News & Notes

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Kurt Hildebrandt

The Work Skills Competition, presented by the Mankato Area CTIC, is an annual event for High School students to showcase their application, interviewing and problem solving skills. This year's competition was held at South Central College and had over a 150 students registered from 10 area school districts.

  SPHS Work Skill competitors included: front row (l to r),
  Jazmynn Allen, Kelsey Helder, AJ Mellen, Alexis Hutchins,
  Lindsey Fadness, Paige Robb, Janaea Williams, Sidney
  Mack; back row, Luke Skillings, Michelle Ekman, Kevin
  Roberts, Matt Johnson, Logan Sandborg, Matt Frank,
  Sebastian Hutchens, Braxton Honetschlager, Cody Seifert,
  Abigail Erickson. Not pictured is Bailey Wilder.

Students, including several from Saint Peter High School, compete in four areas: Problem Solving, General Workplace Knowledge, Applications, and Interviewing where they are judged by over 40 local business owners/professionals on their appearance, the thoughtfulness of their answers, confidence, tone, etc.

SPHS District had four bronze medal winners (AJ Mellen, Alexis Hutchins, Najma Abdi, and Janaea Williams), one silver medal winner (Paige Robb), and one gold medal winner (Matt Johnson) who had the third highest score out of the whole competition!

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson’s adapted bowling team had an outstanding showing at the recent state tournament qualifier, held at the Wow Zone in Mankato on May 9.

   SPHS students received a rousing send off before 
   heading to the Wow Zone in Mankato for their annual
   state qualifying tournament on May 9.

The Strike Force had 11 of their 17 bowlers competing at the state qualifier earn trips to the Minnesota State Adapted Bowling Tournament, which is set for Friday, May 17, at Bowlero in  Brooklyn Park. Singles starts at 9 a.m. with doubles action taking place at 1 p.m.

“The state qualifier tournament was great,” Kris Voeltz, Saint Peter/LSH coach, said. “Mason (Doherty) bowled a 155, which is his season high score. Emma (Soderlund) bowled a season high score in the singles competition and then beat that score in the doubles. All of the kids were focused and wanted to do their best.”

The following is the list of state tournament qualifiers for Saint Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson’s team:

Girls ASD Singles - Abigail Erickson
Boys ASD Singles - Shawn Borgers
CI Boys Singles - Mason Doherty
CI Doubles - Brock Portner & Dustin Hutchins
PI Boys Singles - Sean Kulzer, Paul Warzecha, Lucas Henze
PI Girls Singles - Emma Soderlund, Sabrina Kopischke
PI Doubles - Emma Soderlund & Evan Borgmeier; Lucas Henze & Paul Warzecha

SPHS FFA students have good showing at State Convention
Kurt Hildebrandt

By Jasmine Witty
SPHS FFA Chapter Vice President

All of our state-bound FFA CDE (Career Development Event) teams placed well at the 90th State FFA Convention held in St. Paul, on April 28-30. (These CDE students represented Saint Peter High School’s South Central Agri-Science Academy’s FFA chapter.)

To kick off the convention, Jaxson Witty and Zac Spangenberg were selected to attend a pre convention session held specifically for members who are interested in pursuing a career in Ag. Education.

The horse team members received one gold, two silver and a bronze award. The milk quality team received one silver and two bronze awards.The meat judging team received three silver and one bronze award.The soils team received one gold and three silver awards. Sean Miller placed fifth out of 155 people, in the soil judging competition. The Ag Mechanics team received one gold, one silver, and two bronze awards. Mitch Pettis placed eighth out of 117 people, in the Ag Mechanics competition.

Our chapter received a sixth place Gold National Chapter Award and a second place Model of Innovation award.

Michael Moline, Leif Annexstand and Matthias Annexstad received their State FFA Degree. In order to receive a State Degree a student must meet nine qualifications. Just to name a few, a student must have completed the equivalent of at least two years (360 hours) of school instruction in agricultural education and have earned and productively invested at least $2,000 or worked at least 600 hours in excess of scheduled class time. They also must have participated in at least 25 hours of community service and must be an active FFA member for at least two years (24 months).

In addition to earning his state degree, Michael Moline was also introduced on stage as our 2019-20 Region 7 FFA President.

Two members from our chapter also brought a 1936 Farmall F20 that was restored for the National FFA Chevron Restoration Project. The tractor was restored by Cole Deegan and Mitch Pettis. It was the only tractor on display throughout State Convention.

While in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area, our chapter members were able to tour Mississippi Mushroom, an urban agricultural company, and the Bell Museum.

SPHS FFA members gear up for State Convention
Kurt Hildebrandt

SPHS FFA members taking part in the Minnesota State Convention's CDE Contests this year includes: front row (l to r), Cole Deegan, Mitch Pettis, Jasmine Witty, Landon Gran, Sean Miller, Michael Moline, Andrew Moen, Xeanna Willaert, Blake Rehnelt, Hayden Thole; back row, Shelby Paul, Emma Johnson, Breanna Hagen, Olivia Stevens, Zac Spangenberg, Noah Klaseus, Zach Hermanson, Jaxson Witty, and Makayla Moline. Not pictured are Mackenzie Moline and Jacob Lorentz.

By Jasmine Witty
SPHS FFA Chapter Vice President

This year is the 90th annual Minnesota FFA State Convention and several Saint Peter High School FFA members will take part in the events and festivities. This year’s State Convention is set for April 28-30 at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) and the Minnesota State Fairground.

This year’s theme is “Aspire to Be”, motivating students to set new goals for themselves and their chapter. While at State Convention, the chapter will be awarded a Model of Innovation award, a gold-ranking National Chapter Award, and the chapter is also in the top 10 of the state with the National Chapter award.  These chapter awards evaluate the activities the group completes throughout the whole school year in the areas of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.

There will also be five teams from SPHS’s South Central Agri-Science Academy FFA chapter competing in the Career Development Events (CDE) competition. This is a record number of CDE teams competing at the state level for the local chapter, according to Gena Lilienthal, who is the SPHS FFA Advisor along with Michael Reeser.

Those SPHS FFA State Convention teams competing includes the following:

Olivia Stevens
Shelby Paul
Emma Johnson
Xeanna Wileart
Breanna Hagen

In this CDE, teams will evaluate six classes of horses for quality standards and soundness. The students will also take a knowledge test and deliver two sets of oral reasons.

Hayden Thole
Jacob Lorentz
Zac Spangenberg
Makayla Moline

CDE teams will evaluate numerous samples of milk and cheese for appropriate quality standards, they will also identify products based on fat content and use the california mastitis test to identify milk defects. Each individual will also have to take a knowledge test.

Sean Miller |
Jaxson Witty
Zach Hermanson
Andrew Moen

In this CDE, teams will evaluate soil profiles by examining land slope, soil texture, vegetation, and soil health. They also determine the usefulness of numerous soil samples.

Jasmine Witty
Michael Moline
Landon Gran
Mackenzie Moline

In this CDE, teams will have to identify 40 cuts of meat varying from pork, beef and lamb. They also have 8 judging classes having questions for 2 of them. They will also have to yield grade and quality grade carcasses.

Cole Deegan
Blake Rehnelt
Noah Klaseus
Mitchell Pettis

The ag mechanics team will complete a hands on practicum and a written test in the areas of welding, electrical controls, concrete, engines, and an agricultural planter.

For more information on the Minnesota FFA Association and the State Convention go to

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Twelve of 25 co-curricular programs to move up a class for next two school years

Saint Peter High School co-curricular programs will see quite a few changes from a postseason perspective over the next two school years (2019-20 and 2020-21) as the Saints will move up a class in several activities.

Over the past eight years, Saint Peter has always been one of the larger schools in the respective classes it has competed in, but even larger than normal class sizes with this year’s 10th and 11th grade have pushed the Saints above the threshold in 12 of the 25 activities sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League.

“We had a pretty good idea we would be moving up in several activities ahead of time, so the news isn’t a surprise,” SPHS Activities Director Jordan Paula said. “While it would have been great to remain the same, but this will be a great opportunity to compete against some new and some familiar opponents.

“The good news is larger class sizes means larger enrollments, which is good for our school district,” Paula added.

Schools are placed in respective sections based upon their adjusted enrollment number, which counts actual enrollment for grades 9-12 and then adjusts that number based up on the percentage of students who are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. Saint Peter’s adjusted enrollment went up from 502 before the previous reclassification to 593 this time around. The enrollment cutoffs varies by each sport, for instance, Saint Peter’s boys tennis team will remain in Class A, while the girls tennis team will move up to Class AA.

Those activities where the Saints will remain in the same classification and section includes: swimming & diving, girls gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys tennis, choir, band, volleyball, wrestling, boys and girls golf, and boys and girls hockey.

There may be some minor changes geographically with the sections the Saints will compete in, as far as which schools are included, but they are basically the same.

The activities which will be bumped up a class starting in the fall of 2019 includes girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field, one act play, speech, baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, and football.

The changes in classification for those activities can also mean some scheduling challenges for Paula.

“Some of our coaches in those sports affected by this were already in contact with me prior to this announcement about trying to get some of those teams in their new section on their schedule,” Paula said. “We’ll try our best to accommodate those changes, but it can be difficult because a lot of schedules have already been set.”

For complete information on the MSHSL’s reclassification go to