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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.