Arts and Activities News and Notes

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School juniors Adrianna Bixby and Ian Gerstbauer were recently announced as the school’s 2021-22 ExCEL Award winners. 

Saint Peter High School juniors Adrianna Bixby (left) and Ian Gerstbauer (right) are this year’s SPHS winners of the ExCEL Award.

“Adrianna and Ian are outstanding representatives of Saint Peter High School,” SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger said. “They are both student leaders who model to others the importance of being a well-rounded student. They are successful on the fields, on stage, and, most importantly, in the classroom.”

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 juniors 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 include:

  • 2020-21 – Josie Wiebusch & Shea Hildebrandt
  • 2019-20 -- Vanessa Krueger & Zach Taylor
  • 2018-19 -- Sarah Conlon & Ethan Niemeyer
  • 2017-18 -- Signe Alger & Isaac Peterson
  • 2016-17 -- Sienna Wiebusch & Rafat Solaiman

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

Adrianna Bixby

The daughter of Christi and Jim Bixby, Adrianna has a 4.03 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. She also has been a regular on the A honor roll.

“I am very honored to win this year's Excel Award,” Bixby said. “I’d like to thank my parents, coaches, teachers, and mentors for their support. I am so grateful for everything they’ve taught me and how they continue to help me grow as a leader. I'd like to also give Ian a shout out for also winning this award!”

Bixby is very active in the SPHS fine arts program as she was a member SPHS choir program her 9th and 10th grade years and has shared her talents with her church as an instrumentalist and vocalist. She also expanded her musical talents by taking piano lessons all the way through her sophomore year.

Athletically, Bixby has been a varsity letter winner in three sports. She is a three-time letterwinner for the Saints’ varsity girls soccer program including serving as a team captain this past fall and also earning All-Big South Conference honors in 2021 and honorable mention status her sophomore year. She has earned two varsity letters as a member of the Minnesota River girls hockey team including being named rookie of the year her eighth grade year and Bulldog Award winner last season. Bixby is also a standout on the golf course earning a trip to state last spring where she placed 14th overall out of 88 competitors as well as earning all conference and all state academic honors.

Besides serving as a musician at her church, Bixby has also volunteered her time as a Sunday School teacher and helper, church greeter, and with the youth group. She has also been involved outside of school with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Mental Warriors Club and Peer Tutoring programs.

Her future plans are to attend a four-year college and major in nursing. 

Ian Gerstbauer

The son of Loramy and Fabian Gerstbauer, Ian has a 4.0 GPA and regularly is a member of the A honor roll as well as earning membership into the SPHS chapter of the National Honor Society.

“I’m very honored to receive this award, and I was very surprised when Roehrkasse stopped me in the hallway to tell me that I had won the (ExCEL) award,” Gerstbauer said. “It had been about a week and I hadn’t gotten any communication so I had assumed someone else must have gotten it. It was awesome to hear that I had been chosen. I always tried to do as many activities as I could and volunteer for things when I was available. I like to be busy and I enjoy the activities that I participate in.

“I would like to congratulate Adrianna on winning the award as well. I would like to give a special thank you to my parents for driving me around and supporting everything I do and to God who gave me the strength to be so busy. Finally a thank you to all the friends, teachers, and coaches that supported me and made me want to keep doing so many different things.”

Gerstbauer is very active in athletics here at SPHS as members of the Saints’ boys soccer and tennis programs. He also is a member of the First Tech Challenge and First Robotic teams, having competed in the state tournament his sophomore year.

The SPHS junior helps balance his time in the fine arts area by excelling as a member of the SPHS band program. Over the years Gerstbauer has earned high honors for his skills and talents in percussion as well as playing the piano. He also has taken part in the SPHS theater program through its fall play and one act play.

His volunteer activities outside of school includes serving as a Volunteer in the Park (VIP) participant, fourth grade tutor, FLL Mock Tournament, and being active with his church youth group’s student ministry team and working with miscellaneous community cleanup events.

His future plans are to attend a four-year college and major in something English related with the goal of eventually becoming a writer.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

A reminder to mark your calendars for the Saint Peter High School fall musical production of Mamma Mia!, which will hit the Performing Arts Center stage the weekend of Nov. 18-21 with three evening shows and a matinee performance.

Showtimes are set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18; Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, and at 2 p.m. is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 21. 

Tickets are on sale now either online at or in person at the Community Education Office (Suite 207 in the Community Center).

Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, members of the band. The title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia". Ulvaeus and Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning. 

According to, the synopsis for Mamma Mia! is, “On a small Greek island, Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding — one which includes her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother Donna, the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought! Told through the legendary music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.”

Robbie Deering is the director for this year’s SPHS fall play with Jennifer Maldonado helping out as assistant director and Bri Bergstrom as vocal director. SPHS senior Hannah Wohlers is the stage manager this year. The following is this year’s cast and crew:

Donna - Sky Gassman
Sophie - Sophia Brown
Sky - Colton Abels
Tanya - Eva Kracht
Rosie - Ryenne Pettis
Sam - Magnus Soderlund
Harry - David Marlow
Bill - Anders Dixon
Lisa - Eleanor Winterfeldt
Ali - Grace Tollefson
Pepper - Brenden Larson
Eddie - Ben Taylor
Father Alexandrios - Tate Winkelmann
Ensemble -- Andrew Baji, Vera Berglund, Will Borgmeier, Sam Buffington, Max Bultman, Anthony Coe, Lily Deming, Quinn Dixon, Will Elias, Kailyn Embacher, Gavin Fuller, Isabeau Fuller, Ian Gerstbauer, Sarah Haggenmiller, Anja Harbo, Eleanor Hughes, Emma Janni, Eleanor Kennedy, Regan Lyle, Libby Mace, Isabelle Mish, Lauryn Oberlander, Keira Oeltjenbruns, Grace Remmert, Adrik Rojas-Malledo, Piper Ruble, Drake Smuder, Rowan Snay, Madelyn Tollefson, Maija Tollefson, Josie Wiebusch.

Stage Manager: Hannah Wohlers
Assistant Stage Managers: Raina Roemhildt, Lucas Hickey
Lights: CeeJay King, Corbin Herron
Stage Crew: Madi Winsell, Bryan Harroun, Zaylie Gibson-Finn, Baylee Nygard
Spotlights: Noah Kracht, Ella Ruble, Marcus Graves
Sound: Wesley Toupence, Roy Hendrickson, Callum Harmes


The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Winter activities online registration is now open for students in grades 7-12 at either Saint Peter High School or Middle School. To register your student for a winter activity, please visit:

Saint Peter High School and Middle School offers the following winter sports to its 7-12 students for the 2021-22 school year -- boys and girls basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, boys and girls hockey. Registration is also now open for co-curricular activities such as one-act play, speech, math team, Academic Decathlon, Academic Pentathlon, Knowledge Bowl, mock trial, and middle school play.

For any questions about how to set up a registration account? Please click here:

Physical Information

If your student did not participate in a fall sport, keep in mind that all students in grades 7-12 who wish to participate in a winter sport will need to have a current physical on file with the SPHS Activities Office. Those are usually done prior to the start of the student’s 7th grade and 10th grade years and are good for three years. The completed physical forms can be emailed to or or submitted to the Activities Office in person. The MSHSL physical form for 2021-22 can be found at

Winter Schedules Information

To view the 2021 SPHS/MS Activities Calendar please click here: You can import specific schedules into your own calendar. A helpful guide on how to do that can be found here:

Winter sports practice starting dates:

  • Monday, Nov. 1 - girls hockey
  • Monday, Nov. 8 - gymnastics
  • Monday, Nov. 15 - girls basketball, boys hockey
  • Monday, Nov. 22 - boys basketball, wrestling

Parent Meeting 

A winter sports parent meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1, at the SPHS gym with each Saints’ winter sports team having their own meeting following that session. Minnesota River Bulldogs boys and girls hockey players/parents do not need to attend these meetings as they host their own through the Bulldog Youth Hockey Association. Contact your respective hockey coach for that meeting info or click HERE for the association’s website. 

Other questions or information needed:

If you have any questions about winter sports registration, including how to register in person, registration costs, scholarship availability, etc., please email either Activities Director Shea Roehrkasse ( or Activities Secretary Kristi Davis (

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

The St. Peter High School Fishing Team (SPFT) had 16 anglers compete this past season and four of them qualified to advance to the Minnesota Junior BASS Nation 2021 High School Championship Tournament, which was held on September 11-12 on Gull Lake in Nisswa, MN. 

There were 97 boats/teams (194 anglers) that participated. St. Peter’s team is part of the Greater South Conference, and eight two-person teams qualified from the conference to advance to the state tournament including two St. Peter teams. The state tournament was the final event of the season.

After the first day of fishing at state, the tandem of SPHS seniors Brogan Hanson and Jaeger Kennedy were in 30th place while the duo of seniors Jaxson Witty and Camden Marquardt were in 61st place. After the second and final day of competition, Hanson and Kennedy vaulted up to a 10th-place finish, while Witty and Marquardt moved up to finish in 57th place out of 97 teams. The SPFT coaches are Mike Kennedy and Jeff Orth. For complete state results please click HERE!

For more information about the St. Peter Fishing Team, which is a club sport at SPHS, please send an email to

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Around 25 members of the Saint Peter High School varsity football team donated their time Wednesday morning to help with the Friends of Learning’s Back to School Backpack Project at the Nicollet County Fairground’s Johnson Hall.

  Members of the SPHS varsity football team helped 
  out at Johnson Hall with the unpacking and
  organizing school supplies  for the Friends of            Learning's Backpack Project. 

Friends of Learning (FOL) is a nonprofit collaboration between the St. Peter Lions Club, the St. Peter Kiwanis, Nicollet County, the Salvation Army, and Friends of the St. Peter Library that works together to collect school supplies for K-12 students in St. Peter and rural Nicollet County. The group depends on community donations and support to provide these much-needed school supplies.

“We are so grateful to have such a big group like the Saints’ football team help us out these past few years,” Michelle Zehnder Fischer, FOL member and Nicollet County Attorney said. “These boys were able to speed things up for us by moving the supplies and helping unload them to get them ready for our volunteers to fill the backpacks. They were an awesome group to work with and we couldn't have done all this without them.”

“We got asked to get involved in this project about three or four years ago by one of our former player’s (Jack Sourbeck’s) mother, and it’s a community service project that has sort of become the football program’s thing,” Brian Odland, the Saints’ head coach, said. “One of the best things about this project, in addition to giving back to our community, is that our seniors take the lead on this and coordinate getting everyone there to help out.”


For more information on the Friends of Learning's Backpack Project please contact Michelle Zehnder Fischer at