School News‎ > ‎

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.