School News

ISD 709 News

posted Aug 26, 2014, 5:45 AM by Web Developer

2013-14 ISD 709 State Test Results

On Tuesday August  26 the  Minnesota Department  of Education released the 2013-2014 state test results. State tests include the results of the MCA, MCA-Modified, and MTAS (“all accountability tests”). Consistent with AYP and MMR calculations, results are reported for students enrolled October 1 in ISD 709.  A detailed review will be provided at the September Education Committee meeting. 

2013-2014 Reading:  Overall, most ISD 709 schools increased in proficiency and the District percent proficient is consistent with the state average. The District’s increase outpaced the the state.

  • Most grades increased in proficiency, with the biggest gains in grade 5 (7.5 points) and grade 7 (10.5 points).
  • Subgroups that increased proficiency include Free/Reduced, Black, and American Indian.
  • Proficiency increased, and at a faster rate, for students who are not of color, who are not from poverty and who are not receiving special education services, which widens the achievement gap.
  • Focus and Priority schools (Laura MacArthur, Lincoln Park, Piedmont) saw significant gains. Our Continuous Improvement school (Stowe) also saw a significant increase.   

2013-2014 Math:  Overall, the District increased in percent proficient and the majority of schools increased in proficiency. The state’s proficiency decreased.

  • All grades increased in proficiency. The biggest gains were in grade 5 (11.1 points) and grade 7 (6.1 points). A new test was introduced for students in grade 11, so year-to-year comparisons cannot be made.
  • All subgroups increased in proficiency.
  • As with Reading, proficiency increased for students who are not of color, not from poverty and not receiving special education services, which widens the achievement gap for some groups.
  • Schools seeing steady increases in proficiency include:
    • Lincoln Park (13.8 since 10-11)
    • Lowell (10 since 11-12)
    • Laura MacArthur (37.1 since 10-11)
    • Myers-Wilkins (15.2 since 11-12)
    • Piedmont (8.6 since 10-11)
    • Stowe (9.7 since 11-12)
    • Ordean East (10.3 since 11-12)
    • East (10.4 points since 11-12)

2013-2014 MCA Science:  Overall District proficiency increased and each grade increased over last year.

  • The District increased proficiency at a rate faster than the state.
  • About half of the schools increased proficiency and half decreased.   

2014-15 Achievement Strategies:

  • Results in several schools demonstrate the power of teachers working together to address student needs.  We’re working to give all teachers this opportunity through Professional Learning Communities.
  • Individual student data will continue to guide instruction.
  • Investments have been made in curriculum alignment and updated materials to help meet student needs.

ISD 709 News

posted Aug 22, 2014, 1:31 PM by Web Developer


Duluth School Board Honors True North AmeriCorps Support for Education

   During their regular August meeting, the Duluth School Board took time to recognize True North AmerCorps for its support of on-time graduation, ensuring that youth are prepared for academic, civic and economic success.  A program of the Duluth Area Family YMCA, they partner with nonprofits, schools, and community agencies to serve Duluth and Proctor. This year True North AmeriCorps members will help support reading and math interventions during the school day and academic support and engagement activities after school in collaboration with community-based organizations.

   Tracie Clanaugh Branch Executive Director/Community Services for the YMCA accepted the recognition on behalf of the organization.   


School Board Approves Bullying Prohibition Policy

   In August, the Duluth School Board adopted the Minnesota School Board Association's Model Bullying Prohibition Policy as a foundation for involving the community and developing meaningful compliance with the state’s Safe Schools Act. The Act requires school districts to rewrite their existing anti-bullying policies and train staff to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. 


Denfeld, Duluth East Robotics Teams Present to School Board

   During the August Education Committee meeting, students from the Denfeld and Duluth East Robotics Teams presented a demonstration to the Duluth School Board and provided a recap of their successful seasons.  Both teams participate in FIRST Robotics, which prides itself in gracious professionalism and “coopertition.”  The organization focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  Graduates from local teams, such as the Duluth East Daredevils, have obtained internships at major FIRST sponsors, machining companies, and NASA right out of high school.  


Denfeld Hunters Cheer Team Receives 2014 Herkie Award

   Denfeld cheerleaders received the 2014 Herkie Award during the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) summer camp hosted by the College of St. Scholastica.  The NCA teaches young cheerleaders how to be leaders on and off the field, within their schools and communities.  The award is named after NCA founder Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer and is given to the team that exemplifies qualities of leadership, teamwork and strong values.

   The Denfeld cheerleaders spent four days at the NCA camp attending classes and workshops, polishing their routines and competing daily. The Denfeld cheerleaders took home numerous awards including two ribbons for outstanding performance and two ribbons for excellent performance in the competitions, which judged cheers, chants and stunts. They also received the trophy for the 2014 NCA Chant Champions as well as the coveted Spirit Award.


Denfeld Robotics Team Alliance Wins Inaugural Gitchi Gummi Competition

   The Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team hosted the first Minnesota full court summer competition at East High School for 8 teams across the upper Midwest.  The teams competed in last year’s game, “Aerial Assist,” on a full FIRST Robotics playing field.  

   The winning alliance was Denfeld Nation Automation “DNA” Robotics Team 4009 and Team 2169 KING TeC from Prior Lake, MN. The Duluth East Daredevils Team 2512 and Team 876 from Northwood, ND took second place in the competition.  


Superintendent, Principal, Fly with US Navy Blue Angels

   Superintendent Bill Gronseth and Duluth East High School Principal Laurie Knapp had an opportunity to fly with US Navy Blue Angel #7 Lt. Ryan Chamberlain this week during the Duluth Air and Aviation Expo. “It’s amazing to get a firsthand look at what these pilots and their aircraft are able to do,” said Gronseth. “It was the experience of a lifetime.  My sincere thanks to the US Navy Blue Angels for providing us this opportunity.”  


Duluth East Captains Start Leadership Training Program

  The Certified Team Captain program at Duluth East kicked off on Thursday August 14 with presenter Craig Hillier and 59 Captains from Fall, Winter and Spring Sports. The course provides leaders the tools and strategies to have a season of significance by completing a comprehensive online leadership training program that will certify each participant upon completion. 

   "I believe the Certified Team Captain online course, materials, and workshops have started us down the path of positive change in our culture at Duluth East. It has provided our leaders with a solid level of leadership understanding and skills, which will enable our young leaders to create positive relationships and lead with class and on and off the field of play,” said Shawn Roed, Duluth East AD.

   Certified Team Captain training is a blend of interactive surveys, videos by Craig Hilliar, a nationally recognized author and speaker, interviews with top-notch athletes and speakers, articles and exercises on leadership, online workbooks and meetings throughout the year.


School Board Receives Information on School Gardens, Healthy Eating Initiatives

  During the August Education Committee Meeting,  Jamie Zak, from Duluth Community Gardens, presented an overview of the School Garden Projects and Healthy Eating Initiatives activities from the past two years.  The project was funded by the Duluth Community Garden and Community Transformation Grant that will sunset in September.

Zak also presented information regarding a Regional School Garden Bus Tour available September 13.


Regional School Garden Bus Tour

Ride Free!  Catered lunch available at $10 each

Saturday, September 13, 2014

8:45AM board the bus at/4:00PM return to Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 West Third Street, Duluth

Mileage to bus stop reimbursed for regional participants

To Register:  Contact Jamie Zak, 218-310-7662 or

--Lincoln Park Middle School in Duluth:  Start here 8:45am, End here 4:00pm

3215 West Third Street, Duluth, MN 55806 – Front of Building

A project underway with many building and installation take-away lessons

--William Kelley School in Silver Bay:  Amazing edible schoolyard!!!  The “Fruit Bowl”, brick oven, school garden, greenhouse and on-site institutional worm composting

--Two Harbors High School:  A courtyard garden and fruit trees well-supported by the school and community.  Catered lunch here: $10.00

--East High School in Duluth:  Newly-developed agriculture science and extra-curricular-integrated

raised-bed demonstration

--Congdon Park Elementary School in Duluth:  Parent-community-supported garden with connection to classroom and cafeteria

--Myers-Wilkins Elementary School in Duluth:  8, 4x12-foot, handicap-accessible raised-beds for use in various academic and social program areas


2014 Duluth East Athletic Association (DEAA) Golf Classic, Lester Park Golf Course, Sunday September 21 - Rain or Shine

Format: 4-5 Person Scramble.  Schedule:

 18 Hole Registration begins @ 9:15am

 18 Hole Shotgun Start @ 10:00 am

 9 Hole Registration begins @ 11:15am

 9 Hole Shotgun Start @ noon

 Luncheon and Ceremony @ 2:30-ish

Participation Fees (Includes Golf, golf cart and luncheon)

 18 Holes - $65 per person

 9 Holes - $55 per person

Luncheon only - $15 per person

Send Registration & Check to: DEAA, Duluth East High School, 301 North 40th Avenue East, Duluth, MN 55804.  Registrations are requested by September 15th, with payment due on September 21.  The Duluth East Athletic Association is a fundraising booster club for all Duluth East Athletic Teams. 100% of the monies raised goes to the teams. DEAA has raised >$300,000 since 1989.

For more information: Brett Hauer @ 218-481-4600,


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Offers Free Class

   Family-to-Family is a free class for family members and friends of individuals with a serious mental illness.  The class begins on Sunday, September 7, 5:30pm-8:30pm, and continues for 12 weeks.  The location is the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, 835 W College Street.  Preregistration is required, please contact Barb at 218-728-4397 or Cindy at 218-355-8928.  For other free classes and support groups go to


Area Learning Center Open House and Registration for the 2014-15 School Year

Tuesday September 2, 2014  8;00AM – 5:00PM  

Join us for a BBQ from 11:30AM-1:00PM

Open to students ages 15-20 for Seat based and Independent study programs

Plan to register, meet the staff, get your schedule and get your locker


ISD 709's Channel 22 Has Moved!  Charter Communications moved ISD 709’s Channel 22 to Channel 187.

ISD 709 News

posted Aug 6, 2014, 8:49 AM by Web Developer   [ updated Aug 6, 2014, 9:45 AM ]

Teachers Learn Innovative Ways to Use Technology at Tech Camp 2014

   Nearly 100 teachers and administrators attended Tech Camp 2014 at Duluth East High School in August, learning innovative ways to use technology in the classroom.  The event was organized by the ISD 709 Department of Innovation and is designed to help teachers adopt new technologies and use them to engage students and support critical thinking, collaboration, communication and

   “Imagine what it’s like for teachers, facing a room full of students that already have a full set of impressive skills – utilizing the web, social media, interactive video, audio, digital photography and more - and are putting those skills to use on a daily basis,” said Superintendent Bill Gronseth.    “Today’s young people are consumers and creators of information; they’re accustomed to immediate access to data and are gaining it through technology…as educators and adults, we can provide a model for students in the use of technology as a tool for learning.”


Denfeld Hunter Hall of Fame Honors 2014 Inductees

   Twelve outstanding individuals were inducted into the Denfeld Hunter Hall of Fame during a special ceremony held

Saturday August 2.  Nominations were made based on individual school and life achievements.  2014 Hall Of Fame Inductees include:

James Banovetz:  Senior fellow and founder of  Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies
Jean Endrizzi:  English teacher/speech coach whose career spanned nearly 30 years at Denfeld High School, inducted into the Hurley High School Hall of Fame in 2013
Fred Friedman:  Northeastern Minnesota’s chief public defender
Wayne Gatlin:  Elected to the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2000
Janeé Harteau:  Minneapolis police chief
Jim Heffernan:  Longtime columnist and editorial page assistant at the Duluth News Tribune

Dave Hicks:  Member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria
Ted Litman:  Professor at the University of Minnesota, published more than 50 professional articles and reports and co-authored “Health Politics and Policy,” now in its fifth printing
Robert Lund:   Corporate vice president at General Motors,  introduced the “Seville” that made Cadillac the top luxury car company in the nation
Jack Puglisi:  Owner of the Puglisi Gun Emporium, one of the premier gun shops in the nation
Howard Sivertson:  Renowned Minnesota artist 
Betty Suliin:  40 years in the Denfeld High School office as secretary to the principal

Check the Denfeld Alumni Association website for more detail about these amazing graduates of Denfeld High School.


Look For Duluth Community Education Schedule of Classes and Activities September 6

   The Duluth Community Education Fall 2014 schedule of classes and activities will be published September 6 with the Duluth Budgeteer News.  It will also be available online for viewing and secure registration at

   Community Education offers opportunities to learners of all ages through:

  • Early childhood programs
  • School readiness/Pre-K
  • KEY Zone school-age care and academic enrichment
  • Adult basic education
  • Driver education
  • Aquatics classes
  • Adult enrichment and youth activities - take a class in computers, music, yoga, cooking, painting, fitness, social media, much more - something for everyone!

   These programs are open to any area resident, are affordable and close to home.

For more information about our programs email: or call 218-336-8760 or visit  www.ISD709.orgCelebrate the new season with us, see you at class!


Save the Date – September 20 UDAC Walk a Mile In Our Shoes

   Please join us for Udac’s seventh annual Walk a Mile In Our Shoes to help support STEPS, Udac’s specialized fitness center. STEPS’ specialty is providing a safe and supportive environment for people with disabilities to exercise.

Walk a Mile will be held on:

Date: September 20th

Place: UMD’s Malosky Stadium

Time: 9:00AM – 12Noon

   In addition to the walk, there will be food and a number of fun activities for folks of all ages. UMD athletes will be staffing various sport stations like football, basketball volleyball and softball, plus there will be a variety of games for the whole family to enjoy.  Come and walk a mile, or more, have some fun and help raise money for an important community program and service.

   For more information call, Dana or Laurie at 722-5867.

ISD 709 News

posted Jul 18, 2014, 7:02 AM by Web Developer   [ updated Jul 24, 2014, 6:53 AM ]


--This summer, students from Denfeld High School participated in the Scott D. Anderson Leadership Forum.  The Forum provides high-quality, values-based leadership training and development opportunities for youth.  Participating students:  Ryan Benson, Lucy Billings, Kaitlin Marsaa, Brianna Montgomery, Thomas Stolee, Zane Peterson, Tyler Eaton, Liz Bergh, Crystal Armstrong and Chloe Conito- Page.

--The Duluth East Daredevils Robotic Team received a $5,000 check from the Lahti Foundation during a Duluth Huskies Baseball game in July.  The Daredevils brought their robot, Control Y, to throw foam Huskies baseballs for children to catch on the field.

--Jake Turner, Duluth East, was named to the Minnesota State High School League Baseball Coaches Association All State Team for 2014.  Turner was also honored as the Duluth News Tribune’s baseball player of the year.  Chris Olson, Frankie Hanson and Jake Turner, Duluth East, were named to the Tribunes All Area Team for 2014.

--John Rudolph, Duluth East Baseball coached was recently honored by being named to the Play Ball Minnesota North coach staff. He coached the north squad with Kyle Wojtysiak of Proctor and Frank Ivancich of Ely.  


Duluth School Board Recognizes ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department

   During their regular July meeting, Duluth School Board members took time to recognize the ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department for passing rigorous federal and state audits.  Representatives accepting the award include:

--Pam Bowe, Manager and Registered Dietitian

--Sheila Oak, Area Supervisor

--Betsy Sislo, Site Supervisor.

--Kathie Johnson, Cafe Manager, Duluth East High School

--Debbie Mckowski, Cafe Manager, Ordean East  

--Liz Russell, Cafe Manager, Lakewood  

--Jodi Puff, Summer Cafe Manager, Lester Park

--Patti Barber, Cafe Manager, Laura Mac Arthur  

--Wendy Wakefield, Cafe Manager, Stowe  

--Susan Geissler, Cafe Manager, Lowell  

   Earlier this year, food service programs at Duluth East, Lakewood and Ordean East passed a rigorous Federal/State audit by the Minnesota Food and Nutrition Department.  The ISD 709 Child Nutrition program also passed a Summer Audit and Review conducted by the US Department of Agriculture with flying colors. School district food service programs are regularly audited and must pass to remain part of the USDA food service program.

   The audits reviewed many areas including, but not limited to: Student applications; Daily business procedures in the kitchens, managers’ office and Child Nutrition Main office; HACCP compliance; Health Department Reports; Breakfast and lunch menu analysis (both nutritional and financial);  ISD 709 Wellness policy, sanitation, daily meal counts, the monthly financial claim and special diets

    The auditors were complimentary of the systems in place to serve appetizing meals to students within USDA/State regulations.


Superintendent Accepts National Award for Think Kids Project

During its annual conference in July, the National School Public Relations Association presented ISD 709 with a 2014 Gold Medallion Award for the Think Kids Community Conversation.  Superintendent Bill Gronseth accepted the award on behalf of all those who worked on this important project. 

    “There were many people involved in helping make Think Kids successful, from city, business and non-profit leaders to parents, students, teachers and staff,” said Gronseth.  “We know amazing things can happen when the community works together to support education and Think Kids is a great example.”

   The Gold Medallion Award is the highest award given by the Association in recognition of outstanding school communication programs.


Grades K-5 Social Studies Adoption

   The K-5 Social Studies Committee has completed the curriculum review process for Elementary Social Studies.  As a result of this extensive review, which included curriculum writing, review/aligning benchmarks, and evaluating materials from several vendors, it was determined that the components required for Social Studies delivery, as well as content literacy needs, will best be met with the purchase of the Pearson-Prentice Hall My World Social Studies Program. 

   The components of this program fit the need for social studies delivery as well as content literacy and allows for flexibility in terms of instructional texts and leveled readers to promote growth in reading among diverse learners.  The total cost of the adoption is $238,381.92.  


Grades 7 and 8 Social Studies Adoption

   The Middle School Social Studies Committee, including all middle school social studies teachers, has completed the curriculum review process for Middle School Social Studies.  Based on an extensive review process, which included reviewing/aligning benchmarks, curriculum writing, and evaluating materials, it was determined that Pearson-Prentice Hall American History and My World Geography are the best fit with regards to benchmarks. 

   For example, the American History text fits the unique time period set out by the benchmarks as it is a custom Minnesota version and the overall layout of the text and individual pages is student-friendly and at the appropriate level.  Differentiated reading level materials are available and included.  The total cost of the adoption is $122,048.64.


Hillside YouthTheatre presents “Constellation Revelation and the Big Space

   Students in the Hillside Youth Theatre program at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School are excited to perform an original musical play production, Constellation Revelation and The Big Space. The public is invited to attend.  

Matinee Performances:  July 23, 24, and 25 at 1:00PM

Evening Performances:   July 24 (special fund raising event beginning at 5:00 with appetizers, music, and

silent auction, $15 donation; play performance 7:00PM) and July 25 at 7:00PM

Performances will be held in the Myers-Wilkins Auditorium at East High School  (301 N. 40th Ave. East)

Admission is free (with the exception of the July 24 evening fundraiser)

Children must be accompanied by an adult.  

   The script, written by local playwright Jean Sramek, takes the audience on a comedic adventure as they explore the mysteries and wonders of space through different historical and cultural perspectives.  Mythology and science entwine as characters take you on an adventure through the universe to unravel the mystery about the true identification of Ursa Major.

   For More Information:  Jen Eddy, Executive Director

Ph: 218-336-8860 x8  or


Minnesota Immunization Laws

   Immunization laws protect everyone because high immunization levels prevent disease outbreaks. Minnesota has various laws requiring immunizations for children and adults enrolled in child care, school, and college settings. Legal exemptions are allowed - both for medical reasons and conscientiously held beliefs.

   Minnesota’s Immunization Laws require all students to provide documentation of vaccination or a legal exemption in order to enroll or remain enrolled in school or in a childcare facility.

--Students whose families do not provide documentation of vaccination or a legal exemption may be excluded from school.

--We want all children to be in school – please take steps to provide documentation of vaccination or to file legal exemption with your school.

   Note, new state immunization requirements for schools, child care and early childhood programs begin September 1, 2014. They include new requirements for students entering 7th Grade and students enrolled in childcare and early childhood programs.

--For a list of required immunizations, check the August ISD 709 Back To School Packet for a list of Frequently Asked Questions and the “Are Your Kids Ready?” Immunization Schedule. Or, check the Minnesota Department of Health Website:

--To obtain documentation of your child’s vaccinations, contact your healthcare provider or call the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection at 651-201-5503 or 1-800-657-3970.

--To have your child immunized contact your healthcare provider or the St. Louis County Department of Health at 218-725-5210 or toll free 800-450-9777.

-- Parents may file a medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a conscientious objection signed by a parent/guardian and notarized.  Notary services are available at no cost through ISD 709 Administration. Please call to make an appointment:

--ISD 709 Office of the Superintendent: 218-336-8752

--ISD 709 Human Resources: 218-336-8718

--ISD 709 Business Services: 218-336-8704

Notary services may also be available at low or no cost from banks, county government centers, local city hall or city managers.

More Information Available from the MN Department of Health:

ISD 709 News

posted Jun 18, 2014, 7:03 AM by Web Developer   [ updated Jun 18, 2014, 12:06 PM ]

School Board Approves FY 2015 Budget Investments to Reduce Class Size, Raise Achievement and Update Curriculum

   During the June 17 meeting, the School Board approved the budget for the fiscal 2015 school year. Investments include priorities identified through the Think Kids initiative, including about $1.45 million to hire additional teachers to reduce class size, $150 thousand for enriching and renewing curriculum, and $200 thousand to go towards improving student achievement. Together, they represent the $1.8 million gained through the second education levy question.

   About $3 million will be held and used to keep those investments in place over time and provide financial stability, given there’s no guarantee of an increase in the state formula beyond the 2014-15 school year. The Board also approved $275,000 toward aligning curriculum with State benchmarks and standards over the summer, $85,000 to support state mandated changes to employer contributions for pension plans, $200,000 for the modified closed high school campuses and about $275,000 in savings.

   By choosing to invest conservatively, steps taken to reduce class size and impact student achievement and curriculum can be maintained over a longer period of time.


2014-15 General Fund Reserve Projected at $9.6 Million

   The ISD 709 General Fund Reserve is projected at about $9.6 million for 2014-15. Board policy requires maintenance of a reserve of about 10% of expenditures and building the reserve comes with recommendation from Moody’s Investor Service and the ISD 709 Community Finance Committee in order to provide financial stability.


Duluth School Board Honors Pheasants Forever of St. Louis/Carlton County for Outdoor Classroom Support

   During their regular June meeting, members of the Duluth School Board took time to recognize Pheasants Forever of St. Louis & Carlton County for its work in creating the Habitat for Homecroft outdoor classroom and donating curriculum and equipment to the school. Phil Storsteen, Chapter President; Matthew Bremer, Chapter Vice President; and David Lood, Chapter Youth Director, were present for the recognition.
   Habitat for Homecroft helps provide hands-on learning about wildlife ecology, conservation and biology within a natural environment. Curriculum and equipment donated by Pheasants Forever will allow all grades to explore, photograph and study nature with a "hands-on" approach in the outdoor classroom.  During the meeting Pheasants Forever presented a check for $2,500 to ISD 709 to support the Lester Park Elementary School Forest bridge project.


ISD 709 Teachers Work Together To Align Curriculum

   Nearly 100 ISD 709 elementary, middle and high school teachers are working this summer to review and revise curriculum documents used to demonstrate alignment to the latest Minnesota standards and

benchmarks. Aligning curriculum is akin to creating a map which shows, step by step, where classrooms are going with each subject and how they’re going to get there.

   Both the Minnesota Department of Education and school districts review and update their curricular “maps” for mathematics, English language arts, science and social studies on a regular basis.

   “This is the real work of educators,” said Superintendent Bill Gronseth. “To be in deep discussions about what we want our students to know and be able to do as a result of their educational career in ISD 709 and how we ensure all students have continued access to an excellent education.”

   Aligning curriculum to state standards is an important goal in the ISD 709 4-year Continuous Improvement Plan and is an expectation of the Minnesota Department of Education. Once alignment is complete, formative assessments will be created and teachers will take part in staff development related to the standards.


Updated Biology Curriculum Approved

   The K-12 Science Curriculum Review Committee completed the review process for General and Honors Biology and presented their proposal for the adoption of textbooks and supplemental materials. The Committee recommended and the School Board approved investing $103,176 toward purchase of Glencoe Biology by Mader from McGraw-Hill.


Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) Curriculum Approved

   Members of the Automotive Program Business Advisory Committee have completed the Curriculum Review process for updating and maintaining national certification. The Committee recommended and the School Board approved purchase of the CDX Automotive Curriculum for $3,745.

   AYES provides opportunities for real-life applications of knowledge gained in the classroom, especially math, science and communication skills, and offers academic and on-the-job challenges in accordance with the highest standards for automotive technical programs in the country.


“Why We Play” Coaches Training Event

   Over 100 coaches and administrators from Denfeld, Duluth East, Cloquet, Hermantown, and Proctor gathered at Denfeld High School for a training event called, “Why We Play.” Staff from the Minnesota State High School

League (MSHSL) presented the conference, organized by school activity directors.

   Jody Redman, Associate Director of the MSHSL, and Tom Cody, Hall of Fame basketball coach, led a discussion that participating schools hope will influence a culture, approach and philosophy intentionally focused on students first, and athletes that want to challenge themselves beyond winning.

   Redman said that while winning is certainly a goal, the purpose of an athletic/extra-curricular activity is to help students challenge themselves emotionally, socially and behaviorally, to compete and grow beyond winning.

   “It’s really about creating awareness around doing what we do,” Redman said. “It’s human growth and development of kids and connecting them to their schools. Our goal is to win, we’re going to plan, prepare and do all those things to try to win but it is not our purpose.”
   Redmond added that youth-level parents and coaches might benefit from answering four questions asked in Joe Ehrmann’s book, “Inside Out Coaching;” Why do I coach? Why do I coach the way I do? How does it feel to be coached by me? How do I define and measure success?
   “If we’re only concerned about how a kid dribbles a basketball, then we’re missing an opportunity to teach kids lessons that will sustain them for their lifetime,” said Redman.



--Taneasha Muonio, recent graduate of Denfeld High School, is the recipient of a 2014 Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, Inc. Scholarship of $2500. An avid dancer and musician, a volunteer in several organizations including Boys and Girls Club Snacktime, Take Back The Night, Blood Drive and Food Shelf, among others, Taneasha earned and maintained a 4.0 GPA while working several part-time jobs throughout her high school career.

--Nikolai Breimon, Lincoln Park Middle School, received the Apollo-Gilruth Continuum Award for academic excellence. The Duluth Aviation Institute along with the Lincoln Park Middle School science teachers presented eleven lessons in aviation science this past semester. Nikolai excelled in all classroom activities, extra credit projects, 11 plane quizzes and the post-test. The top 15% students who excelled throughout the program were rewarded with a Young Eagles Flight from Sky Harbor Airport in June.

--The Ordean East Middle School Destination Imagination team- Lauren Nyenhuis, Kianna Donnellan, Pearl Elliot and Andrea Plewa - competed at Global Finals in Tennessee. They took 19th place, out of 80 teams! The team participated in the Pandemonium Improvisational Challenge, which requires participants to create an original five-minute improvisational skit, develop the interaction between a character from the past and a contemporary character, show how those characters work, using the time period, their occupations and skills, to deal with Pandemonium, and use stage makeup to create, develop, and/or enhance one skit character. Over 16,000 people attended the global event and the girls visited with teams from around the US, as well as Qatar and Mexico.

--Jake Turner and Chris Olson, Duluth East High School, were recently elected by the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association to participate in the Play Ball Minnesota All-Star Series. Jake and Chris were selected based upon their strong 2014 season. Jake Turner is 6-1 with a 0.88 earned run average. Chris Olson was batting .528 when selected and finished with a strong .370. They are playing for the North Squad.

ISD 709 News

posted Jun 4, 2014, 8:24 AM by Web Developer   [ updated Jun 5, 2014, 6:44 AM ]

Lincoln Park Students Work On Community Improvement Projects

   Lincoln Park Middle School 7th grade students participated in the Kids in the Community Day. Students, teachers, and chaperones gathered in the auditorium for a sendoff by Mayor Don Ness and Officer Mike LaFontaine of the Duluth Police Department. They then headed into the community, focusing on West Duluth, to work on projects such as trash clean up, trail maintenance/building, gardening, tree planting, and more!

   The day provided an opportunity for students to give back to their community and learn outside of the traditional school learning environment. Each student received a Kids in the Community Day t-shirt which was designed by their classmate, Lily Bolt. Lincoln Park is looking forward to making this an annual event.


Denfeld, Duluth East Students Receive 2014 Hase Family Scholarships

   Sam Kemp, Denfeld, and Trygve Rennan, Duluth East, will each receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Hase Family Scholarship Trust. The Trust honors Fred Hase, who graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1915 and provides an annual scholarship for two Duluth high school graduates who are enrolling in a post-secondary school in the fall. Names of eligible students from each school are provided and two are chosen by random drawing to receive the scholarships.


Lowell Elementary Service Learning Project Helps Animal Allies

   Kindergarten and 3rd grade students from Lowell Elementary helped out with a Bark and Bake for Animal Allies. Nearly 30 students rolled dough and cut dog bone shapes to help create animal treats and then helped bag and label them for use at the annual Walk for Animals event in Duluth. According to a letter from Animal Allies, “The other part that is so great is the participation by families in the making of dough and the parental help the day of the event. It’s so nice to see the teamwork of teachers, parents, students to do such a positive thing for animals.”


ISD 709 Teachers Receive Grants for Creative Classroom Projects

   After a careful review of grant applications, the Trustees of the Duluth Public Schools Fund (managed by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation) are pleased to announce awards of over $14,000 to the following 2014 Grant Recipients:

--Elizabeth Chelseth, Laura MacArthur Elementary School - iPads for Kindergarten: Purchasing of iPads and educational applications to be used with kindergarten students struggling with reading or math.

--Adair Ballavance and Ethan Fisher, Denfeld High School - Senior Wisdom Retreat: The Wisdom Retreat is a special day for seniors and the culmination for the day helps bring closure to not only the year, but closure to their public school education.

--Leann M. Udesen, Ordean East Middle School - Global Access: Purchasing 6 Chromebook computers and a world interactive globe.

--Sheila Larsen Darker, Duluth East High School - Teaching a Flipped Classroom: Purchasing Chromebook computers to support a flipped classroom model for teaching mathematics to high school students performing below grade level.

--Gwyn Curran, Congdon Park Elementary School - Individual Leveled Learning: Purchasing iPads for kindergarden students to increase reading, math and writing levels.

--Tanya Hallgren, Laura MacArthur Elementary School - Literacy in Kindergarten: Purchasing of appropriate level books and other hands-on literacy tools in a kindergarten classroom.

--Tanya Hallgren, Laura MacArthur Elementary School - Social Studies for Kindergartners: Purchasing Social Studies discovery tools -- a hands-on way to promote learning and the development of higher level thinking skills.

--Nathan Norman, Ordean East Middle School - Closing the Achievement Gap: Purchasing a license to use the web-based ALEKS mathematics software.

--Tanya Hallgren, Laura MacArthur Elementary School - Scientific Kindergartners: Purchasing Scientific discovery tools -- a hands-on way to promote learning and the development of higher level thinking skills.

--Tanya Jackson, Piedmont Elementary School - Lego Robotics at Piedmont: Funding support for a Lego Robotics Club at Piedmont Elementary School.

   Since 1996, the DPSF has distributed grants within ISD 709 ranging from $200 to $2000 for projects that show creativity and innovation to improve the classroom experiences for Duluth Public School students. Since it began making grants, the fund has enriched the Duluth Public Schools by over $275,000.

   For more information about the Duluth Public Schools Fund, its grant program, or how to contribute to the Fund, please contact Chairman Scott Fisher at 218-727- 6881 ( or Jon Blevins, Development Officer, Duluth Superior Area Community foundation at 218 726-0232 ( or



--Lauren Hesch, Duluth East High School, is the recipient of Lowenstine Honors Scholarship from Conserve School. This scholarship, valued at more than $15,000, is awarded on a competitive basis to students who demonstrate academic achievement, character, and commitment to environmental stewardship.

--Jennifer Madole, Duluth East, is the recipient of a Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Grant for School Gardens. The award of $400 will be used to purchase soil for the Duluth East High School Garden. The garden is a school-wide project led by students in the Agriculture Science classes and FFA. 

ISD 709 News

posted May 28, 2014, 7:57 AM by Web Developer

Lowell Elementary Grandparents Day/Memorial Day Event

   Last week, students at Lowell Elementary held a special day to honor grandparents. They invited their elder relatives and friends to visit the school and take part in several activities, including an outdoor program in honor of Memorial Day.  The program included raising of the American flag, several student speakers, singing of the National Anthem and an honor guard.


Volunteers Needed for 6th Annual Congdon Trail Run May 31

   Volunteers are needed to help out the day of the 6th Annual Congdon Cougar Chase Trail Run, Saturday May 31, 2014, through the beautiful trails of Lester River Park. Events start at 8:00AM and include a 0.5 Kitty K, 1K, 5K run/walk, and 10K run. Proceeds will be used to purchase Chromebooks and a charging cart for Congdon Park Elementary. If you’re willing to help, visit to sign up or visit Facebook for more information and registration.


Ordean East Middle School Duluth History Projects On Display May 29

   Ordean East Middle School 6th graders are having an open house to show off their hard work creating amazing Duluth History projects. The event will be held in the Ordean East Middle School Cafeteria, 2900 East Fourth Street, on Thursday, May 29th from 3:30PM - 5:30PM. Students will have their exhibits up and will be there to answer questions.


Enjoy Duluth’s Aquatic Facilities


Cost:  $3, bring your own suit and towel

Perfect for families and groups.  Call first if your group

 is 8 or more persons.

Lincoln Park Community Pool, 3215 West Third Street

June 9 – July 31, Monday – Thursday 1:00PM to 3:00PM

(no open swim June 30 – July 4)

Ordean East Community Pool, 2900 East Fourth Street

June 9 – July 31, Monday – Thursday 1:00PM – 3:00PM

(no open swim June 30 – July 4)


For more information:

or 218-336-8760.


Students Identify Recipe for School Cafeteria Use

   Family and Consumer Science students at Lincoln Park and Ordean East Middle Schools took part in a Hummus Recipe Test Kitchen project. Students learned about bean varieties and cultivation, then taste tested beans and executed 5-7 different hummus recipes to identify a final recipe for use in ISD 709 middle school cafeterias. 

   The project grew out of a request from the ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department for a new way to use canned beans.  The hummus test kitchen project was coordinated by the Duluth Community Garden Program’s Healthy School Food Coordinator.  

   ISD 709 is the recipient of a Minnesota Department of Agriculture Farm to School equipment grant of $24,000, which provides light processing equipment to increase use of Minnesota and Superior grown produce.  The hummus recipe developed by the middle school students will be among the first used to train middle school food service staff on this equipment. 


City’s Youth Flag Football League Registration Open Until June 6

   Flag Football is a non-contact sport which teaches boys and girls in grades 2 through 5 the fundamentals of football.  More importantly, it teaches kids sportsmanship and how to participate in sports while still having fun.  Last year, over 150 students signed up for this fun activity.  Games will be played primarily on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. All games are played at the Wheeler Softball Field Complex at 3501 Grand Avenue. Registration fee is $60. Deadline to register is June 6th.  For more information or to obtain a paper application, call Jesse in the City’s Parks and Recreation office at 218-730-4314.



-- Congdon Park teacher Cindy Miller received a $400 grant from the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. The money will be used to purchase tools and supplies to sustain a Three Sisters Garden Integration project. Students will explore the cultural significance of the survival gardens as well as companion gardening and then implement what they learn in the Congdon School Community Garden.

-- During East High School Honor Night, the Lakewood School Foundation and the Lakewood American Legion Post 571 awarded a $1,000 dollar scholarship to Ashley Herman for her participation and leadership in school and community activities. This award will be an annual practice. The Lakewood American Legion provided funds for this scholarship, which is given to former Lakewood Elementary School students.

ISD 709 News

posted May 21, 2014, 6:11 AM by Web Developer   [ updated May 21, 2014, 2:24 PM ]

REVISED 2014-15 Calendar Will Be Available at

   The 2014-15 Calendar has been revised and was approved by the Duluth School Board May 20. The new teacher contract, approved by the School Board last month, provides three additional student contact days at all grades - the calendar has been changed to reflect the contract.


Duluth East Student Receives $3,000 MSBA Scholarship, School Board Recognition

   During the regular May School Board meeting, representatives from the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) presented Erik Thibault, Duluth East High School, with their 2014 Student Scholarship of $3,000. MSBA presents the scholarship to two high school seniors who served as student school board members - Erik served as a student representative to the Duluth School Board last year. The Duluth School Board also recognized Erik for taking 1st Place in the category of Discussion at the 2014 MSHSL State Speech Tournament and receiving the Wells Fargo Spotlight on the Arts Award of Excellence.


Music, Spanish V

   This week, readers of the local newspaper saw an article and a few opinion page items geared toward discussion of ISD 709 curriculum, particularly music at all schools and advanced language at Denfeld. Superintendent Bill Gronseth shared two pieces of information about these topics.

   “During our spring budget planning we invested in music for the coming school year as opposed to cutting. About $216,000 has been allotted, or the equivalent of about 2.4 full time music teaching staff, to our middle schools.

   “As regards high school class schedules, staffing decisions are still in process. Denfeld will be able to offer Spanish V next year, in part because of additional Federal funding provided for students who receive free or reduced price lunch. This funding also allows Denfeld to invest in lower class sizes, additional course sections and other supports.”

   Gronseth said budget investments for the September 2014 school year are tied closely to community priorities identified through Think Kids and supported by passage of the November 2013 Education Levy. For example, next year’s budget invests about $1.45 million in helping lower class sizes. An additional $150,000 is invested in updating curriculum, starting with Biology and with preparations to update Social Studies materials. Funds have also been allotted next year for proven strategies to help close the achievement gap – such as professional learning communities to formally bring teachers together to study individual student data and identify strategies to raise achievement.

   “Through the Think Kids community conversation, we know amazing things can be accomplished when people from our city, business, non-profit and education communities work together in support of Duluth’s public schools,” said Gronseth.


Denfeld & Duluth East Robotics Teams Unite at State Tournament

   Denfeld Nation Automation and the Duluth East Daredevils participated in the 2014 Minnesota State High School League/FIRST Robotics State Championship. After qualification rounds, Denfeld Nation Automation became a team captain and selected alliance partners Duluth East and Alexandria. The team quickly became known as “The Duluth Alliance” and placed 4th in the tournament. Kudos to both teams for their work to advance the word on Science, Math and Technology!


Homecroft Elementary Receives Donation from Local Pheasants Forever Chapter

   Pheasants Forever of St. Louis & Carlton County, based in Duluth, MN, donated $2,000 worth of supplies to Homecroft Elementary School. The curriculum and equipment donated will allow all grades to explore, photograph, and study nature with a “hands-on” approach in the Habitat for Homecroft outdoor classroom. Pheasants Forever is a 501.3c non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness and education.


Congdon Park Students Study Three Sisters Garden

   Congdon Park students in Mrs. Miller's 5th grade and Ms. Gallinger’s 3rd grade classes are studying the history and cultural significance of Three Sisters Gardens. A grant funded through the Duluth Public Schools Fund provided an opportunity for students to cook with a Duluth Grill Gardner and Duluth Community Garden Board Member using corn, beans, and squash.

   Students will visit the Ojibwe Demonstration Garden in Cloquet to learn traditional planting methods and will apply what they learn by growing a Three Sisters Garden within the Congdon School Community Garden.
   Save the Date: the Congdon Annual Plant Sale is Friday, May 30th. Organic edible & perennial plants, all at great prices!!! Proceeds go towards sustaining the Congdon School Community Garden. Cherry & Early Producing Tomatoes * Sweet Peppers * Chilis * Squash * Fennel * Herbs * Alpine Strawberries * Watermelon & More. Help Save the Bees & Butterflies with Native Flowers: Purple Cone Flower, Blazing Stare, Coreopsis, Cosmos.


2014 Summer Meals Program

   This summer ISD 709 will provide breakfast and lunch service at several schools, funded by the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all children 18 years of age and under without charge. Breakfast will be served from 8:00AM to 10:30AM and lunch served from 11:30AM - 1:00PM each day from June 10th until August 22nd (no service on July 4th) unless otherwise specified below.
   Meals are served at the following school cafeterias:
--Denfeld High School, 401 North 44th Avenue West (July 7 – August 22)
--Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 West Third Street (June 10 - July 3)
--Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 North Central Ave.

--Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood Street

--Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road
--Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, 1027 North 8th Avenue East
--Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue
--Stowe Elementary, 715 - 101st Ave. West
Also Available: Brown Bag Lunches at the Lincoln Park Boys & Girls Club, 2407 West 4th Street!
Menus include a variety of food items: hot entrees, salads, sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, bread, milk, and dessert items.



-- ISD 709 FCCLA-HERO students did well at the State Leadership Conference in Brooklyn Park, MN. State Officer Sara Lemon, Duluth East, qualified for Nationals in Texas 2014 for her Distracted Driving Campaign.

Individual winners include:

Art for Children: 2nd, Megan Borich (Denfeld), 3rd Tevia Stromgren (East)

Circle Time Fun: 1st- Maricris Mudek and Brittany Heskin (both Denfeld)

Creativity Unlimited: 1st Sara Lemon, 3rd Dylan Glader (Denfeld)

3N's-nature: 1st Tevia Stromgren, 3rd Brittany Heskin

Total Look in Cosmetology: 1st Megan Borich, 3rd Sara Lemon, Honorable Mention Sarah Anderson (East)

Cake Decorating: 1st Brittany Heskin, 2nd Maricris Mudek, 3rd Sarah Anderson, Honorable Mention - Sara Lemon

Bulletin Boards- Discussion/Interactive: 1st Brittany Heskin, 3rd Megan Borich

Career Demonstration/Presentation: 1st Sarah Anderson, Honorable Mention Dylan Glader

Leadership Enhancement Opportunities: 1st Sara Lemon Community Service and FCCLA planning process, 3rd Sarah Anderson Community Service and FCCLA planning process, Honorable Mention Sarah Anderson Medical Abbreviations

National Programs in Action- Distracted Driving: Silver Award, Sara Lemon

Shining Star Award for Membership Excellence: Tevia Stromgren, Maricris Mudek

ISD 709 News

posted May 16, 2014, 8:23 AM by Web Developer

Kindergarten Ojibwe Immersion Open House

All interested families are invited to hear more about the program and receive enrollment materials.

Wednesday May 28, 5:15PM – 6:00PM

Lowell Elementary School, 2000 Rice Lake Road, Duluth, MN 55811


Students from Denfeld High School presented stained glass windows to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV). The windows were created as part of a service learning lesson in which students were asked to do a project that would benefit a community group or organization. Students chose MACV which is located near the school and helps veterans. Students incorporated images into the window designs to convey collective gratitude and a sense of Minnesota serenity.


"Think Kids" Receives National School Communication Award

   ISD 709 has been selected to receive a 2014 Gold Medallion Award from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for the “Think Kids: Community Vision & Priorities” initiative.

   NSPRA Executive Director, Rich Bagin, APR, said of the project, “This district’s work to build a community vision for its public schools is exemplary. This is a great example of a win-win for the community and schools through proactive, intentional community engagement.”

   Superintendent Bill Gronseth expressed thanks to all citizens who participated in the Think Kids initiative, which informed the ISD 709 Community Vision and 4-Year Continuous Improvement Plan. He also thanked community leaders and staff who helped create and implement the conversation.

   “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people from our city, business, non-profit and education communities work together in support of Duluth’s public schools,” said Gronseth.
   NSPRA’s Gold Medallion Award is the highest award given by the Association in recognition of outstanding school public relations programs. The standards are high, as the judges look each year for those special programs, projects and campaigns that are truly outstanding – that combine insightful assessment, superb planning, creative communication and careful evaluation.


Students for the Future Host Community Forum on Bullying

Monday May 19, 6:00PM – 8:00PM, Central Hillside Community Center (12 East 4th Street)

   Students for the Future will host a pro-active community forum addressing what Minnesota new safe school/anti-bullying legislation could mean for students attending ISD 709 school.

The event includes a 14 minute documentary on diversity, speakers, a presentation on the specifics of Minnesota’s anti-bullying legislation and brainstorming around the ideas connected with the video and safe schools. Please think about attending this important discussion planned and hosted by local youth.


“Ford Drive 4UR School” Fundraiser Saturday, May 17th between 10:00AM – 3:00PM at Denfeld HS. This no strings attached fundraiser is an easy way to test drive a Ford vehicle and support Denfeld High School activities at the same time.

· Test drive a Ford vehicle in the school parking lot – Denfeld earns $20.

· Participants must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license.

· The $20 donation is limited to one per household.

· This is truly a NO STRINGS ATTACHED fundraiser – you will not be added to any mailing lists, email lists or pressured to buy a Ford vehicle.

· $6,000 can be raised if we get 300 people to test drive a vehicle.

Please stop by the Denfeld parking lot between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 17th to help support Denfeld activities. Contact Tom Pearson at if you have any questions.


2014-15 ISD 709 Health Insurance Costs Lower Than Projected

   Health insurance costs for ISD709 will be about $450,000 lower than projected next year. Information received from the Public Employees Insurance Program (PEIP) indicates a 1.7% increase, most of which is related to the national health care program.

   District employees receive health insurance coverage through the PEIP Advantage Plan, a group which now includes 64 Minnesota school districts. Since signing on with this plan in 2010, savings have been realized through lower fixed costs, higher negotiated discounts, spreading risk over a much larger group and making employees more accountable for their health care decisions.



-- Students in the Duluth East and Denfeld CTE Graphic Arts Program designed logos for the CTE Agriculture/Natural Resources Science Program. A design created by students Katie Plachta and Kelsey Brantley was selected for the FFA Forestry Farm logo. The logo will be used for publicity and labels for the maple syrup made and sold by students in FFA.

--Alex Trapp, Duluth East High School, is the recipient of a 2014 Hobey Baker High School Character Award. The award develops, recognizes, and rewards exemplary character and sportsmanship demonstrated by high school players.

--Piedmont Elementary School students Darian Lewandowski, Riley Onofreychuk, and Adler Wormuth received awards at the Inventor’s Fair in Duluth and were invited to participate in the State Inventor’s Fair in Minneapolis. At the State competition, Riley and Adler received the Kids Choice Award for their heated hockey bag.

--Homecroft Elementary School students raised $836.83 for the Childhood Cancer Fund. Kathy Stenehjem, a student at Duluth East High School and Key Club member, worked with students to help raise the funds.

Denfeld Teacher Receives $5,000 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award

posted May 15, 2014, 9:06 AM by Web Developer

   Matthew “Phil” Rannila, Denfeld High School, is the recipient of the 2014 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award. Andy Goldfine, son of Manley and Lillian Goldfine, made the announcement at a reception Wednesday evening during which he presented Ranilla with a trophy and a $5,000 check.
   Rannila has been an ISD 709 Automotive Systems and Tech teacher since 1998, after working 9 years
in the business industry. An enthusiastic educator, he uses innovative classroom techniques and equipment to challenge students and facilitate learning.
   His philosophy: “If I allow students to learn, they will.” He combines the best of both book and hands-on learning, using state-of-the-art, industry approved technologies and equipment. Students learn the ins and out of the high tech world of automobile technologies, an area which, in the United States, enables more than 250 million cars to operate. The ISD 709 Auto Systems and Tech Program has received superior ratings and is one of only eight operating in Minnesota.
   Rannila dedicates his life, inside and outside of school, to his profession. According to Principal Jim Arndt, “Phil not only shares his wealth of knowledge and love of learning with students, he builds long-term relationships, a rapport that will last a lifetime.” He has taught and coached winners of the SkillsUSA State Competition, a pinnacle of achievement in the high school automotive world. Phil’s colleagues describe his gift for working with students who don’t “fit the mold” and reference his ability to cut through red tape and get things done. He partners with higher education and the business community to create increased opportunities for students to learn and use their skills in real world settings.
   He holds a Bachelor’s degree, ASE Master Tech Certification and is a certified Chrysler technician. He is Chairperson of the Automotive Business and Education Board, comprised of former and current students, business organizations and community members with interest and expertise in the automotive industry. Phil remains current in his field, attending at least 40 hours of seminars and workshops each year. Phil is actively engaged in NATEF (National Automotive Education Technical Foundation), which allows the program to be certified at the college level.
   Six Duluth Public School middle and high school teachers were nominated for the award based on several criteria, including impact in the classroom, school and community, and their efforts to pursue professional development. Phil Ranilla was selected for the award by committee through a competitive application process.
   Manley and Lillian Goldfine established a fund for the Gold Star Teacher Award in 2006 through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, to honor inspirational teachers for their dedication, skills and hard work. Last year elementary school teachers were nominated for the award; this year secondary school teachers were nominated.

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