, Mara Weller, Kia Williams, Connor Winter, Jarett Yeager.

St. Peter Education Assocation - Ella Wiebusch.

St. Peter All School Reunion Committee - Katherine Sandquist.

Sons of American Legion for Students of St. Peter High School - Autumn Maas.

St. Peter Youth Basketball Association - Magdeline Anderson, Noah Hildebrandt.

First National Bank - Garrett Kopka.

Kiwanis Club of St. Peter - Alexander Hoehn.

Alice Bergeron Memorial - Sidney Welp.

Dollars for Scholars Phone-A-Thon - Alyssa Lokensgard, Kaelan Weiss.

Signe Chilstrom Memorial - Rebecca Favre.

David C. Rosoff Memorial - Ezekiel Haugen.

Nicole Meier Memorial - Roman Hagen, Samantha Sack.

Eldred Engel Memorial - Alyssa Lokensgard, Ezekiel Kyoore.

P.E.O. Chapter CN - Samantha Mitchell.

Trinity Lutheran Church - Skyler Hochstein.

Richard Reyelts Memorial - Joseph More.

Riverside Dental Care - Jaide Fondie.

Ken & Patsy Rossow - Nathaniel Wenner.

Bob and Nathan Bruns Memorial - Zoey Bartlett.

Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota - John Walker.

HomeTown Bank of St. Peter - Gretchen Niederriter.

Eileen T. Miller Memorial Music - Rachael Obermiller.

Nelson Printing - Desmond Krueger.

Don Nesheim Memorial - Mitchell Johnson.

Nicollet County Bank - Mariel Ferragamo.

Red Men Lodge Ottawa Tribe 49 - Sara Ronnkvist.

Anonymous Memorial - Aaron Leeb.

Women Celebrating Women - Taylor Graft.

Loren & Mary Bjerke Memorial - Alison Rinehart.

Emily Herr Memorial - Maranda Sorenson.

Ashley Rose Leonard Memorial - Emily Carpenter, Kaelan Weiss.

Ameriprise Financial - Mason Legg.

St. Peter Rotary - Emily Annexstad, William Chadwick.

Steve Koble Memorial - Krishna O’Brien.

Kley Family - Aliza Doherty.

Fern Martinson Memorial - Avery Bachman.

Drantell Sales & Service, Inc. - Dylan Evenson.

The Fair Emporium - Koleman Lund.

Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) - Dustin West.


(Miscellaneous Scholarships)

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic Healthcare - Rahma Abdi, Magdeline Anderson, Margaret Conlon, Skyler Hochstein, Alison Rinehart, Katherine Sandquist.

Raymond Jim and Dorothy L. Cain - Emily Annexstad.

Norman Borlaug Science Achievement Award & Scholarship - Emily Annexstad.

Nicollet/Sibley County Corn & Soybean Growers - Emily Annexstad, Mitchell Johnson.

Bolton & Menk - Margaret Conlon.

St. Peter First Department John Kennedy Memorial - Mallory Blaschko, Margaret Conlon, Mitchell Johnson.

Al & Cathy Annexstad Hope and Inspiration - Yaxye Abdulahi.

AVID - Ahmed Aden, Mara Weller.

St. Peter Youth Wrestling - Alexander Devens.

Andrew Kruger Memorial - Alyssa Lokensgard.

UFC - Emily Annexstad.

Nicollet Lodge #54 St. Peter Masons - Mitchell Johnson, Desmond Krueger, Mason Legg.

Mediacom - Sara Ronnkvist.

Bird Island-Hawk Creek Mutual Insurance Company, AgStar Fund for Rural America, and Ernie Vogel Memorial scholarships - Mitchell Johnson.

Society of Women Engineers Certificate of Merit - Margaret Conlon.

Catholic United Financial - Mara Weller.

Dordt College Presidential, Defender Gold Club, and Activity (Women’s Golf) scholarships - Margaret Conlon.

Buena Vista University President’s - Ella Wiebusch.

South Dakota State University Yellow & Blue - Skyler Hochstein.

University of St. Thomas - Alison Rinehart.

University of Minnesota-Duluth Best in Class - Desmond Krueger.

University of St. Thomas Tommie Award - Madeline Harvey.

Nebraska Legends, Legacy, and Ruth Leverton scholarships - Mason Legg.

Johnson Outdoors Inc. Sons & Daughters - Desmond Krueger.

Band Aides Instrumental Music - Jennifer Bergeson.

St. Peter High School Class of 1950 Memorial - Alison Rinehart.

Jim Hughes Memorial - Mara Weller.

Greg Wiese - Alexander Hoehn.

Thalia Lopez and Larry D. Taylor Educational - Victoria Garza.

Edward H. Schultz - Magdeline Anderson, Mitchell Johnson, Desmond Krueger, Aaron Leeb, Katherine Sandquist.



National Honor Society inducts 30 new members 


The Saint Peter Chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed 30 new members during its annual induction ceremony at the SPHS theater on Wednesday evening.


The following are the new inductees -- Greta Anderson, Lillian Anderson, Leif Annexstad, Matthias Annexstad, Sarah Borgmeier, Josephine Carlson, Alexander Chadwick, Melissa Chalupnik, Karen Chen, Suzanne Dietrich, Nicole Ebeling, Danielle Epper, Brady Hanson, Ellie Johnson, Jordan Keeley, Reegan Kelly, Hailey Kennedy, Abigail Mattson, Olivia McCabe, Taylor McCarthy, Alexis Orth, Trevor Powers, Sierra Schaefer, Nicholas Seitzer, Sophia Weelborg, Antonia Weiss, Teagan Weiss, Nathaniel Wenner, Lily Werner, and Sienna Wiebusch.


SPHS counselor Andy Vander Linden provided the welcome for the evening while SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger gave the sponsor’s message.


Senior Leadership Team members Jacob Marlow, McKenna Aune, Noah Hildebrandt, Katie Sandquist, and Kaelan Weiss spoke to the audience about the history and future of the SPHS chapter as well as the qualifications for membership -- Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character.


The induction of new members was presided over by junior Francesca LoFaro while senior Mason Legg introduced the ceremonial lighting of the NHS Candles. Closing remarks were provided by senior Bill Chadwick.


Following the ceremony, a special reception was held in the school cafeteria.




Middle school Academic Pentathletes fare well at national competition


A group of Saint Peter Middle School  Academic Pentathlon team members competed in a recent national online competition and results showed they ranked among the nation’s best.


“Our Academic Pentathletes competed in five academic disciplines: Social Sciences, Sciences, Math, Literature, and Fine Arts,” Levi Nellen, Saint Peter Middle School’s Academic Pentathlon coach, said. “This group competed with other teams from all across the country and, in just our second year as a team, we have achieved the status of the best team in the nation.”


The middle school’s Academic Pentathlon program is the feeder/precursor to the Saint Peter High School’s highly-successful Academic Decathlon program, which won the Minnesota state title for the second consecutive year and recently finished seventh at nationals in Alaska in late April.


“Our season begins in September and ends in May,” Nellen said. “We compete about three times (in online competitions) during the school year.”


Team members, for the team which placed first at nationals this year, includes: Grace Werner, Katie Engeldinger, Anders Taylor, Bennett Combs, Rhama Jamac, Jaimi McClintock, and Charlie Redmond. There also was another team of students which also competed this year. Those students are Gabe Wilson, Noah Faulstich, Nandini Bhakta, Jaden Neubauer, and Julia Marlow.


More about Academic Pentathlon

Academic Pentathlon, the newest program of United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) and the premier national scholastic competition for middle school students, was created to provide opportunities for students to experience the challenges of rigorous team and individual competition.


Academic Pentathlon teams should consist of a maximum of nine team members and a minimum of six team members. All students must be currently enrolled in grades 6-8. Each team must consist of at least two “A” students, at least two “B” students and at least two “C or below” students. The team score will be determined by the sum of the top two student scores in each GPA category. A perfect team score is 30,000 points (six students x five events x 1,000 points possible per event). The GPA calculation form can be found on the USAD Pentathlon web page.


Teams advance through local, regional and state levels of competition. The state champions compete in the national finals. All Pentathlon competitions take place online in a virtual testing environment, so there is no travel required for teams.



SPHS spring play set for May 5-7

Saints theater students to perform 'Murder's in the Heir' on local stage


The cast and crew for the 2016 Saint Peter High School spring play have been busy in rehearsal mode these past few weeks getting ready for their performances on May 5-7 at the SPHS theater.


This year’s production is “Murder’s in the Heir,” by Billy St. John and published by Pioneer Drama Services, Inc. The director for this year’s SPHS spring play is Lyn Vavreck with Amos Johnson serving as technical director.


“It's a murder mystery that gives the audience a chance to vote for which suspect is guilty,” Vavreck said. “Then the cast has to adjust the ending to fit the murderer.”


Performances are set for Thursday, May 5; Friday, May 6; and Saturday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. each night. Admission costs are $5 for adults and $3 for students and SPHS activities passes are accepted.



Simon Starkweather -- Peter Stelter

Fiona Starkweather -- Sam Mitchell

Jordan Starkweather -- Jacob Marlow

Paula Thompson -- Maddie Harvey

Simon Starkweather III -- Kaiden Burmeister

Bensonhurst -- Noah Wilson

Mrs. Trent -- Sophia Lamor

Minerva Walker -- Rachael Obermiller

Nancy Pollard -- Mara Johnson

Rufus Jones -- James Kelly

Lois Van Zandt -- Taylor Graft

Miss Withers -- Nia Weiss

Kathy Collins -- Rachel Quist

Mike Davis -- Josiah Johnson

Gene -- Winston Taylor


Jordan Kienholz, Dani Epper, Nora Leonard, Lauren Mayer, Morgaine Miller. 



SPHS band fares well at solo & ensemble contest


The Saint Peter High School Band recently competed in the Section 2A Solo & Ensemble Contest at Gustavus Adolphus College and had numerous musicians receive honors at the event.


The following are the placings of the Saints’ solo and ensemble participants:


Jazz Ensemble 1 - Superior Rating.


Best in Sites & Superior ratings - Jennifer Bergeson, flute, Noah Wilson, xylophone, Peter Stelter, French Horn.


Other Superior ratings - Flute duet - Jennifer Bergeson/Lexie Ellerbeck; Percussion Ensemble - Roman Hagen, Mariel Ferragamo, James Kelley, Jacob Marlow, Teagan Weiss, Kaelan Weiss, Noah Wilson, Connor Prafke, Taylor Graft, Josiah Johnson; Sax Ensemble - Amari Lambert, Aidan Bistrup, Mara Johnson, Nia Weiss, Signe Alger; Clarinet Ensemble - Claire Severson, Yume Bollum, Lauren Mayer, Kayley Ronnkvist; Clarinet Ensemble - Sam Mitchell, Kenzie Kienholz, Grace Kvidera, Katie Hamman; Trombone Trio - Eleanor Grinnell, Emi Bollum, Lily Werner.


Excellent Ratings - Flute Solo - Carmen Bistrup;Tuba Solo - Mikinley Prafke; Flute Duet - Amber Wang & Lillie Hagen, Trumpet Trio - Rachael Obermiller, Clayton Schrumpf, Matthias Annexstad; Sax Ensemble - Kenna Burmeister, Nia Weiss, Aidan Bistrup, Mara Johnson; Flute Trio - Katie Sandquist, Rachel Quist & Shannie Rao; Mixed Woodwind Duet - Katie Hamman & Morgaine Miller.


Good Rating - Brass Ensemble - Peter Stelter, Daniel Rustman, Parker Sisler & Winston Taylor





SPHS speakers win North Sub-Section title

Seven Saints take home gold medals; 34 entries advance to Section 2A Contest


Behind the strength of seven individual champions and 34 section-qualifying entries, the St. Peter High School speech team captured top honors at the Section 2A, North Sub-Section Contest on Tuesday (March 29).


“We’ve never done this well as a team before at sub-sections and we’ve had some really outstanding teams over the years,” Saints coach Tom Fish said. “Across the board in every single category we had people who excelled, and every single senior on our team is moving on to sections, which is really great to see.”


This year’s North Sub-Section meet was held at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High School and those seven Saints speakers bringing home gold medals includes, Connor Prafke (Discussion), Ingrid Harbo and Maggie Lehtinen (Duo), Megan Beran (Extemporaneous Reading), Katie Sandquist (Informative), Maddie Harvey (Original Oratory), Sam Mitchell (Poetry), and Sophia Lamor (Prose). St. Peter also had four second-place finishers in Allie Baskfield (Discussion), Skyler Hochstein (Informative), Gretchen Niederriter (Original Oratory), and Maansi Bhakta (Prose).


The top six placewinners in each of the 13 categories are guaranteed spots in the Section 2A Contest, held on Friday, April 8, at St. Peter Middle/High School. There were also other finalists, not placing in the top six, who advanced because the overall field in the Section 2A, North Sub-Section Contest was bigger than in the South Sub-Section.


The Section 2A Contest, which is free and open to the public, begins at 3:45 p.m. on April 8, with preliminary rounds at various rooms in the St. Peter Middle/High School. Final rounds start around 6:45 p.m. with the awards ceremony taking place at approximately 9:15 p.m. in the school gym.


“We encourage people to stop by and watch the Section 2A Contest,” Fish said. “I think people would be amazed at the talent level of speech we have here in southern Minnesota. High school speech in Minnesota, overall, is considered on the same level as football in Texas and basketball in Indiana, and our section continues to be one of the top ones in the entire state year after year.”



Team standings (top 5 of 12 teams competing) -- 1. ST. PETER 230, 2. Mankato Loyola 173; 3. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 40; 4. Medford 34; 5. Le Sueur-Henderson 22

Saints Section 2A qualifiers

Creative Expression -- 5. Rachel Obermiller; 6. McKenzie McCann.

Discussion -- 1. Connor Prafke; 2. Allie Baskfield; 4. Olivia Young.

Drama -- 5. Lauren Mayer.

Duo -- 1. Ingrid Harbo/Maggie Lehtinen; 3. Mariel Ferragamo/Parker Sisler; 5. Taylor Graft/Winston Taylor.

Extemporaneous Reading -- 1. Megan Beran; 5. Grace Kvidera.

Extemporaneous Speaking -- 2. Mason Legg; 4. Jennifer Bergeson; 5. Rafat Solaiman.

Great Speeches -- 4. Sammi Hofferbert; finalists: Nora Leonard, Gabrielle VanGrootheest.

Humorous -- 3. Ali Sandquist, 4. Lily Werner; 5. Sophia Lee.

Informative -- 1. Katie Sandquist; 2. Skyler Hochstein; 3. Eleanor Grinnell.

Original Oratory -- 1. Maddie Harvey; 2. Gretchen Niederriter; finalist: Kayley Ronnkvist.

Poetry -- 1. Sam Mitchell; 4. Becca Johnson.

Prose -- 1. Sophia Lamor; 2. Maansi Bhakta; 4. Lexie Ellerbeck.

Storytelling -- 2. Rachel Quist; 6. Emily Annexstad; finalist: Molly Jurewicz.



Saints' Academic Decathlon team wins state title


Saint Peter High School’s Academic Decathlon program has always been one of the best in the state and the Saints proved so again in 2016 with the Blue team winning the state championship. This year’s Minnesota State Competition was held Februrary 28-29 at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska.


According to SPHS Academic Decathlon coach Mary Behrends, who is in her 20th year as the leader of the program, the SPHS Blue team won state with a school-record team score (38,053 team points) and also won the Super Quiz portion of the state event. Blue team member Jennifer Bergenson also broke a school record with an individual score of 7,667.6, breaking the previous record of 7,600 set by Ted Bolstad in 2002.


With the win, the second straight for an SPHS team, the Blue team qualifies for the United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) National Competition held in Anchorage, Alaska, on April 28-30. Blue team members include: Rachel Weelborg, Jennifer Bergeson, Winston Taylor, Alex Mortenson-Hilde; back row, Josiah Johnson, Kaelan Weiss, Rachael Obermiller, and Katrina Creel. The Saints placed sixth at nationals in 2015.


“In addition to team successes, a ton of personal medal were earned. We were also the undisputed karaoke champs,” Behrends said. “Now we will turn our attention to nationals in Anchorage, and the big task of financing that journey.”


P4T students educates others on making good choices

Project for Teens (P4T) is in its first year at St. Peter High School.  The goal of this program is to encourage healthy and responsible decision making by teens.  For high school students who were interested in this program, they had quite a process they were required to fulfill before being allowed to participate in the program.  Students first were required to fill out an application.  Students were then interviewed by the four Projects for Teens advisors, Michelle Doose, Kelly Jensen, Shea Roehrkasse and Andy Vander Linden.  Lastly, students were informed if they were accepted as Project for Teens leaders.  

In November all SPHS Project for Teens (P4T) leaders attended an all-day training session in Mankato with other P4T leaders from Mankato East, Mankato West and Loyola High School.  "This was a great experience for our P4T leaders to connect with students from other schools.  They were able to hear about other students experiences who have been involved in P4T from neighboring schools, as well as get to know other students who are brand new to this program.  They quickly learned that it was okay to feel a little nervous about this new leadership opportunity, but at the same time they were unanimously thrilled to begin this exciting new program for our high school," says Doose.

On Monday, February 22 the P4T leaders presented their first round of skits and discussions to our seventh grader in Miss Gustafson's English classes.  "Our leaders did such an amazing job!  I was so proud watching them lead discussions, present their skits and talk candidly with our seventh graders!"  The seventh graders seemed to enjoy these presentations as well.  As soon as they entered their classroom the seventh graders were greeted by loud, upbeat music, cheers, and laughter.  The P4T leaders immediately sat down near the students making small talk with them about everything from the students' nicknames to their favorite vacation destinations. The skits would soon ensue, followed by small group discussions.

The final seventh grade classroom presentation was in Miss Roiger's English class today (Feb. 23).  P4T will also be making classroom presentations to the sixth graders at North Intermediate and to the eighth graders at St. Peter High School later this spring.  



One-Act cast & crew gear up for Sub-Section 7 contest

SPHS students to perform Fringe Festival favorite, 'Oregon Trail'


Saint Peter High School drama students are in the midst of rehearsals in preparation for the Section 2A, Sub-Section 7 contest, held at Mankato Loyola on Saturday, Jan. 30.


This year’s one-act play is “Oregon Trail,” written by Travis Carpenter and arranged by Kyle DeGoey, both from Minnesota. The Saints cast and crew will put on a free public performance at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the Saint Peter High School theater, under the direction of Lyn Vavreck.


“Rehearsals are going well and we are so excited to be doing this original script written by local playwrights (Carpenter and DeGoey),” Vavreck said. “The play is inspired by the classic ‘Oregon Trail’ computer game combined with acknowledgements of the considerations actual travelers would have faced. It was so popular at the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival that it earned an Encore Performance. Now we are bringing the non-musical version to the One Act competition!”  


Sub-Section 7 schools includes St. Peter, Cleveland, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, Madelia, Mankato Loyola, St. Clair, and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown. The sub-section contest begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 4:15 p.m. at Loyola.


“Ironically, the path to subsections has had some bumps and lately we’ve been entering the illness phase,” Vavreck said. “As we face these challenges along the way, we see how it relates to the journey our characters are taking across the country.  And like the characters, we learn that we can accomplish great things when we work together.”




Bob Grote- Winston Taylor

Frank Brown - Kaelan Weiss

Joe - Josiah Johnson

Jen Kershaw - Sam Mitchell

Carolyn DuBios - Lauren Mayer

Julie James - Sophia Lamor

ASDLJFK - Mara Johnson

Henry Sallsberry and Bison - Aiden Bistrup

Elizabeth Sallsberry- Taylor Graft

Frank Brown’s dad- Jordan Keinholz

Major - Noah Wilson

Bear - Nia Weiss

Deer- Rachael Obermiller

Town’s people - Eleanor Grinnell, Molly Jurewicz.

Musicians - Noah Wilson and Teagan Weiss


Lights/Sound - Jordan Kienholz, Dani Epper, Katrina Creel.



SPHS names Triple A Award winners for 2015-16


Saint Peter High School has selected seniors Ella Wiebusch and John Walker as the 2015-16 Triple A (Academics, Arts and Athletics) Award winners.


The Triple A Award program is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and the purpose of the program is to:


*  recognize and honor high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the fine arts.

*  elevate academic standards and create greater awareness of League-sponsored activities and their values.

*  provide member schools with the opportunity to participate in a statewide program that supports, promotes, and recognizes academic and extracurricular achievements.


To be eligible for the Triple A Award a student needs to:


*  be a high school senior at the time of nomination.

*  have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at date of nomination.

*  participate in League-sponsored athletics and fine arts activities.

*  comply with the MSHSL’s Student Code of Conduct.


The following are brief profiles of this year’s SPHS Triple A Award winners:


Ella Wiebusch


Wiebusch, the daughter of Cinde and Corey Wiebusch, carries a 4.12 GPA (grade point average)  having taken several AP (Advancement Placement), PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Option) and College in School courses.


“This award means a great deal to me and it truly is an honor to be chosen as this year’s winner,” Wiebusch said. “It definitely is a very nice reward for all the hard work I’ve done during my time here (at SPHS). I give a lot of credit to my parents because they are the ones constantly pushing me. I also give credit to my classmates because there is always a friendly sense of competition amongst us to get good grades.”


During her time at Saint Peter High School, she participated in concert band through her junior year and also has taken part with the school’s visual arts program her junior and senior year.


Wiebusch has had a stellar athletic career as a member of the Saints varsity girls soccer, basketball and track teams. On the soccer field, she has been a four-time letter winner for the Saints along with being All-State selection this past season and a three-time All-Conference team member. She was a member of two state tournament teams, including this past fall.


During the winter she is a member of the Saints girls basketball team having earned varsity letters three years. In the spring, Wiebusch turns her attention to track and field where she has participated on the varsity level since her seventh grade year and has been an All-Conference performer four straight years.


Her future plans include attending either Gustavus Adolphus College, Luther College, or the University of Sioux Falls to major in Spanish education. She also hopes to play either soccer or run track in college.


John Walker


Walker, the son of Donna and Jeff Walker, has a GPA of 3.822 and has taken a heavy load of Advanced Placement courses during his junior and senior year as well as College in School concurrent enrollment classes.


“It’s such an honor and a privilege to represent our male student body for this award,” Walker said. “Most of the praise and honor really goes to my parents for raising me right and teaching me to strive to do my best in all of my endeavors.”


Walker has been a part of the Saint Peter High School’s band program throughout his time here. He is a part of the trombone section and has been an active participant in the school’s concert band, jazz band and pep band.


Athletically speaking, Walker participated at the varsity level in track and field during his freshman and sophomore years as well as in boys soccer during his junior year.


His future plans include attending Minnesota State University-Mankato to major in psychology.



Host families needed for visit by Sister City students


Host families are needed by the Sister City Committee of St. Peter for high school students from Petatlán, Mexico, who will be arriving around Saturday, Jan. 16, for a two-week stay.


Petatlán became St. Peter’s Sister City six years ago and the mission of the two cities is to empower the people of each cities to serve as citizen diplomats on behalf of themselves, their community, and their country. Petatlán is a city of around 21,000 people located on Pacific Coast in the state of Guerrero.


“Hosting a student opens doors to the world,” Dan Englehorn, Saint Peter High School Spanish instructor, said. “I would love it if all of my Spanish students at the high school could host a Mexican exchange student to put some ‘flesh’ on the vocabulary, grammar, and culture that we study in class.”


These students will be engaged with a Building Communities class and a language class at Gustavus Adolphus College along with student exchanges at Saint Peter High School during the day.


Host families would provide a welcoming environment for the students to experience a cultural immersion. The students will be busy with planned activities during the day (Monday through Friday), in addition to some evening and weekend activities. Transportation will be provided for the students to most activities. The host families will be responsible for providing breakfast and most dinners and to include your students in family activities in the evening and weekend.


Anyone interested in being a host family should contact Nancy Altmann and Kinzie Wiklander, co-presidents of the Sister City Committee, by email at This is a great opportunity for St. Peter area families to share in each other’s culture and bridge the global gap between the two communities.



SPHS CIA student takes part in tribute to fallen hero


Saint Peter High School senior Roman Hagen is serving as a member of the St. Peter Police Reserves as part of his CIA (Community Interaction and Awareness) class, which is a social studies elective course. The purpose of the CIA course is to develop service-oriented youth leaders empowered to become significant and contributing members of their school and community.


As part of his CIA activities earlier this semester, Roman had the honor of accompanying the St. Peter Police delegation which attended funeral services for Steven Sandberg, a Aitkin County Sheriff Investigator who was killed in the line of duty on October 18. The following was a personal account of what Roman experienced when so many gathered to pay tribute to a fallen hero:

Investigator Steve Sandberg's Funeral

By Roman Hagen


Steven Martin Sandberg, an Aitkin County Sheriff investigator, was killed in the line of duty on October 18, 2015. Sandberg was at the Saint Cloud Hospital guarding a domestic incident suspect. At approximately 5:15 a.m. a struggle broke out between Sandberg and the suspect. During the struggle, the suspect was able to take Sandberg's firearm and shoot him with it several times. Hospital security officers were able to enter the room and deploy a taser on the suspect, who then experienced a medical emergency and became unresponsive. Emergency lifesaving procedures were performed on both Sandberg and the suspect but both were pronounced dead.


The funeral for Investigator Sandberg was set for the morning of October, 23. I began preparing for the funeral the day before during my C.I.A. class at the Police Department. 

I started by thoroughly cleaning out the two squad cars we would be taking to the funeral. After this I washed both squads as well. I also made sure my uniform was clean and prepared for the next day. Friday morning started very early. I got up at 4 a.m. and got ready to leave. I arrived at the Police department with Sergeant Paul Hagen at 4:45 a.m., where we meet Officer Dustin Struckman, Officer Josh Klasues, and Nicollet County Sheriff’s Deputy, Justin Block. We had to leave by 5am because Law Enforcement was supposed to arrive in Aitkin at 8 a.m.


When we arrived in Aitkin we meet in the Shopko parking lot, as this was the Law Enforcement staging area. We waited roughly half an hour and then were started in the procession to the Aitkin High School where the funeral was. In the procession to the school they would send groups of roughly 100-150 squads at a time in order to make parking easy. In route to the High School all the squads drove with their emergency lights activated. This procession was roughly two miles long.


When we arrived, there were traffic control officers parking us in a field a few blocks away from the high school. All the officers in our procession parked and then began to walk towards the high school. We stopped a block away from the high school so officers could form a single file line. After the line was formed, we marched the rest of the way into the high school. Upon entering the high school, all officers received a white rose with part dyed blue. Attached to the rose was a thin blue line tag that said “Heros Live Forever #203 Never Forgot”. Since there was such a large number of people attending, they had all three gyms set up with chairs. The service occurred in the main gym which was for family, local law enforcement, and the Big Five agencies. In two separate smaller gyms there were projectors setup for live viewing of the service for all other agencies.


The service itself was about an hour long, and included speeches from Sandberg’s pastor, his daughter Cassie Sandberg, and Aitkin County Sheriff Scott Turner. After the service all the Officers left in silence and walked back to their cars. When we arrived at our squads, we were given instructions over the radio for the funeral procession, Investigator Sandberg's last patrol. All officers were instructed to activate their emergency lights and move out.


The procession was led by a motorcycle motorcade, followed by the Big Five metro agencies, and finally all other Law Enforcement agencies. The procession went through the town of Aitkin, south on highway 169 for nine miles, until reaching Bennettville Cemetery. Cars were parked along a gravel road close to the cemetery, where busses transported officers to the cemetery. After all Officers had arrived at the cemetery, the second procession arrived. This procession included family members, Aitkin County Sheriff's Office, and Investigator Sandberg’s remains. Sandberg was transported into the cemetery by horse drawn carriage in total silence, and then bagpipes played Amazing Grace. Taps was then played and then the most somber moment of all, the final call. “Aitkin to 203,”... (no response) “Aitkin calling 203,”...(no response). “All units, Investigator Steve Sandberg badge 203 is out of service, end of watch October 18, 2015.” “Aitkin County Sheriff's Office badge 203 is 10-7.” A bell was then rung 24 times, one for each year of service. The state patrol then performed a low flyover of the cemetery. After this all officers were dismissed.


It is hard for me to describe this day as it was sad but also amazing at the same time. It is amazing to see all the squads in the procession, because all you can see is flashing red and blue lights as far as your eyes can see. It is also great to see so many different Law Enforcement officers come together in one place to show support for the family and Sheriff’s Office. This is a day I will always remember because Heros Live Forever and I will Never forget Badge 203.

(Note: Roman also created a video tribute to Steven Sandberg that can be view at the following link→



SPHS students' class project also helps a good cause


The SPHS Communication Studies 102 class recently completed a unit mixing marketing and public speaking. Students worked in teams to produce a new cereal for General Mills.


Students researched their “tween” target market, produced a cereal that met the needs of the market and came up with a marketing plan that was delivered through a multi-media nine minute presentation. Dr. Roger Severns, Chair of Finance at Minnesota State University was a guest judge. Mr. Andrew VanderLinden and Mrs. Severns also judged. Dr. Severns noted that the students did a very professional job and that the work was "A" quality work for a college 100 level class.


Following the presentation day, the class walked down to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf, and donated 25 boxes of real cereal.


SPHS students involved in the class project included (listed alphabetically by last name): McKenna Aune, Allie Baskfield, Hannah Baskfield, Jennifer Bergeson, Becca Favre, Jaide Fondie, Taylor Graft, Maddie Harvey, Zeke Haugen, Noah Hildebrandt, Skyler Hochstein, Alex Hoehn, Jordan Kienholz, Desi Krueger, Aaron Leeb, Mason Legg, Autumn Maas, Gretchen Niederriter, Jack Olinger, John Walker, Allie Warren, Kaelan Weiss, Noah Wilson and Jarett Yeager.




LoFaro, Gillette named ExCEL Award winners


Saint Peter High School recently announced that two juniors, Francesca LoFaro and Wyatt Gillette, were chosen as the winner of the school’s ExCEL Award for the 2015-16 school year.


The ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) Award is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community.


“If I were asked to describe what a ‘well-rounded student’ looks like I would have to go no further than to pull out the resumes of Francesca LoFaro and Wyatt Gillette,” Steve Alger, Saint Peter High School Dean of Students and Activities Director, said. “Both of these kids are top students academically, leaders on our athletic teams, involved in the arts and involved in the community.  We are proud to have them representing Saint Peter High School each and every day.”


Every member school of the League is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the ExCEL Award. Nominees must meet the following criteria:


* Be a junior in high school

* Make satisfactory progress toward graduation

* Participate in a MSHSL fine arts and/or athletic activity

* Hold a leadership position(s) in their school

* Work voluntarily in their community.


This is the 20th year that the Minnesota State High School League has sponsored the ExCEL Award. Wells Fargo is the program’s new sponsor.


The following is a brief profile of this year’s ExCEL Award winners:


Francesca LoFaro


“It’s really an honor to being selected, because in my group of friends and classmates there are some very, very smart people,” LoFaro, the daughter of Marsha and Tom LoFaro, said. “Even though our class is the smallest in the high school, we are a very competitive group that is also very close.”


Fine arts activities - choir, violin (has played for 12 years).


Other school activities -- A Honor Roll, Academic Decathlon, National Honor Society, Peer Tutoring, Class Officer.


Extracurricular activities --  soccer (two-year letter winner, state tournament participant, MSHSSCA Gold Academic Award), hockey (three-year letter winner), track (one-year letter winner).


Volunteer Community Service -- church, farm volunteering, youth soccer assistant, soccer line painting, and park upkeep.


Future plans -- go to college to study either chemistry or neurology.


Wyatt Gillette


“It is an awesome feeling to be recognized for this award and really is a good accounting for the hard work I’ve put in over the years here, both in the classroom and my other activities,” Gillette, the son of Kelli and Bill Miller and Dan and Meghan Gillette, said. “I feel it’s just as important to be involved in community and I really enjoy helping out where I can.”


Fine arts activities -- Choir.


Other school activities -- A Honor Roll, National Honor Society, prom server, SPHS Captains Council.


Extracurricular activities -- wrestling (two-year letter winners, team captain, third place section finisher), soccer (two-year letter winner).


Volunteer Community Service -- EDGE Core leader, alter server, youth wrestling volunteer, youth soccer volunteer, Life-Teen member.


Future plans -- go to college to study something in the medical field.



SPHS students train for Project For Teens program


A group of student leaders at Saint Peter High School are taking part in training to become peer leaders through the Project For Teens (P4T) program.


P4T is a volunteer peer education/service learning program involving over 100 students representing Saint Peter High School along with Mankato West, Mankato East and Mankato Loyola high schools. Funding for the program is provided through the Mankato Area United Way.


These peer leaders are provided with information and tools to address audiences in lower grade levels (6th and 8th grade students) with messages that promote healthy decision-making around youth risk behaviors,  with a heavy focus on the prevention of teen pregnancy.  


The 20 students from SPHS traveled to North Links Golf Course in North Mankato on Tuesday to meet with the Mankato-area high school students for the training sessions. SPHS staff who are assisting with the group include advisor Shea Roehrkasse along with Kelly Jensen, Andy Vander Linden, and Michelle Doose.


“The training was a great chance for us to see Project For Teens in action and interact with other leaders,” Roehrkasse said. “The Mankato District has been doing this for years, and this was a great opportunity to learn first hand what it takes to be a Project For Teen leader.  Our leaders did a great job at the training, and we are very excited about the students that are representing Saint Peter Public Schools.  We are also excited to allow these leaders to use their positive influence to help teach important lessons to our middle school age students.”


Those students involved include seniors Brigette Boyer, Melissa Chalupnik, Brady Hanson, Victoria Garza and Skyler Hochstein; juniors, Haley Blaschko, Bailey Fitzgerald, Peter Stelter, Grace Kvidera, Zinnia Loredo-Hollon, Evelyn Sarabia, Kayla King, Krystalin Neary, and Sophia Lamor; and sophomores Josie Carlson, Alex Chadwick, Maansi Bhakta, Katrina Creel, Skylar Hinderscheid and Kortney Figueroa.


“Project 4 Teens is a program I had heard about through my Mankato friends but didn't know much about,” SPHS senior Skyler Hochstein said. “I also know the head coordinator, Kate Cox, through Camp Sweet Life. She is amazing, and I am so excited to be involved in the program. P4T focuses on mentoring sixth through eighth graders with fun, enthusiastic presentations.


“Using the theme of superheroes we encourage kids to make good choices. Our platforms are abstinence, sobriety, respect, and positive thinking. Our St. Peter chapter will begin performances in December.”


The goals of the Project For Teens include:


   *  Promote healthy/responsible decision-making among younger age peers

   *  Respecting one another and the effects of bullying

   *  Provide accurate information about risks associated with teen sexual activity

   *  Support the “norm” that it is OK to say “no” to early sexual involvement

   *  Teach communication skills – including negotiation and refusal skills – that younger students can apply in “risky” situation.


For more information on the Project For Teens program go to the group’s website at



FFA dairy judging team takes first at prestigious contest


The St. Peter High School/South Central Agricultural Science Academy FFA Dairy Judging team took first-place honors out of 132 teams recently at the Central National FFA Dairy Judging Competition at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.


The competition was held on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison and members of St. Peter’s winning team included sophomores Nick Seitzer, Matthias Annexstad, Leif Annexstad and Jacob Pehrson along with senior alternate Andrew Baker.


“This is the first time our chapter has attended the event,” Gena Lilienthal, SPHS/South Central Minnesota Agricultural Science Academy instructor and FFA advisor, said. “I had asked our administration if I could take the students to Madison since they had been quite competitive at our regional and state contests last year.  I thought the event would be a great educational experience before they started competing again at our region level this October”


The contest was open to any FFA chapter (students in grades 7-12) and competitors had to score in four classes of dairy cattle and one class was a questions class where participants had to answer a series of specific questions about a class of cattle.


“We qualified for state last year, but we really didn’t know what to expect at this competition because we didn’t know how different it was going to be,” Jacob Pehrson said. “It ended up being quite different than what we were used to because there were different breeds to judge, but the whole team did very well. We are very excited with how we finished and this was a really good challenge for us as we get ready for our own regional.”


Out of the 391 individuals competing, the local team had three team members place in the top 15 of the individual portion of the contest -- Matthias Annexstad, fifth; Nick Seitzer, eighth; and Jacob Pehrson, 13th. Leif Annexstad earned alternate status in the individual competition.


By winning this competition, the St. Peter FFA dairy judging team earned a spot to compete at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland in June 2016.




SPHS fine arts to host annual “test drive” fundraiser


The Saint Peter High School fine arts programs (band, choir, and theater) will be hosting their annual "Drive 4UR School" fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SPHS staff parking lot off of Capitol Drive. The event is sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.


Mankato Ford will have several new vehicles on hand for people to test drive and the fine arts program will receive $20 for each family that test drives those vehicles. No appointments are necessary.


Quick Lane will also be on hand to check over your own vehicle for free and SPHS will get an additional $10 per vehicle checked.


Participants have to be age 18 and older and also have a valid driver’s license. For more information contact SPHS band director Dave Haugh at



2015 SPHS Homecoming activities/events schedule


Here is the SPHS Homecoming schedule of events for the week of Sept. 14-19:


Monday, Sept. 14 -- Pajama Day; Homecoming Coronation at 8 p.m. at SPHS gym


Tuesday, Sept. 15 -- Twinsies Day; volleyball vs. Waseca (home), girls soccer vs. Worthington (home), boys soccer at Worthington, girls swimming vs. Mankato East (home), girls tennis at Maple River, cross country at Norwood-Young America.


Wednesday, Sept. 16 -- Apocalypse Day


Thursday, Sept. 17 -- Disney Day; North Intermediate pepfest; girls soccer vs. Mankato Loyola (home), volleyball at Blue Earth Area, girls tennis vs. Blue Earth Area (home).


Friday, Sept. 18 -- Saints Day; SPHS carnival in afternoon; cross country at Mankato Loyola; football vs. Fairmont (home).


Saturday, Sept. 19 -- girls soccer vs. Mankato Loyola (home); girls tennis at Big Lake, volleyball at Mankato West Tourney (MSU), swimming at Watertown-Mayer; SPHS Homecoming street dance (cul de sac on Capitol Drive) - middle school from 7 to 8:30 p.m. & high school from 9 to 11:30 p.m.



Saints’ student-athletes welcome new athletic trainer


Those attending Saint Peter High School sporting events this school year will notice a new face working with the Saints’ student-athletes on the sidelines.


Allison Kanaman began working with the fall sports teams in early August after taking over for Melissa Solberg, who served as the Saints’ athletic trainer the previous two years before moving to the Twin Cities for a new position there.


The following is a Q&A profile of the Saints’ new athletic trainer:


Educational background and previous experience:

I graduated from Shiocton High School in May 2010 and began college at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point in September 2010. At UW-Stevens Point I pursued a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Athletic Training and minors in Strength and Conditioning and Psychology. Through the three-year intensive athletic training program, I have completed over 1200 clinical hours and had the opportunity to work with multiple high school and collegiate teams. In my last year of the athletic training program, I primarily worked with Women’s Soccer and Wrestling, giving me a tremendous amount of experience with these sports.


During my senior year in the athletic training program, the research I conducted, along with three other classmates titled, “The Correlation Between FMS Scores and Athletic Injuries in Collegiate Athletes” was recognized at the prestigious Posters in Rotunda at the state capitol in Madison, WI. This opportunity allowed my group members and I to explain to legislators, state leaders and other supporters of undergraduate research of the importance of identifying and correcting biomechanical deficits to prevent injuries and decrease healthcare costs. Our research was also presented to professors, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and other educators at UW-Stevens Point.


Where is your hometown?:

I am from Shiocton, Wis., a very small town, about 40 minutes west of Green Bay. I am a huge Packers and Badgers fan. Go Pack, go!


What motivated you to pursue a career in athletic training?:

I decided to pursue a career in athletic training for a few different reasons. My first reason is my love of sports. I come from a very sports-oriented family, and couldn’t see myself in a career that didn’t involve sports.


During my junior year of high school I began helping out in my school’s nurse’s office, because we did not have an athletic trainer. During my time caring for other students with various medical needs and injuries, I decided I wanted to also pursue something in the medical field. Once I entered college I decided on the major of athletic training because of my love of sports, my interest in the medical field, information from my cousin who just became a certified athletic trainer and provide help to high schools who didn’t have athletic trainers, such as mine.


As I progressed through the athletic training program I took an interest in kinesiology and human biomechanics. After learning the information in these classes as well as the education I gained from my research, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Exercise Science. By pursuing this degree I will learn more about human movement and proper exercise prescription for optimal performance both for preventative purposes and rehabilitation after injury.


You've been on the job for a few weeks now, how are things going for you with your new position here at SPHS?:

Thus far I have really enjoyed my time with SPHS. The coaches, athletes and other school staff have been great and have made the transition from student to professional extremely easy. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the help they have given me. Above all the athletes have been great and fun to work with and I’m excited to continue to work with them.


How many athletic trainers/ Gustavus students will be working with you?:

Throughout the year I will have 11 Gustavus athletic training students working with me. The students will be of junior and senior level and will be helping with in all aspects of the career of athletic training. This is a great way for them to gain experience with high school athletes, as well as critique and perfect the skills they have learned. My student, Cassie, has been a huge help and I can’t wait to have the other students join me.




SPHS senior ACT scores continue to remain strong


St. Peter High School seniors have consistently achieved high marks on the ACT college readiness test and, based upon the results for the Class of 2015, that trend continues.


A total of 90 members of the 2014-15 senior class at St. Peter High School took the ACT Test this past year and in four of the five testing scores (Composite, English, Reading, and Science) the district showed improvement or remained the same compared to 2014. The one testing category (Math) which did go down only decreased by one-tenth of a point.


“These graduates and their teachers should be extremely proud of these results,” St. Peter High School Principal Annette Engeldinger said. “It points to our focus on student learning and achievement. While ACT scores are only one measure of student performance, it shows the commitment these students have to their education.”


Compared to the rest of Minnesota, the St. Peter senior class in 2015 scored an even 23.0 in the ACT composite (overall) score, which was well above the state average of 22.7. This past year’s seniors also scored well above the state average in English (22.1 to 21.8), Reading (23.5 to 23.0), and Science (23.5 to 22.7). St. Peter seniors had an average score of 22.7 in Math, which was just below the state average of 22.8.


“Saint Peter High School is proud of our students and their performance,” Engeldinger said. “These results also validate the academic programs we offer as well as the work our teachers are doing.”


Minnesota as a whole continues to thrive as well as its 22.7 average composite score was the tops in the nation for the 10th straight year among those states in which at least half of the graduates took the test. In Minnesota, 46,862 students from the Class of 2015 took the test, which figures out to nearly 78 percent of that graduating class.

The following is a five-year comparison for the St. Peter High School senior classes along with the Minnesota averages for all seniors during that same time span:

                             ACT TEST 5-YEAR COMPARISON