Saint Peter Public Schools will once again host a series of Coffee Conversations at various locales on select Saturdays from now through the month of May. The first of those Conversations will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, at River Rock Coffee.
Superintendent Paul Peterson and representatives from the School Board will be on hand at each event to talk about issues related to Saint Peter Public Schools and the public is encouraged to attend.
The following is the complete schedule for those Coffee Conversations (from 9 to 10 a.m. each time):
February 2 - River Rock Coffee
March 9 - Diamond Dust Bakery
April 13 - Family Fresh
May 4 - Dunkin’ Donuts
Position is grant-funded and shared with TCU & Le Sueur-Henderson districts
A collaborative effort between Saint Peter, Tri-City United and Le Sueur-Henderson school districts, to create a new, grant-funded regional workforce development coordinator position has resulted in the hiring of Corrie Odland to that new post.
The purpose of this new, multi-district position is to help deepen the connections between the high schools in each of the three districts and their respective business communities. While the three districts were looking at the best ways to achieve that goal it became apparent that an active liaison between schools and the business community is a key ingredient in these dynamic partnerships. Through these connections, the goal is to create learning opportunities for students all around the region.
Odland began her new position on January 2 and has kept very busy familiarizing herself with the three school districts and their respective communities -- although having lived in St. Peter for the past 10 years, she already has had somewhat of a head start.
“So far I’ve met with representatives from each of the three school districts and visited their respective buildings, and I’m very excited to be involved in this position from the very beginning,” Odland said. “My main goals so far have been to establish contacts and tour each of the buildings, and also find out what the goals of each district are and also find out what employers in their communities with which to contact.
“Having lived here in St. Peter as long as I have, I feel I have a strong connection here, and I look forward to building that kind of connection with the TCU and Le Sueur-Henderson communities.”
Odland has prior experience working with career exploration and development, having worked for seven years at Gustavus Adolphus College in career development as well as similar work experience at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Mesabi Range College, and Century College.
“My experience there involved personal counseling, academic advising, and career counseling, and feel that bodes well with this new position as workforce development coordinator,” she said. “Big picture, my main goals overall are to provide local high school students with opportunities to explore careers and gain career-relative experiences and provide a chance for local employers to introduce to students the opportunities they have, while also building on those partnerships.
“I’m still getting acclimated to the position and it will be a learning experience for everyone involved, but everyone I’ve met so far has been very receptive and, like me, are very excited about the possibilities.”
Funding for the position is part of a larger grant awarded by the Greater Twin Cities United Way to a project called South Central Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) of which these three districts, as well as Mankato Public Schools, Madelia and St. James-Butterfield-Odin Public Schools, are a part along with South Central Workforce Council, Minnesota Valley Action Council, South Central College, and the South Central Service Cooperative.
“The regional workforce development coordinator position is an important addition as we continue to implement our college and career readiness system,” Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said. “Saint Peter has rich learning environments throughout the community, and increased student engagement with businesses, industry and the public sector will provide experiences that are hard to replicate in the school setting.”
Area employers interested in connecting with Odland about possible partnerships can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event, which benefits SPPS students, hosted by Nicollet County emergency personnel
Local law enforcement and emergency response agencies teamed up to host the first-ever ‘Shop with a Hero’ program here in Nicollet County in which local youngsters in need were paired up with local heroes to go on a $100 shopping spree on December 8 at Shopko in St. Peter.
The Shop with a Hero program here was modeled after one in Mankato, and the goal was to pair up 20 Saint Peter Public School student participants with local heroes (aka, local law enforcement, emergency/first responders). Students were nominated for the program by Saint Peter Public Schools social workers and other staff members.
Each participant was then given a $100 gift card and assigned a hero, who would help them shop for presents for their family and possibly themselves.
Four members of the Saint Peter High School chapter of the National Honor Society took part in the event by helping wrap presents that the participants picked out during their shopping spree. Those NHS volunteers, who helped wrap the presents, included Emily Peterson, Adrianne Brock, Aileen Rueda, and Harrison Dean.
Donations to make the Shop with a Hero event possible were made by, the Shopko Foundation; charitable gambling proceeds through Red Men Bar, Embassy Bar, and the Flame Bar; St. Peter Lions Club; River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic (bicycle helmets); and Dunkin Donuts (refreshments).
Agencies/groups that assisted with this event, in addition to the SPHS National Honor Society, included: St. Peter Police Department, Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, North Mankato Police Department, River’s Edge Ambulance by Allina, and the St. Peter Fire Department.
Joe Teirab, a criminal prosecutor in the Nicollet County Attorney's Office and a former JAG lawyer with the U.S. Marine Corps, will be the guest speaker at the annual Veterans Day program at Saint Peter High School. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at the SPHS gym.
All area veterans are welcome to attend, and a special reception for veterans will be held before the program. Donuts and coffee will be served in the Saint Peter Community Room, next to the commons area.
Teirab was born and raised in Minnesota, graduated from Windom Area High School, Cornell University, and Harvard Law School. He served as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) lawyer for five years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Captain. In 2017, he was deployed to Iraq in support Operation Inherent Resolve, where he provided legal advice on combat operations against ISIS. He currently a criminal prosecutor in the Nicollet County Attorney's Office.
“Veterans Day is about showing honor and respect to those who have given sacrificially to our country, so I'm just honored and humbled to get an opportunity to speak,” Teirab said.
The Veterans Day program is put on each year by the SPHS social studies department. Music for the program will be presented by the Saint Peter High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Scott Hermanson, and the Saint Peter High School Concert Band, under the direction of Dave Haugh. Members of the William R. Witty American Legion Post 37 Color Guard will also participate.
A special veterans’ recognition will also be presented by SPHS Principal Annette Engeldinger honoring those SPHS alums who have served in the armed forces.
PARKING INFO: Those attending the Veterans Day program are encouraged to park in the lots on the west side of the SPHS building near the event/gym entrance.