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The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

While the focus for high school students is often geared towards college prep courses, at SPHS, students can get plenty of hands-on experiences in industrial technology and building trades. These course offerings are part of the school’s overall CTE (Career & Technical Education) program, which includes agricultural science and FACS (Family and Consumer Science). (More information on those two programs will be shared in next month’s Highlights.
 

  SPHS teacher Michael Reeser chats with
  Marshall Nicolai and Jeremy Plonske about
  the small engine they took apart and will
  eventually put back together as part of
  Automotive Mechanics class. 

SPHS CTE teachers Michael Reeser and Scott Robinson provide students with instruction in several areas of study, including Woodworking, Introduction to Engineering, Building Trades, Metalworking I, Metalworking II, Automotive Mechanics, and Introduction to Power Mechanics. Reeser has worked with the district since the high school opened in 2017, while Robinson is new this year, replacing long-time teacher Warren Peterson, who retired after the 2020-21 school year.

These courses are specifically designed to provide students with the skills and training necessary should they consider choosing one of these tracks as a field of study either through vocational/technical school or college or move right into a career path upon graduation.

Courses offered in the Manufacturing Lab include Intro to Power Mechanics, Principles of Metalworking I and II, and Automotive Mechanics. 
 

  SPHS woodworking teacher Scott Robinson
  works with freshman Johnny Kennedy on
  the design for his shelf project.

“Students enrolled in the Introduction to power mechanics course learn about outdoor power equipment and small gas engines with a basic overview of things to know when you own a car but may not necessarily plan to perform all of the maintenance yourself,” Reeser said. 

Students engage in various hands-on activities such as engine disassembly, engine components and systems identification, engine inspection, engine assembly, engine troubleshooting, and basic automotive components.

Automotive mechanics student’s hands-on opportunities include general vehicle maintenance items such as oil change, tire change, tire rotation, undercarriage repair, brakes, steering suspension, driveline, exhaust, and fuel systems.

“Principles of Metalworking I students learn to use the 4-basic arc welding process and 2-basic cutting systems -- shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux core arc welding,  gas tungsten arc welding, plasma arc cutting, and oxy acetylene cutting,” Reeser said. “Students in Metalworking II will be able to complete and pass the American Welding Society Welder qualification and certification test for industry recognized training as well as learn to fabricate from blueprints to create precise, inspected components.”

Robinson, who works with students mainly in the engineering/design lab as well as the woodworking shop, has enjoyed getting to know the students and staff here at SPHS since the start of the new school year.

“Being new this year I am excited to see all the opportunities our students have to develop skills in different areas,” Robinson said. “The community support for the school and CTE programs is really paying off for our students. St. Peter offers CTE classes that start with the basics and progress to the advanced skills that give our students an advantage going forward. Some will use these classes as a starting point for a whole career, some will find a new hobby and others will just go forward knowing that they can design, build, fix, cook or grow things when they want to. It is always exciting to see what students do with the skills learned in these courses and I am excited to have joined such an impressive team.”

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School will celebrate Homecoming 2021 the week of September 20-24 with a full slate of events/activities.

  The 2021 SPHS Homecoming candidates
   includes: (l to r) Cooper Dean, David
   Zhang, Marway Abdi, Brogan Hanson, and
   Shea Hildebrandt; Back row, Grace
   Remmert, Ryenne Pettis, Eva Kracht, Sky
   Gassman, and Eleanor Winterfeldt.

This year’s coronation/crowning of the Queen and King will take place on Friday, Sept. 24, at halftime of the Saints football game vs. Jordan at Floyd B. Johnson Field, with the annual dance set for Saturday evening at SPHS. Plans are also being finalized for the annual Homecoming Carnival, where students will be able to participate in games and activities. More details will be shared on the dance starting time and Carnival festivities as they become available.

The Homecoming Parade returns this year, after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and is set for Friday, Sept. 24th, at 3:30 p.m. The route will start on Broadway Avenue on the northside of Saint Peter Middle School/Early Childhood Center campus and head south to Third Street where the parade units will take a right and travel until the Grace Street intersection. There the parade route turns right again and heads west on Grace Street, eventually ending by the Middle School.

2021 SPHS Homecoming Dress Up Days
Monday, Sept. 20 - Adam Sandler Day
Tuesday, Sept. 21 - Skater vs. Cowgirl(boy) Day
Wednesday, Sept. 22 - Jersey/Sport Day
Thursday, Sept. 23 - Generation Day
Friday, Sept. 24 - Saints Day. 

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School’s newest members of the National Honor Society, 39 of them in all, were inducted at a special ceremony at the SPHS gym on Wednesday evening.
 

  Some of the newest members of the SPHS chapter 
  of the National Honor Society recite the NHS
  pledge during the May 20th induction ceremony.

The National Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, the SPHS chapter of NHS serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.

SPHS school counselors and NHS co-advisors Jana Sykora and Maggie Carlson presided over the May 20th induction ceremony while Principal Annette Engeldinger provided the welcome. NHS leadership team members Eva Kracht, Eleanor Winterfeldt, Hannah Wohlers, and Shea Hildebrandt also spoke on the four qualities that serve as standards for NHS -- Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character.

“It is an honor to welcome these new students to our St. Peter chapter of the National Honor Society,” SPHS Counselor Maggie Carlson said. “These students have been chosen based on their strong academic ability, involvement in school activities, leadership in the classroom and in the community. I’m looking forward to seeing what these students are going to accomplish in the next couple years”

The newest member of the SPHS Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted on May 20th includes the following students (listed alphabetically by this year’s grade):

JUNIORS -- Sophia Doherty, Lex Johnson, Ellie Johnson, Jake Moelter, MacKenzie Pettis, Theodore Pierret, and Adrian Rojas-Malledo.

SOPHOMORES -- Colton Abels, Martin Anderson, Matias Anderson Garcia, Isabel Avant, Alyia Bice, Adrianna Bixby, Audra Bixby, Anna Boomgarden, Samuel Buffington, Averie Byrd, Evan Deshayes, Elodie DeVos, Isabeau Fuller, Fabian Gerstbauer, Sophia Grigsby, Amelia Hildebrandt, Najma Jamac, Madison Kelly, Eleanor Kennedy, Ellinore Letts, David Marlow, Maya Pettis, Alexandra Rassbach, Brooks Reicks, Raina Roemhildt, Hadley Stuehrenberg, Benjamin Taylor, Jaydon Thompson, Ashton Volk, Heidi Weber, Warren Wernsing, and Tate Winkelmann. 

2020 - 2021 Officers:
Senior Representatives: John Borgmeier & Rahima Jamac
Junior Representatives: Shea Hildebrandt & Eva Kracht
Treasurer: Hannah Wohlers
Secretary: Eleanor Winterfeldt

2021 - 2022 Officers:
Senior Representatives: Shea Hildebrandt & Eva Kracht
Junior Representatives: Isabeau Fuller, Sophia Grigsby, & Amelia Hildebrandt
Treasurer: Hannah Wohlers
Secretary: Eleanor Winterfeldt

For a complete list of the SPHS National Honor Society chapter’s membership for the 2020-21 school year please click HERE!

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School alum Charlie Potts’ second annual Run St. Peter Scholarship 50K event was another success as Potts, with help from community members, raised over $2,400 with more than 4,010 community-challenge miles logged as well.

  Charlie Potts (right) finishes up his Run St. 
  Peter 50K scholarship fundraiser run, with
  his sons Owen & Ethan at his side.
  Ethan 

Potts said funds from this year’s event, which were raised via his GoFundMe page, will go to fund four scholarships of approximately $600 each for SPHS seniors later this year. Applications have already closed and they will be presented during the annual Senior Awards program on Sunday, May 23. Last year he raised around $3,200 for scholarships.

“This was another amazing experience,” Potts said. “I’m so grateful for a community that supports kids, and a group of running friends that showed up to support me on this adventure as I probably had a dozen or so people join at some point.”

Potts ran all 50 kilometers (approximately 31.2 miles) on the trails behind SPHS and in Community Spirit Park which he completed in about six hours. 

“I'm in pain, but feeling happy and proud,” Potts said. “Running this far will never be easy or even all that fun for me, but I am okay with how I did. I felt pretty strong through 17 miles, kept a decent run/quick walk tempo through 26, then just did all I could to finish. 

“Extra thanks to (my wife) Angie for being an amazing crew leader and to E and O (the Potts' sons Ethan and Owen) for being there to help me finish. Until next year!

Younger students get involved, too!

The Saint Peter Middle School physical education department gave the students an opportunity to contribute mileage to the scholarship fundraiser. Potts’s sons, Ethan and Owen, are sixth graders at SPMS.

According to Alex Weis, SPMS physical education teacher, the middle school students contributed 1,815 miles of running and walking over the course of eight days.  

“They would get 12 minutes each class to get as many laps as they can on the track,” Weis said.

According to Potts, Saint Peter elementary PE classes contributed over 1,000 miles, too! In total, SPPS students and community members logged 4,010 miles of running & walking to show their support to graduating seniors through physical activity.

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Sean Keating, a science teacher here at Saint Peter High School, was surprised April 15 with the news that he is a recipient of a 2021 WEM Outstanding Educator Award, an honor that is accompanied by a $15,000 award.

Keating is one of six educators being honored by the WEM Foundation and Synergy & Leadership Exchange for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to student learning. His recognition comes in the Athletic Coach category, which recognizes teachers who are exemplary coaches of athletic teams.

Sean has been teaching and coaching for 11 years. Keating’s vision is to build character first and educate everyone that winning is short term, but character building is the long-term goal. He feels a focus on character traits is more important than wins, points, statistics, or any other transactional measurement. The most important trait of that being empathy.

“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award,” Keating said. “My family always supports me in all my endeavors and to have them present for this honor made it extremely special.  I want to thank all of the students and players I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. It's hard to put into words. This community and school mean so much to me and I'm proud to be a St. Peter Saint.”

“While this award was for his work as an outstanding coach, the same attributes are reflected in his classroom,” SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger said. “All of his students, whether members of his basketball team or not, are taught not only the content of the course but also about being responsible and resilient members of our school community.”

Keating believes if they teach kids to put themselves into other people’s shoes, they will create compassionate, humble and servant leaders. One example of how they incorporate this goal, is to have students put phones away on bus rides and pair up with other players. The players are then given questions to ask each other or topics to dive deeper. All of this is calculated, planned and done with the purpose of helping players grow as people which in turn grows their team.

“You can really feel how much Coach Keating cares about his players by the way he interacts with us,” said Wyatt Olson, a former Saints player. “Conversations with Coach went beyond basketball, he cared about the person before the player. He always put an emphasis on being a team and being selfless which helped bring the team closer together.”

In addition to coaching and teaching, two years ago Keating started a club at the high school called the Mental Warriors. He saw that many high school kids were stressed out about school and the expectations that their parents and society put on them, so the vision for the club was to educate teenagers on the importance of their mindset to handle the stresses of life. Mental Warriors has now grown to more than 100 students and meets bi-weekly. These meetings give students time to express themselves, talk to other students and share their feelings within the community. It’s a safe space where people all share the common goal of growing together.

“His ability to operate as a coach and mentor simultaneously, while seeing each players’ individual strengths and weaknesses, allows for tremendous development and growth for each athlete,” shared community member Bill Soderlund. “This focus translates into a strong, balanced and outstanding team. He isn’t just coaching basketball, he is building a team of responsible, resilient and ethical young men.”

In addition to the Athletic Coach Award, other educators are being honored with the Academic Challenge Coach Award (teachers who are exemplary coaches of student teams that participate and compete in academic challenges), Ethics in Education Award (exemplary educators who embody ethical behavior and promote ethical development for students through classroom or school activities, policies or curriculum) and the Teacher Achievement Award (exemplary teachers who support, inspire, and assist students to attain greater learning as evidenced by student achievement).

Educators are first nominated for the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards program by students, parents, colleagues or community members. Those who accept the nomination provide additional information for consideration by Synergy & Leadership Exchange and a blue ribbon selection panel, which reviews and ranks the nominees. In addition to the six statewide honorees, additional educators have been selected as regional honorees for 2021. These names will be announced in May.

Synergy & Leadership Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering collaboration to advance the development of ethical citizens, providing educational resources, and celebrating achievement and best practices in Minnesota schools, businesses and communities. For more information on the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program and Synergy & Leadership Exchange, visit: www.synergyexchange.org.