School News

ISD 709 News

posted Aug 18, 2016, 12:24 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Aug 18, 2016, 12:32 PM ]

Welcome Back!  Students return to school Tuesday September 6, 2016.

View 2016 Back to School Information

Please Note:  ISD 709 schools and school offices will be closed the morning of Tuesday August 30 as employees participate in staff development.  Activities focus on researched-based best practices to improve student learning and strategies for strengthening the focus on culture in our schools.  Athletic practices will take place that morning as scheduled by coaches.  Thanks for your patience! 


Denfeld Robotics Team Receives School Board Recognition

   During the regular August meeting, members of the Duluth School Board presented a certificate of recognition to the Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) Robotics Team and congratulated them on the success they had this season.  Team co-Captains Jamie Larson and Brianna Williams, Coach Andy Gunderson, team members and mentors were on hand for the presentation.

   According to Amy Starzecki, Assistant Superintendent, “These bright, talented students, with support from community partners, mentors and volunteers, are, if I may paraphrase FIRST founder Dean Kamen, ‘…helping to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.’”

   Congratulations to the Denfeld Robotics team for their successful season!

July 2016: 1st & 2nd Place, Gitchi Gummi Mini-Regional, Received Helping Hands Award for Gracious Professionalism

May 2016: 2nd Place, MSHSL State Robotics Championship, Received Dunwoody Award for Outstanding Engineering & Design

April 2016: FIRST Robotics World Championship, Semi-Finalists in the Galileo Division

March 2016: 1st Place Lake Superior Regional, 14 matches undefeated, Received Engineering Inspiration Award


Congratulations, CJ!  

   Former Denfeld High School fullback and Augustana University alum C.J. Ham scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter and Minnesota Vikings held on to defeat Cincinnati 17-16 in a National Football League preseason game in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ham rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries and had one reception for nine yards and a first down.


Duluth East Robotics Team Hosts Lego Robotics Camp

   Great to see our high school students encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering and math!


Tech Camp:  Using Technology to Boost Achievement, Engagement

   This week principals, teachers and staff participated in Tech Camp, learning how to use new

technologies and social media in the educational process.  Opportunities include learning more about the Fab Lab equipment at Denfeld, using Facebook and Twitter to engage, inform and interact with families, creating interactive webquests to meet multiple learning targets and much more.  Nationally recognized speaker Dr. Joe Sanfelippo talked about the success his school district has seen using social media to share day-to-day school activities and accomplishment and how it has helped engage families, helped parents talk with their children about what goes on in school and build a positive school and district culture.


ISD 709 to Receive More Than $400,000 in State Funds to Help Support Pre-K  Programs

   Early Childhood programs are an important way to help support student achievement...…/State-Program-Benefit…/41112718


Duluth East Student Receives State Counselors Association Scholarship

   Nancy Swanson, Duluth East High School, received the Minnesota School Counselor Association Scholarship.  As part of applying for the Scholarship, Nancy wrote about her school counselor at Duluth East, saying, “Mrs. Berini came into my life my senior year and changed everything. She became my counselor, helping me plan my schedule when it was too overbooked, coaching me to write scholarship essays, and continually talking to me about future plan ideas. She listened to my story in a way no one had before: with her ears and her heart. I laid all the pieces of my life before her, but she didn’t look at me like I was broken. She saw my strength.”


Area Learning Center (ALC) Open House

Tuesday September 6, 2016

3:00PM to 5:00PM

Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. 1st Avenue East, 3rd Street Entrance

Taco Bar meet and greet with the staff, students, and parents

For information: or 218.336.8756 x 1164


REMINDER, LOOKING FOR DONATIONS:  CHUM Adopt-A-Backpack For Kids in Need of School Supplies

   CHUM is once again working with the Duluth School District to host a “Back to School Fair” on

Tuesday August 23.  Families with limited resources will be provided school supplies and backpacks at this event, check with CHUM for details:

You Can Help:  Donate a Backpack filled with Supplies!  Backpacks can be dropped off in the HOCHS Board Room Thursday August 18 or Friday, August 19 between 9:00AM and 3:00PM(use the 3rd Street entrance, other doors are locked).

Backpacks are distributed to two age groups:


3 Wide Ruled Notebooks, 1 Box Crayons1 Scissors, 2 glue sticks – not glue bottles6 Pencils, 3 Pocket Folders, 1 Box Markers 

GRADE 6-12 BACKPACK:  6 Pencils, 3 Pens, 1 College Ruled Loose Leaf Paper3-Ring Binder, 3 Pocket Folders3 College Ruled Notebooks, 1 Box Colored Pencils

   To ensure fairness to all students, we pack each backpack identically based on this list.  It is helpful if additional items are not included in your donation. If you are unable to donate a full backpack, the items most needed each year are backpacks, 3-ring binders and pocket folders.

Thank you for supporting local students!   


From the City of Duluth:

Imagine Duluth 2025:  What’s Your Vision of Duluth?

   Members of the Duluth School Board met with representatives from the City’s Imagine Duluth 2035 as part of Duluth’s Comprehensive Plan data analysis and public input process.  The entire community is invited to share their vision for the city of Duluth over the next 20 years:

Kickoff Celebration:  Wednesday September 21, 5:30PM, Denfeld High School

Web: Take a Survey at


Phone:  218-730-5580

Address:  City of Duluth Community Planning Division, City Hall, Room 208, Duluth, MN 55802

Find @ImagineDuluth on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

   The Comprehensive Plan is the City’s road map for development, the delivery of public services, the layout of public infrastructure and the preservation of natural beauty and open spaces.  The plan guides all that the City provides and oversees for the residents of Duluth, from the location of job centers to residential sites along with park development and where streets, buses and trails are located.


Duluth East Athletic Association Gold Classic September 25

   The 2016 Duluth East Athletic Association Hounds Golf Classic will be held Sunday, Sept. 25 at Lester Park Golf Course. The 18-hole, four-person scramble begins at 11:00AM, cost is $70 per person, includes golf, cart and lunch.

Contact Brett Hauer at 218.481.4600 or for more information.


Minnesota’s Immunization Laws – Please Be Sure You’ve Filed Documentation of Vaccination or Legal Exemption with Your School!

   Minnesota’s Immunization Laws require all students to provide documentation of vaccination or a legal exemption in order to enroll or remain enrolled in school or in a childcare facility.
Students whose families do not provide documentation of vaccination or a legal exemption are subject to exclusion from school.
• We want all children to be in school – please take steps to provide documentation of vaccination or to file legal exemption with your school.
• For a list of required immunizations, check the Minnesota Department of Health Website:
• To obtain documentation of your child’s vaccinations, contact your healthcare provider or call the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection at 651-201-5503 or 1-800-657-3970.
• To have your child immunized contact your healthcare provider or the St. Louis County Department of Health at218-725-5210 or toll free 800-450-9777.
• Parents may file for legal exemption:  medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a conscientious objection signed by a parent/guardian and notarized. 
   More detailed information available by contacting the Minnesota Department of Health online: or calling 1-800-657-3970651-201-5503.

ISD 709 News

posted Jul 28, 2016, 12:23 PM by Communications ISD 709

3rd Annual Gitchi Gummi Get Together Robotics Competition July 29 & 30
  Free and Open to the Public!
    On Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 2016 the Duluth East Daredevils Robotics team will host the 3rd Annual Gitchi Gummi Get Together at Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 W 3rd Street in Duluth. 
Competition begins at 3 pm on Friday and ends at 4 pm Saturday.

   Eighteen teams from Minnesota and Michigan (including Denfeld High School DNA) will be playing the 2016 FRC Game, “Stronghold”, a medieval themed challenge with six robots at a time on the field.    

   Teams will be required to utilize new team members to drive the robot during this competition to help prepare for next year’s competition. This event is free and open to the public.

Check Online for More Information  


Denfeld Alum Matthew Johnson Wins National Culinary Challenge  

   Matthew is a student at The Culinary Institute of America in New York – while attending Denfeld High School he took culinary arts courses and began learning the basics in the student run restaurant Food for Thought. Such courses are part of ISD 709’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) program, designed to help focus students into career/post-secondary pathways that fit their personality and academic interests.

   According a press release from The Culinary Arts Institute, Matthew teamed up with Kurt Flaherty to take part in the national Boar’s Head Bold Culinary Arts Challenge.   Esteemed media and food experts gathered for a tasting luncheon at the Astor Center in New York City to sample the students’ innovative dishes, which were judged based on taste, creative use of the product, presentation, and production/technical skill.  Following a tally of the scores, a panel of judges declared Matthew Johnson and Kurtis Flaherty the Grand Prize Winners of the competition for their Asian-inspired steamed buns dish, awarding them $10,000 in scholarship funds.

Click here for more information and to see the winning recipe. 


Minnesota Department of Education Releases 2015-16 State Test Results

   State tests include results of the MCA and MTAS (all accountability tests).  Consistent with AYP and MMR calculations, reading and math results are reported for students enrolled October 1 in ISD 709, all accountability tests. Science scores reported are for MCA only (Oct 1), unless noted.

2015-16 Reading: 

For the fourth year in a row, overall reading scores increased.  District is above state average. 

--Schools increasing scores over last year:  Homecroft, Lakewood, Lester Park, Lowell, Piedmont, Stowe, Lincoln Park, Ordean East, Woodland Hills Academy

--Above state average scores:  Congdon, Homecroft, Lakewood, Lester Park, Lowell, Stowe, Ordean East, Duluth East

--Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 increased over last year (all above the state average)

--Student groups increasing proficiency scores over last year:  American Indian (above state average, gap reduced), Hispanic (above state average, gap reduced), Black (gap reduced), White (on par with state), Special Education (gap increased), Free/Reduced Lunch (above state average, gap increased).  Asian (above state average, no gap)

--Schools with the greatest increases in reading scores:  Lincoln Park, Stowe, Piedmont, Lowell, Lester Park, Woodland Hills Academy

2015-16 Math:

For the fifth year in a row overall math scores increased.

--Schools increasing scores over last year:  Lakewood, Lester Park, Lowell, Lincoln Park, Ordean East, Woodland Hills Academy

--Above state average scores:  Congdon, Homecroft, Lakewood, Lester Park, Lowell, Ordean East

--Grades 7 and 8 increased over last year (grade 7 is above the state average, grades 4 and 5 are on par with the state average)

--Student groups increasing proficiency over last year:  Black (gap reduced), White

--Student groups with increased gap:  American Indian, Hispanic, Special Education, Free/Reduced Lunch

--Schools with the greatest increases in math scores:  Lincoln Park, Ordean East, Lester Park, Woodland Hills Academy

2015-16 Science:

For the fourth year in a row, overall science scores increased.

--Schools increasing scores over last year:  Congdon, Lakewood, Laura MacArthur, Lester Park, Myers-Wilkins, Stowe, Ordean East    

--Above the state average scores:  Congdon, Lakewood, Lester Park, Ordean East

--Grades 5 and 8 increased proficiency (grade 5 is above state average)

--Student groups increasing proficiency over last year:  Hispanic (above state average, gap reduced), Black (gap reduced), White, Special Education, Free/Reduced Lunch (on par with state)  

--Schools with the greatest increases in science scores: Myers-Wilkins, Congdon, Lester Park, Lakewood, Laura MacArthur

--Overall MTAS Science Scores decreased (remain above the state average)

2016-17 Achievement Strategies:

--Continuous Improvement teacher teams and Professional Learning Communities to increase collaboration, leadership and use of data geared toward identifying where each student is in the learning process and providing the support they need to realize individual success.

--Continued curriculum work to align learning and assessment to Minnesota standards

--Elementary standards based grading to increase focus on key academic standards and to help families support their child’s learning           

--Continued staff development on the important role culture plays in learning

--Working collaboratively with local organizations to support students and families:  for example, the Myers-Wilkins Collaborative, True North Americorps, Reading Corps, Math Corps, Duluth YMCA

--Targeted staff development for teachers and building leaders on primary improvement strategies:  Professional Learning Communities, Multi-tiered Systems of Support and Safe & Welcoming Schools

--Expanding the Full Service Community School model to include Lincoln Park Middle School

--Professional development for principals – with emphasis on instructional leadership

--Continued staff development on the use of individual student data to impact day-to-day teaching strategies

A detailed report will be provided at the August Education Committee Meeting.


ISD 709 News

posted Jul 26, 2016, 1:09 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Jul 26, 2016, 1:10 PM ]

Hillside Youth Theatre Students Impress and Inspire in Their Summer Production of 
“Escape From Puzzle Island” Duluth July 28 & 29
   Students in the Hillside Youth Theatre program, part of summer programming at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, are excited to perform an original musical play production, Escape From Puzzle IslandThe public is invited to attend; admission is free (with the exception of the July 28th evening fundraiser).
Matinee Performances: July 28th and 29th at 1:00PM
Evening Performances:  July 28th (special fundraising event beginning at 6:00PM with appetizers, music, and silent auction. $15 donation; play performance at 7:00PM)
July 29th at 7:00PM
Performances will be held in the Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium (3215 West 3rd Street), children must be accompanied by an adult.
For information:  218-343-9952
With appreciation to financial and in-kind sponsors: Arrowhead Regional Arts Council City of Duluth Parks & Recreation Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation Essentia Corporate Giving Family Service Collaborative of St. Louis County Head of the Lakes United Way, Incredible Exchange program, ISD 709, Lincoln Park Middle School, Lloyd K Johnson Foundation, Mardag Foundation, MDE 21st Century Learning Centers, MN Literacy Council, Myers-Wilkins School, New Scenic Café, Ordean Foundation, Northland Foundation, Sheltering Arms Foundation, True North AmeriCorps, Whole Foods Co-op, and Individual Contributions

Summer Learning is Fun!
   Students are taking part in a summer learning program provided by ISD 709 Community Education and the Duluth Area Family YMCA.  It’s designed to help prevent “summer slide,” the learning loss some children experience when school is out. Mornings are dedicated to literacy work; afternoons are filled with enrichment activities that include art, music, science, field trips and physical activity. This is the fourth year for the program - participants show strong gains in reading skills.

Hiring Events for ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department – August 2 and 3
Openings Throughout the District, Please Share With Anyone Who May Be Interested!
Denfeld High School:  401 N 44 Ave W (media center), Tues, August 2, 2016, 9:00am – 11:00am
Duluth East High School:  301 N. 40th Avenue East (media center), Wed August 3, 2016, 9:00am – 11:00am
   ISD 709 has many openings in the Child Nutrition Department throughout the school district.  Food Service Helpers duties include but are not limited to preparation and serving of meals, cleaning, basic computer operation and the ability to maintain good working relations with co-workers and students.
   Positions work mid-day for up to three hours or more.  The contract hourly wage is $10.82 and the substitute hourly wage is $9.50.  Each employee is provided a lunch after their shift.
   If you’re interested in learning more about the positions, please attend one of the above sessions.  You can complete an online application at prior to the session or, if you don’t have a computer or internet access, complete your application at either session.  We’ll be conducting interviews, completing new hire paperwork and online training during the sessions for those that wish to work for the Child Nutrition Department.  Please be sure to bring your valid driver’s license, social security card and a voided check or banking information for direct deposit.
   If you have questions, please contact Michelle Porter, Human Resources Assistant at (218) 336-8722.

ISD 709 News

posted Jul 15, 2016, 2:15 PM by Communications ISD 709

Denfeld Students Winners in Minnesota ArcGIS Map Contest
   Congratulations to Maria Ossanna and Tess Urrutia, Denfeld High School!  They’re two of five high
school winners in the Minnesota ArcGIS Map Contest, sponsored by the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium, MDE, MAGE and Esri.  Several Denfeld students received Honorable Mention for the high quality of their map project, congratulations to  Adrian Ferguson, Kong James Xiong, Sarah Scrignoli and Benjamin Emmel.
   Minnesota public, private, or homeschooled students are eligible to enter the contest. Maps can be submitted individually or as a team of two people.  Students are challenged to create an original Minnesota based map on their topic of interest or concern.  The area mapped can range from the entire state to a smaller area, like a county or city. The five maps judged the best in each division are each awarded a $100 prize.  
From the City of Duluth:
City of Duluth to Host Public Safety Town Hall Meeting on July 19
   Mayor Emily Larson, Duluth’s Public Safety team (Police and Fire) and the Duluth Citizen Review Board (CRB) invite residents to attend a Public Safety Town Hall forum on July 19, 2016 from 6:00PM-7:30 PM at Denfeld High School, 401 N 44th Ave West.  The event is open to the public.
   The forum provides an opportunity to dialogue as community members that care for the well-being of all residents. Attendees will hear from Public Safety officials and the CRB followed by opportunities for the audience to share insight, ask questions, and issue concerns with the goal of helping to strengthen the partnership between the City and its residents. The public will also meet Duluth’s incoming Human Rights Officer, Carl Crawford, who will play an important role in community collaborations when he officially starts at the City later this month.

Denfeld, Duluth East Robotics Teams Prepare for Summer Competition
   Members of the Denfeld DNA and Duluth East Daredevils are preparing for the annual Gitchi Gummi Get Together, a summer robotics competition hosted by the Daredevils, taking place July 29-30 at Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 . Over a dozen teams from across Minnesota are scheduled to participate.  The event is free and open to the public.  

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation Announces 2016 Scholarship Recipients
   The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (DSACF) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the 2016 Scholarship recipients. 
    “For almost thirty years, the Community Foundation has supported area students in their efforts to achieve their educational dreams,” said Holly C. Sampson, President. “These young adults are the future leaders of our community and we’re proud to be a partner in their success.”
   Scholarship winners include, but are not limited to:
Hubert A. Nelson Scholarship: Alexis Rajanen, Denfeld HS   
Paul Antonich Scholarship: James Powe, Duluth East HS
Duluth Central Sports Association Legacy Scholarship: Taylor Johnson, Derek Huston, Denfeld HS
William E. Barto Scholarship Fund:  Emma Spooner, Duluth East HS
Bernard B. & Mary L. Brusin Scholarship:  Michael Kelly, Duluth East HS
Gernander Scholarship:  Derek Huston and Gabriella Nordman, Denfeld HS
Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council Scholarship:  Madeline Brown, Duluth East HS
Patricia S. Gustafson '56 Memorial Scholarship:  Karen Boynton, Denfeld HS
Gus & Henrietta Hill Scholarship: Stephanie Curran, Duluth East HS
Greg Irons Award:  Christine LeGarde, Denfeld HS and Michael Kelly, Duluth East HS 
Greg Irons Teacher Award, Karla Winterfeld, Lincoln Park MS  
Cory Jam Memorial Award:  Sanna Berdahl, Duluth East HS   is Sanna Berdahl.
Harold & Laura Jorgenson Memorial Scholarship:  Hannah Carlson, Denfeld HS
The Minnesota Power Community Involvement Scholarship : Jackson Churchill and Alyssa Lauzon, Duluth East HS 
Amelia and Emanuel Nessell Family Scholarships: Alyvia Dobs, Denfeld HS 
Anderson-Niskanen Scholarships: Abigail Vincent, Duluth Public Schools
Steve Rolland Youth Peacemaker Award:  Michael Kelly and Bryce Holak, Duluth East HS
Walter & Anna Soneson Scholarship: Alyvia Dobs, Denfeld HS and Grant Wickman, Duluth East HS
Jack and Mary Rowe Memorial Scholarship:  Joseph Rauzi, Duluth East HS
Kenneth and Concetta Schoen Scholarship:  Pernille Soderlind, Duluth East HS
Robert B. & Sophia Whiteside Scholarships:
Denfeld HS - Dawkin Erceg, Benjamin Fehringer, Derek Huston, Gabriella Nordman, Violet Wennberg
Duluth East HS - Shannon Baker, Jacob Beery, Sanna Berdahl, Sylvia Bowen-Bailey, Daniel Dylla, Kendall Hill, Autumn Kittilson, Grace Lane, Anja Leitz-Najarian, Kayla Nyenhuis, Eleanor Peterson, Marianne Peterson, Jonah Wehr
   The DSACF promotes private giving for the public good. The Foundation is a permanent community endowment, built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations. Guided by a 14-member Board of volunteer civic leaders, the Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations and to individuals for scholarships and provides leadership on important community initiatives in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1983, they have distributed over $47 million and currently hold over 370 different funds, each with its own charitable purpose.  Learn more  
Middle School Student Receives Trip to a Twins Game for Perfect Attendance
   Congratulations Bode Hislop, Ordean East!  Organized by the MN Middle School Association, the Perfect Attendance-Perfect Game program rewards students who achieve perfect attendance during the school year. Students receive a certificate and the opportunity to attend a Twins baseball game and receive recognition on the field during a pregame ceremony. 

Duluth East High School Student Receives Extraordinary Impact Award  
   Kaitlyn Lake received the "Know the Truth Extraordinary Impact Award" from the Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge Know the Truth substance abuse prevention program. The award, presented to two high school and two middle school students in Minnesota, recognizes students who are making positive, healthy choices in their own lives and actively encouraging and advocating for those choices in their school and community. Kaitlyn received the award for advocating for increased mental health services at school.

Run With the ‘Hounds – 5K Run
Lester Park in Duluth  
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - Race at 6:00PM
Preregistration online by Wednesday, July 20, 2016 
to guarantee a T-shirt , $20 Payment due at race time
Same day registration is $25 from 5 - 5:45 pm at Lester Park
Support Duluth East Cross Country Running

ISD 709 News

posted Jun 8, 2016, 2:09 PM by Communications ISD 709

Congratulations and Best Wishes to the Area Learning Center Class of 2016!  
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.”  
                                                            -- Henry David Thoreau


Best Wishes for a Safe, Happy, Satisfying Summer

   As the school year ends, many thanks to the families, teachers, staff, administrators and all who work every day to help Duluth students realize their potential and pursue their dreams. 


School Bus Driver Provides $1,000 Donation to Homecroft Elementary  

   Ted Moore is a bus driver for Voyageur Bus Company and a recipient of the 2015 Transportation Specialist Award from the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association.  The award includes a $1,000 check in Mr. Moore’s name to go toward helping students and schools.  He designated Homecroft Elementary to receive the $1,000 donation, which will be used for the school’s Outdoor Classroom. Mr. Moore is pictured with Principal Cher Obst (left) and teacher Brenda Sederberg (right).  Many thanks to Mr. Moore for this generous donation!


2016-17 Principal Assignments

   Principals Laurie Knapp (Duluth East), Cher Obst (Homecroft), Stephanie Heilig (Myers-Wilkins) and Larry Udesen (Stowe) are retiring at the end of this school year – many thanks for their years of service to our students, schools and community and for helping make a positive difference in the lives of children in Duluth.

   Following a thorough search process and with the assistance of teams of teachers, parents, community members and administrators, please welcome four excellent and highly qualified individuals to lead our schools:

Amy Worden - Homecroft Elementary   

   Amy joins ISD 709 from Isanti, MN where she served as Assistant Principal for Sunrise Elementary School, ISD No.138 North Branch.  She holds K-12 Administrative Licensure from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, a Master of Arts in Education from St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, MN and a Bachelor of Arts in K-6 Elementary Education from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  

Elisa Maldonado - Myers-Wilkins Elementary

   Elisa is joining us from Monticello, MN where she most recently served as elementary Assistant Principal for St. Cloud ISD 742.  Her experience includes elementary Assistant Principal for the Osseo and Round Lake school districts and Master Teacher for UNO Charter Schools.

   She holds a C.A.S. in Curriculum and Instruction and an M.ED. in Administration and Leadership  from National-Louis University in Chicago and a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois – Chicago. 

Cynthia Maldonado – Stowe Elementary

   Cynthia comes to us from St. Louis Park, MN.  Her experience includes Executive Director for VIDA Charter School, teacher and leader in East Carver County Schools, Chaska, MN and St. Louis Park Public Schools, St. Louis Park, MN. 

   She is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Bethel University in St. Paul MN; she received her Principals Licensure and a Master of Education with Emphasis in Immersion Education from Hamline University in St. Paul, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota.

Danette Seboe - Duluth East High School

   Danette’s experience includes Senior High Principal, K-8 Principal and School Counselor for Eveleth-Gilbert Schools. She’s also an Education Specialist Degree Program and Education Master’s Degree Program Adjunct Professor for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

   She holds an Ed.S. in School Administration from Saint Mary’s University, an M.S.E. in School Counseling from the University of Wisconsin – Superior, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Concordia College – Moorhead, MN.


Ordean East Students Earn 1st Place at DI Global Finals 

  Students from Ordean East Middle School competed in Destination Imagination’s Global Finals and tied for first place with their Buddy Team from Guatemala City.  The competition took place in Knoxville, TN and included more than 1,400 teams from 20 countries. 

   The Ordean East team, Mission Improvable, earned the right to compete at Global Finals after achieving honors for creativity, teamwork and innovation in regional and state academic tournaments.  Team members include: Victoria Ball, Corbyn Goodermote, Shayni Gustafson, Mariah Loeffler-Kemp, Andrew Miller, Ellie Patronas and Grace Peyer, the team manager is Ken Loeffler-Kemp. 

  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. 


Building an Ojibwe Language Community

High school Ojibwe language students visit Lowell Elementary Ojibwe immersion classroom.

Budgeteer Newspaper


Laura MacArthur Elementary, College of St. Scholastica Student Collaboration

Students collaborated to create a meaningful mural for the school.

Budgeteer Newspaper


New ECFE Outdoor Classroom at Lester Park Elementary    

   The classroom, created by volunteers and paid for through fundraising and grants, includes space for a sensory table, art area, climbing area, plants, musical instruments and other educational equipment.  It’s designed to provide children outdoor opportunities to develop their artistic skills, encourage creative and imaginative play, improve social and physical development, and more.

   The project began in 2013 when teacher Samantha Webster and the ECFE Parent Advisory Council began researching the project, seeking community input and drawing up a draft plan.  Working with ISD 709 Facilities Management, the group ensured plans met safety standards and received the necessary approvals.  The outdoor classroom space was built by parent volunteers in the summer of 2015 and has already been used by about 150 students this school year.  


Duluth News Tribune

Fox 21 News


Chad Humphreys 2016 Section 7AA Boys Tennis Head Coach of the Year

   Chad Humphreys has served as Head Coach for Duluth East High School Boys Tennis since 2013 with a career record of 53-23. This season the Greyhounds are 15-2 with a match record of 136 wins and only 48 matches lost. They captured the 7AA Section Championship and will compete at the MSHSL State Tennis Tournament. Highlights include 3rd place 7AA finishes in 2013 and 2014, and a 2nd place finish in 2015.  Humphreys was named Section 7AA Boys Tennis Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association.

ISD 709 News

posted Jun 1, 2016, 6:57 AM by Communications ISD 709

Denfeld, Duluth East Finish 2nd, 4th in MN State Robotics Competition

Denfeld Receives Dunwoody Award for Outstanding Engineering & Design

   The Denfeld DNA robotics team alliance placed 2nd in the MSHSL State Robotics Championship held this month in Minneapolis.  The team also received the Dunwoody Award for Outstanding Engineering & Design.  The award recognizes robotics teams that exhibit unique engineering and design solutions and grants the team $500 to continue to promote engineering.

   The Duluth East Daredevils alliance finished in 4th place in the state – last year the Duluth East alliance took first place in the competition. 

For more information:

Denfeld DNA Facebook

Duluth East Daredevils Facebook


Thank You and Best Wishes to ISD 709 Retiring Teachers and Staff!

   Retirees received recognition for their service to Duluth schools and students at a special reception held in May.   

Clerical Unit:  Kandice Anderson, Betty Berndt, Diana Conway, Therese Dzuck, Barbara Soufflet, Diana Stratioti, Cheryl Swor, Margaret Weber

EEA:  Kenneth Willms, Susan Talerico

Field Support:  Michael Horton

Food Service Unit:  Patti Barber

Maintenance Unit:  Charles Carlson, James Cheslak, Frederick Floura, William Golen,

Jeff Graves, Donnie Larsen Thomas Larson, John Olson, Randy Rudd, Gary Snow, Russell Wirth

Integration Specialist: Maria Dawson

Paraprofessionals Unit:  Tami Abramson, Jennifer Blazejak, Susan Brunette, Michele Johnson, Karen Makowski, Barbara Rudh, Thomas Stackland, Susan Urness

Principals Unit:  Stephanie Heilig, Laurie Knapp, Charles Leibfried, Cheryl Lien, Jerry Maki, Cheree Obst, Larry Udesen

Teachers Unit:  Nancy Andrews, Margaret Boyle, Ted Ford, Gayle Franckowiak, Bonnie Fritch, Norma Graham, Mary Harala, Kathy Hughes, Phyllis Kruell, Jill Lofald, Kathleen Maki, Nancy McIntire, JoAnne Morris, Susan Oleson, Patti Olson, Marcella Orville, Jane Pederson, Marguerite Radakovich, Leif Ringsred, Joan Sargent, Terri St. John-Stebe, Valerie Stortz, Marcia Van Camp, Thomas Vanhornweder, Cynthia Venberg, Deborah Wagner, Cynthia Weber.


New Records Set at City-Wide Track Meet 

   Duluth students set new records at the City-Wide track meet held at Public School Stadium in May.  Congratulations! Bamlaak Haugen broke records in the 100 M and 200 M set in 1980!

Girls 100:  Bamlaak Haugen, 13.30  

Girls 200:  Bamlaak Haugen, 28.41

Boys 100:  Daniel Delgado, Jr., 13.05

Boys 800:  Andrew Larkin, 2:37.7


ISD 709 Construction Technology Students Work Job Sites at Congdon, Duluth East

   Denfeld and Duluth East students in Construction Technology courses helped build a storage shed for Congdon Park Elementary’s garden produce program.  They pre-fabricated the storage building in Duluth East’s classroom lab area, then dismantled the building, reset it on site and completed the exterior finish work.  Students are also building a storage shed near the Duluth East football field for storage of athletic equipment. 

   Construction Technology courses teach construction safety, application of mathematics, blueprint reading, various construction trade practices, and provides an understanding of the work ethics needed to be successful not just in the construction industry but any job. 

   The Construction Technology class is interested in locating potential building projects within the Duluth area.  Contact the instructor, Tony Leone, at 336-8975 x 4082 regarding any potential/ future projects you may have in mind.

ISD 709 Plant Science Students Help Out at Monarch Butterfly Festival

   Eddie Brown, Emma Hannu, Niimii Eagle, Becca Grumdahl, Paige Whiting and teacher John Rudolph represented ISD

709’s Plant Science class at the Duluth Monarch Buddies first Monarch Festival in Duluth. Students helped raise and sell about 350 pots and 4 flats of pollinator plants, plus provided arts and crafts for children.  Presenters at the event included Ordean East science teacher Annette Strom.

   Both Construction Technology and Plant Science (Agriculture and Forestry career cluster) are part of ISD 709’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) program, designed to help focus students into career/post-secondary pathways that fit their personality and academic interests. 

   ISD 709 CTE courses are taught by some of the most highly qualified professionals in the region - over 80% come from industry first and then education. They bring real-world knowledge and connections to help students explore and succeed in the competitive job market.

Learn More:  ISD 709 Career & Technical Education


Congratulations 2015-16 Duluth East Athletic Award Recipients

Duluth East Glen Rolle Scholar Athlete Award:    

Kendall Hill, Nicole Frederickson

Greyhound Athletes of the Year:

Bryce Holak, Ava Meyer 


Jackson Churchill, Alexis Lanigan  

The Joseph W. Mrkonich Scholarship:

Ava Meyer, Aria Plewa, Joey Zwak, Jackson Churchill  

Three Sport Athlete Awards:

Hans Arvidson-Hicks, Stephanie Curran, Collin Dot, Daniel Dylla, Eleanor French, Kendall Hill, Autumn Kittilson, Phoebe Koski, Aria Plewa, Pernill Soderlind, Christopher Larson, Hannah Cornwell, Nicole Frederickson, Bryce Holak, Gretta Johnson, Corrado Rosato, Emma Spooner, Ava Meyer

MN State High School League Academic Awards:

Girls Tennis - Silver

Football – Gold

Cross Country Girls – Gold

Cross Country Boys – Gold

Girls Swim – Golf

Softball – Golf

Boys Tennis – Silver

Boys Nordic – Gold

Girls Nordic – Gold

Girls Basketball – Gold

ISD 709 News

posted May 20, 2016, 6:57 AM by Communications ISD 709

Congratulations, 2016 Greg Irons Award Recipients!

   Karla Winterfeld, Lincoln Park Middle School, received the 2016 Greg Irons Teacher Award.  Karla was nominated for

the award by principal Brenda Vatthauer, who writes, “Karla makes a dynamic impact in her classroom.  She builds relationships with our most at-risk students and families and is a breath of fresh air to inspire anyone she is around. She has an aptitude to see what needs to be done and carries out actions to address issues and to assist where needed.  Students will tell you that Mrs. Winterfeld has been their inspiration at school and they have grown in strength and ability when facing life’s challenges due to her support.”  Karla is involved with the  Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, St. Louis County Social Services, and Mentor Duluth, among others.  Karla will receive a $500 award.

   Christine LeGarde, Denfeld High School, and Michael Kelly, Duluth East High School, are recipients of the 2016 Greg Irons Student Award.   The Award is presented to students who have been able to attain their personal goals through self-motivation, perseverance and, perhaps, through the guidance and assistance of a mentor who characterizes Greg Irons.

   In addition to being president of Denfeld’s Key Club, Christine is involved in Speech, Link Crew, Special Olympics and volunteers with other community organizations.  Michael has participated in numerous clubs and organizations including Key Club, Exec Board, Environmental Club, Students for the Future and is active in his church.

   Both recipients will be recognized at their school’s Honor Night ceremony and each will receive a $1000 scholarship to put toward their higher education goals.


ISD 709 Engineering Students Printing a 3D Duluth Depot  

   Four ISD 709 Engineering Design students – Noah Flynn, Kayla Johnson, Jake Miles and Tyler Milner – are using the Denfeld Fab Lab 3D printer to create a scale model of the Duluth Depot. 

   Josh Miller from the North Shore Scenic Railroad heard about 3D printing in the Fab Lab and asked about the possibility of working together on a project.  The students used a scaled model from the museum to take measurements and used Autodesk Inventor to create a printable file.  The final product will be presented to the museum the week of May 23. 

   Students are also planning to print six prototype key chains for possible sale in the museum gift shop.

Learn More:  ISD 709 High Schools, Career and Technical Education Programs


Lincoln Park, Ordean East Students Meet Olympian Carrie Tollefson

ISD 709 Elementary students take part in Fit ‘n Fun Run - Great Day for Fitness!

   Tollefson visited Lincoln Park and Ordean East to talk with students about the importance of exercise and good health.  She grew up in Dawson, MN and won 13 Minnesota high school championships in cross country and track. While in college at Villanova, she was a 12-time All American and five-time NCAA national champion.

   The middle school assemblies are in association with the annual Essentia Health Fit ‘n Fun Run which took place this week.  Approximately 1,900 students in grades 3 – 5 participated in quarter mile races throughout the event.  Grandma’s Marathon, the Young Athletes Foundation, ISD 709 Duluth Public Schools and Essentia Health created the event in 2008 to help motivate children to adopt healthier lifestyles.  

Fox 21 News


Duluth News Tribune



Denfeld, Duluth East Robotics Teams On Their Way to State Competition

   The Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA)and Duluth East Daredevils Robotics teams qualified for the 2016 Minnesota State Robotics Competition at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. The event takes place this Saturday, May 21, it’s free and open to the public, everyone is encouraged to attend.

   The competition features the top thirty teams from across the state, based on their performance at their initial FIRST Regional competition (regardless of location). 

   Denfeld DNA is the #1 ranked non-chairman’s team out of 30 high schools heading to the State Competition this weekend, primarily due to their undefeated championship run at the Lake Superior Regional where they received the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award.  The Duluth East Daredevils are ranked #11 - last year the Daredevils won first place in State with FRC3130 - the ERRORS and FRC4215 - Tritons.  

  Click here for the schedule.   


2016 Guide to Summer Opportunities for Youth

Check out a handy listing of Duluth organizations that offer summer program opportunities for youth!  The publication is produced by the Head of the Lakes United Way 211 and is available as a downloadable PDF.

2016 Go Guide

Also available on the following websites:

Head of the Lakes United Way

Duluth Public Schools

Duluth Parks and Recreation

Duluth Public Library


Lester Park Crayola Experience Featured on National News

   People at Crayola brought the Crayola Experience to Lester Park Elementary and provided one student with a special message from her dad, who’s deployed with the 148th Fighter Wing in South Korea. 

ABC News


Lester Park Students Walk ‘N Roll to School

  Students used their bikes, scooters, skateboards and tennis shoes to get to school, with free coffee for the grownups!  The event was organized by the Lester Park Wellness Council.


Duluth School Board Honors Accomplished Students in Career/Technical Education

   In May the Duluth School Board took time to recognize the accomplishments of students in ISD 709 Career and

Technical Education programs.  

   The programs are designed to help focus students into career/post-secondary pathways that fit their personality and academic interests.   Courses are taught by some of the most highly qualified professionals in the region - over 80% come from industry first and then education, bringing real-world knowledge and connections to help students explore and succeed in the competitive job market.

   The Board presented certificates to:

>>Eric Tahtinen and Erik Kangas, students in the Automotive Technology program and participants in the SkillsUSA competition.  Eric Tahtinen received a gold medal in Automotive Service Technology, earning a $10,000 scholarship to Universal Technical Institute in Illinois plus about $600 worth of Snap On Tools; he advances to the national SkillsUSA competition. Erik Kangas brought home two silver medals, one in Tools and Equipment identification, the other in Safety. 

>>Sean Lindblad and Samuel Carpenter, students in the Culinary Arts program – they also participated in the SkillsUSA competition.  Sean took first place and received a $15,000 scholarship to the New England Culinary Institute; he’s advancing to the National SkillsUSA competition.  Samuel took 2nd place and received a $12,000 scholarship. 

>>Mikayla Cozzi, Johanna Marciniak, Tori Anderson, Augustanna Korkalo, Mariah Goodreau, Jena Kessler, and Lauren Lemker, Health Occupations students and participants in the 2016 HOSA State Leadership Conference competitions.  Individually, these students took from 1st place to 5th place in several categories, including Medical Terminology, HOSA Knowledge Bowl, Public Service Announcement and others.  Mikayla received the Barbara James Service Award.  Johanna and Tori serve as elected State HOSA leaders.  Duluth was recognized as a HOSA Honors Chapter and received National Service Project and Minnesota Service Project recognition.

Learn More:  ISD 709 Career & Technical Education


Summer Breakfast & Lunch Program June 14 – August 26

   Funded by the USDA, meals are provided to children 18 years of age and under without charge, adults who accompany their children can purchase a meal for $3.80.  Meals are served from June 14 - August 26 (no service July 4). 

--Breakfast:  8:00AM to 10:30AM

--Lunch:  11:30AM – 1:00PM 

   Menus include a variety of food items: hot entrees, salads, sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, bread, milk, and dessert items.  Join us for good food and friendly service!

ISD 709 Summer Meal Locations

>Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood Street 

>Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road 

>Myers-Wilkins Elementary, 1027 N 8th Avenue East

>Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue

>Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 North Central Avenue

>Stowe Elementary, 715 – 101st Avenue West

>Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 West Third Street 

>Denfeld High School, 401 North 44th Avenue West 

Also Available: Brown Bag Lunches at Lincoln Park Boys & Girls Club! 2407 West 4th Street


From the City of Duluth:

Ultimate Frisbee Sports Offered at Duluth Heritage Sports Center for Youth

   The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation division is partnering with the Duluth Heritage Sports Center (120 S. 30th Ave West) to offer ultimate frisbee sports for area youth every Sunday from May 15 to June 5. The regular program runs from 1:00PM-5:00 PM during which volunteers will teach kids how to play the sport and coordinate informal games with participants.  
   This event is free and open to youth ages 8-17. Additional details are available at


Fundraiser to Support Denfeld High School Activities

   The “Ford Drive 4UR School” fundraiser will be held Saturday, May 21st between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Denfeld HS.  This no strings attached fundraiser is an easy way for the community to test drive a  vehicle and support Denfeld High School activities at the same time.

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Tom Pearson at if you have any questions.

ISD 709 News

posted May 13, 2016, 8:08 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated May 13, 2016, 8:16 AM ]

Lincoln Park Middle School Teacher Receives $5,000 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award

   Aaron O’Leary, Lincoln Park Middle School, is the recipient of the 2106 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award.  Andy Goldfine, son of Manley and Lillian Goldfine, made the announcement at a reception Thursday evening during which he presented O’Leary with a trophy and a $5,000 check.

   Principal Brenda Vatthauer says, “Aaron’s ability to work with students, parents and staff is outstanding.  He cares about the whole child and will meet with students before school, at lunch or after school to assist them.  He takes time for each student, keeping their needs as his focus.

   “Aaron is a motivated, active educator who understands the complex trends and

variables facing young people today.  His classroom is innovative, creative and active.  You’ll find students fully engaged in inquiry and problem solving, using the latest technology.  Lessons he creates inspire students to expand their knowledge in many areas and apply their learning to real life.” 

   O’Leary is an inspiration not only to students but to his colleagues.  “A cornerstone of Mr. O’Leary’s approach is to remind us constantly to give grace: that patience, kindness and respect for others – and ourselves – necessary to emerge from challenges with our optimism and perseverance intact,” says Stephen Rice, O’Leary’s mentee.   

   According to the nomination materials, O’Leary creates a positive and safe contact for families who might fear and struggle with school and school-related concerns, building trust as a way to support student success.  Says a parent, “Our son has learned so much, he has enjoyed school so much.  He is a happy boy and (Aaron) has a lot to do with that!”

   Six ISD 709 elementary middle and high school teachers were nominated for the Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award based on several criteria, including impact in the classroom, school and community, and their efforts to pursue professional development.   O’Leary was selected for the award by committee through a competitive application process.       

   Manley and Lillian Goldfine established a fund for the Gold Star Teacher Award in 2006 through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, to honor inspirational teachers for their dedication, skills and hard work.  Last year elementary  school teachers were nominated for the award; this year middle and high  school teachers were nominated.


National School Nurse Day - May 11

   We honor our Duluth Public School nurses and more than 73,000 school nurses in the United States who make a difference in the lives of children every day.  School nurses lead the way to advance health and support education by ensuring that students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. Let's celebrate our school nurses today and always! 



Denfeld High School Grad CJ Ham Signs with Minnesota Vikings!  
Congratulations to a talented and deserving young man!

MN Vikings

Duluth News Tribune 

Star Tribune



Students from Duluth East joined German language students from across the area as part in UMD’s Language and Culture Festival.  Through the event, they got to meet their peers from other school districts, discover some interesting information about the German culture, and explore UMD, all in the target language.  

   Awards were presented for a film competition and for successful completion of a campus scavenger hunt:  

First place, Film Festival:  Kevin Michalski, Eric Patterson, Soren Sjerven, and Grant Montgomery

Second Place, Film Festival:  Natasha Wallis, Mikaella Courrege, and Chloe Blair

First place, Scavenger Hunt:  Sam Anderson and Kaitlyn Dexter

Public’s Choice, Film Festival:  Sam Anderson, Magnus Kittilson, and Zane Dietlin

Duluth East German Teachers:  Frau Lull and Frau Hinzmann


Lester Park Student Receives Crayola Experience, Message from Dad
   People at Crayola brought the Crayola Experience to Lester Park Elementary and provided one student with a special message from her dad, who’s deployed with the 148th Fighter Wing in South Korea. 


Fox 21 News


Ordean East Students Named State Winners in the 14th Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition

   Ordean East Middle School team FunGi(rls) is a 1st Place State winner in the 14th annual eCYBERMISSION competition. Ava White, Max Thibault and Grace Ridgewell worked together with team advisor/teacher Annette Strom  to see if drinking tea made from the fungus Chaga has an effect  on health and overall wellness.  

   eCYBERMISSION is administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach program, a national platform for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  Designed to inspire student interest in STEM, eCYBERMISSION challenges students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities. Students compete on state, regional, and national levels for up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity.


LP Walk to School Wednesdays

   Lincoln Park Middle School students, family, staff, and community partners are walking to school every Wednesday during the month of May. 

    “The benefits of walking are numerous,” says Josh Gorham, a Public Health Nurse with St. Louis County. “Walking is an activity that promotes not only physical health, but also mental well-being. The benefits are not just related to health, there can be positive impacts in the classroom as well. Research has shown that students who have opportunities to move before being class are better able to focus in the classroom.”



Congrats to all Ordean East Middle School students who participated in the 2016 Minnesota State History Day Competition!

Receiving honorable mention: 

Individual Exhibit

Tom Rawlyk - Los Alamos National Laboratory of Nuclear Science


Individual Exhibit:

Jade Westrum- USS Jeannette A Doomed Expedition

Max Thibault- American Indian Boarding School

Individual Media Documentary:

Harriet Anderson- Orphan Trains

Ben Keppers- From Diode to Radio

Individual Performance:

Fred Taallerud- Bermuda Triangle/ Flight 19

Individual Website:

Ike Schwetman- The Trinity Tests

Group Websites:

Angie Davie & Saijal Vacek- Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue


Abby Benser, Christopher Stingle, and Andy Stingle, Duluth East High School, are members of the G Team at Spirit Mountain.  They competed at the USASA (United States of America Snowboarding Association) National Competition at Copper Mountain in Colorado. Abby placed 13th in Slalom, 13th in BoarderX, 11th in Giant Slalom, 17th in Half pipe, 7th in Slopestyle, 9th in Rail Jam, which resulted in a 3rd place overall finish. Christopher placed 9th in Open Class Men's Slopestyle and Andy placed 18th in Slopestyle.

ISD 709 News

posted May 5, 2016, 8:08 AM by Communications ISD 709

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  May 2-6, 2016


Denfeld High School Breaks Ground on New ISD 709 Design CenterCenter 

Space Supports FAB Lab Engineering & Design Lab, Robotics, Graphic Arts & Digital Design

   The Denfeld FAB Lab provides Denfeld and Duluth East student inventors the knowledge base to take an idea into a prototype product.  It’s modeled after an MIT course that teaches digital design using 21st century software and equipment.

   Hands-on course work lets students explore robotics, electronics, architecture, metals, woods, plastics, advertising and digital media.  The space includes a Design/Creativity Lab, Printing Lab and Innovations Lab which consists of prototyping, 3D printing, vinyl, laser engraving, fine milling, scanning and creation.  The new space will house big work stations like wood manufacturing equipment, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, metal welding and CNC plasma, and will be used for larger scale projects and development.   

   The Denfeld FAB Lab involves community support and works in partnership with representatives from many organizations, including but not limited to:  Lake Superior College, UMD Swenson College of Engineering, First Technology, Glenwood Signs, Northern Acrylic, Acme Tools, Altec HiLine, Epicurean/Loll Design, Wal-Mart, FIRST Robotics DNA 4009.

ISD 709 Career & Technical Education

Duluth News Tribune



NEW Summer Community Education Course Schedule Online!

   Classes for everyone from children to adults. Programs are open to any area resident, are affordable and close to home.  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


REMINDER: Please RSVP If You Plan to Attend


Honoring Inspirational Public School Teachers

Thursday, May 12, 2016   7:00pm

Duluth East High School

301 N. 40th Avenue East, Duluth MN

Ice Cream Social following program  

Family & Friends Welcome!  If you plan to attend, 

please R.S.V.P. as soon as possible for you and your guests

(RSVPs help with planning for the ice cream, thank you!)



Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day – Friday May 6

   School nutrition staffs strive to make lunchtime the favorite part of every students day. From their friendly greetings in the cafeteria and the love they dish out with every students meal, to how they encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, our school nutrition professionals are truly heroes.  Thanks for all you do!

Denfeld DNA Does Well at FIRST Robotics 2016 World Championship

   In their first ever appearance at this international event in St. Louis, MO, Denfeld DNA Robotics made a strong showing, placing 36 of 75 teams in the Galileo Division.  Students not only competed with the robots they designed and created, they also made new friendships and gained valuable life skills. 

   “We are grateful for all of the support from the sponsors and community that made this amazing experience possible. It was so much more than robots!” said the team press release. 

   Many thanks to all who supported these talented students!

Denfeld DNA Robotics  


Catch the 2016 Denfeld Lip Dub Video
   Students from Denfeld High School worked together to produce the school's 3rd Annual Lip Dub video, featuring nearly the entire student body with appearances by Denfeld teams, clubs and student groups!  

Watch the Video


Logan Griggs, Lincoln Park Middle School, was featured on the local news about his preparations for the upcoming National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.  Go Logan!


Denfeld Theater students received great newspaper coverage for their powerful and moving production of “I Never Saw Another Butterfly.”


Duluth News Tribune


Duluth East Mock Crash Provides Vivid Lesson in Safety

   Duluth East High School and community partners staged a Mock Crash event to help educate students about the terrible, tragic consequences of inattentive/impaired driving and to encourage safe and responsible use of motor vehicles.  Emergency vehicles were staged in the school parking lot before and during the demonstration, with lights and sirens used to simulate an actual crash scenario. 
   Students heard from speaker Matt Logan. Mr. Logan’s daughter DJ lost her life on the way home from school while texting and driving. The Logan family has since taken their story to students across the country to urge young people to drive safely and responsibly. 
   Many thanks to those who worked in partnership to help present The Mock Crash Demonstration: Duluth Police Department, Driving for Safe Communities, Gold Cross Ambulance, Essentia Health, St. Lukes, Life Link, Duluth Fire Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Dukes Towing and the St. Louis County Medical Examiner.



Duluth News Tribune


ISD 709 Employees Recognized by United Way

   The Head of the Lakes United Way recognized ISD 709, along with several other organizations, for the largest increase in total dollars raised for United Way programs.  United Way provides funding for community goals that support education, help people achieve financial stability and promote healthy lives.   


Lester Park Students Succeed at Math Masters

   Students from Lester Park Elementary competed in the NE Regional 5th Grade Math Masters competition in April.  Team #1 placed third in the competition.  Zoe Amerman tied for third place in the individual competition.  Kosmos Vanchurin tied for eighth place in the individual competition.  

Team #1 - Zoe Amerman, Ashlynne Guenther, Eleanor Harrison, Eli Schlotec and Charlie Sutherland

Team #2 - Saige Mattson, Andrew McCall, Nathan Moment, Mariah Pollard-Martin, and Kosmos Vanchurin

   Teacher Anne Krafthefer is the team coach, congratulations to our Lester Park Math Masters!


Historical & Generational Trauma and its Relationship to Adverse Childhood Experiences

~Featuring Sam Simmons~

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 6pm-­8pm

Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium

3215 West 3rd Street, Duluth MN

ALL are WELCOME to this FREE event!

   Sam Simmons has over 25 ­years of experience as a behavioral consultant in the areas of chemical dependency, violence

abatement and historical trauma. He specializes in practical culturally sensitive trauma informed work and promotes healthy nonviolent relationships. Sam is an Adverse Childhood Experience Interface Trainer in the state of Minnesota and is currently the SAFE Families Manager at The Family Partnership, managing the federally funded Be More Project to stop violence.

   Mr. Simmons is respected for his highly informed work around historical trauma and his highly successful Community Empowerment Through Black Men Healing Conference around the country. He plainly states, “A community is empowered by the strength of the information it’s given.”

   This is the second of two sessions on this important topic that will be provided and open to the public this school year. Mr. Simmons has also been working with two cohorts of district staff in a three session Professional Development training series. This is a part of our district’s efforts to assist in meeting our goals of High Achievement for All and Safe & Welcoming Schools.

Questions regarding this event ~ contact Ron Lake ­ Climate Coordinator 218­336­8700 x2014.   


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Myers-Wilkins Elementary hosted “Eat Healthy/Be Active Family Classes” this month.  Parents and children enjoyed a fun evening together learning healthy cooking tips and joining the crew of Carrot Bean in activities combining music and movement with imaginative stories about healthy choices.

--Students in Ordean East Middle School  Life Science Classes raised $905.89 through Pennies for Patients. Proceeds support the work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

--Fourth and fifth grade students at Myers-Wilkins are taking part in the Battle of the Books! They’re encouraged to read from a list of books and vote on their favorite - the winner will be announced at the end of the school year.

-- ISD 709 elementary schools helped raise  $19,010 to support healthy hearts this year.  Students took part in Jump Rope For Heart activities during Physical Education classes.  The jumping stations aligned with National PE Standards and helped raise a total of $19,010 for American Heart Association efforts to combat heart disease.  

--Sarah Chiodi, Duluth East High School, participated in the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Equestrian Athlete Lettering program.  This program was developed to provide recognition for the accomplishments of young equestrians and encourage their future involvement in equestrian sport.

--Konrad Kausch, Ordean East Middle School, was named the 2016 Goalie of the Year on Ten Minutes with Tony Scott. Kausch was selected over 11 other youth goalies nominated at the close of the season. Kausch completed his two year PeeWee career taking second place in the state with Duluth East's PeeWee AA team.

-- Congratulations to Cullen White, Jude Goossens, and Gabriel Stanley, Duluth East HS,  for placing 7th at the 2016 Minnesota History Day competition with their Senior Group Documentary, "Atoms Split, Worlds Collide:  Scientific Exchanges in Nuclear Physics and Their Global Implications.”  Approximately 70 documentaries were entered at the beginning of regional competition.

-- Hunter Rackliffe, member of the G Team at Spirit Mountain, competed at the USASA (United States of America Snowboarding Association) National Competition at Copper Mountain in Colorado.  He earned 32nd in Slopestyle and 11th in Halfpipe.

ISD 709 News

posted Apr 27, 2016, 12:03 PM by Communications ISD 709

Denfeld Students Receive Recognition for Teddy Bear Drive

   During their regular April meeting Duluth School Board members took time to recognize students in Jennifer Fabbro’s class at Denfeld High School.  Working with the rest of the student body and staff, they conducted a Teddy Bear Drive, collecting ten boxes of stuffed animals to give to police, fire and paramedics.  The emergency professionals will give the toys to children they may encounter who are frightened or distressed. The drive is a good example of project-based learning, students working on a project and learning a variety of academic, team-building and social skills as they go.   


Committee of the Whole Discusses Playground Surfacing

  Members of the Duluth School Board, a representative from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and a group of parents reviewed information related to rubber mulch used in playground surfacing in Duluth and across the state.  Over the past year, the parent group started an online petition and expressed concern for potential exposure to toxic chemicals and other issues regarding rubber mulch. 

   There have been many studies, with results ranging from low to no risk to some potential risk of exposure to contaminants, with as yet inconclusive results.

   According to the MDH, given the extensive use of synthetic turf in Minnesota and the lack of reported health issues associated with their use, it is unlikely that they pose a significant, acute health concern.  In their presentation they say more information is needed to assess possible long-term issues and cite two major studies currently underway, one by the Environmental Protection Agency, the other by the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment.  A draft status report is expected in late 2016 for the EPA, the California study will run through 2018.

   “The safety and health of our students is the highest priority,” said Bill Gronseth, Superintendent, in his presentation.  “We appreciate hearing from parents and share their desire that our playgrounds be safe and healthy places to play.”  The School Board will continue to review and take information under consideration.  


Lakewood Elementary Environmental Day

   Students from Lakewood Elementary enjoyed an activity-filled day learning about the great outdoors - safety around water, fish habitat, archery, macro invertebrates, wild rice, environmental storytelling, birding, bird banding, and orienteering.  The goal of the day is to give the students a better understanding and appreciation for the environment around them.  The day was made possible in part through partnerships with the National Estuary Research Reserve, Minnesota DNR MinnAqua Program, the University of Minnesota – Duluth, Fond du Lac, Hawk Ridge and other local, regional and state organizations.  




NEW Summer Community Education Course Schedule Coming This Weekend!

   Classes for everyone from children to adults.  Programs are open to any area resident, are affordable and close to home.  Look for a new course schedule online or in this weekend’s Budgeteer newspaper.

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


Congdon Park Destination Imagination Team Advances to State! 

   DI Minnesota inspires and equips students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Congdon Park 7 Mysterious Unicorns Team: Gage Canavan, Ryan Carlson, Andre Good, Zach Marshak, Bianca McGiffert, Emily Spearman, Colin Willemsen.  Team Managers: Jeana Marshak and Renee Willemsen

Competing in Fine Arts, Get A Clue.  


2016 Pathways to Postsecondary Summit

Aligning ABE, MnSCU Campuses & Community Partners for Student Success

   The purpose of the summit is to expand Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ (MnSCU) ability to partner with Adult Basic Education (ABE) providers, workforce development, and community-based organizations to expand opportunities for students to access postsecondary credit-bearing pathways.  The event came about through a growing collaboration between Lake Superior College and ISD 709 Adult Basic Education and integration in developmental and college level courses on the LSC campus.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Lake Superior College, Duluth, MN

9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Check in and continental breakfast starts at 8:15 a.m.

Registration is FREE!

Register here for May 6th at Lake Superior College.


Job Opportunities – ISD 709 Duluth Public Schools

   Seeking applicants for the following contract, substitute and hourly positions:


>>Food Service Helpers


>>Playground/Cafeteria Monitors

>>Special Education Teachers

>>Teachers (Minnesota Licensed)

Interested? Know someone who might be? Complete an online application!  


Early Childhood Registration for 2016-17 Now Open 

   The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid growth. A variety of helpful programs for parents and their children are available through ISD 709.

View our registration newsletter 

NEW!  Online registration form for ECFE

NEW!  Online registration form for Preschool

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