School News

ISD 709 News

posted Apr 16, 2015, 2:19 PM by Communications ISD 709

Congratulations to our 2015 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award Nominees!

   Teachers are nominated and selected for this prestigious award through a competitive application process based on several criteria, including impact in the classroom, school and community, and their efforts to pursue professional development.  The final recipient of the award will be announced at a special reception May 14 and receive $5,000 through a fund established by Manley and Lillian Goldfine. 

   Congratulations to our 2015 Nominees:

·         Robert Berg, Stowe Elementary

·         Carol Gallinger, Congdon Park Elementary

·         Debra Gilbertson, Piedmont Elementary

·         Melissa Kelley, Myers-Wilkins Elementary

·         Anne Krafthefer, Lester Park Elementary

·         Phyllis Makila, Lakewood Elementary

·         Doreen Ruhanen, Homecroft Elementary

·         Melissa Scanlon-Olson, Laura MacArthur Elementary

·         Cyndi Venberg, Lowell Elementary

   Manley and Lillian Goldfine established a fund for the award through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation in 2006, in their belief that great teachers lay the foundation for the future success of their students in further education, productive careers and well-rounded enjoyment of life. The award is intended for the personal use of the recipient and there are no “strings” attached.  This year the award will go to an elementary school teacher; last year it went to a secondary school teacher.


NOW SHOWING!  ISD 709 Student Art Display

April 16 – 19, Miller Hill Mall in Duluth

Barnes & Noble Commons Area

Featuring Visual Arts & Media Arts:  Check out all the fantastic work, courtesy of

ISD 709 Art Teachers and Students K-12!


Denfeld, It’s In My Soul – 2015 Lip Dub Video Premiere!

    Great job by Denfeld students in a production that includes nearly the entire student body!  Look for appearances by representatives from most of the school’s activities, clubs and specialty classes -and Mayor Don Ness!  The song is“The Walker” by Fitz and the Tantrums


MN Education Commissioner to Host Listening Session in Duluth April 23

   Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will be in Duluth to host a listening session on early learning and other investments made in Governor Dayton’s 2015 budget proposal.  Cassellius will be answering questions and looking for input on what is working in Minnesota public schools and what needs more support. Members of the community are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts on education in Minnesota.

Where: Myers-Wilkins Elementary, 1027 N 8th Ave E, Duluth, MN 55805

When: Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 3:30PM


The Denfeld Automotive SkillsUSA team members received scholarships and awards at the State Conference and Skill contests on April 10-12, in Bloomington Minnesota. 

--Wyatt Swanson earned an $8,000 Scholarship to UTI in Lisle, IL, a Silver medal, and $350 in SnapOn tools.
--Nicholas Chambers earned 
a $5,000 Scholarship to UTI in Lisle, IL, a Bronze medal, and $200 in SnapOn tools.  
  Swanson and Chambers are enrolled in UTI for the Fall of 2015 and the scholarships are a great asset.  Phil Rannila is the Denfeld AYES Automotive Instructor and SkillsUSA Advisor.


ACT Test Day & ACTion Day – April 28

   While 11th Grade students are taking the state-mandated ACT Plus Writing Test on April 28, students in grades 9, 10

and 12 have the day off and are encouraged to use that day to make a difference in our community. 

   Through ACTion Day, the United Way, Kiwanis and Rotary are providing volunteer opportunities, ranging from working in school gardens, Hartley Nature Center cleanup, helping at the Second Harvest Food Shelf and much more.   Student groups, like Denfeld DNA Robotics, are teaming up to work together on a single volunteer project – in this case, helping out at the Duluth Children’s Museum. 

   There are many worthwhile volunteer opportunities available - it's One Day to Make A Difference!

Click here for more information about ACTion Day 

For details regarding ACT Test Day, click here.


Denfeld DNA Robotics Qualifies for State Competition

   Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) Team 4009 has been invited to the 2015 MSHSL/FIRST competition. DNA ranked in the top 10% of Minnesota teams (19th out of 192). The State Championship will be held at the Williams Arena on the University of MN Twin Cities Campus on May 16th, with the top 30 teams in the state competing.  


UMD 2015 Annual Fiesta April 18

Join us for a night of festivities as we celebrate Latino culture with food, dance, and much much more!

Saturday April 18, 2015 Kirby Ballroom
Silent Auction is from 5pm - 6pm in the Kirby Rafters.
Dinner/Show is from 6pm - 9pm in the Kirby Ballroom, followed by the dance from 9pm - 11pm.
$15 General Public, $10 UMD Students

Tickets on sale in Kirby Commons in front of the lower level bookstore on April 17th from 9am to 3pm. 
For questions/tickets, please contact Thelmy Maldonado at


Duluth East Theatre Presents Almost, Maine

By John Cariani, Directed by Peter Froehlingsdorf

May 7, 8, 9 at 7:00PM, Duluth East High School, 301 North 40th Avenue East

All seats $8.00:  Tickets can be purchased at the door for general seating.  

This show is rated PG due to some mild language and innuendo.

   On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, magical, mythical town of Almost, Maine.  As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways.    

Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry as it explores the mysteries of the human heart.

   Duluth East Performing Arts is a high school theater organization which offers performing opportunities in all aspects of drama and theater. Throughout the year, productions offer high school students a chance to perform in musical theater as well as new productions that offer thoughtful, challenging theatrical work for high school students.


Heroin Community Forums – April 16, 21 & 30

   No one plans on their family member struggling with an addiction.  If this is your reality, come and get connected to resources that can help.  If not, come and get helpful information to help you keep it that way.

   Major community organizations stand united to inform, protect and help our community stop opiate addiction in its tracks.  Hear from community leaders, law enforcement and health professionals.  Listen in as young adults share their personal stories of substance abuse.

   Please join us at one of these FREE events for parents, youth workders, teachers and concerned adults.  CEUs available. 

April 16:  UMD Campus, Griggs Center, Kirby Student Center, 1120 Kirby Drive in Duluth, MN

April 21:  WITC Campus, Conference Center, 600 North 21st Street in Superior, WI

April 30: Miner’s Memorial Building, North Room, 821 S. 9th Avenue in Virginia, MN

7:00PM – 8:00PM Presentation

8:00PM – 8:30PM Q&A

Presented by St. Louis County, Duluth Police Department, Douglas County, Douglas County & St. Louis County Sheriff’s Departments, Superior Police Department, Virginia Police Department

ISD 709 News

posted Apr 13, 2015, 9:33 AM by Communications ISD 709

INVITATION: The DULUTH branch of the NAACP invites you to a YOUTH SUMMIT ON RACISM for students in 6th-12th grade

TUESDAY, APRIL 14TH 5:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. Central Hillside Community Center 

Refreshments provided by Neighborhood Youth Services

Facilitators: Stephan Witherspoon Christina Trok Chaquana McEntyre, LMSW Tori Billings Corinthian Rutherford Salaam Witherspoon


ISD 709 Schools Rock State Destination Imagination Tournament!   

   Four ISD 709 teams competed in the 2015 State Destination Imagination Tournament.  Three qualified for the Global DI Tournament in Knoxville, TN and one

earned an award at Regionals for their outstanding presentation. 

--Ordean East Middle School took 1st Place in Middle School Improv  

--Laura MacArthur Elementary tied for 1st Place in Elementary Improv 

--Lowell Elementary took 2nd Place in Elementary-Structural

--Lester Park Elementary received a Renaissance Award at Regionals which recognizes outstanding skill in the areas of engineering, design, or performance.

  Destination Imagination is an educational program where student teams solve open-ended Challenges and present their solutions at tournaments.  In working to solve Challenges, teams learn important life skills such as time management, collaboration, conflict resolution, and creative and critical thinking. 


Denfeld 2015 LipDub Trailer!  Last year’s video was fantastic – this year will be even better!  Check Youtube for a sneak preview of Denfeld’s 2015 Lip Dub Video:


Looking for a Delicious Lunch?  Try Student-Run Restaurant Food for Thought!

  Enjoy delicious gourmet meals created by Denfeld and Duluth East students under the supervision of Chef Glenn D'Amour, CEC. Entrees range from $7 to $15.  The restaurant operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Duluth East High School.  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance - click here for a menu and complete details.

ISD 709 News

posted Apr 9, 2015, 3:37 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Apr 10, 2015, 9:12 AM ]

YOUR IDEAS MATTER - More Think Kids Meetings In April!

   During the 2015 Think Kids conversation participants will be asked to share thoughts and provide advice


--What’s going well and what could be done better in Duluth’s schools.

--The results of an in-depth enrollment report.

--How to address racism in our community.

   ISD 709 staff and volunteers will be meeting with people from across our community to lead these important discussions. Anyone who wishes to can share their ideas – no one is excluded.

Wednesday April 15: Ordean East Middle School, 4:00PM/Lester Park Elementary, 6:30PM

Thursday April 16:  Piedmont Elementary, 4:00PM

Monday April 20:  Laura MacArthur Elementary, 4:00PM  

Wednesday April 22: Denfeld High School, 4:00PM/Duluth East High School, 6:30PM

   Please make plans to attend a Think Kids meeting  if you can’t make your neighborhood meeting, feel free to attend at another location.  

   Can’t make a meeting?  Take the Think Kids Online Survey!  Click here to access information and a link to the survey.


Help Victims of Applewood Knoll Apartments Fire

   Young families and single parents with children are among those impacted by the fire that recently destroyed the Applewood Knoll apartments.  Anyone with clothing, gently used appliances or financial assistance to donate can call United Way 211 at 2-1-1 or (800) 543-7709.  The Salvation Army is accepting cash donations for victims of this fire at


March to the Arch Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction April 16

Proceeds help Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team get to St. Louis, MO for the

FIRST World Robotics Championships!

   The Daredevils are hosting a pasta dinner and silent auction Thursday April 16 from 5:00PM to 7:00P.M. in the Duluth East High School atrium, 301 N. 40th Avenue East.  This event will kick-off a campaign to fund their trip to the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis, MO.  Tickets are available at the door: $8 per single or $20 for families.  Each meal includes pasta, salad, bread, and a beverage.  Vegetarian options are also available.  There will be a bake sale and a chance to control a Daredevil’s robot that competed at a past World Championship.

   Those not able to attend the dinner but wishing to help the Daredevils get to the World Championship may contribute by mailing a check (credit cards not currently accepted) to: Duluth East Daredevils, FIRST Robotics Team 2512, 301 N. 40th Avenue East, Duluth, MN 55804. Every dollar gets the team closer to St. Louis!  More about the team at: THANK YOU for your support!


Tuesday April 28, 2015:  ACT Test Day & ACTion Day

ACT Test Day for Grade 11 Students:  MN State Law requires 11th grade students to take the ACT Plus Writing as a requirement for graduation. Participation is expected of all 11th grade students except those exempted by their IEP and notified by their case managers.  Click here for details.

ACTion Day Volunteer Opportunities:  9th, 10th and 12th grade students at Denfeld, Duluth East and the ALC will not attend school April 28 in order to accommodate the ACT Test.  ISD 709 is partnering with the United Way, Kiwanis and Rotary to create "ACTion Day", an opportunity for high school students who have the day off of school to give back to the community through volunteer service.  More information about how to sign up for volunteer activities can be found here.


Accomplishment, Activities, Appreciation

--Lincoln Park Middle School recently hosted a 3rd Quarter Family Night for parents and students.  The Olive Garden donated a delicious pasta dinner and guests were treated to the school’s Annual Talent Show.  Performances included singing, dancing, stand-up comedy, beatboxing and much more.  The students did a wonderful job performing to a packed house!  Videos of the Talent Show can be found on the Lincoln Park Middle School website, on YouTube and on Lincoln’s social media sites, or Click Here!

--Erin Coleman, Ordean East Middle School, qualified for and competed in the Minnesota State Geography Bee held in St. Cloud.  She was among Minnesota’s top 100 geographic scholars at the state meet, placing in the top 25% of all participants.  Congratulations to Erin for her dedication to geographic knowledge and for proudly representing Ordean East Middle School and the Duluth School District.   


--Students at Lakewood Elementary recently enjoyed a visit from The Raptor Center, a department of the University of MN’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  During the visit, students got to see four live species of raptor, including a bald eagle and an owl.  The Raptor Center rescues, treats and rehabilitates injured birds, with the aim of releasing them back into the wild.  Minnesota is home to a number of different species of raptors including bald eagles, American kestrels, falcons, hawks and owls.   


Discover Your Untapped Potential - April 22

   Students, parents, teachers, and mentors: Join us to learn how you can help youth reach their full potential. James Robertson, also known as Coach Rob, is a dynamic presenter, trainer, coach, and facilitator who engages youth in thoughtful and meaningful discussions about cultural awareness and social justice.  Stay for the Q&A session with Coach Rob, then enjoy food and refreshments in the atrium after the event!  This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 22 at 6:00PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium, 401 North 44th Avenue West

Questions: Contact Jessica Schiff, Director of Community Services, Woodland Hills, at 218-723-3523

   Presented by 2015 members of the Duluth Youth Agency Coalition Boys and Girls Club of the Northland, Valley Youth Centers, Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative, Woodland Hills – Neighborhood Youth Services, YMCA, YWCA, City of Duluth – Parks and Recreation, Voyageur Area Council for Boy Scouts


Registration for 2015-16 Birth to Pre-K Programs

   Do you have children ages birth to 5? Registration for ISD 709’s Birth to Pre-K programs will be mailed out the first part of April.   The newsletter contains information and pre-registration forms for Fall 2015-16 classes including Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and School Readiness/Community Education Pre-K programs.  It will also be available online at (Programs & Services/Birth to Pre-K)

For more information email: or call 218-336-8890


Refinancing of Bonds Projected to Save About $1.8 Million

  In March, the Duluth School Board moved forward to refinance a $46 million bond used for repairs and upgrades as part of the Long Range Facilities Plan.  The refinancing is projected to save taxpayers about $1.8 million over the next twelve years.


Outstanding Business Students Travel to Anaheim, CA to Participate in the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference

   Top students from Duluth East High School will attend the Business Professionals of America (BPA) 2015 National Leadership Conference, “Imagine, Believe, Become” in Anaheim, CA, May 6- May 10, 2015. Garrett Bock, Ailie Davidson, Patsy Davidson, Frans-Lukas Lovenvald, and Jonah Wehr will join over 5,000 other conference delegates from across the nation to participate in national level business skills competitions, workshops, general sessions, and the national officer candidate campaigns and elections. Besides having the opportunity to excel, they’ll experience the city of Anaheim, CA.

  “The conference will be the culmination of a school years’ worth of business education and training,” said Chapter advisor, Peggy Ehlert, who teaches Business and Personal Finance, Marketing, and Economics.

Jimmy Anderson, 6th Place – Network Administration Using Microsoft

Garrett Bock, 4th Place – Business Meeting Management Concepts

Ailie Davidson, Ambassador Torch Award

Patsy Davidson, 2nd Place – Administrative Support Concepts

Frans-Lukas Lovenvald – 3rd Place, C++ Programming

Jonas Wehr, 2nd Place – Personal Financial Management Concepts

   Business Professionals of America is a national organization for high school, college, and middle school students preparing for careers in business and information technology. The organization’s activities and programs complement classroom instruction by giving students practical experience through application of the skills learned at school. BPA is assisted in this endeavor with financial support from corporations and companies including American Institute of CPAs, Certiport and Next Step Academy, who sponsor BPA’s National Leadership Conference, and member career building programs and scholarships.


ISD 709 News

posted Apr 3, 2015, 11:30 AM by Communications ISD 709

Students from Duluth East and Denfeld High Schools took part in the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Day. They joined advocates from across Minnesota to speak with legislators about the importance of active living, physical activity and combating childhood obesity.  The students are enrolled in ISD 709’s CTE Nursing Class and are members of HOSA Future Health Care Professionals. 

   Students visited the Minnesota History Center, listened to speeches from the Lieutenant Governor and the Minnesota Commission of Health.  They visited the Capitol and met with Duluth legislators, including Senator Roger Reinert, Representative Erik Simonson and Representative Jennifer Schultz.  The event was organized by The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Minnesota PTA and other Minnesota For Healthy Kids Coalition partners.  The Coalition paid for the full cost of the trip for students including transportation. 

   School Board Member Annie Harala, Kim Olson, Corrie Powers, Tom Albright and Bob Miller accompanied the students on this trip.


Eight Denfeld High School students traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of the Trio Talent Search Program, funded by the United States Department of Education and the College of St. Scholastica.  According to Susan Kurth, Director of Talent Search, “These young people were very fine representatives of their school, families, community and this program.” 

   Hannah Carlson, Allison Duenow, Rory Freeman, Jade Nelson, Lexy Schulte, Rachel Skurich, Mikayla Stahlman, Kayla Templer and Kashmiere Wiliams toured Georgetown University, various national memorials, took a tour of the Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, the U.S. Holocaust Museum and visited the White House/Lafayette Park.


ISD 709 Health Insurance Costs Lower Than Projected for 2015-16

   Officials from ISD 709 and the Duluth Federation of Teachers announced that the district’s health insurance costs will be about $580,000 less than projected next year.  Information received from the Public Employees Insurance Program (PEIP) indicates a less than 1% increase (about .7%).

   “We’ve found PEIP to be a great tool in effectively managing and containing costs,” said Superintendent Bill Gronseth.  He says projected savings will be applied to next year’s budget planning.

   “This approach to health insurance has helped stabilize and reduce costs and ultimately keep more dollars focused on the classroom,” said Bernie Burnham, President of the Duluth Federation of Teachers. 

   ISD 709 employees receive health insurance coverage through the PEIP Advantage Plan, a group which includes 68 Minnesota school districts.  Savings are 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. 

   ISD 709 transitioned to PEIP in 2010, following the work of the district’s Health Insurance Committee, comprised of administration and teachers union representatives.  The group continues to work together as part of ISD 709’s labor management process. The six-year average increase for PEIP across Minnesota is about 1.3%.


Students at Lincoln Park Middle School enjoyed an educational presentation by local Paramedic Terry Wallin this week!  Terry talked about his duties as a paramedic, demonstrated the equipment he uses on the job and showed students how to take a pulse, administer oxygen and measure a heart rate.  Students had an opportunity to see inside an ambulance and ask questions about 911 calls. Terry’s visit was an exciting way to wrap up the unit on First Aid Unit taught in Lincoln Park’s health classes. Many thanks to Terry and Gold Cross Ambulance for this great learning experience!


WANTED:  Ideas and Instructors for Duluth Community Education Classes

   Are you interested in sharing your knowledge and talent through Duluth Community Education?  New classes and instructors are always welcome!  Share your special skill, hobby or expertise with the community, call ISD 709 Community Education to find out how:

--For Adult Classes:  Julie Gandt 218-336-8760 ext. 1; Janis Kramer 218-336-8760 ext. 2

--For Youth Classes:  Tom Margo 218-336-8760 ext. 3

Or email


Duluth East Sophomore and Senior Knowledge Bowl Teams qualified to compete at the 2015 Minnesota State meet thanks to a strong showing at the Regional competition.   Knowledge Bowl competitions are interdisciplinary academic contests. Questions test student's recall, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.  Duluth East competing members:

10th graders:  Spencer Johnson, Emma Flynn, Rana Imtiaz, Sasha Waxman, Zane Dietlin

11th graders:  Cullen White, Moira Weiland, Henry Bray, Emma Kimball, Morgan Wittmers-Graves

12th graders:  Devin Johnson, Alyssa Everson, Justin Taylor, Ji-Won Choi, Tim Renier, Kier Zimmerman, Joel Bergstrand


Derick Rossell, Duluth East High School, has qualified to travel to the 2015 National Speech and Debate competition in Dallas, Texas.  A number of East students competed in final rounds at the Section 7AA qualifying meet and will advance to the 2015 MSHSL State Speech competition:  Derick Rossell, Paul Manning, Hannah Wodrich, Kayla Nyenhuis, and Emma McNamee will compete at the State tournament in April. Taylor Dillon, Grant Carl, Tristan Carl, Pearl Elliott, and Danielle Slotness also competed in final rounds.  Duluth East took 3rd Place as a team in their section meet.


Leighton Strom, Denfeld High School, advances to the 2015 MSHSL State Speech Tournament.  Leighton is competing in Humorous Interpretation.  Denfeld students receiving Honorable Mention in the qualifying meet include Tyrus Garrett- Discussion; Maria Puglisi - Creative Expression; Anna Leonard and Michaela Ossanna in Duo; and Violet Wennberg in Humorous.


Accomplishment, Activities, Appreciation

--Students from Lester Park Elementary collected over a TON of food for donation to the Union Gospel Mission in Duluth!  They collected 2,961 pounds of food, so much that Mission staff had to make two trips to transport it all. They also raised $471 in funds.  This is the 8th year in a row Lester Park students have collected over a ton of food. 

--Students at Ordean East Middle School conducted a “Be a Hero, Fight Hunger”

food drive to help the hungry in March and April.  A group of students who receive special education services and the Student Council worked together to organize the drive, food collected will be donated to CHUM.

-- Emma Haugen, Lincoln Park Middle School, had one of her photographs selected to be on display in the Duluth City Council Chambers for the month of April. Her photograph was selected by the curator of the Duluth Art Institute, Anne Dugan, from the recent student art show at the Depot.

--The Duluth East High School Football team received a Gold Level Academic Award for 2014 from the Minnesota State High School League Coaches Association.  The Award honors academic excellence, the team is coached by Joe Hietala.

--Students at Ordean East Middle School collected $655 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their 2015 Pennies for Patients Campaign. The mission of the Society is to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.  During Pennies for Patients, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are collected over a three week period; the class collecting the most change receives a pizza party.   


East High School Music Department "Dinner and a Concert" May 5

Deadline for Tickets:  April 29

   On Tuesday, May 5th, beginning at 5:30 pm, the East Music Department/Duluth East Music Boosters will showcase the Jazz Ensemble, Sterling Strings, and Choralaires in a “Dinner and a Concert” at the Great Hall, The Depot.  The concert will include dinner, dessert and an evening of great music.

   The Dinner Concert is a fundraising event for students and the Duluth East Music program.  Money raised will go towards music, repair and replacement of broken instruments, as well as other general needs of the Music Department. 

   Tickets for the event are $25 each and available by contacting Kathy Thibault at 525-2396 or  Tables are available in rounds of eight.  Reserve a table with your friends or family.  Ticket deadline is Wednesday, April 29thso make your reservations early.  There is limited room (200) in the Great Hall at the Depot.    


City of Duluth Parks & Recreation Spring Break Activities

Monday thru Friday, April 6-10 Rain or Shine!

Heritage Sports Center, 120 W. 30th Avenue West

10:00AM – 12Noon Non-Traditional Sports

Skill Introductions and Play Time ON THE INDOOR TURF!

Monday:  Kick Ball w/Boys & Girls Club

Tuesday: Ultimate Frisbee w/UMD Mens Northern Lights, UMD Women’s LakEFFECT Teams

Wednesday: Lacross w/UMD Mens Team

Thursday: Rugby w/YMCA Rookie Rugby

Friday: Disc Golf w/area course enthusiasts

2:00PM – 4:00PM Family Skating

Bring your skates (limited skates available for use)

All Activities are FREE and open on a first come-first served basis.  Equipment goes fast!

For more information:  218-730-4322

ISD 709 News

posted Mar 25, 2015, 8:15 AM by Communications ISD 709

Duluth School Board Honors Jordan McMillian, Youth of the Year

   During their regular March meeting, the Duluth School Board took time to recognize Jordan McMillian from Denfeld High School.  Early this year, Jordan was named 2014 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of the Northland. 

   Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive.  The Award recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s Club, family, school and community, service, academic success, moral character, life goals and public speaking ability.

   In one speech, Jordan talks about his vision for young people.  “My vision for America’s youth is change…to be able to stop profiling people based on their appearance, age, gender or the color of their skin,” he says.  “I want my generation and many more to come to be able to walk down the street without being criticized and shown hatred.   My vision is to start changing the way I think and set examples for the ones who are younger than me.  I would love to see people like me make it in life; I want to help them reach their full potential.  I believe that one day this will happen and everyone will see eye to eye.”  He finishes by asking, “Can you be the difference?”


Online Voting for Minnesota Varsity Showcase Round Includes Dan Richards, Duluth East

Dan Richards, cellist at Duluth East, is a finalist in the MN Varsity competition, sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio. Online voting for the final winner is open now through Sunday, March 29, so vote soon! The winner will perform at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on April 19.

Click here! to access the voting site.


Duluth East Daredevils, Denfeld DNA Succeed at Central Illinois Robotics Regional

   Denfeld Nation Automation and the Duluth East Daredevils made an impressive showing while competing at the Central Illinois FIRST Robotics Regional.  The Duluth East alliance placed 2nd and Denfeld DNA alliance placed 3rd.  Denfeld DNA team members had the exciting honor of meeting FIRST Robotics Founder Dean Kamen during the event.  The Daredevils received a FIRST Robotics Award for Innovation and Automation sponsored by Rockwell Automation.

Video, photos and more information available at:


Board Approves FY 2016 Preliminary Budget Considerations

Considerations include more investment in the classroom, maintaining investments in class size reduction, curriculum and student achievement   

  After several months of planning and review, the Duluth school board approved preliminary FY 2016 budget considerations during the regular March meeting.  A final budget will be approved in June. 

   Preliminary classroom investments include more teacher collaboration time in the elementary schools; development of another elementary language immersion program; adding a first grade to the current Ojibwe immersion program; support for ISD 709’s new online high school, and maintaining lifeguards at the middle school swimming pools.

   Clickhere to see more detail.


Duluth School Board Approves Achievement and Integration Budget for 2015 – 17 

The budget includes, but is not limited to, support for teacher training, high school Achievement Centers, PASS parent involvement and family engagement programs, Integration Specialists, after school and summer school programs, and other support for increasing student achievement. 


Join ISD 709 at the Annual Northland Job Fair April 1

   Join us at the Annual Northland Job Fair April 1 from 10:00AM to 3:00PM in Pioneer Hall at the DECC.  Learn more about ISD 709 employment opportunities, including substitute school bus drivers, paraprofessionals, food service and playground monitors, to name a few.  Information is also available at, check under District/Job Opportunities or click here for details.   


Your Ideas Matter:  2015 Think Kids Community Conversation March 30 – April 22

   Our community is helping to create schools that welcome children, inspire them and educate them for the future through annual Think Kids conversations.  

    During the 2015 Think Kids conversation participants will be asked what’s going well and what could be done better in Duluth’s schools.  Meetings will include: 

    --An opportunity to provide advice about working collaboratively to address racism in our community and to continue to support safe and welcoming environments where the uniqueness of each person is honored, respected and valued.

    --Enrollment projections for elementary, middle and high schools based on results of a recent, in-depth demographic study. Click here to see the presentation.

    Anyone who wishes to can share their ideas – no one is excluded.  Click here for meeting schedules and other ways to participate.


INVITATION:  Myers-Wilkins Cabin Fever Reliever March 26

   Shake off the winter blues with fun for the whole family! This free community event features a healthy dinner followed by family friendly classes and activities.   Join the fun with classes like yoga, Zumba, art, healthy cooking, camp activities and more!

Thursday March 26, 5:15PM – 7:00PM at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, 1027 North 8th Avenue East, Duluth.  This event is a fun opportunity for families, friends, and neighbors to celebrate lifelong learning.  It’s free, children must be accompanied by an adult.           

5:15PM – 5:45PM -  Dinner

5:50PM - 6:25PM –   Class Session 1

6:30PM - 7:00PM –   Class Session 2

For more information:  218-336-8860 x8  

Sponsored by Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative with support from many local organizations.


The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation division partners with community parents to host a free play time, "Play Gym" for pre-school age children in the Duluth Heights Community Center (33 West Mulberry Street) every Wednesday from 9:30AM - 11:30 AM.

   Thanks to a generous donation from the Duluth KidsClub organization, Play Gym is able to offer additional educational and interactive toys and extended hours.   During the period of March 30 through April 10, 2015, extended Play Gym hours will be:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30AM - 11:30AM & Tuesday and Thursday 3:00PM - 6:00PM.

This is a free event for families and kids.  Parents and caregivers must supervise their children.


Registration for 2015-16 Birth to Pre-K programs April 1

   Do you have children ages birth to 5? Registration for ISD 709’s Birth to Pre-K programs will be mailed out the first part of April.   The newsletter contains information and pre-registration forms for Fall 2015-16 classes including Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and School Readiness/Community Education Pre-K programs.  It will also be available online at (Programs & Services/Birth to Pre-K)

For more information email: or call 218-336-8890


Free Early Childhood Screening Available 

   Early childhood developmental screening helps a school district identify children who may benefit from district and community resources available to help in their development. 

--Recommended during the year children are three.  

--Required for kindergarten entrance.

ISD 709 will offer free screenings each week through April 2015

(with additional screening dates at Barnes: May 29, June 1, July 29)

Appointments are available most weeks Monday, Wednesday or Friday

at Barnes Early Childhood Center or selected community sites.

To schedule an appointment, call 336-8816 or email (Duluth residents)


Register Now for Duluth Head Start

   Children who are 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1, live in Duluth city limits, and have a family income that falls within the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Duluth Head Start.  Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program that includes health, nutrition, education, special needs, social services and parent involvement.  There is no charge for Head Start services.

We partner with parents to help ensure their children make progress in all areas of development while having a really good time.  Head Start children LOVE school.   Check us out!

For more information or to apply, please contact us at 218-336-8815


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Lakewood Elementary Nora Johnston’s print making project was selected as the 1st place winner in the Elementary Visual Arts Division at the Twin Ports K-12 Student Art Exhibit for Duluth and Superior schools.  The exhibition was held at the Kruk Gallery on the UWS Campus. 

--Ordean East Middle School students received recognition at the Northeast Regional History Day event at UMD.  Special recognition goes to the students qualifying to compete at the State History Day event at the UM Minneapolis campus in May:   Group Exhibit :  Sydney Olson, Katrina Lindgren, Emma Johnson; Marie Curie, Angie Davis, Saijal Vacek; Julius Caesar, Kanna Okoro, Isaac Bailey, Nick Peters; Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Individual Website:  Sarah MasonFly Girl, Group Website: Shay Callaway & Raena YoungquistNeil Armstrong, Individual Media Documentary: Vera PattonElizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women’s Rights Movement, Clara KramerMilton Hershey: Beyond the Chocolate, and Group Performance: Grace Hollander, Abbigail Hagen, Jacque BlackNancy Love and Jacque Cochrane Legacy of the WASPs, Anna Kebbekus, Elle PatronasClara Barton’s Red Cross Legacy.

Congratulations also to:  Individual Exhibit Honorable MentionJacob Torch; Pete Seeger, Evan LeonidasWinston Churchill at YaltaSarah GoreAbigail Adams Remember the LadiesMariah Loeffler-KempPaul Wellstone and the Mental Health Parity Act.  Group Exhibit Honorable Mention: Kaylee Hull, Isaiah Johnson; Garfield-President .  Individual Website Honorable Mention: Clare Fresvik; Little Rock Nine.  Individual Media Documentary Honorable Mention: Sophie Williams; Gaylord Nelson: Founder of Earth Day.  

ISD 709 News

posted Mar 19, 2015, 1:19 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Mar 20, 2015, 12:46 PM ]

School Board Leadership, Superintendent Duluth News Tribune Column:

Let racist incident lead to community unity, learning

   Recently, students within our school district altered a photo of another student.  The alterations and captioning were racist in nature and involved references to lynching.  Shocking by any measure, but especially coming from young people.

   Such images are not acceptable and have no place in our community or schools. Minnesota laws protecting the rights of juveniles don’t allow much detail to be shared, but it’s safe to say the consequences for the students involved in creating and distributing the image are serious.

   Teachers, principals, district administrators and School Board members care deeply about students and families. We were not only shocked but profoundly saddened that something like this would happen in Duluth, especially in one of our schools.

   From the time the image was discovered until now much has happened…

Click here to read the entire column.


Detailed Demographic Study Projects Enrollments to Stabilize

Boundaries to remain the same, steps taken to further manage enrollments and equity

   During a committee meeting March 17 the Duluth School Board received results from a months-long professional enrollment study.  The report, created by RSP, projects ISD 709 enrollments at the elementary, middle and high schools to continue to stabilize through 2020. 

   A previous school district study indicated the possibility that several elementary schools could be over capacity within a few years – the current report, which is more detailed and comprehensive and includes data from the city and county, indicates otherwise. The report also projects that high school enrollments will become more balanced over time. 

   Superintendent Bill Gronseth says, given results of the report, there are no plans to adjust boundaries. “The projections indicate adequate capacity at all levels and more balanced enrollments east-west in the future.  We’ll continue to seek ways to effectively manage enrollment and to ensure east-west equity without changing boundaries.”  Gronseth talked about recent changes to the transfer policy, which takes into consideration class size, and a team-based approach to class scheduling at the high school level, among others.

   Click here to see the presentation.  Results of the enrollment study will also be shared with the community for consideration and comment during the annual Think Kids meetings March 30 – April 22.    


Your Ideas Matter:  2015 Think Kids Community Conversation March 30 – April 22

   Our community is helping to create schools that welcome children, inspire them and educate them for the future through annual Think Kids conversations.  

    During the 2015 Think Kids conversation participants will be asked what’s going well and what could be done better in Duluth’s schools.  

    Anyone who wishes to can share their ideas – no one is excluded.  Click here for meeting schedules and other ways to participate.


ISD 709 Seeking Qualified Candidates for Substitute School Bus Drivers

  Candidates must possess a valid MN Drivers License and must be able to pass a drug test and criminal history background check.   You will be paid while training.  $14.15 per hour.  Interested candidates must complete an online application at

  ISD 709 is also seeking qualified candidates for substitute paraprofessionals, food service and playground monitors.  Check under District/Job Opportunities or click here for details.


Lincoln Park Middle School Students Take Part in German Language Trip

   Lincoln Park German students took part in the district-wide trip to the German Language Day competition at the Minnesota Zoo in the Twin Cities.  They watched students from all over the state give presentations about different animals in German, cheered on Duluth teams, and then sampled authentic German cuisine at Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit in Minneapolis.    


March 26, 27 & 28 Ordean East Middle School Theatre presents:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

   The 80’s: a time of big love, big music, and big hair.  Dude, Ordean East Middle School Theatre, under the direction of John Pokrzywinki, presents Shakespeare’s comedy of totally messed up love and donkey-loving fairies set in the awesomest decade of all – the 80’s!  Come rock out with an energetic cast and crew at The Ordean East Little Theatre, 2900 East 4th Street.  Shows run Thursday-Saturday, March 26, 27 & 28. Curtain is at 7:00PM.  Admission $8.00, $5.00 for students.

For more information:


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Olivia Nelson, Ordean East Middle School, is a Grade 8 winner of the Middle School Essay Contest sponsored by the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center.  This is the second year Olivia has competed and won!  Winners and honorable mentions were chosen from nearly 200 entries.  

-- These talented Lincoln Park Middle School art students were selected to have their art work featured in local exhibits: 

UW-S Twin Ports K-12 Art Show:  Noah McGrew., Izabella Reed, Colton Covington,Donavin White, Phoenix Ocean, Hannah Thompson, Emma Haugen, Alexis Mhyre.

Duluth Art Institute:  Emma Haugen,Bella Larson, Miranda Shinn, Emily Linberg, Raven Pokorney, Jack McCormick, Greyson Burns, Brynn Plasch, Courtney Hegg, Kylie LeMay, Anna Thomsen, Marissa Wittke, Alaiana Panfil, Alexis Edmonds, Kayla Skorich.

-- Congdon Park and Stowe Elementary Schools, Duluth East High School and Ordean East Middle School are working hard to collect food and raise funds for CHUM during the Minnesota FoodShare Campaign.  During the month of March, all contributions to Minnesota food shelves receive a proportional match from the Minnesota FoodShare

Campaign, so donations have an even greater impact.

--The Denfeld Key Club held a fundraiser for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society called" Pennies for Patients" and raised $865.00. They reached out to the community and to students and staff at Denfeld High School for support.

--Lakewood school also conducted a “Pennies for Patients” fundraiser  and collected $626.00 in one week!

--Alyssa Everson, Devin Johnson and Derick Rossell, Duluth East High School were selected as candidates in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.  Over 3,900 candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. Inclusion in the Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. 


Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team Compete in Central Illinois Regional

   The Duluth East Daredevils are competing at the Central Illinois Regional​ in Peoria, IL which runs March 19, 20, and 21.  Since the Daredevils have already qualified for the World Championship in St. Louis, MO through the Chairman’s Award, this regional will allow the team to prepare and improve their performance with their robot, Ace​. Participating teams will be working their hardest to insure their robots​ run smoothly and have a great competition with the hopes of qualifying to the World Championship.  Links to photos and video will be sent out in the evening at the end of each day through the team Flickr and YouTube accounts.

ISD 709 News

posted Mar 13, 2015, 7:10 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Mar 14, 2015, 1:11 PM ]

ISD 709 FY 2016 Preliminary Budget Considerations Include More Investment in the Classroom

Projections also maintain investment to support class size reduction, curriculum updates and student achievement strategies

   Duluth school board members reviewed and discussed FY 2016 budget planning information during the March Business Committee meeting.  A final budget will be approved in June. 

   Preliminary classroom investments include more teacher collaboration time in the elementary schools; development of another elementary language immersion program; adding a first grade to the current Ojibwe immersion program; support for ISD 709’s new online high school, and maintaining lifeguards at the middle school swimming pools/

   As a result of favorable adjustments made for K-12 education during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, along with passage of the 2013 Education Levy, the district is in a position to continue investments made to support class size reduction, curriculum updates and student achievement.

   While projections for next year present a surplus as a result of the pending sale of the Central property, the ability to sustain additional ongoing investments remains limited.  State per pupil funding is under discussion by the Minnesota legislature and will be included in the projections when their decision making process is more complete.  

   Board members reviewed and discussed ideas both for using budget funds efficiently and for increasing investment in strategies related to student achievement. 

   Clickhere to see more detail.


Members of the Duluth School Board reviewed the Achievement and Integration Budget for 2015 – 17 at the March Education Committee meeting.  The budget includes, but is not limited to, support for teacher training, high school Achievement Centers, PASS parent involvement and family engagement programs, Integration Specialists, after school and summer school programs, and other support for increasing student achievement.  William Howes, Coordinator of the Office of Education Equity, provided the report to the Board.


Acclaimed drum group Pipestone Singers performed at the ISD 709 Area Learning Center this week and conducted a

master class with music students.  Pipestone Singers are winners of the Native American Music Awards Record of the Year and are considered among the “top 40” of pow wow music today.  The group pays tribute to the singers of yesteryear who have kept singing traditions alive and acted as the voice of the people.  Their appearance at ALC was made possible through support from the ISD 709 American Indian Education Department and the ALC Music Department.

Check out Pipestone’s performance at the 2009 Native American Music Awards on YouTube:


INVITATION: Come and enjoy delicious tribal foods from Indian Country

Wild Rice hot dish (Ojibwe), fresh tortillas (Dine), Acorn stew & Tamale Cho (Apache), Potato chowder (Ho-Chunk), and other dishes. 

Everyone is welcome!  This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015  5:00PM – 7:30PM

 Trapanier Hall, 212 W 2nd St., Duluth  


Duluth East Students Candidates for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

   Alyssa Everson, Devin Johnson and Derick Rossell, Duluth East High School were selected as candidates in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.  Over 3,900 candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. Inclusion in the Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. 

Click here for more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.


Jordan McMillian, Denfeld High School, was named 2014 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of the Northland.   Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a member can receive, recognizing outstanding contributions to a member's family, school and community as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles.  Jordan is eligible to compete for   Minnesota Youth of the Year and a $1000 college scholarship.  Winners of the state competition are able to compete for Midwest Region Youth of the year and from there to Washington DC to compete for National Youth of the Year and receive additional scholarships.


Lincoln Park Middle School hosted an informational tour for local legislators this month.  Senator Roger Reinert, Representative Mary Murphy and Representative Erik Simonson took time to visit with school and district leaders and learn more about the educational opportunities available to students.


Denfeld and Duluth East Students Learn More About Career Opportunities in the Construction and Building Trades

   Students from Denfeld and Duluth East attended Construct Tomorrow, an event providing local high schoolers with an opportunity for free, hands-on exploration of careers in the construction trades.  Duluth Mayor Don Ness and ISD 709 Superintendent Bill Gronseth  also attended the event, which took place at the DECC.  Construct Tomorrow is a collective of apprenticeship skills instructors, prime and sub-contractors, representatives from labor and workforce development and youth educators with the goal of making students aware of apprenticeship training opportunities and careers in the construction industry to increase and diversify the talent pool to meet future demands. 


Student Run Restaurant Food for Thought Now Open!  Enjoy delicious gourmet meals created by Denfeld and Duluth East students under the supervision of Chef Glenn D’Amour, CEC.  The restaurant operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance – click here for a menu and complete details.


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Homecroft Elementary raised $2,400 for the Jump Rope For Heart Event held during their Physical Education Classes.  Students participated in this year’s event and broke the school record for their donation effort.  Donna Hanna is the Physical Education Specialist coordinating this wonderful event.  Thank you Homecroft students and family for your awesome fundraising effort.

--Lester Park Elementary students raised $ 2,645 for the American Heart Association (AHA), a new school record.  Participation included an in-school event during their physical education classes. Donna Hanna, Physical Education specialist, has been helping raise funds for the AHA for 13 years and has helped collect over $30,000 for their life-saving efforts.

2015 Think Kids

posted Mar 11, 2015, 8:00 AM by Communications ISD 709

Save the Date:  2015 Think Kids Community Conversation March 30 – April 22

   Our community is helping to create schools that welcome children, inspire them and educate them for the future through annual Think Kids conversations.  

   “Think Kids is an invitation to everyone throughout Duluth,” says Superintendent Bill Gronseth.  “We invite parents, community and business leaders, teachers, grandparents, neighbors and more to participate in a community-wide discussion and decision-making process about the future of our schools.”

    During the 2015 Think Kids conversation participants will be asked what’s going well and what could be done better in Duluth’s schools.  Meetings will include five-year enrollment projections for elementary, middle and high schools based on results of a recent, in-depth demographic study.

    March 30 through April 22, ISD 709 staff and volunteers will be meeting with people from across our community to lead these important discussions.  Anyone who wishes to can share their ideas – no one is excluded. 

Please make plans to attend a Think Kids meeting – if you can’t make your neighborhood meeting, feel free to attend at another location. 

Monday March 30:

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Stowe Elementary School, 715-101st Avenue West, Duluth, MN

6:30PM – 8:00PM  Congdon Park Elementary School, 3116 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN


Tuesday March 31: 

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Homecroft Elementary School, 4784 Howard Gnesen Road, Duluth, MN

6:30PM – 8:00PM  Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 West Third Street, Duluth, MN


Wednesday April 1: 

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Lowell Elementary School, 2000 Rice Lake Road, Duluth, MN


Thursday April 2:

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Lakewood Elementary School, 5207 North Tischer Road, Duluth, MN

6:30PM – 8:00PM  Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, 1027 N. 8th Avenue East, Duluth, MN


Wednesday April 15:

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Ordean East Middle School, 2900 East Fourth Street, Duluth, MN

6:30PM – 8:00PM  Lester Park Elementary School, 5300 Glenwood Street, Duluth, MN


Thursday April 16:

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Piedmont Elementary School, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue, Duluth, MN


Monday April 20:

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Laura MacArthur Elementary School, 720 North Central Avenue, Duluth, MN


Wednesday April 22:

4:00PM – 5:30PM  Denfeld High School, 401 North 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

6:30PM – 8:00PM  Duluth East High School, 301 North 40th Avenue East, Duluth, MN


Groups and organizations are encouraged to schedule a meeting of their own through the Office of the Superintendent at 218-336-8752.


Online, Mail or Phone

If you can’t attend a meeting, please let us know what you think:

Online Survey at beginning March 30

By mailing:  Think Kids, ISD 709, 215 North 1st Avenue East, Duluth, MN  55812

By phone:  218-336-8735

ISD 709 News

posted Mar 10, 2015, 7:00 AM by Communications ISD 709

 Spring Duluth Community Education Class Schedule Available Online!   

   The Duluth Community Education Spring 2015 schedule of classes and activities is available online for viewing and secure registration at,

   Community Education offers opportunities to learners of all ages through:

·         Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

·         School Readiness/Pre-K programs

·         KEY Zone school-age care and academic enrichment

·         Adult basic education -GED and Adult High School Diploma - It's never too late to learn

·         Driver education

·         Aquatics classes

·         Adult enrichment and youth activities - take a class in computers, music, yoga, cooking, painting, fitness, digital photography, languages, much more - something for everyone

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

   For more information email: or call 218-336-8760 or visit  Celebrate Spring with us, see you at class!


The Duluth Speech Team (comprised of Denfeld and Duluth East students) did well at two recent competitions. At Centennial the team had many final round winners and placed 8th out of 32 teams from across the state. At Walker the team placed 8th out of 28 schools!


Denfeld High School Graduates Sworn In as New Duluth Police Officers   

   The Duluth Police Department held its swearing in ceremony for six new officers on March 5 at Police Headquarters. Two of the new officers, Aaron Haller and Jeremy O'Connor, are graduates of Denfeld High School.  During the ceremony, attended by family and friends, the new officers are pinned with their Duluth police badge.  Denfeld Principal Tonya Sconiers was on hand for the ceremony.


Congratulations, Duluth East Boys Hockey Team!

Section 7AA  Coach of the Year:  Mike Randolph, Duluth East  

State Boys Hockey All Tournament Team:

Ryan Peterson - Duluth East - Forward

Gunnar Howg - Duluth East - Goalie

Ash Altmann - Duluth East - Forward

Alex Spencer - Duluth East – Defense

   New records set at the MSHSL Hockey Tournament:  135,618 all-time Tournament attendance, most ever to attend the hockey tournament in Minnesota.  Additionally, a new single session record was also set. On Friday, March 6, 21,609 fans attended the 2015 MSHSL Boys’ Hockey Tournament Class AA Semifinals at Xcel Energy Center, setting a new record for the largest crowd to ever attend an indoor hockey game in the state of Minnesota. 


Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) Team 4009 competed at the FIRST Lake Superior Regional Robotic competition in February and received the FIRST Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation.  The team ended as 6th seed alliance captain, and chose Syntax Error Team 4693 (Rockford, MN) and Cobalt Catalysts Team 3042 to compete with during the playoffs. Their next competition will be at the Central Illinois Regional, March 19-21 in Peoria, Illinois. More information can be found on their webpage,  


The Duluth East Daredevils participated in the Double DECCer competition and received several of F.I.R.S.T.’s most

prestigious awards.  The Chairman’s Award honors the team that best represents a model of other teams to emulate.  The award means the Daredevils will advance to the World Championship in St. Louis, MO.  The team won 2nd place in the Northern Lights Regional with Team 5172 and Team 4768.  Anna Karas, team co-Captain, received the Dean’s List Award which celebrates outstanding student leaders.  Coach Tim Velner received the Woodie Flowers Award, presented to an outstanding mentor who leads, inspires, teachers and empowers their team.

More information available at


Upcoming Public Auction:  ISD 709 Wood Shop, Restaurant and Misc. Equipment

Saturday, March 14th, 9:00 a.m.  

Central High School , 802 East Central Entrance 

Central Entrance to Blackman Avenue, South 6 Blocks, East Through Gate to Lower Building.   

   Large auction of wood shop and restaurant equipment including a Rockwell Tilting Arbor Saw, Rockwell Jigsaw, Rockwell Band Saw, Rockwell Planar, Rockwell Floor Model Drill Presses, butcher block shop tables, Hobart Food Chopper, Superior Prep Cooler, Hobart Meat Slicer, Hobart Mixer, Blodgett Gas Double Convection ovens, antique wooden cabinets, antique drafting tables, antique shelving units, desks, office and classroom chairs, file cabinets, Ping Pong tables, slate chalk boards, musical instruments, Chevy Cargo Vans, Chevy Suburban, John Deere Lawn Tractors, and much more!

Inspection:  Friday, March 13th, from 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Go to for details and photos

For Information:  Nordic Auction, 218/525-4511218/390-3035


ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department Collaborates On Farm to School Grant Project

   The Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board was recently awarded $100,000 for a two year USDA Healthy Northland Farm to School Grant.  The project is a collaboration between ISD709, Lake Superior ISD381 and Wolf Ridge Environment Learning Center.  The grant provides an opportunity to continue growing Farm to School initiatives within ISD709, including supporting school gardens and procurement of more local foods within the school cafeterias.  As part of the initiative, ISD709's Child Nutrition Department has committed $200 for seeds, soil and amendments to each of the 13 schools within the district. 


ISD 709 Students Participate in 2015 Youth Authors Conference

   The local Arrowhead Reading Council recently sponsored the 30th Annual Young Authors Conference at the College of St. Scholastica.  Kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms in ISD 709 and other area schools sent students to the conference.  They listened to guest author Joy Dey and her illustrator Nikki Johnson and then divided into small writing groups, taught by presenters who shared their own writing experiences.  Each student wrote a short piece and shared it with the group.  This annual event provides a wonderful opportunity for students to meet and interact with professionals who have an interest in reading and writing. 

    Rachel Moseley, teacher at Piedmont Elementary, helped organize the event, assisted by Scott Markle, a substitute teacher for ISD 709.  The Arrowhead Reading Council is affiliated with the Minnesota Reading Association and the International Literacy Association.    


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--During a recent All City Swim Meet, Ryan Zelen, Ordean East Middle School, set a new 8th Grade city record in the 100 freestyle, replacing the record set by his great uncle Rick Hembach in 1966.  Ryan is the fourth Zelen to try to beat the record. Ryan’s winning time:  54.48.   

--Artwork from Laura MacArthur Elementary School was chosen for exhibition at the Duluth Art Institute, Historic Union Depot, 506 W. Michigan Street.  The show runs March 2-25, 2015.

Congratulations to: Kyle McDonald, Olivia Sanner, Alex Borman, Toby Berndt, Izabel Johander, Nathan Danielson, Hunter Kuehnow, Noah Gamache.

--Artwork from Laura MacArthur Elementary School was chosen for exhibition at the Zeitgeist Arts Center, Teatro Lobby, 222 E. Superior Street. The show runs from March 1-April 27, 2015.  Congratulations to: Isaac Erickson, Odin Maudal, Kaylee Knight, Brita Wourms, Ethan Starstead, Isabel Jimenez, Madison Bennett, Mark LeDoux, Ella Carter, Finley Valento, Emmagin Carman, Noah Abernethy, Caleb Erdman.

--Piedmont Elementary Visual Art Department has been very involved in a variety of Awards and Exhibitions for the first semester. The Artists of the Month in grades K-5 for the first semester are: JocelynB., Choelyn A., Annika H.,Caden C., John A., Cailyn V., Annika F., Ryan B., Brayden R., Jackson C., Madeline W., Claire R., Tristan S., Tyler L., Deborah A., Camryn S., Brady M., Courtney C., Carter H., Calliope F., Libby E. 

--Piedmont student artwork was exhibited at The Twin Ports K-12 Youth Art Exhibit, held in the Kruk Gallery on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Superior: Ryan B., Adler W., Aaliyah F., Marley B.

--Piedmont student artwork was chose for the Youth Art Month  K-12 Youth Exhibit at the Duluth Art Institute.  Calliope F., Matthew G., Maeve T.,  Kaley K., James P., Gracie C., Bryce C., Jackson C., Ellianna J., Kayla K., Alexis S., Lauren S., Ian T., Debbie A., Nashiya M., Samantha N.

ISD 709 News

posted Feb 27, 2015, 9:00 AM by Communications ISD 709

Denfeld Teacher Named Semi-Finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

   Jill Lofald, Denfeld High School, is one of 30 semifinalists for 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. A selection panel of 24 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 123 candidates from across the state.

   The panel will meet again in late March to select about 10 finalists from among the group of semifinalists. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Tom Rademacher, will announce his successor at a banquet May 3 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.


Congratulations Duluth East Boys Hockey Team, on their way to their 7th consecutive State Tournament!


FIRST Robotics Lake Superior and Northern Lights Regionals February 26, 27, and 28​ 

   The Duluth East Daredevils and Denfeld DNA  join over 120 robotics teams from across Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Illinois to compete in the 2015 FIRST Robotics Regionals this weekend at the DECC.   Teams will use new robots created over a six week build period.  They’ll play the new FIRST Robotics Competition challenge “Recycle Rush” in which robots stack square totes, cylindrical recycling bins and green pool noodles.  Teams are working to earn a spot in the World Championship in late April.

   Click here for a schedule of events.    

   The Daredevils are collaborating with the Duluth News Tribune on a third year journalism project, the Bluedevil Press, in conjunction with Blue Twilight from Eagen – click here for more information or check the Duluth East and Denfeld Robotics Team websites:

Denfeld DNA Robotics

Duluth East Daredevils


Denfeld students gave a great showing at UMD’s Toothpick Bridge Competition, an event sponsored by the American

Society of Civil Engineers.  Thirteen schools with over 140 bridges participated. Special recognition goes to Dylan Salo for placing 3rd in the Most Aesthetically Pleasing Bridge category and to Luke Ellefson, Celise Miller and Savannah Walraven for having bridges that placed in the top 8 for Strongest Bridge. Their bridges held over 35 kilograms, which is almost 80 pounds. Also representing Denfeld in the event were Rachel Yagoda, Adrian Ferguson, Jamie Larson, Maggie Kaptonak, Ryan Gallant, Ben Gibson,Tommy Donlin, Lee Kohlin, Jordan Danielson, Alex Knuth, Shelby Johnson, Emily Mahle and Kayla Youngs.  Nice job Hunters!   

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