Inspire 199 - November 2015
Published on Nov 24, 2015 14:32

ISD 199


Recount goes smoothly

Tuesdays recount of the Nov. 3 ISD 199 School Board election showed the final numbers reported by Dakota County and the Minnesota Secretary of State were accurate. To recap, five candidates ran for four board seats, and here are the final numbers: 

  • Sherry Warrick 635

  • Susan Gliva 621

  • Mathias J. Schaefer 603

  • Rachel Hanson 497

  • Bill Klein 309

  • Write-In 65  

The condition for a recount was created as a result of a coding error in the transmission of election results from the county to the state.  The transmission to the state had one precinct’s vote tallies transferring incorrectly by applying the votes to the wrong candidate.  With the transfer error, the election results were posted incorrectly for a period of time.  Once the error was identified, the results were corrected.




So, why was school cancelled, anyway?

Though we’ve been enjoying beautiful fall weather throughout the region, leaders in ISD 199 are already preparing for potential winter weather cancellations. Residents often ask district staff what conditions have to be present for school to be delayed or cancelled.

And who better to answer that question than Superintendent Dave Bernhardson? 

Dave explains cancelling a school day is a “team decision” between him, the district’s transportation team and superintendents from other nearby school districts. These decision-makers must determine a number of things: is all of the district’s vital equipment up and running? Can bus drivers safely report to work in time to get buses on the road? Will electronics on each bus handle the current weather conditions? How long will students have to stand outside while waiting for their bus? Will students who carpool to school be able to do so safely?

“If we could guarantee that all kids could get on their bus in one or two minutes, we’d probably never have to cancel school,” Dave explains. “However, we just can’t guarantee that some kids won’t be standing outside for far too long in some really dangerous weather conditions. You also have to worry about a bus breaking down on its route because then you have kids sitting on a cold bus and it’s going to take at least several minutes to get a new bus out to those kids.”

Dave also notes that if brutal cold, snow and high wind are all hitting the area at the same time, it’s an easy decision to cancel school. But when just one or two of those conditions are in play, the decision becomes more difficult.

“All of the decisions we make are ultimately based on student safety,” Dave says. “Like a lot of our residents, we take a look at what the National Weather Service is saying, and when we see wind chills trending down to forty or fifty below, we know we can’t require our kids to come outside in that.”

Dave also explains he and his colleagues know that cancelled school days affect families and students in many ways — everything from changing schedules at the last second, locating emergency child care, missed tests and missed extra-curricular practice time.

“Cancelling school is really a last resort because it has so many different impacts on so many different people,” Dave explains.

Dave says he also has to consider the fact that many district students rely on their school for a nutritious meal and a safe environment. The fact that a cancelled school day means some students won’t have enough to eat for the day weights heavily in the decision.

“For some kids, the safest and healthiest place they can be is in their school,” Dave says.

When bad weather hits there are several ways you can check to see if school is canceled. ISD 199’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account will all post the information. KARE, WCCO, KSTP and KMSP will also include ISD 199 on their cancellation “tickers” at the bottom of the television screen. Finally, ISD 199 will send out a district-wide phone message as early as possible on the day of a cancellation.


Thank you veterans!

Pine Bend 5th graders joined hundreds of veterans and citizens for a Veterans Day tribute at the Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights on Wednesday!

Music teacher Micah Klotz led the students in performances of each United States military branch’s song. During each song, veterans of that particular branch stood, and were acknowledged by the crowd. The 34thInfantry Division Brass Quintet accompanied the students.

It was also an opportunity for Pine Bend students to say thanks to their music teacher for her own service. Away from Pine Bend she’s SSG Klotz! She’s been in the Army National Guard for 16 years and was deployed in Iraq from 2009-10 with the 34th Infantry Division. She also serves in the 34th Army National Guard “Red Bull” Band.

The program also included:

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar

  • Chief of Staff, Minnesota National Guard, Brig. Gen. Jon Jensen

  • Chaplain (Maj) Philip Winn Jr.

  • WCCO anchor Frank Vascellaro

Before the Pine Bend music performances, Thalia Blevins and Joseph Stanton read essays they’d written about what veterans mean to them.

“Thank you for serving our country and protecting the United States of America,” Thalia said in her essay. “I don’t have to worry when I walking down the streets or sleep at night because I know you will be or have been there protecting us.”

The impact the Pine Bend students had on the assembled crowd with their music and the essays was clear in the many smiles, whispered comments, and moist eyes.


ISD 199


A very distinguished guest

Sarah Nelson visited Britney Gibson’s Hilltop second grade class on Veterans Day to say visit her daughter Nevaeh and to also talk to the class about life in the United States Army! #inspire199 

?ISD 199


A great fall for Spartan Nation!

Volleyball All Conference

  • Chelsea Kiewel

  • Anna Scheffley

Volleyball All Conference Honorable Mention

  • Abby Kain

  • Kendra Sandkamp

  • Ashley Perrin

Girls Soccer All Conference

  • Maria Retting (also selected to an MSHSSCA All State Team)

  • Sarah Kruse

  • Lexi Muller

Girls Soccer All Conference Honorable Mention

  • Mackenzie Sullivan

  • Melissa Tinucci

Boys Soccer All Conference

  • Nathan Stone

  • Jack Stensgard

  • Jacob Myran

Boys Soccer All Conference Honorable Mention

  • Billy Ross

  • Tyler Prifrel

  • Ryan Hostager

Cross Country All Conference Honorable Mention

  • Ryan Berg

Girls Tennis All Conference

  • Annika Iverson

  • Britta Iverson

  • Sophia Dahlke

Girls Tennis All Conference Honorable Mention

  • Lily David

  • Julie Malyshev

Football All District

  • Michael Busch

  • Joe Matthews

  • Cody Albright

  • Jack Warrick

Football All District Honorable Mention

  • Elliot Kirchert

  • Tyrese Beards-Borney

  • Jake Binley

  • Nathan Voegele

  • Joel Woja

Football East Metro District Offensive Player of the Year

  • Michael Busch



A great day for Spartan Nation!

Wednesday was National Signing day for high school seniors across the country and Simley marked the day by celebrating with a trio of truly outstanding student-athletes. Family, teachers and coaches filled the old auditorium to watch each student make an announcement about their college plans

Abby Kain committed to play basketball at the University of Northern Colorado, Michael Busch committed to play baseball at the University of North Carolina and Travis Cornoryea committed to play baseball at the University of Minnesota-Crookston

Best of luck to these young leaders as they continue their educations and athletic careers in college!


ISD 199

A wonderful night at Simley

Hundreds of community members visited Simley High School on Thursday to see the new performing arts center and its behind the scenes spaces as well as new choir and band spaces, flexible learning spaces and the new concessions building at the athletic complex.

During the event, visitors had the opportunity to see some truly outstanding student art, take in a scene or two from the fall production of Footloose, listen to the marching band and hear the choir sing.

School board members, city officials and Superintendent Dave Bernhardson addressed the large crowd to thank them for their support and to share the vision for the new spaces moving forward.

It was a great evening full of community pride and excited conversations about ISD 199’s bright future.

 ISD 199  ISD 199

Quite a view

Check out these awesome photos of the new Simley Performing Arts Center by Simley junior Brandan Schmitz!

ISD 199

ISD 199

Boys to Men

When 20 fifth graders are at school in neckties you know something special is happening. That was the case on Tuesday when Hilltop held its first Boys to Men club meeting of the school year. The boys had lunch together in a conference room where they chatted excitedly, watched an inspirational video about Michael Jordan, and received a pep talk from Assistant Principal Quennel Cooper, who runs the club.

Davod Zarghani, a behavioral specialist at Heritage Middle School in West St. Paul, who is about to begin his own Boys to Men club at that school, was the day’s specialist guest

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Cooper shared the following Boys to Men expectations:

Gentleman’s Club Code of Conduct

  • We will begin each day by affirming our individual and collective greatness.

  • We will begin each day by giving each other a hug (or a handshake).

  • We will do our best to help each other to achieve their goals and dreams.

  • We will always strive for the highest character, integrity, and honesty.

  • We will always maintain passion for excellence.

  • We will never discourage or say negative things to one another.

  • We will respect ourselves and the rights of others.

  • We will apply each of the codes of conduct to our lives as though someone is always watching.



ISD 199

Books and camaraderie

Hilltop Elementary held a family literacy night Nov. 17. The wonderful program was crafted by Title I team Mary Ann Curro, Lynn Lindstrom, Druacy Yang, and Amber O’Groske.  

Families had the opportunity to “read under the stars”, explore iPads, make books and bookmarks and enjoy food. Additionally, families gained information about literacy and what they can do at home to support their children.

The event included a lot of support from teachers, the Dakota County Library and families!


ISD 199


A lesson worth howling about

IGH Middle School 6th graders have recently been learning about wolves with an assist from Ely’s International Wolf Center. Students have been studying wolf biology, behavior, pack dynamics, predator/prey relationships, challenges wildlife face, and the loss of Minnesota habitat.

ISD 199


Great day at the X

Thanks to their hard work on their H2O For Life service learning project, 26 Salem Hill fifth graders had the opportunity to attend the recent We Day ( event at the Xcel Energy Center!

ISD 199  ISD 199


Making new friends

Hilltop had some very special visitors on Monday. Several German high school students, who are visiting the area as part of a three-week exchange program, spent time at the school getting to know students, playing games, eating lunch and of course, answering plenty of questions from excited youngsters!

ISD 199  ISD 199

Music is in the air

Steven Vogel, a music teacher at Hilltop was able to take some of his students on an unforgettable outing where they were able to enjoy violins, violas, cellos and much more during a recent trip to Orchestra Hall for The Color of Music. Designed for students in grades three through six, the concerts are interactive and allow students to investigate the wonders of music.

 ISD 199  ISD 199

Rock ‘n’ Roll time travel

Salem Hills music teacher Stephanie Maybee and her students went back to the 1950s for their school concert Nov 19. Huge crowds enjoyed singing along to classics like Rock 'n’ Roll is Here to Stay and Blue Suede Shoes! 

ISD 199

Was Marty McFly there?

Now this is how you celebrate a Friday! On Nov. 6, Hilltop went back to the 1980s with its school dance. There was also face painting and plenty of food.

ISD199  ISD 199

A memorable ride

Hilltop recently held a Chip Shoppe fundraiser and the big sellers in classes K-5 got to cruise around in a limousine and enjoy a slice of pizza for lunch! The students made things a little more festive by enthusiastically singing along with songs on the radio. 



ISD 199ISD 199 

ISD 199


Upcoming events:


Friday, Nov. 27 

  • Girls JV hockey is at the National Sports Center for a tournament.
  • Boys varsity hockey hosts a tournament.
  • Girls varsity hockey is at the National Sports Center for a tournament.


Saturday, Nov. 28 


  • Girls varsity hockey is at the National Sports Center for a tournament.
  • Girls JV hockey is at the National Sports Center for a tournament.
  • Boys varsity hockey hosts a tournament.
  • Varsity wrestling is at Rochester John Marshall at 9 a.m.
  • Boys 9th grade basketball hosts St. Louis Park at 10 a.m.
  • Boys JV basketball hosts St. Louis Park at 11:30 a.m.
  • Boys B team basketball hosts St. Louis Park at 11:30 a.m.
  • Boys varsity basketball hosts St. Louis Park at 1 p.m.
  • Girls varsity basketball is at Andover for a scrimmage at 5 p.m.


Monday, Nov. 30 

  • 8th grade girls basketball hosts Skyview Middle School at 3:30 p.m.
  • 7th grade girls basketball is at Skyview Middle School at 3:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec. 1 

  • Middle school wrestling hosts a meet at 3:45 p.m.
  • 9th grade boys basketball is at Holy Angels at 4:30 p.m.
  • Boys JV basketball is at Holy Angels at 5:30 p.m.
  • Boys B team basketball is at Holy Angels at 5:30 p.m.
  • Girls JV hockey is at North-Tartan at 5:30 p.m.
  • Boys JV hockey hosts Como Park at 5:30 p.m.
  • Boys varsity basketball is at Holy Angels at 7 p.m.
  • Dance team is at Hill-Murray for a conference meet at 7 p.m.
  • Girls varsity hockey is at North-Tartan at 7 p.m.
  • Boys varsity hockey hosts Como Park at 7:30 p.m.


Thursday, Dec. 3 

  • 8th grade girls basketball hosts South St. Paul at 3:30 p.m.
  • 7th grade girls basketball is at South St. Paul at 3:30 p.m.
  • Middle school wrestling hosts a meet at 3:45 p.m.
  • JV wrestling is at Bloomington Kennedy at 5:30 p.m.
  • Varsity gymnastics hosts Henry Sibley at 6:30 p.m.
  • Varsity wrestling is at Bloomington Kennedy at 7 p.m.


Friday, Dec. 4 

  • Girls 9th grade basketball hosts Richfield at 4 p.m.
  • Girls JV basketball hosts Richfield at 5:30 p.m.
  • Girls B team basketball hosts Richfield at 5:30 p.m.
  • Girls JV hockey is at Hill-Murray at 5:30 p.m.
  • Girls varsity basketball hosts Richfield at 7 p.m.
  • Girls varsity hockey hosts Hill-Murray at 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, Dec. 5 

  • Varsity wrestling is at Coon Rapids at 9 a.m.
  • Middle school wrestling is at Hastings at 9 a.m.
  • Varsity gymnastics hosts an invitational at 11 a.m.
  • Boys JV hockey hosts Eveleth-Gilbert at 1 p.m.
  • Boys varsity hockey hosts Eveleth-Gilbert at 3 p.m.