News & Notes

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Twelve of 25 co-curricular programs to move up a class for next two school years

Saint Peter High School co-curricular programs will see quite a few changes from a postseason perspective over the next two school years (2019-20 and 2020-21) as the Saints will move up a class in several activities.

Over the past eight years, Saint Peter has always been one of the larger schools in the respective classes it has competed in, but even larger than normal class sizes with this year’s 10th and 11th grade have pushed the Saints above the threshold in 12 of the 25 activities sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League.

“We had a pretty good idea we would be moving up in several activities ahead of time, so the news isn’t a surprise,” SPHS Activities Director Jordan Paula said. “While it would have been great to remain the same, but this will be a great opportunity to compete against some new and some familiar opponents.

“The good news is larger class sizes means larger enrollments, which is good for our school district,” Paula added.

Schools are placed in respective sections based upon their adjusted enrollment number, which counts actual enrollment for grades 9-12 and then adjusts that number based up on the percentage of students who are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. Saint Peter’s adjusted enrollment went up from 502 before the previous reclassification to 593 this time around. The enrollment cutoffs varies by each sport, for instance, Saint Peter’s boys tennis team will remain in Class A, while the girls tennis team will move up to Class AA.

Those activities where the Saints will remain in the same classification and section includes: swimming & diving, girls gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys tennis, choir, band, volleyball, wrestling, boys and girls golf, and boys and girls hockey.

There may be some minor changes geographically with the sections the Saints will compete in, as far as which schools are included, but they are basically the same.

The activities which will be bumped up a class starting in the fall of 2019 includes girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field, one act play, speech, baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, and football.

The changes in classification for those activities can also mean some scheduling challenges for Paula.

“Some of our coaches in those sports affected by this were already in contact with me prior to this announcement about trying to get some of those teams in their new section on their schedule,” Paula said. “We’ll try our best to accommodate those changes, but it can be difficult because a lot of schedules have already been set.”

For complete information on the MSHSL’s reclassification go to  

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Instructor with Universal Technical Institute meets with classes to talk about high demand skills

Students in Michael Reeser's Intro to Power Mechanics class at SPHS are learning about basic automotive mechanics and small engine operation.

The class, offered as part of the Manufacturing Academy at St. Peter High School, connects classroom instruction while incorporating hands on learning applications for students to construct, assemble and repair small engines while adhering to professional safety standards.

Ensuring students are prepared for careers beyond high school, the class explores engineering, manufacturing & technology career fields along with educational opportunities.

Chad Loosmore of Universal Technical Institute, recently visited the class to demonstrate how advanced mechanical technologies are putting skilled technicians in high demand careers. Students were able to connect what they are learning in this class to how this can prepare them for tomorrows careers.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

State tourney berths on the line in 13 different categories

Trips to the Minnesota State Speech Tournament will be on the line tomorrow (Friday) at Saint Peter High School during the Section 2A Speech Tournament.

The Saints will have 22 entries taking part in the Section 2A event with hopes of advancing to the Minnesota State Class A Speech Tournament, set for Friday, April 13, at Wayzata High School. The top two individuals in each of the 13 categories at the section meet will advance to the state tourney.

Saint Peter, which won the team title at the North Sub-Section meet on March 26, had nine entries at state in 2018, and hope to add to that total. Those Saints have entrants in 12 of the 13 categories at the Section 2A meet.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. on Friday with first round starting around 3:50 p.m. The awards ceremony will start at around 7:30 p.m. at the SPHS Performing Arts Center.

Admission to the Section 2A Tourney is free. However, please note that food, photographs, and recording speeches are not allowed in any of the rounds. Also, the room manager will open the door in between each speaker, so if a group wants to exit or enter at different times, that is allowed. All visitors must wait until the door is opened by the room manager to enter or exit the room.

Those Saints competing at the Section 2A Speech Tourney includes:

Creative Expression - Mikinley Prafke
Discussion - Hannah Wohlers
Duo - Breeley Ruble & Megan Beran; Isaac Peterson & Sophia Lee; and David Marlow & Julie Marlow.
Extemporaneous Reading - Madelyn Tollefson
Extemporaneous Speaking - Nils Berglund, Konrad Wernsing
Great Speeches - Lillie Sund; Fatima Mohamud
Humorous - Josh Ellerbeck; Obet Alcantara
Informative - Milena Lund
Original Oratory - Vanessa Krueger; Eva Kracht
Poetry - Sky Gassman; Aubry Landsom
Prose -  Lauren Mayer; Shelby Beaudoin; Anders Taylor
Storytelling - Mckenzie McCann; Liliana Hughes.

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Chief Financial Officer of Rivers's Edge Hospital, Lori Zook, visited with George Schoenborn's Entrepreneurial students on Friday, March 29. Lori brings a wealth of knowledge through her educational training, including a BA in Business Administration, Accounting and Spanish from Augustana University and a Masters in Business Administration from Penn State University.

Zook shared her passion with working with numbers grew while working at the US General Accounting Office before she gained experience in accounting with health care and through a  private firm. Her experience prepared her for her career today by becoming familiar with many industries including, banking, construction, manufacturing, real estate development as well as her aspiration for Health Care.  

Zook encouraged students to learn everything they can and gain as much valuable experience as possible. She talked about maximizing hands on learning opportunities as not everything is acquired  in the classroom. She also championed that students should, "Read, explore and keep reaching. Ideas can stagnate, but you never know when something you have learned will help you communicate with someone else and start building a bridge, leading to something good."  

Schoenborn is grateful for such community-wide support as local professionals reinforce what students are learning in the classrooms.

"Connecting what we are talking about in our everyday lessons with what our local businesses are doing, really helps students apply the skills they are building on with to potential careers,” he said. 

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Kurt Hildebrandt

Saint Peter High School culinary arts students from Amanda Pogatschnik’s class took part in the recent Culinary Regional Arts Venue in Education (CRAVE) competition at the Courtyard by Marriott Event Center in Mankato.

  SPHS culinary arts students placing at the first annual
  CRAVE event included (l to r), Rosie Hernandez, Claire
  Dimock, Amanda Sikkema, Lauren Mayer, and Yume 

The CRAVE event has two components. A culinary challenge and interactive demonstrations hosted by local culinary professionals. The culinary challenge includes judging in knife skills, table setting/napkin folding, food art, culinary (safety/sanitation, organization/teamwork, tasting; and cake decorating (buttercream or fondant).

Winning awards from SPHS included the following:

  • Rosie Hernandez - first place in fondant cake decorating
  • Yume Bollum and Lauren Mayer - second place in culinary
  • ​​​​​​​Amanda Sikkema and Claire Dimock - third place in buttercream cake decorating

The Saint Peter High School Trade and Industrial classes with Warren Peterson and Michael Reeser designed and constructed the awards for the CRAVE competition in their engineering and woodworking classes.  Awards were given out to the top three winners in each event.