School News

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

ISD 709 News

posted Apr 22, 2016, 1:40 PM by Communications ISD 709

Lowell STEM Day: Science-Technology-Engineering-Math-FUN!

   Students at Lowell Elementary enjoyed a day of engaging, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities through a partnership with faculty and students from The College of St. Scholastica.  The day was designed to spark their natural enthusiasm for exploration and discovery and introduce exciting career paths. 

   Students watched and measured a mock volcanic eruption (using sand and water), saw how engineers construct buildings to withstand damage from earthquakes (using jello, marshmallows and toothpicks), studied the basic chemical features of DNA (building a candy DNA model and viewing pea DNA under a microscope),  and the basic structural and functional features of cells, designed parachutes for an egg drop challenge, investigated the digestive, circulatory and visual systems of the body and more.

Learn More – ISD 709 Elementary Schools


Ordean East Students Succeed at State Science & Engineering Fair

   The 2016 Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair took place this month in Bloomington.  

Congratulations to these award-winning students from Ordean East Middle School and to 

all students who participated:

Lucas Harrison:

3M Innovations Award ($1,000)

Wolfram Research Award (Mathematical Software)

Broadcom Masters (Move on to National On-line Competition)

Seagate Emerging Scientist Award (Trophy)

Top 7th Grade Papers Award (Medal)

Gold Award for Top 5% (Medal)

Shanze Hayee and Clara Kramer:

Broadcom Masters (Move on to National On-line Competition)

Bronze Award for Top 30% (Medal)

Teagan Flynn and Erin Coleman:

Office of Naval Research Award (Certificate and Medal)

Kudos to their colleagues:  Josie Faye, Nabiha Imtiaz and Emelia McGiffert and to their teacher Annette Strom.


IT'S COMING - 2016 Denfeld High School Lip Dub!
Produced by Denfeld students with participation from nearly the entire student body, this year’s Lip Dub debuts Monday April 25, click below to see the trailer.


Denfeld, Duluth East Students Give Back to Community Through ACTion Day

   While 11th Grade students took the ACT Plus Writing Test on April 19, other students had the day off and were encouraged to use that day to make a difference in our community. 
   Through ACTion Day, the Head of the Lakes United Way helped provide volunteer opportunities - working in the Damiano Soup Kitchen, creating a new “Rhubarbara” for the CHUM Rhubarb Festival, cleaning the Lake Superior Railroad Museum at the Depot and more.
   Members of the Denfeld DNA Robotics Team volunteered at the Depot, helping clean up the rail yard and demonstrating their robot in The Depot’s Great Hall for museum patrons. Team 4009 makes an annual tradition of pitching in and volunteering on ACTion day, and team members thoroughly enjoy giving back to the community.
LearnMore About ISD 709 High Schools 
Fox21 News  


Stowe Elementary Hosts Environmental Resource Fair

   Stowe Elementary students combined learning and fun during the school’s Environmental Resource Fair.  They had an opportunity to pet a turtle and snake, learn about Ojibwe seasonal harvesting, explore the lives of bats and bugs, animals of northern Minnesota, mountain biking, reptiles, composting, recycling and much more.  Many thanks to UM Extension, WLSSD, St. Louis River Alliance, US Forest Service, Boulder Lake ELC, Jay Cooke State Park, the Lake Superior Zoo and other local and regional organizations that helped make this event possible!


Myers-Wilkins World Beat Drummers to Perform at Duluth’s Homegrown Music Festival in May

   Myers-Wilkins Elementary School organizes an after-school, African-based drum circle group comprised of  students from grades 4 and 5. World Beat uses authentic dress, percussion instruments, and rhythms to perform original, global-style compositions regionally and throughout the state. Recent gigs include school functions, community fundraisers and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson’s Inauguration. Directors of the program include Teri Akervik, Michelle Bowker and Adam Metzer.

Friday May 6, 7:00PM

Sacred Heart Music Center

201 West 4th Street, Duluth MN

Homegrown Music Festival Schedule


Denfeld Hosts  Asian Pacific Legal Experience in America

Fox 21 News


Duluth Speech Teams Prepare for State Competition



Ordean East DI Team Prepares for Nationals




Piedmont Elementary Panther Fest – Kicking Off MCAs

Duluth News Tribune

Fox 21 News


Angela Park, Duluth East, is the High School Winner in the 2016 H2O Minnesota Department of Health “Use Water Wisely” poster contest.  Angela received a $50.00 prize from H2O representatives from White Bear Lake, and her poster will be displayed by H2O. Congratulations Angela!

Learn More


Denfeld, Duluth East HOSA Students Excel at State Leadership Conference

   Congratulations to Denfeld and Duluth East HOSA students (Future Health Professionals) for a solid performance at the 2016 HOSA State Leadership Conference competitions.  They will be attending the International Leadership Conference/ Competition in Nashville, TN in June. 

Students received Minnesota HOSA recognition for:

>>National Service Project- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 

>>HOSA Honors Chapter

>>Mikayla Cozzi  (Denfeld) :  Barbara James Service Award

>>Minnesota Service Projects Award 

ISD 709 High Schools have two elected State leaders: 

>Johanna Marciniak, Denfeld (State Medical Reserve Corp )

>Tori Anderson, East (State Secretary)

Nursing Assistance:

1st Place:  Augustanna Korkalo (East)

2nd Place:  Mariah Goodreau (Denfeld)

3rd Place:  Johanna Marciniak (Denfeld)

5th Place:  Jena Kessler (East)                      

Medical Terminology:

1st Place:  Augustanna Korkalo (East)

HOSA Bowl: (Knowledge Bowl for Health Care)

2nd Place :  Lauren Lemker (Denfeld), Tori Anderson (East), Jena Kessler (East), Augustanna Korkalo (East)

Home Health Aide:

3rd Place:  Lauren Lemker (Denfeld)

4th Place:  Augustanna Korkalo (East)       

Public Service Announcement: 

2015 - 2016 Topic/Sitting is Death:  All About Physical Activity

3rd Place:  Augustanna Korkalo (East), Jena Kessler (East), Tori Anderson (East)   

Learn More:  ISD 709 Career & Technical Education                                             


ISD 709 Automotive Students Succeed at SkillsUSA Competition

  Eric Tahtinen (Duluth East) and Erik Kangas (Denfeld), students in ISD 709’s Automotive Technology program, participated in the 2016 SkillsUSA competition in the Twin Cities and came away with high marks.

  Eric took a first place gold medal in Automotive Service Technology, earning a $10,000 scholarship to UTI (Universal Technical Institute in Lyse, IL) and approximately $600 in Snap On tools.  He and instructor Phil Rannila will attend the National SkillsUSA Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, in June, where Eric will compete for the national title. Erik Kangas brought home two silver medals, one in Tools & Equipment Identification, the other in Safety. 

   Eric and Erik are taking part in Automotive and Engines classes, a high school program of distinction, certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).  They’re 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


From Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius

Water Action Week in Minnesota

   It’s a week-long effort to engage Minnesotans in conversations about the challenges facing lakes, rivers, and drinking water systems.  Establishing an ethic of responsible stewardship needs to start early - MN Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius urges parents, teachers and school leaders to talk with young people about the importance of water in our lives, and what Minnesotans can do—even as children—to leave a lasting legacy of clean water for this generation, and generations that follow.
 Water Action Week website

 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s website 

 Visit to learn more.

ISD 709 News

posted Apr 18, 2016, 3:39 PM by Communications ISD 709

**IMPORTANT REMINDER:  Tuesday April 19, 2016:  ACT Test Day & ACTion Day**

   The ACT Plus Writing test will be administered to 11th Grade students on Tuesday, April 19.  Participation is expected of all 11th grade students except those exempted by their IEP and notified by their case managers.

   >>Students at Denfeld and Duluth East:  9th, 10th, and 12th grade students will not attend school April 19 in order to accommodate the test - they’re encouraged to take part in ACTion Day, an opportunity for students who have the day off to give back to the community.  11th grade students will attend school and follow a special test day schedule.

   >>Students attending AEO, ALC and Residential Programs:  9th, 10th, and 12th Grade students will attend school as usual on April 19.  11th Grade students participating in the test should contact their guidance counselor or school principal to make arrangements.

Learn More About ACT Test Day

   ACTion Day:  While 11th Grade students are taking the ACT Plus Writing Test on April 19, 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 Head of the Lakes United Way is helping provide volunteer opportunities for students - working in the Damiano Soup Kitchen, helping create a new “Rhubarbara” for the CHUM Rhubarb Festival, cleaning the Railroad Museum and more - it's One Day to Make A Difference!


Congratulations 2016 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 12 and receive $5,000 through a fund established by Manley and Lillian Goldfine. 

   Congratulations 2016 Nominees:

>>Edwinae Bangsund, Residentials/Day Treatment

>>Ted Ford, Duluth East High School

>>Debra Halver, Area Learning Center/AEO

>>Michele Helbacka, Denfeld High School

>>Tracy Litman, Ordean East Middle School

>>Aaron O’Leary, Lincoln Park Middle School

   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 a secondary school teacher; last year it went to an elementary school teacher.


Congdon Park Kindergarten Students Visit Duluth East for Tomato Man Project

   Kindergarten students from Congdon Park Elementary visited the greenhouse at Duluth East High School to learn about seeds, how they grow, and plant seeds as part of the annual Tomato Man project.  

   As part of their Plant Sciences coursework, high school students are growing the

seedlings in the school greenhouse.  They’ll bring the plants to Congdon Park to be transplanted into larger containers that the elementary students can take home toward the end of the school year. 

ISD 709 Career & Technical Education

   Plant Sciences is part of the Agriculture and Forestry career cluster through ISD 709 Career & Technical Education.  It offers two main pathways for students to explore: Plant Sciences 1 and 2 along with Forestry, Fish and Wildlife management.  Both programs are great ways for students to delve into science related career and life skills.  Programs are offered to students who attend Denfeld and Duluth East High Schools, the courses are currently located on the East campus with transportation provided by the district.  More Online

The Tomato Man Project

   The Tomato Man Project, started by the late Ray Picconatto, provides starter tomato plants to area elementary students along with instructions for the plant’s care and a tomato recipe to try.


Fox 21 News


Lincoln Park Middle School Student Prepares for National Spelling Bee

Logan Griggs is preparing to compete in Washington, DC in May.
Duluth News Tribune Article


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?  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


ISD 709 News

posted Apr 14, 2016, 7:53 AM by Communications ISD 709

Lester Park, Lincoln Park Destination Imagination Teams Advance to State 
   DI Minnesota inspires and equips students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.
Lester Park End Scene Crew Team: Greta Hendrickson, Taytem Shields, Jackson Wagner, Bode Swanson, Rory Flynn, Isla Pepelnjak.  Team Managers: Sara Hendrickson, Erin Pepelnjak.  Competing in Improv Challenge.  Lester Park DI is sponsored by the Lester Park Foundation.
Lincoln Park Apocalyptic Guinea Pigs Team:
  Serena Barker, Ben Walker, Carson Schulte, Annabelle Soderberg.  Coach Karen McCormick.


Denfeld, Duluth East Students Advance to State Speech Tournament

   Members of the Duluth Speech Team will compete this weekend at the Minnesota State High School League State Speech Tournament. Duluth East students:  Kayla Nyenhuis, Grant Carl.  Denfeld students:  Leighton Strom, Michaela Ossanna, Anna Leonard, Skyler Nelson, Dalton Lipinski.  Let their voices be strong!


Denfeld Students Tour Washington, DC Universities, Historic Sites

   The TRIO Talent search program took four Denfeld High School students - Lauren Huchel, Taylor Karjala, Julia Ketola, Austin Nelson - to Washington DC to tour George Washington University and Georgetown University.  Students also visited memorials, Smithsonian Museums, the Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, and the White House. 

   “These young people were not only very fine representatives of their school but also of their families, community and this program,”  says Susan Kurth, Director of Talent Search.  

   Educational Talent Search (ETS) is a college preparatory program federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Programs with The College of St. Scholastica sponsorship.  The Program encourages students to complete high school and enroll in a post-secondary educational institution.  Participants and parents receive information on academic, career, and college planning, including financial aid resources and applications. 


ISD 709 Culinary Arts Students Win Big Scholarships at SkillsUSA!

   Sean Lindblad and Samuel Carpenter, students in ISD 709’s Culinary Arts program, participated in the 2016 SkillsUSA competition at St. Cloud Technical College and came away with some exciting awards.

   Sean took 1st place and received a $15,000 scholarship to the New England Culinary Institute.  He’ll advance to the National competition this spring.  Samuel took 2nd Place and received a $12,000 scholarship to the New England Culinary Institute.

   The competition required students to demonstrate classical knife cuts and show their culinary skills by creating a salad, and then an entrée consisting of a pan seared chicken breast with a pan sauce, rice pilaf and caramelized carrots, all within two hours.    

   ISD 709 Career & Technical Education:  The classes taken by Sean and Samuel are part of the Hospitality and Tourism career cluster available through ISD 709 Career & Technical Education, offering opportunities from cooking, serving, hotel management and services all the way marketing and service in large convention settings.  More Online


U.S. Representative Rick Nolan Visits Duluth Head Start

   Representative Nolan was invited by the Duluth Head Start Policy Council to visit   Head Start classrooms at Myers-Wilkins Elementary and learn more about how the program is making a positive difference in the lives of children in Duluth.

   Head Start is a comprehensive program for children 0-5 years old and their families with incomes below the federal poverty guideline.  Families receive comprehensive services in early childhood education, health and nutrition, parent involvement, special needs coordination, and family support and advocacy.  

LEARN MORE:  ISD 709 Early Childhood Programs:  Registration for

2016-17 School Year Now Open!





The Denfeld Theater is proud to present the WWII drama

"I Never Saw Another Butterfly" by Celeste Raspanti. 

April 28 – 30, 7:00PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth

Tickets at the Auditorium doors:  $8.00 General Admission
   During WWII, over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, a concentration camp, and only about a hundred were still alive when Terezin was liberated at the end of the war. Raja lived through it all, teaching the children when there was nothing to teach with, helping give them hope when there was little reason for hope. 
   This play is her story. It is history as much as any play can be history, showing the best and worst of which the human heart is capable. 

For more information, call 218-330-8836 ex.1028 or join us on Facebook: or on Twitter: DenfeldTheater


Denfeld Students Collect Teddy Bears for Children in Emergency Situations

   Students in Jennifer Fabbro’s class at Denfeld High School organized a teddy bear drive, collecting stuffed animals for the Duluth Police, Fire Department and emergency responders to give to children who are scared or upset in emergency situations.  They worked with students and staff to collect nearly 400 bears!

Budgeteer Article    


GED Now Free for Minnesotans

   Governor Mark Dayton recently announced that taking the General Educational Development (GED) Test, it is now free to anyone living in Minnesota through June 30, 2016. To take advantage of this opportunity:

>> Register online at the GED website OR

>> Contact Duluth’s Adult Basic Education program

Staff will help walk you through the registration process and also provide resources and classes to prepare for taking the test.  Let us help you get ready for GED success!

Read Governor's Office press release.

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