School News

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 29, 2016, 6:35 AM by Communications ISD 709

Please Save the Date:
Denfeld High School Design Center
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 5:00PM to 7:00PM
Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Avenue West in Duluth
5:00 Welcome, Refreshments by Culinary Arts Students, Denfeld Commons
5:30 Speakers, Denfeld Commons
5:45 Ribbon Cutting, Hallway Outside Design Center
5:45-7:00 Design Center Open House
Free and Open to the Public – All Welcome!
   This exciting new addition, which serves both Denfeld and Duluth East students, is based on MakerSpace and MIT FAB Lab Models and supports a FAB Lab Engineering & Design Lab, Robotics, Graphic Arts & Digital Design:
·  Design Lab:  Industry software and computers for CAD, digital design and modeling.  
·  Innovations Lab:  Prototyping, 3D printing, vinyl, laser engraving, fine milling, scanning and creation. 
·  Fabrication Lab:  Wood manufacturing equipment, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, metal welding and CNC plasma
·  Graphic Communications Lab:  Digital production printing, offset press operations, binding and finishing, screen printing
Awards, Accomplishment, Appreciation
--Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team Wins at Prior Lake:  The For the second year in a row, the Daredevils were a member of the winning alliance at the Minne-Mini Regional in Prior Lake. Congratulations!  More about the Daredevils.
--Congdon Park Students Explore Family History through Dance:  Through an Arts Learning Grant from the MN State Arts Board and Legacy Amendment, students worked with Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater to explore family stories, histories and legacies through movement, music and spoken word.  They’ve created an original performance called “Family Albums.”
-- Duluth East Choir to Perform for Statewide Conference:  The Duluth East High School A Cappella Choir, directed by Jerome Upton, will perform at the Minnesota School Board Association state conference in January. 

Denfeld Donates Over Two Tons of Food to CHUM:
Members of the Denfeld Student Exec Board brought five carloads of non-perishable food items to CHUM in time for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.


The Ordean East Knowledge Bowl team did their school proud at the Northeast Regional competition in November:  
Their three teams finished in the top ten including first and second place. In addition to displaying great depth and breadth of knowledge, students used tremendous negotiating skills with passion, civility and character.  


Preschool Students Share Story, Pizza Party:
 Students in the Early Childhood preschool class at Homecroft Elemenary listened to a reading of The Little Red Hen, helped act out the parts of the duck, dog and cat and then made their own little pizzas with the help of family volunteers.


A Brainy Project:
 Duluth East CITS (College in the Schools) Psychology students created models for their Brain Project and made videos showing the functions of the brain. Learning in action!


Giving the Gift of Warmth:
 The Duluth East High School Student Forum made blankets to donate to those in need.


Laura MacArthur Students Run in 5K Turkey Trot:
 Students in the school’s Key Zone program trained for about five weeks to prepare for this community event.  


Denfeld Students Bring Holiday Cheer: 
 Denfeld Key Club students worked with Operation Christmas Child to help pack 35 boxes for those in need.

Over 50 Scholarships Available, Applications Due by January 15
   Duluth has a huge number of scholarships available to graduating high school seniors - some are based on academics but others, like the Minnesota Power Community Involvement Scholarship, recognize community volunteerism.  With over 50 available, there’s something for everyone.  Find out more using the Eligibility Quiz on the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation website
   Applications are due by January 15, 2017 - the application will take time to complete, so start early.  More information is available at or by phone at 218-726-0232. 
Know a great ISD 709 educator who deserves special recognition?  Consider nominating them for the Greg Irons Teacher/Staff Award. Named after a former ISD 709 teacher, the Greg Irons Award recognizes teachers/school staff who ‘demonstrate their belief that all students have worth and the desire to succeed and that responsibility, sincerity, honesty and hard work are the foundation of a person's life.’ Past winners have received a cash award of $500.  
   Nominations may be made by students, teachers, other school staff, parents or community members and are due to the Community Foundation by January 15, 2017. Applications are available at and can be submitted electronically. For more information, contact the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation at or 218-726-0232.
Donate Your Old Vehicle and Help Students Learn a Career in Automotive Technology
  Vehicles donated to this hands-on program help Denfeld and Duluth East High School students learn the skills they need to enter the high-tech field of automotive repair:
>Live on-car diagnostic and repair work on computer controlled electrical and brake systems
>Applying engine theory
>Construction, diagnosis, computer, fuel and ignition systems, steering and suspension systems, and wheel alignment
   Students learn how to service various systems using proper technical skills and are encouraged to participate in job shadowing and/or an internship at a local repair facility.
   Automotive Youth Education System (AYES) curriculum is utilized and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Certification Program is implemented.
Click here for more about how to donate a vehicle to this program.  (Please read carefully, not all vehicles are suitable for donation)
Denfeld Ornament Fundraiser to Support Theater:
$10.00 Each, Only 300 Available! 
   The Second Annual Denfeld Ornament is brought to you by the Theater Department and is a perfect gift for the Denfeld Hunter of any age.  These acrylic, shatterproof bulbs are available through Dec.23 or until supplies last. Email with your name, contact information, and how many you would like. All the proceeds of this sale support the Denfeld Theater Department. We thank you for your support!
From the City of Duluth:
Winter Skating Parties
>>Sunday December 4, Amsoil Arena, 3:00PM – 5:00PM
Skate with the Bulldogs Hockey Team
>>Sunday February 5, Amsoil Arena, 3:00PM – 5:00PM
Skate with the UMD Figure Skating Team
Both Skating Parties are FREE
Bring your own skates
No chairs, sticks, pucks or shoes on the ice
Prizes for Kids, Music Provided
Kids 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult
Helmets strongly recommended for children under 18
From the City of Duluth:
Skate with Santa and Rudolph
Live DJ with Special Holiday Music Program
Duluth Heritage Sports Center, 120 South 30th Avenue West
Wednesday December 14, 6:30PM – 8:00PM
Cookie Decorating, Holiday Crafts and Winter Science Demonstrations
UMD Theatre presents
She Loves Me
Dec 1-3 & 7-10 @ 7:30pm AND 
Dec 4 @ 2pm (Wednesday BOGO tickets)
Marshall Performing Arts Center - Mainstage Theatre
Two store clerks who constantly bump heads at work don’t know they are each falling for anonymous romantic pen pals that happen to be each other! What happens once their identities become revealed? 
Monthly Energy Production Report for Lowell Barnes Solar System
October 2016 Total:  144 kWh
Previous Month Total:   163 kWh
Year to Date:  1.61 MWh
Carbon Offset for this month: 219 lbs (equivalent of .3 trees)

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 18, 2016, 12:50 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 18, 2016, 12:51 PM ]

With Hope…as people come together to address an increase in intolerant language and images and behavior in schools following the election. Taking steps to raise awareness and help students and staff respond; discussions and learning activities in the short and long term; and clearly communicating expectations. Thankful for community leaders and families who agree intolerance and hatred are not acceptable and that all students should feel welcome and supported at school.
Duluth News Tribune Editorial:  Standing Up to Hate, Inspiring
   There isn’t much that moves Superintendent Bill Gronseth to tears, he said Tuesday at the Duluth School Board meeting. But the video he played got to him, he acknowledged.
   The two-minute video, with OneRepublic’s “Choke” providing a soul-searing and emotional soundtrack, featured the walls and halls of Denfeld High School this week, every surface plastered with positive messages scrawled onto colorful, can’t-miss-’em Post-it Notes. “You are loved.” “We’re all in this together.” “Unique is great.”   
Proud of Our Denfeld Students!
A heartfelt video from Johanna Unden and her fellow students at Denfeld High School...hundreds of post-it notes with hundreds of messages of kindness and hope.
Denfeld students respond to hate speech with positive messages.
Duluth East Students Inspire Us All
Proud of these young women supporting each other!
Chesley Receives 2016 MNSHAPE Teacher of the Year Award
   Sandy Chesley received the MNSHAPE Developmental Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award at the MNSHAPE State Conference in Wayzata, MN.   The award honors and recognizes the outstanding services and contributions by Sandy in adapted physical education. Awards are presented to members of MNSHAPE and SHAPE America who demonstrate exemplary teaching abilities of respective grade levels and disciplines.  


Denfeld Student Named 2016 MIEA Athlete of the Year
   Riley Pohl, Denfeld High School, has been named the 2016 Minnesota Indian Education Association Female Athlete of the Year.  She received the award this month at the MIEA State Conference in Welch, MN. Congratulations, Riley!


Denfeld Boys Soccer Team Members Receive State Recognition 
   The Denfeld Boys Soccer team won the 2016 Section 7A championship, beating Chisago Lakes in sudden death overtime.  The team went to State for the 1st time in 12 years. In addition:
--Braden Emanuelson and James Faynik were named to All State honors.
--Jon Faynik was named to the State Class A All Tournament Team
--Coach Scott Anderson was named the Section 7A Boys Soccer Coach of the Year


Denfeld Students Elected to Serve as Minnesota HOSA Officers  
   Conor Reindl and Jada Guthrie will serve as officers for the Minnesota Health Occupations Students of America organization.  Conor will serve as Vice President for MN HOSA, Jada will serve as Vice President for the North Region.  
   Students from Denfeld and Duluth East attended a recent MN HOSA conference, they’re part of the Duluth School district’s Career and Technical Education Health Occupations program, providing hands-on experience, opportunities to earn college credit in high school and prepare for a career in healthcare. 


Quest for Healthy School Climates
   Students at Lowell Elementary were treated to a visit from Viktor the Viking, a program to help support healthy school climates and teach children about bullying and what they can do.  Students are encouraged to Stand up, Take action, Open up, and Protect themselves (STOP).  They learned how to identify different types of bullying (verbal, social, physical, cyber) and the role they can play in preventing, responding and recovering.  

Awards, Accomplishments, Appreciation
--Lincoln Park’s Published Author:  Michelle Matthees, Lincoln Park Middle School, has published a collection of poetry about living in Eastern Europe and the adoption of her daughter from an orphanage in Vladivostok, Russia.  It’s called "Flucht,” Click here for more.
--Oh, Fur Cute!  Fox 21 News did a story about Jim Segel and his little dog Murry.  Each morning they greet students as they arrive at Piedmont Elementary.  KQDS-TV21
--Daredevils at Minne Mini Regional:  On Saturday, November 19, 2016  the Daredevils Robotics Team will be in Savage, Minnesota competing in the Minne Mini Regional at Prior Lake High School. There are thirty five teams competing with thirty four from Minnesota and one from North Dakota.   The Daredevils are the only team from Duluth. The event is centered on conditioning rookies and getting veterans back into the work season.  Here’s a link to the event website.
Immunization Reminder
   Minnesota's Immunization Law:  Be sure you've submitted documentation of your child's vaccinations or legal exemption to your school.  Students whose families do not provide documentation may be excluded from school.  We want all children to be in school – please take steps to provide documentation.
Be Prepared - Cold & Snowy Weather On the Way
   When severe winter weather conditions hit the Northland, be prepared for the possibility of School Closings, Two Hour Late Starts, or Rural Buses on Plowed Roads Only.
   All families, especially those with elementary age students, should have a contingency plan for their children in the event of weather-related school closings, a two hour late start or rural buses on plowed roads only. Thanks for helping keep students safe during severe weather!

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 11, 2016, 10:22 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 14, 2016, 7:32 AM ]

2016 ISD 709 Annual Report for the Community
   Thanks to everyone who contributed to the 2016 Annual Report booklet, video and Annual Meeting!  Reports touch on achievement, safe & welcoming environments and effective, efficient systems. Below are links to information:
Many thanks to:
--School Principals, Edye Howes, William Howes, Jay Roesler, Jennifer Jaros, Joe Schingen, Becky
Crane, Coach Andy Gunderson & Denfeld DNA, Coach Tim Velner and Duluth East Daredevils, Brad Vieths for creating beautiful table displays.
--Deb Hannu and our Art teachers for organizing and sharing our students' artwork.
--Elaine Bradley, Jerry Upton and Blake Peterson for providing wonderful music from the Duluth East Sterling Strings, Choralaires and Jazz Band.
--Dave Spooner, Dylan Carlson, Danette Seboe, Tom Esse, John Gunderson, Jerry Upton and Tom Margo for their assistance in preparing Duluth East as a venue for this event.
--Chef Glenn D'Amour and the ISD 709 Culinary Arts students for the evening's refreshments.
--Melinda Thibault for a whole bunch of coordination and prep work!
--Bill Hanson, Jackie Dolentz, Robbin Tuominen, Nichele Canavan, Darren Sheldon, Patty Paquette, Edye Howes, Michelle Porter, Cheryl Krause, Jackie Ward, Jason Crane, Ron Lake, Mike Cary, Amy Starzecki for much appreciated assistance with set up and tear down.
--Jim Ficken and Terry McEwen for their work on the Annual Report booklet.
--Pam Bowe and Child Nutrition for assisting with beverages.
--Cabinet members, Department Heads and program leaders for their assistance with content for the Annual Report Booklet and Video.
--Bernie Burnham, Ron Lake, Beth Shermoen, Jen Larva, Edye Howes, Crystal Goldman, Brenda Vatthauer, Paul Sandholm, Debbie Farnham, Gordon Jourdain, Brittany Foster, Annmarie Ulvestad, Rachel Jackson, Jacob Laurent, Kathy Akervik and Kari Solarz for their assistance with and participation in the Annual Report Video. 
Lincoln Park Principal Receives National Award
   Brenda Vatthauer received the Home Visit Hero Award at the National Parent Teacher Home Visit Conference in Washington, DC.  The Award recognizes her leadership in advancing the Parent Teacher Home Visit program in Duluth.   PTHV helps build relationships, skills, and engagement for families, educators, and students from pre-K to 12th grade.     

Traditional Drum Group at Denfeld  
   Students are participating in a traditional drum group during Denfeld High School’s WIN period.  Mr. John Morrow, Instructor:  "For a long time this was outlawed. People like my grandparents kept it alive in basements and had to do it in secret. You being able to learn this during school is a good thing. This [the big drum] is one of the best things that ever happened to our people ... It's one of the best things you can do for yourself ... Always make sure you do it in a good way." 


Duluth Debate Team News  
   Members of the Denfeld and Duluth East Debate Team took part in a recent tournament in Coon Rapids.  Autumn Zierman 3rd place in Public Forum Debate, Quinten Rimolde and Nick Anderson 5th place in Public Forum and Nikolia Breimon took 8th place in Congressional Debate.

American Indian Culture Day at Ordean East
   Eighth-graders at Ordean took part in an all-day event consisting of different presentations and an end-of-day gathering and celebration centering around Ojibwe and Dakota culture, including history, business, recreation, the arts and conservation. Edye Howes, American Indian Education Coordinator, and her staff reached out to community members to help provide an authentic, interactive experience.  Presentations included Ojibwemowin (Ojibwe language), Smoke Dancers, Hand Games, Plants and Their Medicinal Uses, Boarding Schools and Education, Sovereignty and Treaties.  Ordean teacher Vince Senski first approached the Curriculum and American Indian Education offices with his idea for this day last year.

Lincoln Park Students Present to Local Kiwanis  
   Irene Xiong and Kanell Walker, Lincoln Park Middle School, spoke at a recent Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth luncheon.  They shared their experiences in a Shoot for the Stars STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Camp they attended through partnership with the College of St. Scholastica.  They received a warm welcome and enjoyed speaking with these local community leaders!

Denfeld High School College Knowledge Month
   During College Knowledge Month Denfeld student activities include the National College Fair in the Twin Cities, Scholarship Night, visits with local scholarship committees, Financial Aid Night hosted by the College of St. Scholastica, opportunities for families to complete their FAFSA applications with financial aid advisors from CSS, working on resumes and researching career information.  Area college admission representatives, Talent Search Staff, Denfeld Guidance & Career Center Staff, and Upward Bound were on hand to answer questions.  Even Duluth Mayor Emily Larson paid a visit!
National Community Education Day November 10
   First proclaimed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, it reminds us that public education is a community project, and the lifelong mission of education involves everyone in the community.
   As a statewide, school-based network, Community Education connects local people and resources to improve schools and communities reaching over 3 million Minnesotans from our youngest learners to our oldest adults. Community Education has been providing quality programs to learners of all ages and abilities - infants and preschoolers, school-aged children, adults and seniors – for over 40 years. 
• Providing high quality school-based early learning.
• Expanding learning opportunities beyond the school day/school year.
• Creating partnerships between school, cities, businesses and organizations.
• Maximizing community use of school facilities.
• Promoting an educated workforce which is key to Minnesota’s prosperity.
• Serving the youngest to the oldest citizens in Duluth through lifelong learning.
Discover what Duluth Community Education has to offer at or or visit us on Facebook at Duluth Community Education.
Election Day at Lester Park Elementary    
   The Lester Park Elementary Student Council helped raise awareness of the importance of voting and the American democratic process. On Election Day, each classroom visited the student council voting booth and students were able to cast their vote for a presidential candidate and receive an "I Voted" sticker. There were also appropriate grade level activities for all students.
Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation
--Denfeld Students Earn College Scholarship Opportunity:  Quinn Reamer and Kong XIong, Denfeld High School, have been selected as finalists for the QuestBridge National College Match Program. QuestBridge is a college and scholarship application process that helps outstanding high school seniors gain admission and full four-year scholarships to the nation's most selective colleges.   
--Congratulations Denfeld High School Girls Swimmers, 2016 Lake Superior Conference Champions!  Outstanding swim season by our dedication, fierce athletes!
--Helping Children in Hospitals:  Students from Lincoln Park Middle School's Art Club
made felted lanterns from sheep's wool and donated them to local hospitals for children
who need to stay overnight for a period of time. The lanterns were created to help kids feel more at home at the hospital.
--Duluth East Soccer Star Named All-State!  Duluth East Junior Midfielder Nolan Friday was named to the MSHSL All-State 2nd Team. Friday, a team captain, led the Greyhounds with 12 goals and 4 assists in 15 games.  
--Congdon Park Socktober a Success:  Fifth grade students in Cindy Miller's Social Studies classes, collected 1732 pairs of socks from the Congdon Park School community during Socktober. They were donated to CHUM and Kids Closet.
-- Students Host Halloween Fun Run to Help Those In Need:  Students from Duluth East High School hosted a 3K Halloween Fun Run/Walk to help support the Damiano Center in Duluth.   

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 28, 2016, 11:56 AM by Communications ISD 709

Please join us!
2016 ISD 709 Annual Report for the Community
Thursday November 10, 2016
Duluth East High School
301 N. 40th Avenue East, Duluth, MN  
6:00PM – 6:30PM:  
Music by Duluth East Sterling Strings, Displays, Booths  
6:30PM – 7:00PM:  
National Anthem presented by Duluth East Choralaires & Sterling Strings 
Annual Report Overview
7:00PM – 7:30PM:  
Light refreshments by ISD 709 Culinary Arts Students
Music by Duluth East Jazz Band, Displays, Booths
Free and open to the public 
Copies of the 2016 Annual Report will be available at the event and online at
ISD 709 Community Education Director Receives State Recognition
   The Minnesota Community Education Association (MCEA) named Jay Roesler, Director of Community Education and Services for Duluth Schools, as the 2016 Regional Community Educator of Excellence. He received the award at the MCEA Fall Conference in St. Cloud, MN in October.
   Jay has been with the Duluth Public Schools Community Education Department since 1998, starting as an interim director and program coordinator.  Prior to that, he worked in community education with Grand Rapids Public Schools.  He’s worked with numerous community and service organizations throughout his career, serving on advisory boards and supporting a variety of local initiatives.  Jay is a current member of the MCEA Legislative Committee and a past member of their Board of Directors.   
   His department’s recognition includes the 2015 Community Services Award from the Duluth Area Family YMCA.  
Duluth East Girls Tennis Team Competing in the State Class AA Tournament!  Congratulations and best wishes, Go ‘Hounds!

Generous Donation to Myers-Wilkins Elementary
   Myers-Wilkins Elementary recently received a $2,000 donation from Jo-Ann Fabrics in Duluth.  Principal Elisa Maldonado attended the check presentation and expressed the school’s appreciation for the gift. The donation will be used to provide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for students. Thanks to Jo-Ann Fabrics for their support of our students.  

Duluth East Students Raise Over $2,000 to Help Homeless
   Students held a Camp In a Box fundraiser and slept outside to raise awareness and funds, which were donated to Life House to help benefit homeless youth.
Denfeld Class of 1955 Provides Donations to Support Education
   Each year the Denfeld Class of 1955 provides staff a generous donation of about $4,000 to be used in classrooms or to help students in some way.  This year’s donations helped support:
Jan Hille - $250 for Math Calculators
Rebecca Alm-Foix - $250 for Spanish books
James Erickson - $250 for gym equipment for lunch time
Matt Pursi - $500 for the fall play
Jeff Nace - $500 for the Basketball program
Tom Tusken - $300 for Link Crew
Claudia Anderson - $200 for student supplies
Melissa Kliegle - $500 for Chrome books
Al Chepelnik - $250 for Life Skills books
Bob Fox - $500 for Science Supplies
​Paul Christenson - $500 for speakers for his classroom
Jill Lofald - $250 for the speech and debate team​
Many thanks to the Denfeld Class of 1955!
Duluth East Orchestra Café Concert November 1
   The East Orchestras will present their annual Café Concert on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00PM
at Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Avenue East.  Performing groups will include the Greyhound Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Sterling Strings. 
   Each group will perform a wide variety of styles, so there is sure to be something for everyone! Cost is $5.00 per adult, and $3.00 per student. The concert will begin in the auditorium and close in the atrium where the Sterling Strings will premiere this year’s strolling show, as guests are served cookies, bars, and punch. We hope you can come to hear the orchestra and help celebrate our first concert of the year!
For information:  Elaine Bradley, 218-336-8845 x3004
Be Prepared - Cold & Snowy Weather Season On the Way
   When severe winter weather conditions hit the Northland, be prepared for the possibility of School Closings, Two Hour Late Starts, or Rural Buses on Plowed Roads Only.
   All families, especially those with elementary age students, should have a contingency plan for their children in the event of weather-related school closings, a two hour late start or rural buses on plowed roads only. Thanks for helping keep students safe during severe weather!
Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation
--Trying New Food is Fun:  As part of a partnership with Healthy Northland Farm to School, students at Myers-Wilkins Elementary enjoyed trying a new recipe - Autumn Tomato & Corn Salad – and voting with their wooden tasting spoons.
--October is Socktober at Congdon Park:  Congdon Park students are
taking part in a Social Studies service-learning project, collecting socks for donation to those in need.
--Nice Day for a Hike:  Students from Denfeld  High School enjoyed a beautiful hike along Duluth’s Lakewalk during an adapted physical education class.  Adapted P.E. is physical education which has been adapted or modified, so that it is as
appropriate for a person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability.  
--Denfeld's Key Club hosted a Coin War over Homecoming Week: The students challenged staff to see who could raise more funds. Staff won the challenge and a total of $528.00 was collected from all.  The Key Club donated the money to Denfeld's Art Department.
--The following students have been nominated as Artists of the Month for October/November 2016 at Lincoln Park Middle School:  Thomas Thach, Tehya  Lamberton, Lilly  LaJesse- Nason, Clarissa Thompson, Nadine  Robison, Sienna Meyer, Louis  Weisman, Alyssa M., Malea Fife, Brynn Olson, Kyla  Roberts, Jenna Lytle, Peyton Carlson, Maggie MacFarlane, Emma Jeanette, Armon McCaleb.  
Time for Three Performs at Ordean East Middle School   
   Students, staff and community members enjoyed a great performance by this groundbreaking trio, a group that transcends traditional classification, combining elements of classical, country western and jazz idioms to form a blend all its own. 
   The group has performed hundreds of engagements as diverse as its music: from featured guest soloists with the Philadelphia Orchestra to Club Yoshi’s in San Francisco to residencies at the Kennedy Center.  Recent highlights included their Carnegie Hall debut, appearances with the Boston Pops, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and an appearance on the ABC prime time hit show “Dancing with the Stars.”  Many thanks to Matinee Musicale for bringing Time For Three to OEMS! 
Lights On After School In the News
   Lots of media coverage of the Lights on After School event, raising awareness of the benefits of quality after school programming in Duluth and nationwide.
Apply for Minnesota Scholars of Distinction Award Program by December 16
   This program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated, self-directed students who specialize in areas developed through partnerships of educators, the business community and others.  Students may now apply for Scholars of Distinction Awards in Leadership, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, STEM and Theater Arts. All applicants are required to complete the Intent to Apply Form, available now through December 16. For information about the criteria, timelines, quality standards, and application process for an award, visit the Scholars of Distinction page.

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 19, 2016, 1:39 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Oct 19, 2016, 1:39 PM ]

Students Recognized for Volunteer Service 
   Students participating in the T12 Transition Program received an award from the Duluth Area Family YMCA in recognition of the volunteer work they provide to the organization.  The T12 program provides students with community based work exploration/job development based on strengths, preferences and interest.  One of their activities is volunteering at the YMCA where they work on job skills, socialization and confidence in their community.

Denfeld High School Boys Soccer Team Advances to Section 7A Final!
Congratulations and best wishes, go Hunters!

Duluth East Teacher Receives $1,000 Grant  
   The grant, presented to Dr. Richard Updegrove by Aaron Winkelman, Affinity Plus Credit Union, will be used in support of Dr. Updegrove’s College In The Schools (CITS) Economics course at Duluth East.  The grant is one of 15 awarded to area teachers who focus on financial education.


Duluth East High School Theatre Presents:
Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
October 27, 28, 29 at 7:00PM
October 30 at 12:30PM
Duluth East High School
301 North 40th Ave East
Tickets:  $10 Students,  $15 Adults, Kids under 5 free. 
Tickets at the door, doors open 30 minutes before show time.


Denfeld High School Theater Presents the Musical:
November 3, 4, 5 at 7:00PM
November 6 at 2:00PM
Denfeld High School
401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN
Tickets: $10 General Admission, at the door.


Lowell Students Help Monarch Butterflies
   Students at Lowell Elementary participated in the Monarch Restoration Project by planting milkweed. They're hoping Lowell will become a monarch way station during their annual migration. Thank you Kristen Klos-Maki for leading this initiative and getting our students and teachers excited about monarch butterflies!

Ordean East Middle School Students Selected to State Honor Choir
   The following students were selected to the 2016 State Honor Choir by the Minnesota Choral Directors Association, congratulations! 
Grade 7 for the Boys' 7-8 Choir:  Paavo Paasi, Brue Stingle 
Grade 7 for the Girls' 7-8 Choir:  Maija Knutson, Elaina Benson 
Grade 8 for the Girls' 7-8 Choir:  Kristina Pauna

2016 Great Lakes Apple Crunch    
   To celebrate National Farm to School Month, Duluth joined schools across Minnesota in participating in the 2016 Great Lakes Apple Crunch. The goal: one million students, teachers, staff and everyone in the Great Lakes Region crunching into a local apple on October 13 during their lunch shifts. Thanks to our partners at Healthy Northland Farm to School for making this happen! 

Lights On After School Event October 20   
   Hundreds of children, parents, business and community leaders will come together for a Lights on Afterschool rally at Lincoln Park Middle School (3215 West Third Street, Duluth, MN 55806) at 1:00PM on October 20.  The event celebrates the achievements of afterschool students and draws attention to the need for more afterschool programs nationwide.  The gathering is one of more than 8,000 events across the U.S. emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school. 
   Youth will participate in gym games, crafts, dance to music, and local partners will provide fun activities.  Duluth Superintendent Bill Gronseth, a representative from Senator Al Franken’s office, City Council Members, School Board Members, parents and students will discuss the importance of afterschool programs.  
   The Northland Foundation serves as the Regional Partner of Ignite Afterschool.  More information on the Afterschool Alliance, Lights on Afterschool and America After 3PM is available at

High School Students Lead Path to Peace Walk  
   October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and students from Duluth East High School held their third annual Path to Peace Walk to raise awareness for bullying prevention. Thank you to the students and staff who organized this event!

Transition Resource Fair
Tuesday October 25, 1:40PM – 6:00PM
Denfeld High School Media Center
401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN
   The Transition Resource Fair will provide high school students with disabilities and their families transition information regarding post high school resources.  Students on 504 plans and their parents are also welcome to attend.  The event is hosted by Duluth Public Schools and the Interagency Coordination Council of Duluth (ICCOD).
   Representatives from area post-secondary education options, employment and supported employment providers, social service and community organizations that offer a variety of services and supports to young adults with disabilities will be present to talk about their programs and answer questions.
   Contact Al Chepelnik at 336-8700 x4047 or Coleen Norris  at 336-8740 x1144 if you have questions or need more information. 

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 12, 2016, 8:31 AM by Communications ISD 709

Help Kids Learn About Voting - Volunteers Needed!

   Kids Voting Duluth is a nonpartisan effort to facilitate kids’ participation in mock elections at precinct locations from 3:00PM - 8:00PM on Election Day Tuesday November 8.  It’s led by the City of Duluth, the Duluth Public Schools and other community partners.

   Volunteers will help children register, hand them a ballot, and assist them in casting their vote. Volunteers are needed at all polling sites; you can work at one near your home or join a friend and choose another location.  

   To ensure Kids Voting takes place we need volunteers!  Learn more about Kids Voting Duluth and sign up to volunteer by visiting their website at "" (please note the site is case sensitive).


Denfeld High School Students Tour College of Art and Design

   Paige May, Kacie May, Winona Killsprettyenemy, Katherine Skwira-Brown and Allyson Cook toured the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and shared their work with representatives from over 30 art colleges! Special thanks to Julie Deters from Cloquet for inviting Denfeld students to join them on this trip.


Denfeld High School's Anishinaabe Club and Duluth American Lung Association hosted an educational event about sacred and commercial uses of tobacco.
   The night was part of an initiative to educate youth about the dangers of menthol and flavored tobacco, said Deb Smith, tobacco control manager of the American Lung Association in Duluth.

Duluth News Tribune Article


2017 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists, Commended Students

 Spencer Johnson and Eric Patterson, Duluth East High School, have been named 2017 National Merit Scholarship Semi Finalists.  Of the 1.5 million juniors nationwide who took PSAT, these students scored in the top one half of 1% and had some of the highest scores in the state of Minnesota.  They are now eligible to compete for 7400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be offered this spring.

   Emma Flynn, Joseph Kebbekus, Troy Martin and Alexander Waxman, Duluth East, have been named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program, recognized for their exceptional academic promise and for placing in the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition nationwide.


Duluth East ABO Hounds Receive Award

   Student volunteers from Duluth East received Memorial Blood Centers’ Outstanding High School Award - the  ABO Hounds were recognized for collecting 266 units during their school blood drives last year.  It’s the first time an ISD 709 school has received this honor, which is given annually.  ABO Hounds is a volunteer group at Duluth East dedicating many hours to their school blood drives to ensure success.  Kierra Heazlett accepted the award on behalf of the group. 


P.E. Teachers Train in Newly Adopted Curriculum

  Physical Education teachers recently participated in a Professional Development Day geared toward new State standards and use of new equipment.  Minnesota recently adopted the National Standards for Physical Education, teachers worked on updating ISD 709 PE curriculum in grades Kindergarten through 12 to align with these standards and support curriculum adoption.  New, updated equipment enhances the PE curriculum to help shape lifelong physically active habits of students.  


Lowell’s Spanish Language Immersion Kindergarten in the News

The Duluth News Tribune visited the class, click here to see the report.


Great Lakes Apple Crunch – Thursday October 13

   To celebrate National Farm to School Month, Duluth will join schools across Minnesota in participating in the 2016 Great Lakes Apple Crunch.  The goal is for one million students, teachers, staff and everyone in the Great Lakes Region to crunch into a local apple on Thursday, October 13 during their lunch shifts. 


October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month:   Find information, tips and more at and The Bully Project.


Transition Resource Fair

Tuesday October 25, 1:40PM – 6:00PM

Denfeld High School Media Center

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

   The Transition Resource Fair will provide high school students with disabilities and their families transition information regarding post high school resources.  Students on 504 plans and their parents are also welcome to attend.  The event is hosted by Duluth Public Schools and the Interagency Coordination Council of Duluth (ICCOD).

   Representatives from area post-secondary education options, employment and supported employment providers, social service and community organizations that offer a variety of services and supports to young adults with disabilities will be present to talk about their programs and answer questions.

   Contact Al Chepelnik at 336-8700 x4047 or Coleen Norris  at 336-8740 x1144 if you have questions or need more information. 


Duluth East High School Presents:

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

October 27, 28, 29 at 7:00PM

October 30 at 12:30PM

Tickets:  $10 Students,  $15 Adults, Kids under 5 free. 

Tickets at the door, doors open 30 minutes before show time.

>> Kids are encouraged to dress as their favorite story book prince or princess to join in with the magic! 

>>Our cast and production team have given so much to create this magic for you, and we welcome you to give to Feeding Local Kids, a partnership between CHUM and Second Harvest, supported by the Duluth Federation of Teachers to make sure kids have the food they need when they're not at school.

This version of Cinderella  is unexpected and  humorous but you'll still recognize the traditional story!  East's beautiful set and the actors' gorgeous voices along with an incredible orchestra will delight audiences, young and old. We'll dazzle you with magical transformations--gowns and carriages and footmen--oh my.  This show will captivate and entertain patrons of all ages.   


Denfeld High School Theater Presents the Musical:

Little Shop of Horrors

November 3, 4, 5 at 7:00PM

November 6 at 2:00PM

Denfeld High School

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

Tickets:  $10 General Admission, at the door.

>>Students are conducting a “FEED ME” food drive each night of the show - bring any non-perishable food items to help our local food shelves during this upcoming holiday season!

Little Shop of Horrors is a delectable sci-fi horror musical with an electrifying 1960s pop/rock score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.  Seymour Krelborn is a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop who happens upon a strange plant, which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush at the shop.  Little does he know that this strange and unusual plant will develop a soulful R&B voice and an unquenchable thirst for human blood!


From University of MN – Duluth:

UMD Homecoming Parade 

Saturday October 15, 10:00AM

UMD Campus – Starts by the Darland Administration Building 

Click here for the parade route and parking.

>>Parade wraps up in time for Family Fun Carnival, Tailgating and

1:05PM game against Aberdeen, South Dakota’s Northern State

>>Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, who received her master’s degree from UMD, is scheduled to be the Grand Marshal.  

>>Area bands and dance organizations, UMD athletes, Champ, and the Maroon Loon are among the 40 entries scheduled to participate in the Homecoming Parade.

>> Visiting families are encouraged to arrive by 9:45AM and park in Lot E


Project Joy

Friday, November 4, 2016, 5:00PM - 9:00PM
Duluth Curling Club, 327 Harbor Drive, Duluth
$20 ages 13+, $10 ages 6-12, 5 & under FREE
Net proceeds benefit the BackPack Program, providing area children in need with food to take home on weekends and during school vacations when other nutritional resources are not available.

Click here for more.

ISD 709 News

posted Sep 29, 2016, 11:00 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Sep 29, 2016, 11:00 AM ]

Governor Dayton Appoints ISD 709 Educators to State Councils

   Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has appointed Becky Crane (photo, right) as Special Education Coordinator Representative of the Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Intervention. Becky is an Early Childhood Teacher on Special Assignment for ISD 709; the Council addresses methods for implementing a statewide system of comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary interagency programs of early intervention services for young children with disabilities and their families. 

   Pam Rees, Duluth Head Start Administrator, has been appointed to the Early Learning Council by Governor Dayton.  The Early Learning Council (ELC) makes recommendations to the Governor and Children’s Cabinet, including proposed legislation on how to effectively create a high-quality early childhood system in Minnesota to ensure all children arrive at kindergarten school-ready. 


Immunization Article by Duluth Health Professionals Published in Minnesota Physician Magazine

   ISD 709 School Nurse Camille Murphy, MA, RN and Emily Onello, MD, worked together to publish an article in the September issue of Minnesota Physician.  They wrote about strengthening the partnership between primary care physicians and school nurses to help improve immunization compliance and communication.  

   Camille is a licensed school nurse in the Duluth School District and was nominated for the 2014 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award.  Onello is an assistant professor in the department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of MN Medical School in Duluth and a practicing physician at the Lake Superior Community Health Center.

Minnesota Physician


Families Support Early Learning

   Families with infants gathered at Washington Center in Duluth for a special Literacy Live Event, hosted by ISD 709 Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE).  They took part in fun activities focused on talking, reading, singing and playing to encourage early learning.  Through a grant from the Arrowhead Reading Council, each family received books for their children.  They’ll also receive a follow up home visit and a book from an ECFE Parent Educator. 


Looking to Get Out Of the House and Put a Little Extra Cash in Your Pocket?  Work Part-time as a Food Service Helper with Duluth Public Schools! 

   We have employment opportunities for part-time permanent and substitute Food Service Helpers in the School Cafeterias. 

>>No experience is required, we will train you. 

>>Most work is at lunchtime from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. usually, three hours a day.

>>A meal is provided each day you work.

>>We staff district wide, choose your work location.

   If you enjoy being part of a team and believe in excellent customer service, WE NEED YOU. For more information about the positions or application process, please call the Child Nutrition Office at (218) 336-8707 or check online:


October is Bullying Prevention & Awareness Month

   As members of the Duluth community, we value creating welcoming environments where the uniqueness of

each person is honored and valued, recognizing that we all come from many different circumstances and cultures.

   We strive to provide safe, secure and respectful learning environments for all students in our school buildings, on school grounds, school buses and at school-sponsored activities.  A safe and civil environment is needed for students to learn and attain high academic standards and to promote healthy human relationships.

   Click here to learn more about local schoolpolicies related to bullying behaviors.  For tips and information about what you can do to address bullying check: and  


Duluth East 2016 Hall of Fame Dinner

Saturday, October 8, 2016

5:00PM Social, Dinner at 5:30PM, Duluth East High School

Cost:  $50 (includes Oct 7, 5:30PM Hall of Fame Football Game)

Tickets:  Available through October 3, contact  Duluth East Activities Director Shawn Roed

More at:

2016 Inductees:

>William (Torm) Tormondsen began his career at East as Band Director. "Torm's" students consistently earned superior ratings at state regional music contests and have been recipients of numerous awards and honors at music festivals held around the nation. In 1980, Bill received the Jazz Educator Award at the UMD Jazz Festival; in 2003 the Greg Irons Memorial Award as a Teacher of Excellence, and in 2005 he was awarded the Outstanding Music Educator Award from the NFHS Music Association. Tormondsen retired from East in 2005

>Kara (Wheeler) Goucher was a State Champion in Cross Country for four years at East. At the University of Colorado, Goucher became the NCAA Outdoor Champion in two events and the NCAA Cross Country Champion. She won a bronze medal in the 2007 world championships and has competed in numerous races around the world.  Goucher has represented the United States on two Olympic Teams, competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

>Sally Sjogren Tarnowski played varsity softball, volleyball, and basketball and was a member of the National Honor Society. A graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law, she was appointed to the bench by Govenor Tim Pawlenty in 2007.  Judge Tarnowski was the recipient of the Northland's News Center 2012 Women in Leadership Award for her work as the creator of a court for criminal offenders with mental health issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota presented Tarnowski with its Criminal Justice Program of the Year Award.

>David Ross was an All-City and All-Conference Football player, and a member of the 1974 Shriners All-State Football Team. David was a Merit Scholar and a starter in football for Co-Conference Champion Concordia College. Ross earned a Master of Arts in Management Degree, with honors, from CSS. He has been President and CEO of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years. David received the Martin Luther King Drum Major for Peace Award and the Senator Sam Solon Lifetime Legislative Service award. He is the DECC Board of Directors Chairperson.

>Scott D. Anderson was Band President, Football Captain, and Student Forum President. Anderson was a graduate of Stanford University where he built a working submarine. Anderson was an F-16 Fighter pilot with the Duluth Air National Guard where he rose to the rank of Major. Scott authored three books: Distant Fires, Unknown Rider, and Mosquito Book. Anderson was a test pilot and Director of Flight Operations with Cirrus Aircraft when his life was tragically cut short flight testing the first production model of the Cirrus SR20.


2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program – Nomination Deadline October 14, 2016

   The USPSP was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and since that time, the program has honored more than over 7,000 outstanding high school seniors.  The mission of the program is to recognize and honor outstanding high school seniors, and thereby encourage high attainment among all students. Students are selected on the basis of outstanding scholarship.

   Chief State School Officers are invited this year to nominate up to 20 candidates from their states for the general component of the program and an additional five students for the CTE component. Please consider nominating students in your district who are outstanding high school seniors. Read the memorandum from Commissioner Brenda Cassellius for nomination details.

If you have questions, please contact Terry Alvarado at


Lincoln Park Students Harvesting School Gardens

   Family & Consumer Science students from Lincoln Park Middle School are harvesting vegetables from their school garden, including lettuce and potatoes.  They’re cooking with the school garden produce in their class.  Thank you volunteers from Essentia Health and core members of the Action for Healthy Kids Grant - Rachel Thapa, Lincoln Community Coordinator; Linda Erdahl, SNAP Educator; Josh Gorham, St Louis County Public Health Nurse - SHIP; Renee Willemsen, Farm to School; Deb Porter, Lincoln FACS Teacher.


2017 United States Senate Youth Program Applications Available – Deadline October 28, 2016

   The U.S. Senate Youth Program is a nationwide program that brings high school students to Washington, D.C., for an onsite introduction to the functions of federal government, particularly the U.S. Senate. 

   Selected students will learn about the Senate and meet with political leaders March 4-11, 2017. In addition, each delegate will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. To be eligible, students must be in 11th or 12th grade and hold an elected office (student government, civic, community, etc.) during the 2016-2017 school year.

   The program is sponsored by the U.S. Senate. All expenses for U.S. Senate Youth students are paid by The Hearst Foundations. Visit the U.S. Senate Youth Program website.  Access the application form.


From Community Action Duluth:

FREE Family Night Out at Community Action Duluth

All Families Are Welcome! Kids of all ages are welcome - must be with their

parents/caregivers for fun art and science projects!

Every second Thursday,  5:30PM – 7:00PM

Thursday, October 13:  Make Cool Paper Airplanes with the Children’s Museum

Thursday, November 10:  Make a Thanksgiving decoration with the Children’s Museum

2424 West 5th Street – lower level cafeteria 

Light dinner included

Learn More on Facebook

ISD 709 News

posted Sep 23, 2016, 11:01 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 11:04 AM ]

Duluth Students Take Part in 2016 Minnesota WE Day – Inspiring Transformational Change!

   Students from Denfeld and Duluth East High Schools, Lincoln Park and Ordean East Middle Schools, traveled to St. Paul to take part in WE Day, a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. 

WE Schools is a yearlong program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create social change.

Learn more about WE Day

 Denfeld & Duluth East High Schools

 Lincoln Park & Ordean East Middle Schools


Nachtsheim, Oliver, Receive Recognition

   Katie Oliver and John Nachtsheim, Lincoln Park Middle School, were recognized by the Duluth School Board for their work in helping obtain a $50,000 grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation to support the parent-teacher home visits project. 

   The project seeks to build a strong connection with parents of school age children by bringing teachers into a student’s home to meet their entire family. It’s an innovative strategy to help increase family engagement and address the opportunity gap.

   The Opportunity Gap refers to differences in opportunities available to poor and rich families nationwide. The gap impacts the ability of communities and the nation to solve problems, seize opportunities and achieve goals for education and economic growth.  According to Foundation president Holly Sampson, “We hope to make an important difference in the lives of children and families locally as well as develop models that can be expanded and replicated to make meaningful change elsewhere.”


Old Central Bells Ring Out in Peace

   The bells in Duluth’s Old Central High School clock tower rang out with others across the city to mark the International Day of Peace this week, which began with the ringing of the Peace Bell in Enger Tower Park.  The commemoration was established by the United Nations and calls for all to help build a world free from violence.

(Photo:  Dave Spooner, Facilities Management, readies the clock mechanism at Old Central to ring for International Day of Peace)


Denfeld Aerospace Engineering and Design Students Off to a Flying Start

   To learn the basics of flight, students put together simple model planes and tested distance, flight path and velocity.  They were then asked to make three modifications to improve performance and retest the planes.  For their final project, students will collaboratively use physics and engineering principles to design a model aircraft, build it and fly it. 

   The course was created in collaboration with Duluth's Science Department, CTE Engineering and Design Department, and Lake Superior College's Aviation school and meets Minnesota graduation standards in physics. Duluth was involved creating the first commercial airline and today the aviation industry is one of the region’s top employers.  The class helps students prepare to for a career in aviation and earn required physics credit.

Learn More about Career & Technical Education Courses


Looking For Preschool?
   ISD 709 preschools currently have some half day openings for children who are four years old in the Myers-Wilkins and Piedmont Elementary Schools. If you have a child in these attendance areas, call or email today to see what options are available.  If you live within these school service areas, your child may qualify for transportation and breakfast or lunch.  ISD 709 preschools are committed to preparing your child for success.

Please call our office at 218-336-8890 or email

Learn More About The Opportunities


From the MN Department of Education:

YOU’RE INVITED:  Join Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and

The Minnesota Department of Education for a regional meeting on

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Wednesday October 5, 2016  6:00PM - 7:30PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

>For more information and to register, visit the ESSA page of the MDE website:

>If you have questions, please contact

>To request a reasonable accommodation to participate in these events call 651-582-8800 or email

   The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and changed many portions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  All states will be required to submit a new state plan to the U.S. Department of Education for the 2017-2018 school year. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is committed to engaging with districts, stakeholders, and the general public throughout the process of developing Minnesota’s new plan for how we will implement ESSA.


Kids Voting Returns to Duluth Schools – Volunteers Needed
   Remember Kids Voting when you were younger? A great opportunity to learn how voting works and the role it plays in civic responsibility.  You could go to the polls on Election Day and vote for your favorite candidate along with the adults.

   Well, Kids Voting is back and needs your help. Volunteers are needed to be election judges at the polls. You will help kids register, hand them a ballot, and assist them in casting their vote. Judges are needed at all polling sites. You can work at one near your home or join with a friend and choose another location. Sign up to be an election judge at


Denfeld 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Open to All

Saturday, October 8, 2016  1:00PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

Reception in the Commons to follow

2016 Inductees:

>Andrew Sobczyk (deceased):  Ph.D. from Princeton, theoretical mathematician who taught at Universities of Oregon, M.I.T., Boston, Florida, Miami, Southern Illinois and Clemson where he established their graduate program in mathematics and authored over 50 papers on theoretical mathematics.

>Robert M. Fraser (deceased):  Robert started in the shipyards in highs school, worked his way up to Superintendent and finally owner of Fraser Shipyards in Superior, WI.  Very innovative he is credited with keeping shipbuilding and ship repair alive in the Twin Ports after WWII.

>Lew Latto (deceased):  Lew began his broadcasting career at WKLK in Cloquet and became music director at WDSM as a high school senior.  As a promoter he brought Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and "The Big Bopper" to Duluth.  He bought his first radio station in 1964 (WAKX) and stayed in broadcasting as a dynamic on-air personality and station owner.

>Kristen (Nelson) Coggin:  All State in Basketball and Softball she made Sports Illustrated Faces In The Crowd for her volleyball serving accuracy.  She won 13 letters in volleyball, basketball and softball and excelled at UMD in basketball and academics.

>Richard Swanson:  The first coach at Denfeld whose teams in two sports - girls basketball and girls softball – reached 300 wins.  A member of the MN GBB Coaches Hall of Fame, his teams set school records for wins in a season (22 in GBB) (19 in GSB). The softball fields at Wade were renamed the Dick Swanson fields in 2016.

>Rolland "Rollie" Strand:  Legendary coach Walt Hunting's last football captain, All-City and Honorable Mention All-State, went on to a distinguished career teaching and coaching.

>Ed Felien:  Ed taught high school science for 43 years, the last 26 at Denfeld.  Nominated for and won several distinguished teacher awards on the local, state, and national level, coached baseball and volleyball and officiated hockey and volleyball.

>1947 State Champions Basketball Team: This iconic team has become a legend in Western Duluth.  The five living members of that team: Kenny Sunnarborg, Tony Skull, Keith Stolen, Howie Tucker, and Eugene "Pug" Norlander have all been invited back.

>Dale Stocke (deceased):  An elementary teacher who dedicated his free time to promoting youth basketball, he ran the elementary feeder program for Denfeld in conjunction with DAYBA and single handedly got more kids interested in playing the sport than anyone before or since.

>Gary Lepisto:- Gary played tennis at Denfeld and was a tennis, Nordic skiing, swimming, and most famously a track and cross-country coach. He coached for 35 years at Denfeld, taking several individuals and teams to State meets.  He is a consultant with many Minnesota and National level distance runners.


Lincoln Park Middle School Students Learn about Sustainable Farming at UMD

   Students spent the day at UMD’s Sustainable Agriculture Program farm, learning about local food and the components of farming. They rotated through six interactive, hands-on stations, where adult leaders taught about soil health, land cultivation, composting, planting, harvesting, pollination and local food.

WDIO-TV10 Coverage


Duluth 5th Grade Students Participate in Forestry Field Day

The event is a chance for kids to learn about how trees grow, wildlife management, hydrology and other information related to forestry.    

WDIO-TV Coverage  


Hands On Learning in the Garden 

   Children in an Early Childhood Family Education class harvested tomatoes and peppers from the school garden. They took the vegetables inside where they were washed and sliced to make a great snack. The children also enjoyed the sensory garden with fragrant mint, bristly millet and sunflowers. Happy kids making memories at ECFE!
Learn More About the Opportunities


ISD 709 News

posted Sep 15, 2016, 2:05 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Sep 15, 2016, 2:07 PM ]

ISD 709 Teachers Receive 20 Under 40 Award 
   Three Duluth Public School teachers received the award, which recognizes the Twin Ports’ young movers and shakers.  Congratulations Dani Westholm, Duluth East HS; Joe Schingen, AEO High School and Karla Winterfeld, Lincoln Park Middle School!
   Last year Cal Harris, Achievement Center Coordinator for ISD 709, received the award for his leadership. Other past ISD 709 recipients include (but are not limited to): Nathan Glockle, Edye Howes, Shawn Roed and Superintendent Bill Gronseth who received the award in 2007 while Assistant Principal at Duluth East. 

Learn About the Recipients:…/4115462-20-under-40-publ…



2016 ISD 709 Annual Meeting 

Thursday November 10, 2016

6:00PM – 7:30PM

Display tables, celebration of student work & performance, overview of progress

Reception with light refreshments 

Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Avenue East, Duluth MN

ALL ARE WELCOME - Community members, parents, teachers, staff, students


Many Thanks to School Safety Patrols
   Fox 21 TV went live from Stowe Elementary this week, talking with members of the student

safety patrol and their important role in helping classmates get to school each morning. They also talked with teacher Paul Davis who works with the student volunteers, and Principal Cynthia Moldonado, who says safety patrols help students learn responsibility and provide a benefit to the community.


Denfeld, Duluth East 9th Grade Transition Program Promotes Safe, Welcoming Schools

   Members of the Denfeld Link Crew and Duluth East Hound Pack presented information to the Duluth School Board Education Committee this week.  These student leaders are part of a program that welcomes 9th graders and helps make them feel comfortable throughout their first year of high school.

   Research shows that if students have a positive experience during their first year, they’ll be more successful throughout their high school years. Denfeld Link Crew and Duluth East Hound Pack student mentors are trained to provide high school orientation, ongoing support and guidance, and academic and social follow-ups.    


Sign Up for a 2016 Fall Community Education Class -  Fun & Learning at Any Age!  
   Classes for everyone from children to adults. Learn pet first aid and CPR, snowmobile safety, take

a swimming class, aqua aerobics, Tai Chi, aqua Zumba, learn how to preserve garden herbs, snorkel, play bridge, belly dance, line dance, use social media, make fresh spring rolls, pretzel buns, make a snowshoe, create a friendship basket, make a fused glass piece, learn about ham radio, sign language, historic Duluth sites and much more. Programs are open to any area resident, are affordable and close to home.
Review the opportunities online:
Or check your September 11 Budgeteer Newspaper 
Do you have a skill/talent/hobby you’d like to share?  Teach a Community Education class!   For more information, email: or call 218-336-8760 or


Kiwanis Family Kite Fly

Saturday September 17, 2016

(Rain Date Sunday September 18)

11:00AM – 3:00PM

Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth

Free Kites for Kids!

Volunteers provided by Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth and Duluth East Key Club


3rd Annual Art for Ed’s Sake

Friday, September 23, 2016

6:30PM – 8:30PM

Zeitgeist Center for Arts & Community

222 East Superior Street

$20 donation suggested

Celebrating the importance of visual and media arts education.

Silent auction, cash bar, hors d’oeuvres and musical guest Georganne Hunter


From the City of Duluth:

Imagine Duluth 2035 - Comprehensive Plan Kick-Off Event

September 21, 2016

Denfeld High School, 401 North 44th Avenue West

Doors open at 4:45PM

Presentation begins at 5:30PM

Event concludes 7:30PM

Light meal will be served.

Fun activities and demonstrations for kids and adults.

   A comprehensive plan serves as a road map and a guide for land use and development to meet the current and future needs of tis residents with respect to public health, safety and welfare. The 2035 Imagine Duluth Comprehensive Plan will create two new governing principals and revisit the community vision, goals and recommendations to maintain and enhance the City’s quality of life.

More at:

ISD 709 News

posted Sep 8, 2016, 6:24 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Sep 8, 2016, 6:28 AM ]

Thanks for a Great Start to the School Year!

   From registration, to Open House, to that big first day, thanks to ISD 709 school secretaries and administrative assistants, transportation, principals, teachers, maintenance staff, cafeteria staff, paraprofessionals, volunteers, families, students and all who work diligently to prepare for the beginning of a new school year. 

And thanks to all who helped donate supplies and stuff backpacks...

    ISD 709 staff and volunteers helped stuff school supplies into

backpacks provided by CHUM's Adopt-a-Backpack program and generous donations from the community.

    For over 10 years, CHUM, their community partners and the ISD 709 Homeless program have worked together to ensure backpacks and school supplies, along with other back to school resources, are available for at risk children. Donations come from community members and organizations and other CHUM partners.  Since 2002, CHUM has collected at least 7,000 backpacks to children in need.


A Warm Welcome to new principals Danette Seboe, Amy Worden, Cynthia Moldonado and Elisa Modonado - best wishes for a successful school year!

Duluth News Tribune Article


NEW Fall Duluth Community Education Course Schedule This Weekend!

   Classes for everyone from children to adults.  Programs are open to any area resident, are affordable and close to home.  Check the insert in this weekend’s Budgeteer or review the opportunities online.

   Do You Have a Skill/Talent You'd Like to Share?  Teach a Community Education Class!   For more information, email: or call 218-336-8760 or visit


Congratulations, Denfeld Alum CJ Ham

   The Minnesota Vikings on signed nine players to the practice squad, including rookie running back and Denfeld High School alum C. J. Ham.

   “My parents, Duluth, the Duluth public school system and my coaches, they all have greatly helped to make me into the person I am today,” said Ham, who competed in football, basketball and track for the Hunters.       

   “Growing up in Duluth’s West End, you work hard and earn everything you get.  It’s 100-percent possible to reach your dreams, and dreams really do come true if you’re willing to work for them,” said Ham.


Lowell Elementary Celebrates New Outdoor Opportunities for Students

   Parents partnered with the Lowell PTA, teachers, staff, and ISD­709 facilities to create a nature

playscape, nature trail and outdoor classroom for pre-K and elementary students.   

   “Active free play in a natural setting leads to healthy bodies, creative minds, academic success, emotional stability, and strong social skills,” says Principal Jen Larva.  “We want our students to benefit from the natural setting our school is situated in at every opportunity.”

   “It is just beautiful out here.  I’m so excited to expand learning opportunities to incorporate the outdoors,” says Lowell teacher Kristy Zwak.

   “There are so many possibilities to connect curriculum to nature and to extend learning beyond our classroom.  And it’s right outside our door!   We are planning to share the space with students all year long,” says Lowell teacher Amy Larson.



Denfeld Robotics Team Inspires Youngsters

   As they have for the past three years, Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) held a two week LEGO Robotics Camp for children in the Duluth area. 
   Older students mentor young students, helping them build a robot that has to complete multiple tasks. At the end of the two weeks, the LEGO Camp students modify their robots to compete with each other in a “sumo bot” match where they try to push the other robots out of a circular arena. On the last day of camp, DNA demonstrates their robots from previous years to show how the young students may apply recently learned skills later in their lives.

Learn more about the Denfeld Robotics Team


Working Together – Schools, Families, Community
   Lincoln Park Middle School and the Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative are receiving grants from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (DSACF) to help continue work with

students and families and narrow the opportunity gap. 
• Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative, $100,000 to expand the full-service community school program that provides activities and support for children and families for Myers-Wilkins and Lincoln Park Middle Schools
• Duluth Public Schools, Lincoln Park Middle School, $50,000 for the parent-teacher home visits project
   “The Opportunity Gap is affecting our nation and our entire community in the Twin Ports,” said Community Foundation President Holly C. Sampson. “With these grants, we hope to make an important difference in the lives of children and families locally as well as develop models that can be expanded and replicated to make meaningful change elsewhere.”  
The Foundation awarded nine non-profits and one government agency the grants through a competitive process.

More Information   

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