News & Notes

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Middle school logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Education Minnesota celebrated American Education Week by honoring Melissa Terpstra, Saint Peter Middle School’s thinking room supervisor, as the 2018 Education Minnesota Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year.

  Missy Terpstra (middle) recently received Education 
  Minnesota's Education Support Professional of the 
  Year Award. She is shown here with Education MN 
  Vice President Paul Mueller (left) and SPMS Principal
  Jon Graff (right). 

Terpstra has worked in St. Peter Public Schools since 2003, first as a special education paraprofessional at South Elementary and then as a thinking room supervisor at South Elementary and now at St. Peter Middle School. She also serves as the local president of the Education Minnesota Paraprofessional Educators of Saint Peter union.

“Missy is a whatever-you-need kind of person who is always so supportive and helpful for all of us at the middle school,” Principal Jon Graff said. “We started the Thinking Room during the middle of the first quarter in the fall of 2017, and she was the perfect person to supervise that area.”

As a thinking room supervisor, Terpstra is the first point of contact for students experiencing behavior issues in the classroom, lunchroom, hallways or during recess. In her award nomination materials, Terpstra’s colleagues describe her as authentic, impressive, dedicated and award-worthy.

“I love what I do and I do what I love,” said Terpstra. “I’m not sure what our school would look like without ESPs. We go hand-in-hand with the teachers.”

Terpstra also works tirelessly to make sure ESPs are supported and valued members of the district. As local union president, she makes sure all ESPs know the value of the union. She advocates for ESPs to receive professional development, attend conferences and be a part of the larger labor movement.

St. Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson summarized what all her colleagues shared about Terpstra in his recommendation letter for her award nomination, “What I have found is the key ingredient to success within schools and working with students is authenticity, and this is something that Missy brings to her job every single day and every single year.”

As the new Minnesota ESP of the Year, Terpstra will receive a new Apple iPad and a $1,000 honorarium. She will also be nominated for the National Education Association’s ESP of the Year and will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas for the awards ceremony in March.

“ESPs are often the first people that interact with our students each day and the last ones to say goodbye,” said Education Minnesota Vice President Paul Mueller, who presented Terpstra with her award. “A big piece of our students’ successes is the personal interaction that ESPs can give them, in and out of the classroom. I don’t think anyone knows that more than our 2018 Education Support Professional of the Year, Melissa Terpstra.”

American Education Week, a national celebration of public education, runs from Nov. 12 through Nov. 16. Wednesday had been designated as Education Support Professionals Day to honor the people who keep schools running and students safe, healthy and ready to learn.

The winner of the Education Support Professional of the Year award is selected by a five-member selection committee that includes three leaders of Education Minnesota, the winner in the previous year and a representative of an external organization, which was United Educators Credit Union this year.

About Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO. More information about Education Minnesota is available


The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

New staff at Saint Peter High School and Middle School were honored at a special breakfast, hosted by the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce, on August 23 at the Minnesota School Board Association's (MSBA) office building.

  New Saint Peter High School & Middle School staff includes:
  front row (l to r), Courtney Shey (8th grade ELA), Charlotte
  Smith (7th/8th grade ELA), Sarah O'Brien (high school ELA), 
  Jennifer Curtis (high school ELA), Leah Knutson (middle
  school ELA); back row, Air Chantharak (high school special
  education), Jordan Paula (SPHS Activities Director), Annemarie
  Clemenson (middle school special   education), Callie
  Rodenbiker (middle school ELA).

The annual New Teacher Breakfast was hosted by the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce on August 23 at the Minnesota School Board Association's (MSBA) office building. The breakfast is an opportunity with St. Peter business and community leaders to meet and network with the new teaching staff.

MSBA and Scholarship America sponsor the event each year for the new teachers from Saint Peter Public Schools, Gustavus Adolphus College, and local private schools.

Those addressing the large crowd of new faces (and some familiar ones) included Ed Lee, St. Peter Chamber executive Director; Juli Sowder, Scholarship America marketing manager; Kirk Scheidawind, MSBA executive director; and Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson.

Raffle prizes were provide by Nicollet County Bank, First National Bank, and the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce.


Middle school logo
Jon Graff

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

Welcome to Saint Peter Middle School! 
It is time to begin looking forward to the 2018-2019 school year! 

Fall Entrance Conferences: 
Fall Entrance Conferences will be held on September 4th from 8:00 am - 7:30 pm and on September 5th from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. Conference scheduling will open on August 20th. Please use the online conference scheduler or call the middle school office at 934-4210, ext. 5011 to schedule a conference with your student’s advisor. Interpreters are available upon request. At conferences: students will meet their advisor, review their schedule, get their locker assignment and lock (locks require a $5 deposit which will be returned at the end of the school year), and have any questions about the upcoming school year answered. Food service, Infinite Campus, Weekend Food Program, and bus information will also be available at conferences. Students are encouraged to bring their supplies, organize their lockers, and find their classrooms after meeting with their advisor. 

First Day of School: 
Our first day of school is September 6th. Our day begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 3:05 PM. 

Fall Activities:
7th and 8th graders, it is not too late to sign up for a fall sport. If interested, contact Pam Baker at the activities office at email at or by phone at 934-4212. 

Fall Pictures:
Middle School Students will have their school pictures taken on October 4th.

I look forward to working with you in the year to come! 

Jon Graff
Saint Peter Middle School

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