Arts and Activities News and Notes

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Cast & crew to bring ‘She Kills Monsters’ to Performing Arts Center stage

  The SPHS spring play cast & crew have been busy
  preparing for their May 5-7 presentation of 'She 
  Kills Monsters' on the Performing Arts Center

Saint Peter High School’s theater department wraps up the 2021-22 school year with its spring play performance, “She Kills Monsters,” written by Qui Nguyen and co-directed this year by Robbie Deering and Jen Maldonado.

Performances are set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5; Friday, May 6; and Saturday, May 7 at the SPHS Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office an hour prior to each performance and there will be NO online sales for this show. Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for students and NO PASSES will be accepted. (PLEASE NOTE: The age recommendation for the spring play is 14+ due to strong language and mature content.)

‘She Kills Monsters’ is a dramedy that debuted in 2011. It tells the story of Agnes Evans, an average woman who loses her younger sister Tilly in a car accident. Having been very distant from her sister while she was alive, Agnes embarks on an adventure to get to know her sister better by playing a Dungeons & Dragons module that Tilly had written, and discovers things she'd never imagined. The plot takes place in reality and in the imaginary game world.

Narrator - Isabelle Mish
Tilly - Rowan Snay
Agnes - Sky Gassman 
Chuck - Bryan Harroun
Vera - Ryenne Pettis
Miles - Shea Hildebrandt
Lilith - Eva Kracht
Kaliope - Eleanor Winterfeldt
Orcus - David Marlow
Steve - Brenden Larson
Farrah - Ella Ruble
Evil Gabbi - Eleanor Kennedy
Evil Tina - Grace Tollefson
Monster - Adrik Rojas-Malledo
Monster - Lucas Hickey
Monster - Lily Deming
Monster - Madison Braam
Monster - Sophia Brown
Monster - Anja Harbo
Monster - Drake Smuder

Stage manager - Hannah Wohlers
Assistant Stage Manager - Wesley Toupence
Lighting Design - CeeJay King and Corbin Herron
Spotlight - Noah Kracht and Marcus Graves
Costume manager - Andrew Baji
Set Construction - Ryan Ranft, Marcus Grave, Alexis Boettcher, Ella Ruble, Wyatt Davis, Dustin Sikkema, Santiago Vega, Sean Mitchell, and Noah Kracht.

Co-directors - Robbie Deering & Jen Maldonado
Construction coordinator - Scott Robinson

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

St. Peter High School will receive a 2022 Minnesota Promising Practices Award for the Mental Warriors Club. The school will be honored at the Character Recognition Awards luncheon on May 17.

  The SPHS Mental Warriors Club was started in 
  2018 by science teacher/coach Sean Keating and 
  meets bi-weekly before school in his classroom.

Mental Warriors is a club of students at St. Peter High School who aspire to grow their mindset, show empathy to others, and discover strategies and techniques to better equip themselves to handle the stresses of teenage life. The club began in 2018 by Sean Keating, St. Peter High School science teacher and head boys basketball coach.

“Students have many challenges that can affect their emotional intelligence,” said Keating. “Students that know who they are and spend time building meaningful relationships with peers can become self-motivated to succeed and thrive in a variety of environments post-high school.”

Students attend the club bi-weekly for meetings before school.  Keating chooses a relative topic for the students to discuss in small groups.  Some recent topics discussed this year include: courage, growth mindset, stoicism, future self, human connection, cell phone awareness, and focusing on what you can and cannot control.  Keating encourages students to journal daily, monitor their sleep schedule and maintain and build healthy relationships.  

The Minnesota Promising Practices Award was created to celebrate unique and effective practices schools and youth serving organizations have created that promote character development. The practices are shared on the Synergy website to serve as an idea generator for other schools. Synergy has presented more than 100 Minnesota Promising Practices Awards since 2008.

“In a time when divisive, negative news dominates the headlines, it is inspiring to see the great things students, schools, community groups and individuals are doing to encourage and promote good character and ethical leadership in Minnesota,” said Wanda Sommers Wall, Synergy & Leadership Exchange executive director.

Synergy & Leadership Exchange presents the awards each year to spotlight schools with exemplary efforts, motivate honorees for continued effort and success, and inspire others with examples to replicate. Schools apply for the award which is reviewed by a blue-ribbon evaluation panel.

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. Learn more about the Minnesota Promising Practices Awards and Synergy & Leadership Exchange at

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

The Minnesota River Strike Force adapted bowling team opened its season recently and has seen its number grow from four student-athletes last year to 13 this season (10 from St. Peter and three from LSH). The home venue for the local squad is the Wow! Zone in Mankato.

  Junior Logan Gessner, shown bowling vs.
  LCWM recently, is one of the four returning
  bowlers on the Strike Force squad in 2022.

Shown here are some action photos from the team’s recent match with Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial on Wednesday, March 23rd.

Saint Peter High School team members include: senior Xavier Hartman; juniors Logan Gessner and Mitchel Joosten; sophomore Ashlee Miller; freshmen Caleb Westphal and Chesney Freeman; eighth grader Abby Voeltz; and seventh grader Kallie Brovold. LSH students include: sophomore Lucas Henze; freshman Cooper Johnston; and eighth grader Angela Molina.

Co-head coaches for the Strike for this year are Kris Voeltz and Keith Bense, while St. Peter assistant coaches include Liz Leibfried, Sue Haggenmiller, and Grace Pehrson. Student managers are Callie Voeltz, Zetta Haugen.  LSH

  The Wow! Zone in Mankato is the home alley
  for the MN River adapted bowling squad.

assistant coaches include Bobbie Schleeve, Lezlie Amela, and Nancy Herron.

(All events at Wow! Zone in Mankato starting at 4 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 30 - vs. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 
Wednesday, April 6 - vs. Simley
Wednesday, April 20 - vs. Minnetonka
Wednesday, April 27 - vs. St. Michael-Albertville
Wednesday, May 4 - vs. Mankato West
Thursday, May 5 - Regionals at Wow Zone



The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School’s’ Academic Decathlon (AcaDec) team took home third-place honors recently in the Minnesota Academic Decathlon competition, held virtually this year, after placing second in the regional competition earlier this season.

SPHS Academic Decathlon team members include: front row (l to r), Madi Winsell, Damon McConnville, (inset) Callum Harmes; back row, Isam Ibrahim, Hannah Wohlers, Ella Henry, Sarah Busse, and Coach Peggy Dimock. Not pictured is Assistant Coach Andrew Vollmer.

The Saints, coached by Peggy Dimock and Andrew Vollmer, also had several individuals fare well during the state and regional competitions. The Saints will be eligible to compete at the national level the weekend of April 21-23 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Those SPHS students winning medals recently included:


Ella Henry - silver overall, silver in art, gold in Economics, silver in literature, Gold in Math, Silver in Social Science, Silver in Music, Bronze in Science

Damon McConnville - Bronze in Art, Bronze in Economics,  Bronze in Science

Isam Ibrahim - Bronze in Economics, Silver in Music, Bronze in Science

Callum Harms - Gold in Math, Silver in Art

Madi Winsell - Gold in Economics, Bronze in literature


Hannah Wohler: Gold in speech, Silver in Interview, Bronze in Esssay

Sarah Busse: Bronze in Speech, Bronze in Interview

Madi Winsell: Bronze in Science, Silver in Economics, Gold in Speech, Bronze in interview

Isam Ibrahim Bronze in Econ, Bronze in speech, Bronze in Essay

Ella Henry: Bronze in lit, bronze in music,  silver in science, silver in art, gold in speech, Silver interview, Silver in social science, Silver overall

Damen McConville Bronze in Math, Bronze in Social Science 

About Academic Decathlon

Academic Decathlon programs promote academic growth and excellence for students in grades 9–12. Students benefit by participating in this national scholastic competition through the use of higher-level thinking skills, while preparing students for college and life skills. It also helps foster individual accountability/growth, and provides students with dynamic group/team interaction.

Participants also support team spirit and the sense of belonging. The program also enables personal pride and success, and this program also can change the lives of students and offers them the opportunity to experience the rigors of team and individual competition. 

The Academic Decathlon curriculum addresses a number of national content and curriculum standards and tests students of all skill levels in 10 events: economics, math, science, social science, literature, art, music, essay, speech and interview. Teams consist of nine students, three from each GPA category: honor (3.8-4.00), scholastic (3.20-3.799) and varsity (0.0-3.199), as well as alternates. 

The theme for the 2021-2022 Academic Decathlon season is “Water: A Most Essential Resource.”

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Spring repertoire production set for this Sunday at Mankato West

  SPHS student Alexa Rassbach is the lead dancer 
  for the Mankato Ballet's March 6th production of
  'Swan Lake'.

Several students from Saint Peter Public Schools are involved in this Sunday’s (March 6) spring repertoire production of ‘Swan Lake’ by the Mankato Ballet Company. Showtime is set for 5 p.m. at Mankato West High School’s theater and tickets can be purchased HERE!

Among the SPPS students taking part in the production of Swan Lake includes Saint Peter High School students Alexa Rassbach and Elodie DeVos along with Saint Peter Middle School students Quinn Rassbach, Zella Erickson, and River Kemp.

“This four-act ballet is one of the most classical ballets of all time and is as well-known as The Nutcracker,” Mankato Ballet Company’s Artistic Director Eryn Michlitsch said. “Our version features our Performing Company Dancers, a group of 30 dancers who work and attend extra rehearsals and classes each week. Most dance 14-20 hours a week and are very excited to have this ballet on stage and open to audiences again!

  Here's the full company of the Mankato Ballet's
  production of 'Swan Lake' which includes five
  SPHS students -- Alexa Rassbach and Elodie
  DeVos along with Saint Peter Middle School
  students Quinn Rassbach, Zella Erickson, and
  River Kemp.

“Alexa (Rassbach) is our lead dancer performing the coveted lead role of Odette/Odile, while her sister Quinn is also a cast member along with Elodie, Zella and River,” Michlitsch said.

Mankato Ballet Company has been the classical ballet go-to since 1983.  Over the last 12 years it formed the Performing Company which gives dedicated dancers a chance to take their technique to a higher level and gain access to other choreographers and ballets in a professional level setting.  

“Riley Thomas Weber is the Ballet Master who works closely with these dancers, sets choreography and oversees much of their training,” Michlitsch said. “As Artistic Director, I set a large portion of the ballets we perform and decide what our season programming will be each year.”