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ISD 709 News

posted Mar 8, 2016, 11:50 AM by Communications ISD 709
Denfeld DNA Robotics Team Wins 2016 Lake Superior Regional – On Their Way to World Championship
   Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) FIRST Robotics Team 4009 competed at the Lake Superior Regional at the DECC March 4th & 5th. Between qualification and elimination rounds the team played fourteen matches and went undefeated. 
   DNA was ranked first after qualification rounds and chose alliance partners Hawaiian Kids Team 359 from Waialua, HI, and the rookie Mystery Machine Team 6175 from Eden Valley, MN. 

   In addition to winning the Lake Superior Regional, Denfeld Nation Automation also won the Engineering Inspiration Award. This engineering award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school and community and comes with a paid registration for the World
Championship in St. Louis, MO on April 28-30th!

DNA Robotic Website


Duluth East Daredevils Receive 2016 Innovation in Control Award

   At the 2016 Northern Lights Regional, the Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team received the Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation.  The Award celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components – electrical, mechanical, or software – to provide unique machine functions.

Kindergarten Students Cheer on Daredevils at Regionals

Daredevils Website


Congratulations Lowell Principal Jennifer Larva – 2016 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award   
   The Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) recognized Jennifer Larva with the 2016 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award.  Principals are responsible for a school’s instructional, school culture, and resource leadership. The award honors principals whose exemplary leadership and sustained efforts have made noteworthy contributions to the operation of effective school learning programs — improving education, their communities, and their profession. She was recognized by colleagues statewide during the annual MESPA Institute, the statewide convention of Minnesota’s elementary and middle level principals.


ISD 709 Teachers Emerson and Schingen – Semifinalists for 2016 MN Teacher of the Year
   Mike Emerson, Denfeld High School, and Joe Schingen, Academic Excellence Online High School, have been chosen as semi-finalists for 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. A panel of 23 community leaders chose the 34 semi-finalists from an initial group of 115 candidates from across the state. The panel will review the semi-finalist’s portfolios again in late March and select about 10 finalists from among the group. A 2016 Teacher of the Year will be announced in May.
   The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 52nd year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education. The program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota's thousands of excellent educators.


Congratulations Duluth East Alum Gaelynn Lea!

   (from the NPR website)  Singer-songwriter Gaelynn Lea, a Duluth artist who plays and teaches fiddle, has won National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Contest with a moving rendition of her song “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun.” 

More from NPR


Well Done, Denfeld Physical Science Students

   Denfeld 9 grade physical science students competed in the American Society of Civil Engineers annual toothpick bridge competition, held at UMD’s Civil Engineering Lab.  John Faynik and Derek Devere each placed in the top 6 out of 140 total bridges in the “strongest bridge” category – Jon’s held over 114 pounds!  Chanel Carillo took 3rd place in the “most aesthetically pleasing” category. 


AmeriCorps Week March 5 – 12, 2016

   AmeriCorps Week is a time to salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their service, thank community partners, and communicate AmeriCorps impact on communities and on the lives of those who serve. Many thanks to our True North AmeriCorps members who enhance the future success of at-risk children by increasing the number of positive adults in their lives with tutoring, mentoring and after-school programs. 


Lakewood Elementary True North Americorps members Paula Miller and Danielle Anderson helped kick of “Read Across America” month by celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday in March. They motivated students by dressing up and reading the new Seuss book  What Pet Should You Get?  The two were instrumental in decorating for the events and encouraging all children to read, read, read! 


Duluth East Students Are National Merit Finalists

   Sanna Berdahl, Sharon Billman and James Hirsch have advanced to National Merit Scholarship Award Finalists.  All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments. 


Lester Park Students Collect $3,330 for Jump Rope for Heart

   During Lester Park’s Jump Rope for Heart event, held in the school gym during Phy. Ed. classes, students jumped rope and on mini trampolines, played basketball, ran an obstacle course and jumped over jump sticks. The effort paid off, with students breaking their goal to collect a total of $3,330 to help support healthy hearts.


The Denfeld Hunter's Peewee A team took second place during the Minnesota Hockey Regional tournament!  Best wishes as the team advances to the Minnesota Hockey state tournament in Greenway starting March 11.  Team members include:  Sam Aamodt, Dominic Brennen, Parker Ray, Cole Olson, Conner McClure, Jacob Horton, Matthew Scribner, Kaden Postal, Kade Shea, Jacob Snyder, Carson Mehling, Nate Burke, Blake Imhoff, Andy Larson, Cooper McClure.  Coaches are Jon Aamodt, RJ Larson, Tim Kleiman.


Duluth Students Take Part in 31st Annual Young Author’s Conference

   ISD 709 student representatives from every classroom Kindergarten through Grade 5 joined students from across the region to take part in the Young Author’s Conference at the College of St. Scholastica.  Students listened to guest children's author Lisa Bullard, divided into smaller grade level writing groups and heard from presenters  who shared their professional writing experiences.  Each student then wrote a short piece and shared it with the group. 

   The event was organized by Arrowhead Reading Council Co-Presidents Shane Johnson (Laura MacArthur Elementary teacher) and Katie Oliver (Lincoln Park Middle School teacher), with assistance from Rachel Moseley (Piedmont teacher), and Scott Markle (ISD 709 substitute teacher).  The Arrowhead Reading Council is affiliated with the Minnesota Reading Association and the International Literacy Association. 


German Language Students Earn Honorable Mentions, Enjoy Cultural Experience

   German language students from Ordean East, Denfeld and Duluth East participated in German Day at the Minnesota Zoo.  Upper level students competed with peers from across the state in informational and entertaining presentations and two ISD 709 groups walked away with Honorable Mentions.  Congratulations to Sea Turtle (Grant Montgomery, Soren Sjerven, Kevin Michalski, Anthony Christenson, and John Lucia) and the Moose (Sam Brickley, Jackson Churchill, Colin Dott, Nathaniel Rosholt, Troy Martin, and Aaron Hess).   


FREE Family Night Out at Community Action Duluth

Take part in free, fun art and science projects

2424 West 5th Street – lower level cafeteria

Kids of all ages are welcome - must be with their parents/caregivers

5:30PM – 7:00PM, Light dinner included

>>Wednesday, March 9:  Northern Expressions Arts Collective with All Things Small with Shrinky Dinks—take home your creation!

>>Wednesday, April 13:  Celebrate Earth Day with Northern Expressions Arts Collective by creating “melted crayon art” using recycled materials. Bring your old, broken crayons!  (There will be crayons available, but we cannot guarantee favorite colors!)

>>Wednesday, May 11:  Space Science, make constellations out of spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows and other space activities with Duluth Children’s Museum


Spring Fun & Learning for the Entire Family – Sign Up for a Duluth Community Education Class  
   Classes for everyone from children to adults. Learn swing dancing, how to make spring rolls or scones, attract bats, create a chemical-free household, work a computer, fly cast, scuba dive, do tai chi, paint, speak a different language, plan a trip, swim, get fit, plan your retirement, learn rosemaling, do some star gazing, fiction writing, ballroom dancing and much more. Programs are open to any area resident, are affordable and close to home. 
   Check your March 6 Budgeteer Newspaper or review the opportunities online:…
   DO YOU HAVE A SKILL/TALENT YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? TEACH A COMMUNITY EDUCATION CLASS!  For more information, email: or call 218-336-8760 or


Scrubs Camps 2016 Registration Now Open
   Campers will experience a variety of interactive hands-on activities and special field trips to get them excited about careers in the health sciences.  Sessions are led by healthcare professionals and faculty from area colleges and universities. 

Duluth Middle School Scrubs Day Camp, June 14-15, 2016
Location:  Lake Superior College
Camp Fee:  FREE (Courtesy Essentia and St. Lukes)

Register Online
Learn More:  View a short video to see what camp is like (click play button on photo)


Big Red Bookshelves Need Restocking

   The Big Red Bookshelf Project places bright bookshelves stocked with gently-used or new books, appropriate for children from infants to third-graders, in the community where families with young children visit. The program was started by the United Way of Greater Duluth in March 2009 with six shelves placed around the Duluth community. Today there are 18 bookshelves hosted by the Duluth Children's Museum in locations such as the CHUM family shelter, Duluth Grill, Safe Haven Shelter, Duluth YMCA and St. Luke's Pediatrics.

   To donate, bring books to the Duluth Children’s Museum at 115 S. 29th Ave. W. in Duluth on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Books can be dropped at the welcome desk of the museum.