News & Notes

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School’s One-Act Play cast and crew have ramped things up recently in preparation for the Section 2AA, Subsection A contest set for Saturday, Jan. 25, here at the SPHS Performing Arts Center (PAC). 

  SPHS's One Act Play cast & crew includes: front
  row (l to r), Sarah Fadness, Julie Marlow, Jaden
  Neubauer, Gloria Toupence, Madelyn Tollefson, 
  Bryan Harroun; middle row, Breeley Ruble, Katie
  Engeldinger, Noah Faulstich, Sky Gassman,
  Matthew Springer, Marina Sawyer, Ayla Aydogdu,
  Ethan Niemeyer; back row, Jack Leonard and
  Wesley Toupence.

This year’s production is Squirrel Girl Goes to College, and is being directed by Jason Toupence and Amanda Blue. The Section 2AA, Subsection A contest begins at 9:10 a.m. and, besides the Saints, other schools competing includes Dassel-Cokato, New Ulm, Hutchinson, Marshall, Orono, and New Prague. Because of Section 2AA rules, the schedule of performances is not available to the public. 

Prior to the Subsection A contest, SPHS cast and crew will take part in the Big South Conference Festival here at the PAC on Monday, Jan. 20, as a sort of trial run with six other conference schools also taking part. SPHS will hit the stage at 9:45 a.m. 

The Saints group will also stage a free public performance at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the PAC. 

“This year's One Act is a superhero story,” Toupence said. “Marvel's Squirrel Girl has graduated high school and is on her way to Empire State University. Squirrel Girl Goes to College looks at her struggle to be a regular girl that just happens to be a superhero. 

“Rehearsals are going well and the cast and crew are doing a great job. As always, our biggest issue is the time crunch. This year's state competition was moved closer a week, so all of the sub-sections and section competitions were also moved closer. This year's public performance will also include an additional non-competitive one act play directed by Mr. Deering, which will also perform at the Big South Festival.”

The following is the cast and crew list for the SPHS one act play:

Squirrel Chorus - Matthew Springer
Squirrel Chorus - Marina Sawyer
Squirrel Chorus - Sky Gassman
Tippy-Toe - Katie Engeldinger
Doreen Green - Gloria Toupence
Doctor Doom - Breeley Ruble
Tomas Lara-Perez - Jaden Neubauer
Nancy Whitehead - Madelyn Tollefson 
Brightmind - Bryan Harroun 
MODOC - Noah Faulstich 
Smartnoggin - Sarah Fadness 
Freak - Julia Marlow
Stage Crew - Ayla Aydogdu 
Stage Crew - Wesley Toupence 
Sounds - Ethan Niemeyer 
Lights - Jack Leonard

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Safe Sports School award for its Saints’ athletic program. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award also reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment.

  SPHS Athletic Trainer Leah Rutz (right) and 
  SPHS Activities Director Jordan Paula (left)
  with the award the school received from the
  National Athletic Trainers' Association. 

“Saint Peter High School is honored to receive this recognition from NATA, and we remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship and good health,” Jordan Paula, SPHS Activities Director, said. “Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.”

“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” NATA President Tory Lindley, MS, ATC. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”

Funding for this award was provided by the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association.

In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, as Saint Peter High School did, athletic programs
must do the following:

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental
  • conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Be sure athletes and parents are educated on the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

Leah Rutz is the Athletic Trainer for Saint Peter High School and more information about her and the services she provides SPHS student/athletes can be found at  For more information on NATA please visit:


The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School seniors Aubry Landson and Jaden Neubauer were recently announced as the school’s 2019 Triple A (Academics, Arts, and Athletics) Award winners. 

  SPHS seniors (l to r) Jaden Neubauer and Aubry
  Landsom are this year's Triple A Award winners.

“Aubry and Jaden are great ambassadors for our co-curricular programs and their commitment to get involved stands out. To start the school year, they both participated in a fall sport and were involved in our musical production Beauty and the Beast while also getting involved in other academic programs” SPHS Activities Director Jordan Paula said. “Aubry has had success in each area of her high school career. From the classroom, to the swimming pool, to the stage, she’s been able to achieve at a high level. She will undoubtedly do big things and represent St. Peter well in whatever she does.”

“Jaden’s passion is what sticks out most. It shows on the soccer field and in his theater performances. It particularly shows when talking about and working with robotics. The problem solving, time management, and teamwork skills he has and will continue to develop through his involvement are evident and will help him be successful for years to come.”

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

St. Peter High School’s Triple A winners for the previous five years include:

2019 - Signe Alger & Isaac Peterson
2018 - Jordan Keeley & Rafat Solaiman
2017 - Kelli Hanson & Eric Carlson
2016 - Ella Wiebusch & John Walker
2015 - Marta Springer & Brett Zallek

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


Aubry Landsom, the daughter of Lisa and Craig Landsom, maintains a well-balanced schedule during her time at SPHS, all the while earning a 4.18 grade point average (GPA). During her time she has engaged herself in several AP (Advanced Placement), PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Option) and College in School courses. She also earned a Commended Scholar honor from the prestigious National Merit Scholarship program.

“I was very surprised and felt incredibly honored to be recognized by an award that encompasses so many different areas, especially because I consider these areas to be some of the most important parts of my life,” Landsoms said. “It is gratifying to know that my hard work has paid off. It means so much more because I know that I am surrounded by many students who are also well-rounded and successful in the three areas considered in the award.”

Landsom is very active in the SPHS fine arts program having participated in choir throughout her high school years as well as being a four-year member of the Saints’ speech program. She had a breakthrough season in the spring of 2019 with a seventh-place finish at the Minnesota State Class A Speech Tournament. Recently, the SPHS senior got involved with the school’s theater program having served as a paint captain for the spring play last school year and this year was the narrator and had a role in the fall play production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Athletically, Landsom has been a member of the Saints’ varsity swimming program since her eighth grade year and served as one of the captains this past fall for her team and earning Academic All-State honors as well.

Her future plans attending a four-year university and majoring in Biochemistry. She also plans to do research in college, join choir with the hopes of participating in recreational swimming as well. 


Jaden, the son of Kim and Jim Neubauer, is another one of those well-balanced students who has taken advantage of his academic opportunities at SPHS and has earned a GPA of 4.037. He has challenged himself in the classroom through AP and College in School courses.

“It means a lot to me that I was selected for the Triple A Award,” he said. “I’ve worked really hard in school to keep good grades while being heavily involved in extracurriculars. I was really excited to hear that I had won because it felt like I was being recognized for my hard work in sports and academics. 

Neubauer has immersed himself into the SPHS fine arts programs through choir, theater, and one year in band. During his time in choir, he has been part of both the large group contest as well as solo/ensemble competition, earning superior ratings in both. He was also involved with several fall musicals and spring plays, including this past fall as a cast member in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Athletically, the Saints senior standout has been a member of both the SPHS boys soccer and trap teams, earning multiple letters in both sports. He also was a member of the Saints’ wrestling program during his sophomore year. 

He also has been involved with the two Saint Peter Area Robotics teams (FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition), including participation in both state, regional, and world competitions. 

Neubauer, who achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, plans to study at Iowa State University and obtain a degree in Aerospace Engineering and, “hopefully, one day work for a company like SpaceX or NASA."

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School juniors Vanessa Krueger and Zach Taylor were recently announced as the school’s 2019-20 ExCEL Award winners. 

  The 2020 SPHS ExCEL Award winners are
  (l to r) Vanessa Krueger and Zach Taylor. 

“Vanessa and Zach are great representatives of St. Peter High School,” SPHS Activities Director Jordan Paula said. “Vanessa is a difference maker. She’s involved in numerous activities in and out of school, making the most of her high school experience. I’m excited to see what she accomplishes in her remaining time here at Saint Peter High School. 

“When I think of Zach, I think of service. He’s always willing to help those around him and never seeks recognition. He has a positive attitude and has put himself in leadership positions at the school through organizations like Project For Teens and Student Council. I know he’ll do big things."

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

Saint Peter High School’s ExCEL winners for the previous five years includes:

2018-19 -- Sarah Conlon & Ethan Niemeyer
2017-18 -- Signe Alger & Isaac Peterson
2016-17 -- Sienna Wiebusch & Rafat Solaiman
2015-16 -- Francesca Lofaro & Wyatt Gillette
2014-15 -- Mariel Ferragamo & Noah Hildebrandt 

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


The daughter of Angela and Robert Krueger, Vanessa has had a stellar academic career earning ‘A’ Honor Roll status during her three years as a student at SPHS, where she is also a member of the National Honor Society.

“I was extremely excited to hear that I had won this award,” Krueger said. “I know there are a lot of positive leaders at our school so I felt very honored to have been chosen as a recipient. I also feel very proud to be recognized for a lot of hard work and devoted time throughout my high school career. This award motivates me to work even harder in the future.” 

Krueger is very active in the SPHS fine arts program having participated in speech, spring play, band and choir during her time in school as well dancing with Just for Kix for the previous 10 years. In speech, Krueger is a three-time section finalist and earned a fifth-place medal at state in original oratory as a sophomore.

Athletically, Krueger has been a four-year member of the SPHS varsity soccer team and served as the captain this past season for the Big South champion Saints' squad. She was also named as the team’s defensive player of the year in 2019.

She also has volunteered her time as a member of the SPHS Student Council, Project for Teens peer leadership group, Mental Warriors, People’s Project, and Ecology Club. 

Away from SPHS, Krueger has volunteered her time as a Sunday School teaching assistant, Church-Confirmation Service Projects, Ecumen Nursing Home visitor, Jesus Saves Soccer Camp coach, Youth Soccer Camp coach, Dollars for Scholars Phone A Thon, Kindness Retreat leader, Courage Retreat leader, and Middle School Rewards Day supervisor. 

Her future plans include attending college and pursuing a career in the medical field. 


The son of Jodi and Mark Taylor, Zach has challenged himself academically and earned National Honor Society membership his sophomore year as well as being named to the ‘A’ Honor Roll for three straight years.

“Winning this award means a lot to me because I know I’ve put a lot of work in to be where I am today, and this award shows it in a way,” Taylor said. “I think of winning this award as another opportunity in my life that can only help me. I’m happy to have accomplished this award through the help of my family, friends and teachers. 

“My reaction to winning this award was excited and filled with joy. I was just relieved, happy and thankful for winning the award. After I found out I won, it made the day a whole lot better too.’ 

Taylor is very active in the SPHS sports programs having earned a letter in soccer this past fall and he is currently a member of the Saints’ boys basketball varsity team and will play baseball in the spring. 

The SPHS junior helps balance his time in the fine arts area having participated in choir since his sophomore year.

His school volunteer activities includes SPHS Student Council, Project for Teens, Courage Retreat leader, Region 2A Leadership Day, Mental Warriors and Adolescent Chemical Wellness Advocates.

Outside of school, Taylor volunteers his time through his church youth group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Junior Achievement BizTown, Dollars for Scholars Phone-A-Thon, Feed My Starving Children, Adopt A Highway, Halloween Youth Fun Run, and youth basketball volunteer.

His future goal is to go to a state college, possibly the University of Minnesota-Duluth and possibly majoring in some sort of engineering field.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

This school year's fall production of Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast" will take to the stage the this weekend with showtimes set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21; Friday, Nov. 22; and Saturday, Nov. 23, and a special matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Scott Hermanson is co-directing this year’s fall musical along with Karen Steinhoff, while Robbie Deering is the director of choreography. The technical directors are Mike Reeser and Deering.

Tickets will be available for purchase online by going to or in person through the Saint Peter Community and Family Education office in the Community Center (600 South Fifth Street, room 207).

Based on the smash hit 1991 Disney movie and dating back to a late 18th-century classic French fairy tale, according to, “‘Beauty and the Beast’ tells the story of Belle, a beautiful and intelligent young woman who feels out of place in her provincial French village. When her father is imprisoned in a mysterious castle, Belle’s attempt to rescue him leads to her capture by the Beast, a grisly and fearsome monster, who was long ago trapped in his gruesome form by an enchantress. The only way for the Beast to become human once again is if he learns to love and be loved in return. There is a time limit, too: once a magical rose loses all of its petals, all hope will be lost and he will stay a Beast forever. The Beast’s enchanted household--populated by such beloved characters as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip--watch anxiously as Belle and the Beast grow to understand and befriend one another. Their feelings grow ever deeper as the clock ticks and petals continue to fall off the enchanted rose--will they confess their love for one another before it is too late?”



Narrator - Aubry Landsom
Young Man/Beast - Liam Dixon
Enchantress - Aubry Landsom
Belle - Katie Engeldinger
Maurice - Jaden Neubauer
Gaston - Noah Faulstich
Lefou - Konrad Wernsing
Monsier D’Arque - Matt Frank
Cogsworth - Josh Ellerbeck
Lumiere - Matt Springer
Babette - Breeley Ruble
Mrs. Potts - Gloria Toupence
Chip - Vaughn Wernsing
Madame De La Grande Bouche - Eleanor Winterfeldt
Silly Girl 1 - Eva Kracht
Silly Girl 2 - Marina Sawyer
Silly Girl 3 – Madison Abels
Ensemble - (Villagers, Servants, Gaston’s cronies, flatware, etc. - listed alphabetically) -- Megan Beran, John Borgmeier, Michael Connor, Anders Dixon, Lily Deming, Brad Doherty-Bohn, Sarah Fadness, Gavin Fuller, Isabeau Fuller, Sky Gassman, Ian Gerstbauer, Ella Gilbertson, Breanna Hagen, Mia Hansen, Bryan Harroun, Jonathan Haas, Liliana Hughes, Eleanor Kennedy, Kia Maas, Julia Marlow, Lauren Niemeyer, Penelope Panciera, Charles Redmond, Adrik Rojas-Malledo, Hailey Schmidt, Miranda Seham, Rowan Snay, Lillie Sund, Madelyn Tollefson, Cheyenna Torbenson, Warren Wernsing, Gabe Wilson.

Stage Manager -- Ethan Niemeyer
Assistant Stage Manager -- Hannah Wohlers
Assistant Stage Manager/Rigging -- Ben Obermiller
Lights -- Haydon Grams, Jack Leonard
Sound -- Bennett Combs, Wesley Toupence
Props Manager -- Ben Moberg
Shift Crew -- Bailey Grant, Milena Lund, Autumn Pauly, Colton Abels, Madi Winsell, Garrison Rushing
Followspots -- Amelia Dickie, Audrey Kennedy, Kaylee Moreau, Eryn Roemhildt
Tech Construction -- Colton Abels, Madison Abels, Kevin Castaneda, Anders Dixon, Will Elias, Breanna Hagen, Nathan Holmbo, Noah Faulstich, Bailey Grant, Eleanor Kennedy, Emily Kienholz, Aubry Landsom, Lauryn Oberlander, Milena Lund, David Marlow, Ben Obermiller, Garrison Rushing, Magnus Soderlund, Ben Taylor, Madelyn Tollefson, Gloria Toupence, and Wesley Toupence