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ISD 709 News

posted Apr 29, 2014, 2:17 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Apr 30, 2014, 8:40 AM ]

Duluth School Board Honors Duluth Aviation Institute for STEM Program

During their regular April meeting, Duluth School Board members took time to recognize the Duluth
Aviation Institute for its support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education through its Path to Aviation program. Founder Sandra Ettestad and Institute Aviation Instructor Marcel LaFond accepted the award on behalf of the Institute.  

In collaboration with area school districts, the Duluth Aviation Institute provides in-class STEM education for sixth graders. The Path to Aviation lessons provide an opportunity for students to have a real-world educational experience designed to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The top 15% of students who excel in the program are rewarded with a Young Eagles Flight from the Sky Harbor Airport.


Congratulations 2014 Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award Nominees

Manley and Lillian Goldfine established the $5,000 award 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. This year the award will go to a secondary school teacher; last year it went to an elementary school teacher.

2014 Nominees:

Ginger Backus, Ordean East Middle School

Cindy Grindy, Duluth East High School

Jane Ness, Residential/Day Treatment Centers

Matthew "Phil" Rannila, Denfeld High School

Karla Winterfeld, Lincoln Park Middle School

Peg Zahorik, Area Learning Center/Unity High School

Nominees will be honored and the final Award recipient announced at a special ceremony May 14, 2014. Teachers are nominated and selected for the 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.


Annual Plant (and Maple Syrup) Sale! Mark your calendars!

When: Wednesday, May 14, 9:00AM - 4:30PM

Where: East High School Greenhouse, 301 North 40th Avenue East

We have beautiful geraniums, vegetables, herbs and many flowering annuals this year.

NEW PRODUCT: Maple Syrup! Two awesome Forestry, Fish and Wildlife students, David Rowe and Nick Feldhake, have been tapping our maple trees in the East School Forest! They will be selling pints of syrup at the sale for $15.00 ea.

Please come to our sale and support our FFA and fabulous students!

For More Information: Jennifer Madole, 218-336-8845 ext. 4039


Myers-Wilkins and Lowell Elementary Schools Present

All Aboard The Peace Train!

May 1 at 10:00AM and 6:00PM & May 2 at 12:45PM and 6:00PM

in the Myers-Wilkins Gymnasium, 1027 N. 8th Avenue East

With gratitude, we acknowledge the generosity of organizations that support our programs: City of Duluth Parks and Recreation, CDBG-Community Development Block Grant, College of St. Scholastica, Duluth Youth Agency Council (DYAC), Essentia Corporate Contributions, ISD#709’s Office of Educational Equity, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth, Minnesota Literacy Council (VISTAs), Minnesota Power Foundation, MDE 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Northland Foundation, Ordean Foundation, Pohlad Foundation, United Way of Greater Duluth,YMCA, Youth of Duluth, YWCA, and individual donors.


From the City of Duluth:

--Champions Building Champions

At the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, 120 S. 30th Avenue West

Play sports activities on the Turf! Free Opportunity for Youth Age 7 – 17

Activities are facilitated by collegiate athletes who focus on building constructive relationships

With the youth involved while teaching the basics of sports and athletic games

Spring Schedule: Thursdays 4PM – 6PM, April 17 – May 22

Summer Schedule: Thursdays 3PM – 5PM, June 19 – August 21

For information: James at 727-1939, Sponsored by Men As Peacemakers

--ULTIMATE (frisbee) for KIDS!

This is an opportunity for youth ages 10-15 to learn the game of Ultimate and play games run by parent volunteers on the indoor turf at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center. Participants will have opportunities to learn the basics, practice new skills and play informal pick-up games with others.

Skill development and practice sessions

Wednesdays, May 7, 21, 28, 7-8pm (no session May 14)

Game Days

Sundays, May 11, 18, 25 and June 1, 1-3pm

For more information, please call 723-4322.



--The Denfeld Nordic Ski Teams were honored for academic excellence! The Denfeld Girls Nordic Ski Team earned the Gold Award for an average combined GPA of 3.83 and the Boys Nordic Ski team earned the Silver Award with an average combined GPA of 3.71.

-- Cheryl Lien, Duluth East, has been selected Assistant Principal of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, NE Division.

-- Bea Kehr, ISD 709 Driver Education Instructor, received the Matt Berry Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Driver and Traffic Safety Association. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to traffic safety education.. Bea received the award at the organization’s annual conference for her leadership in the field and her ongoing dedication to helping Duluth teens become safe drivers.

--Piedmont teacher Elizabeth Kersting-Peterson received recognition at the Go Boldly Expo for her accomplishments in inspiring students in the area of science. The event, held in St. Paul, featured astronauts Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Jack Schmitt, and Dr. Karen Nyberg.

--Duluth East High School Teacher Jon Flaa is the recipient of a 2013-14 Star of Innovation Award from the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. He received the award for his “Prescription for Success” program, which offers an opportunity for students who are falling behind in coursework or who need extra help to get back on track.

--Ordean East students Danielle Likar, Olivia Pawlyk, Rebecca Miles and Katie Carlson created a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) project around improving school safety and have been selected as an eCYBERMISSION Regional Finalist. If selected as a National Finalist, each team member will receive a $2,000 US Savings Bond and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington DC.

--Students from Piedmont Elementary have advanced to the MN Student Inventors Congress State event to be held in May at the Minneapolis Convention Center. As part of the 57th annual Invention Expo, which is the oldest annual, continuous running, invention convention in the world, they will show off their inventions among other students from Minnesota and hundreds of adult inventors from across the country.

--The Piedmont Elementary PTA received the Diamond Award at the Annual Minnesota PTA convention for a 164% increase in membership for 2013-2014. The Homecroft PTA also received this award with an increase of 135% in membership. The award recognizes the increasing support and investment from parents and teachers in our schools who volunteer their time to enhance our children’s educational experience and community connectedness.