News & Notes

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Program to be held in SPHS Performing Arts Center starting at 9:30 a.m.

St. Peter resident Mark W. Roemhildt, Commander, USN (retired), will be the guest speaker at the annual Veterans Day program at Saint Peter High School on Monday, Nov. 11. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. at the SPHS Performing Arts Center, and it is put on each year by the school’s social studies department.

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. The public is also invited to attend the program. 

Roemhildt is a native of St. Peter and graduated from St. Peter High School in 1987. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned his Commission as an Ensign through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program. He was designated as a Surface Warfare Officer and served on nearly every ship class in the US Navy. He completed multiple deployments around the world while conducting a wide variety of missions: he worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to intercept illegal narcotics bound for the United States; he was involved in the initial naval response while stationed in the Middle East following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; and he was at the forefront of efforts to provide humanitarian aid to heavily damaged areas in Indonesia and Thailand following the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. He worked closely with the Korean Navy to plan for the defense of the Korean peninsula and he held a variety of positions with Military Sealift Command, which oversees the maritime movement of logistical materials globally.

He completed overseas assignments in the Middle East, Italy, Japan, Hawaii, and Singapore and earned a Master of Science from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Business Administration from North Central University.  He retired from the Navy in 2016 after 25 years of commissioned active duty service.

He is the son of a veteran, a brother of a veteran, and has six close family members who are also veterans.

Music for the program will be presented by the Saint Peter Concert Choir, under the direction of Scott Hermanson, and by 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 new SPHS building near the event (gym) entrance.

Saint Peter Public Schools logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

New equipment will benefit CTE, art, math, and science programs

  SPHS metalworking instructor Michael Reeser (seated)
  demonstrates for his students how the new plasma
  cutter works. 

Saint Peter High School students enrolled in classes through the school's CTE (Career & Technical Education) program will now get the opportunity to use the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) plasma cutter the district recently purchased using AAA (Academics, Arts, and Athletics) funds that were raised privately. 

The AAA funds were raised through the school's recent Capital Campaign to provide enhancements to Saint Peter High School's academic, athletic, and arts programs. The Capital Campaign began around the time the new SPHS building opened in the fall of 2017.

According to Michael Reeser, SPHS’s metalworking instructor, adding the plasma cutting system will allow St. Peter students to experience an industry tool that is commonplace in the manufacturing workforce. Students will apply critical thinking skills to operate and manage several software systems, coordinate systems, tool path building, and G code programming to produce quality products.

“Students will identify issues with production and problem solve for solutions to maintain quality and quantity of the products for the consumer,” Reeser said. “Allowing for creativity in design, this system will expand our ability to capture student ideas and components to push for innovation in production.”

In addition, the CNC system will foster collaboration between departments to provide industry level equipment and processing to students outside of the manufacturing wing such as art, math, and science.

Students will learn to communicate using the languages of manufacturing, technical reading, and technical writing. Applying math, science, and art to create ideas and then convert those ideas to actual products.

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Kurt Hildebrandt


Two Saint Peter High School seniors were recognized recently by the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program for 2020 for their exceptional academic promise. 

Grace Werner, the daughter of Ray and Kim Werner and Keith and Deanna Ruffing, has been named as a Semifinalist for 2020. She is currently spending her senior year of high school studying abroad in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Program. 

Werner is one of just 16,000 to earn semifinalist honors out of the 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). She is now eligible to become a National Merit Scholarship finalist, which will be announced in February 2020. 

Aubry Landsom, the daughter of Craig and Lisa Landson, was named a Commended Student for 2020. Commended students place among the top 50,000 of the 1.5 million students taking the PSAT/NMSQT and she is one of 34,000 to earn the Commended Student honor.

Even though Commended Students do not continue in the 2020 competition, it is a tremendous honor to achieve that level, according to a National Merit Scholarship spokesperson.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

First Landon Gran Memorial Scholarships to be awarded in May 2020 at FFA banquet

  An aerial view of the Roll'N for Landon event on Sept. 21
  at SPHS.

Final numbers are in for the first-ever Roll’N for Landon event, held Saturday, Sept. 21, at Saint Peter High School, and nearly $25,000 was raised for the Landon Gran Memorial Scholarship fund, which will benefit SPHS FFA students well into the future.

Landon Gran, who would have been a senior at SPHS this school year, passed away as the result of injuries he sustained in a farm accident in mid-August. Friends and family of his wanted to do something special in his memory and the Roll’N for Landon event was created. 

A total of $24,623 was raised for the scholarship fund through the September 21 event, T-shirt sales, and an anonymous matching grant. These funds will be placed into an interest bearing account and the interest will be used to provide scholarships to students involved in the SPHS FFA Chapter pursuing an education in an agricultural field.

“Thank you to everyone that made the Roll'N for Landon event wonderful success,” SPHS/South Central Agri-Science Academy FFA co-advisor Michael Reeser said. “To all of the families, students, and FFA members that stepped up and into all of the positions that needed to be filled to make the event run smoothly, you are all awesome and to be commended. 

“This is a wonderful community that showed its love for one of our families that has lost a loved one. The goal is to honor Landon and all that he loved about life. From a tremendous loss, a light has hopefully been lifted to ALWAYS remember Landon."

The first scholarships will be awarded in May 2020 at the annual Saint Peter High School FFA Awards Banquet. Plans are already in the works for the Roll’N for Landon 2020 event, according to Reeser. 

Other highlights of the event included:

*  130 registered vehicles
*  450+ Meals sold
*  2,500 Raffle Tickets Sold

*  Farthest Distance Traveled by an Exhibitor: Larry Haden of Fargo, N.D.,  2008 Ford Mustang GT.
*  Oldest vehicle Exhibited (tie):  Cole Pankratz of St. Peter (2018 SPHS Grad), 1930 Ford Model; Erik Hansen of Kasota, 1930 Ford Model A. 

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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.