News & Notes

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School students, who participated in the school’s Saints Manufacturing Academy classes, took advantage of a summer experience activity to tour three area businesses on June 19 to learn more about job opportunities and careers in those fields.

  SPHS tech ed instructor Michael Reeser (middle) and 
  Brian Mayo, one of the owners of APT, CNC Inc., talk
  to Manufacturing Academy students about some of
  the skills needed to work at the company. 

The students were accompanied by Michael Reeser, SPHS industrial technology teacher; Mandy Quist, SPHS College and Career Readiness Coordinator; and Corrie Odland, Workforce Development Coordinator for SPHS, Tri-City United and Le Sueur-Henderson high schools.

The students began their day with a tour of APT, CNC, Inc. located in Kasota and owned by Brian and Maegan Mayo, both SPHS alums. APT, CNC Inc. offers precision machining services to meet its customers' needs including CNC (computer numerical control) milling and turning, along with welding and access to outside process' such as laser cutting and hardening. 

Brian Mayo gave the students a tour of APT, CNC Incorporated’s facility and spoke with the group on the various equipment/machines that his employees use in the day-to-day operations and what skills and training are needed to work at his company.

The second stop of the day was at Kibble Equipment’s Mankato facility, which is a full service John Deere dealership. Students there met with Scott Brockman, Mankato store manager for Kibble’s Mankato and Minnesota Lake facilities; Bill Phelps, parts manager; and Dave Hurn, service manager.

Brockman provided students with a broad overview of Kibble Equipment, which operates stores in 22 locations in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa, and specifically talked about the Mankato location. Phelps and Hurn also talked to the students about careers with the company and, along with Brockman, talked about the training students need to work for Kibble as well as the company’s tuition reimbursement programs that are available.

The visit to Kibble also include a short tour of their Mankato facility, including the service and parts area.

The last stop was at Winco, a generator manufacturing company located in a 200,000-square foot facility in Le Center.  Shane Willams, Operations Manager, gave the group a tour showcasing the various generators that Winco builds and sells. 

Winco is unique in that they work with their customers and build the generators from metal up. Generator sales consist of portable, everyday models to large generators that can provide power to large manufacturing companies.

A few highlights included viewing the sales area, walk through of step-by-step design and build: including material laser and cutting, welding, assembly, finishing with powder coating/painting, and inspection. Employees are cross trained, including lean and Six Sigma, to ensure efficiency, quality and cost effective production for their customers.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

  Senior Ashley Sosa comes forward to accept the 2019 
  Al and Cathy Annexstad Hope & Inspiration Scholarship 
  during the May 29th SPHS Senior Awards Night. 

Saint Peter High School's annual Senior Awards Night was held on May 29 at the SPHS Performing Arts Center with numerous awards, honors, and scholarships announced in front of a large crowd of students, staff, parents, family and friends.

A big part of the evening is the awarding of scholarships through the St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars Chapter as well as several other scholarships that were presented as well.

“This year we awarded 75 scholarships totaling $48,700 to 71 students (through the Dollars for Scholars program)” Tracey Peymann, St. Peter Kasota Dollars for Scholars Chapter president, said. “We had 40 different donors provide 50 of the 75 scholarships and the remaining 25 were awarded from our General Fund (money raised by our annual phone-a-thon). We also had one new business, AmericInn, sponsor a new $500 scholarship.

“This summer, the application for our newest scholarship, the Roger & Sharon Bakken/Scholarship America Renewable Scholarship, will be available to St. Peter graduates who have completed one year of post-secondary education. This renewable award will increase for up to three years.”

In addition to the Dollars for Scholars scholarships, there are other miscellaneous scholarships along with awards, and honors handed out throughout the event to a very-deserving SPHS senior class.

One of the other highlights of the Senior Awards Night is the annual awarding of the Al and Cathy Annexstad Hope and Inspiration Scholarship, which was awarded to Ashley Sosa by Zack Haas on behalf of the Annexstad Family Foundation.

One of the other highlights of the Senior Awards Night is the annual awarding of the Al and Cathy Annexstad Hope and Inspiration Scholarship, which was awarded to Ashley Sosa by Zack Haas on behalf of the Annexstad Family Foundation. The scholarship award is for $5,000 per year over four years. 

Click HERE to see a complete list of awards and scholarship winners from Senior Awards Night.

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Funds to be used to purchase CellSlip pouches for each classroom

Saint Peter High School has received a $3,025 grant from the Mankato Clinic Foundation to be used for purchasing CellSlip pouches for each of the classrooms in the building.  

  Saint Peter High School recently received a $3,025 grant
  from the Mankato Clinic Foundation to purchase Cell
  Slips, which are used to block cell phones from receiving
  a signal and will be available for SPHS teachers to use in
  class starting next year. Shown here are (l to r),  SPHS
  senior Sophia Lee, Principal Annette Engeldinger, science
  teacher Dani Roehrkasse, Mankato Clinic Foundation
  Communications Coordinator Marie Woods, SPHS social
  worker Kelly Jensen, and Mankato Clinic Foundation
  President Marcia Bahr.

CellSlip pouches block all cellular, wifi, and Bluetooth signals for a cell phone that is placed inside and it is sealed. The pouches are made using an RFID blocking material which lines the pouch and blocks all signals trying to access the cell phone inside the pouch.

“There will be a container with 32 pouches placed in each classroom at the high school next year,” Kelly Jensen, SPHS social worker, said. “Teachers who have already heard about this are very excited.”

“We are not making it mandatory that teachers use the CellSlip pouches. We want to make them available for our teaching staff to use if they so choose. Americans, on average, check their phone every 12 minutes and they are often a major distraction in the classroom.   These pouches will help take some of the pressure off teachers of having to take a student’s phone away from them, if necessary. We also hope it helps encourage our students to become more engaged in their classes and in social situations.”

  This is what the CellSlip
  pouches will look like that
  SPHS will receive. 

The Mankato Clinic Foundation provides grants once a quarter to organizations and initiatives that promote and improve community health and wellness in the communities they serve. The organizations that receive funding are living out the Foundation's mission with the work they do and the Mankato Clinic Foundation is proud to support them.

The physicians at the Mankato Clinic provide the majority of the Foundation funding as a means to give back to the community by providing support to organizations which strive to improve health and wellness. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis and are considered only through the application process.

About the Mankato Clinic Foundation

The mission of the Mankato Clinic Foundation is to encourage and support the health and well-being of our community through initiatives that promote and improve community wellness. Annual initiatives made possible by the Mankato Clinic Foundation include community grants, scholarships for students pursuing careers in health, Boys and Girls Clubs of Mankato, First Steps to promote healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, and ImPACT concussion management for school and youth athletes.


Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Thirty-eight new members of Saint Peter High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) were inducted at a special ceremony Monday evening (May 20) at the SPHS Performing Arts Center.

The ceremony included a special ‘Welcome’ message from Jana Sykora, SPHS counselor, and the Sponsor’s Message from Annette Engeldinger, SPHS principal.

After senior NHS members Anja Dulin and Grace Werner provided information on the history and future of the SPHS NHS Chapter, four other senior members reviewed the qualifications for membership -- Madison Kisor (Qualifications), Yana Burgess (Scholarship), Kayley Ronnkvist (Leadership), Kylie Grack (Service), and Josh Ellerbeck (Character).

Senior Emily Peterson and junior Allison McCabe then announced each of the 32 new inductees which was followed by the ceremonial lighting of the NHS Candles, under the direction of Isaac Peterson. During this time, the new inductees recited the NHS pledge: “I pledge to uphold the high purposes of the National Honor Society to which I have been selected; I will be true to the principles for which it stands; I will be loyal to my school; and I will maintain and encourage high standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.”

Senior Sophia Lee provided the closing remarks for the evening which was followed by the processional for the NHS membership.

(* - denotes new inductee)

Yana Burgess
Kaiden Burmeister*
David Doherty-Bohn
Anja Dulin
Liliana Elofson
Benjamin Epper
Claudia Giedd
Kylie Grack
Adeline Guappone
Rebecca Johnson
Kiera Krueger
Sophia Lee
Lauren Mayer*
Bailey More
Claire Nuessmeier
Emily Peterson   
Isaac Peterson
Marlen Ramirez
McKenna Reese
Jade Reicks
Kenneth Ringler*
Kayley Ronnkvist
Caitlin Salfer   
Signe Tyson-Alger
Jacey Welp
Amelia Wernsing
Xeanna Willaert
Mackenna Zelenka

Ella Boomgaarden
Adrianne Brock
Chloe Buffington  
Amelia Carlson*
Michael Connor*
Harrison Dean
Joshua Ellerbeck  
Katherine Engeldinger
Noah Faulstich*   
Lauren Feder    
Wareke Gillette
Samantha Hofferbert
Elijah Hunt
Rahma Jamac
Carson Kennedy*
Madison Kisor
Aubry Landsom
Isabelle Lind
Milena Lund
Allison McCabe
Michael Moline*
Daniel Nadeau
Jaden Neubauer*
Ethan Niemeyer*
Wyatt Olson*
Maggi Pierret
Reese Portugue
Aileen Rueda
Nicole Schilling
RaeAnne Smit
Matthew Springer*
Gloria Toupence
Grace Werner
Gabriel Wilson*

Madison Abels*
Obet Alcantara Alvarez*
John Borgmeier*
Ella Gilbertson*
Haydon Grams*
Ethan Grant*
Mia Hansen*
Rahima Jamac*
Emma Johnson*
Morgan Kelly*
Audrey Kennedy*
Vanessa Krueger*
Jack Leonard*
Anna LoFaro*
Kelson Lund*
Elizabeth Mitchell*
Madison More*
Lauren Niemeyer*
Elizabeth Orth*
Breeley Ruble*
Emily Salfer*
Miranda Seham*
Zachary Taylor*
Konrad Wernsing*

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Project was part of district internship program and FFA project

Restoring an antique tractor may seem like quite an undertaking for a couple of high school seniors, but for two driven Saint Peter High School students like Cole Deegan and Mitchell Pettis it was a labor of love that resulted in an experience they will not soon forget.

  SPHS seniors Cole Deegan (seated on tractor) and Mitchell
  Pettis (middle) along with their teacher, Michael Reeser, with 
  antique Farmall tractor the two restored for a class project.

Deegan and Pettis restored a 1936 Farmall F20 tractor for Deegan’s grandfather (Phil Deegan), which he had purchased from a farmer friend in Le Sueur County a couple years ago. They completed it in time to show it at the recent Minnesota State FFA Convention, held April 19-21, and their finished project received rave reviews.

“About a year ago, Mitch and I started talking about restoring an old tractor and I knew my Grandpa and, who collects them, had bought five of them from a guy he knew recently, and the Farmall we chose was in good enough shape to restore,” Deegan said. “We had it on display by the entrance into the Career Fair at state convention, and we got a lot of compliments about it.”

“We worked with Mr. (Michael) Reeser to set things up through the district’s internship program to begin working on it last fall during first semester under his guidance,” Pettis said. “We continued working on it through the rest of winter and into spring as part of an FFA project.”

“These two young men are willing to work and learn while completing a job correctly,” Reeser said. “With any project there are moments of questioning, ‘What are we doing?,’ but this does not phase Cole and Mitchell, they regroup and just move forward. With that commitment I knew this project would been seen through to the end. Working on a piece of machinery that is 84 years old lends itself to some unique challenges, but the boys found or created the resources, material, and parts to finish the tractor. I truly enjoyed working with and guiding these two talented young men and hopefully ignited or fueled an existing passion for restoring our past. It is a very rewarding process to help share the past with people.”

  The tractor the two SPHS seniors restored was being
  stored in a barn on a farm in Le Sueur County before
  being bought by Cole Deegan's grandfather. 

The two used the automotive shop at SPHS for a lot of the mechanical work and machining work. They also used space and equipment at their own homes when needed.

“We had a nice little corner of the school’s shop set up for our project, which was great,” Deegan said. “Mr. Reeser was such a big help, too, with his knowledge and expertise.”

“It was nice to have a facility like we have here at school, and we spent a lot of time in the shop on this project,” Pettis said. “It was great to have access to the press, lathe, and the Bridgeport equipment here at school, which we put to good use.”

The two of them worked long hours throughout the school year and set a goal to have it done by state convention. They were fortunate to be able to find some of the parts needed for the restoration, and they also made some of the parts here at the SPHS shop. About the only trouble they encountered was finding paint to match the original color of the tractor,

They were able to get it up and running and ready for painting the week before they were to transport up to the St. Paul to put it on display.

“As we were getting close to state convention, I was talking to my dad about how close we were getting to being done, but I also had some concerns about finishing it on time,” Deegan said. “Well, my dad had a real heart-to-heart with me and he stressed it wasn’t a matter of if it would get done, but rather that it had to get done. Hearing that really helped keep us on track.”

“Once we got it ready to paint, we knew we wanted it to really look great, so we had a friend of our’s, Cody Paul (2018 SPHS grad), do the painting,” Pettis said. “He’s in the auto body program at SCC (South Central College) and did a great job for us.”

Deegan and Pettis have a busy summer planned for the tractor with plans to display it at the Nicollet County Fair and Minnesota State Fair later this summer. This tractor will now be entered into the National FFA Tractor Restoration Program sponsored by Chevron. Deegan and Pettis will complete a detailed presentation including information on all phases of the restoration process. If the tractor advances to National Convention the two will present their project to the national judges in October.

“The St. Peter school, community, and families should be proud of this outstanding finished project that truly represents the talents and work ethic of these students,” Reeser said. “To find a quality restored 1936 F20 in its proper color and on rubber is truly a great visual for us tractor people that have only seen black and white photos!

Deegan, whose future plans include getting involved in the family business, Deegan Construction, enjoyed the restoration project so much, he hopes to restore a classic car some day. Pettis, who will attend South Central College for civil engineering, really enjoyed the project as well and also has a job with APT Machining, where he puts those skills to good use.


Check out the latest and previous editions of the Saint Peter Public Schools Highlights Newsletter!

August 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
August 2018
June 2018