Fundraiser will support #BurnsvilleStrong's new transition program for students

Posted on June 5, 2015

The #BurnsvilleStrong initiative will be involved in a new transition program to welcome and support new students at Burnsville High School next year and organizers have scheduled a fundraiser on June 28 to support the new effort.

Students going into 11th and 12th grades will attend training this summer to serve as peer mentors during the upcoming school year.

Organizers hope the program will further expand in the 2016-17 school year to welcome and support 9th grade students when they become part of the redesigned Burnsville High School serving grades 9-12 together.   

“As we gear up for 2016-17, we feel as though a program of this nature will foster positivity, respect, and make Burnsville High School an even greater place to learn and grow,” said Jen Waller, a BHS teacher who is involved with #BurnsvilleStrong.

“With all of our seniors being here on one campus, the opportunities to develop their leadership and mentoring skills to support and guide our incoming 9th graders are endless,” said Principal Dave Helke. “It’s exciting to look forward to the leadership potential of having all seniors at the main campus all day to create a supportive 9-12 school community.”

To help fund the peer training, #BurnsvilleStrong is sponsoring a fundraiser on Sunday, June 28. A Motorcycle Run will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. followed by a Burger Bash at Neisen’s in Savage from 2 to 6 p.m. [View flyer] Half the proceeds will go toward #BurnsvilleStrong and the other half to the BHS Black & Gold Foundation.

The  #BurnsvilleStrong initiative was started last year by students and staff at the high school in response to the tragic deaths of current and recently-graduated students. Its goal is to unite the community in supporting and encouraging the well-being and success of young people in many ways.

Posted in Community | Tagged #burnsvillestrong, bhs, real-world ready, community partners

Metcalf club hooks kids on outdoor fun

Posted on June 4, 2015

Math teacher Ross Benson started the Metcalf Junior High fishing club in 2010 with some simple benefits in mind for students: meet friends, learn about fishing, learn about water ecology, and to fish. The simple approach has reeled in plenty of participants.

The club meets a handful of times after school to learn about different types of fish and how to catch them, practice casting, tie knots and even learn jig making. Plus, they’ll take two or three field trips per year, sometimes just walking from Metcalf to Cedar Pond to fish for sunnies. Other times, the club has fished the Mississippi or gone ice fishing at bigger local lakes. On one trip to Crystal Lake, more than 70 kids and parents gathered to fish, grill and have fun out on the ice.

Benson, who grew up in Burnsville and graduated from Burnsville High School, says his summers were spent waking early to catch minnows in a pond near his house before riding with friends to fish at Lake Alimagnet. He just wants to pass that enjoyment on to the students he sees every day.

“Fishing is an excellent sport that is fun and can be very inexpensive. It keeps kids off the couch and gets them outdoors and having fun,” he said.

See more photos on Facebook

Tagged metcalf, fishing, activities

BHS Hall of Fame announces next inductees

Posted on June 4, 2015

Seven individuals and an entire team will be inducted into the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

The newest Hall of Fame class will be inducted at a free public ceremony on Friday, Oct. 2, in the school’s Mraz Center for Performing Arts. A reception will take place at 5 p.m. followed by a program at 5:30 p.m. and recognition during halftime at the football game that night.

The Hall of Fame Committee has selected the following for induction into the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame:

  • Mike Dreier - Class of 1969
  • Craig Foster - Class of 1966
  • Mitch Larson - Class of 1995
  • Heather Manley - Class of 1995
  • Aparma Ramaswamy - Class of 1993 and Ashwini Ramaswamy - Class of 1999
  • Jeff Swanum - Class of 1976
  • 1975 Girls Gymnastics Team

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level. For more information, visit

Posted in Achievement, Alumni | Tagged alumni, hall of fame, bhs, gymnastics

Spring sports surveys now open for students, parents

Posted on June 3, 2015

Student-athletes who participated in a spring sport and their parents are encouraged to visit the Burnsville High School Athletics Department website and fill out a survey regarding their experience this season in their respective sport. The Athletics Department appreciates your feedback and uses your information to enhance its programs for the future.

There are many sports camp opportunities for students this summer. Check out the Summer Camps webpage to see which camp is right for you!

Also, students and parents alike can stay up-to-date on what's going on at BHS by following us on Twitter @BurnsvilleSport

Posted in Athletics, Parents | Tagged bhs, spring sports, survey, athletics department

Nonprofit offers free mental health course to students this summer

Posted on June 1, 2015

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families, is offering a six-week course this summer called Progression.

This class is designed to empower young people to take charge of their lives and deal with the mental health issues they face in healthy and effective ways. Progression offers a safe space where youth can feel comfortable talking about what they're going through and is taught by a team of young adults who have been there. 

The course is free but registration is required. Visit the website and register here.

Please see the attached flyer below for more information.

Posted in Parents, Community | Tagged bhs, national alliance on mental illness, progression, mental health

BHS students quality for President’s Volunteer Service Award

Posted on June 1, 2015
Thirty-five students at Burnsville High School have qualified for national recognition based on their hours of volunteer service. 
Students were given the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA), which encourages citizens to live a life of service.
Hours are measured over a 12-month period and awards are designated based on cumulative hours. The awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of service achievement. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime. For more information, visit
“The award is based on the number of hours that students volunteered from May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2015,” according to Bri Ostoff, youth service coordinator for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Community Education. “These students have volunteered over 5,000 hours combined in service to their community.”
Gold - volunteered 250+ hours
Jasmine Anderson
Bryce Evans
Helen Gullikson
Benjamin Hubbard
Sunny Vuong
Jaylin Wong
Silver - volunteered between 175-249 hours:
Maedin Abegaz
Erika Cao
Anna Cayer
Isabella Houchins
Tess Mueske
Bronze - volunteered between 100-169 hours:
Marisa Anchondo
Claire Boatman
Hau Bui
Isabel Fox
Emily Glatt
Callie Gudmonson
Mark Hansen
Lauryn Hardt
Marie Heim
Husni Hussein
Bryanna Jones
Alexandra Leeman
Danica Ly
Carrie Mannila
Jacob Notermann
Carly Olson
Anh Thu Pham
Louie Chelle Villamor
Sarah Waterman
Egeziharya Yilma
Gold Teens - 15 year olds or younger who volunteered 100+ hours
Macie Benson
Abigail Herzog
Kara Odom
Noah Topping
Posted in Student Success, Community | Tagged bhs, youth service, community education, presidential service award, voluteering

District marks start of Vision One91 projects with groundbreaking ceremony

Posted on May 29, 2015

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 held a groundbreaking ceremony May 28 at Burnsville High School to kick off construction projects related to Vision One91.

“A lot will be happening over the next 15 months,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard. “It’s exciting to begin making Vision One91 a reality with many changes coming outside and inside our schools.”

Construction at the high school will start this summer and continue up to the start of the 2016-17 school year when BHS will begin serving all students in grades  9 through 12. The projects include three significant additions and several renovations, including classrooms, technology and construction labs, flexible learning areas, a science addition, and an activities center with health classrooms, gymnasiums, weight room and dance studio.

As much work as will be visible outside the school, Vision One91 also involves changes to the programming offered at Burnsville High School. At the ceremony, Principal Dave Helke discussed how Vision One91 will create a stronger sense of community, richer programming, and career pathways in a new comprehensive 9-12 high school. He highlighted a new health services certification program provided in partnership with Inver Hills Community College and expanded engineering opportunities in the new fabrication and clean technology labs.

In addition, Helke noted that the group #burnsvillestrong will become a new transition effort that welcomes and supports new Burnsville High School students, including ninth graders in 2016-17. Student leadership with be stronger with all seniors at the main campus.

Planning is also underway for expanded classroom technology across the district beginning with the 2016-17 school year when funding is provided by the voter-approved technology levy.

“Our  goal is to redesign our district to meet the needs of today’s learners and ensure each student is real-world ready,” said Gothard. “We are excited about what Vision One91 will mean to our students, schools and district.”

Stay up-to-date with Vision One91 at

Photo: District 191 leaders, members of the Board of Education, students and others involved in the Burnsville High School construction turned the first shovelfuls of dirt the groundbreaking ceremony on May 28. See more photos

Posted in Vision One91, Community | Tagged bhs, Vision One91, construction, groundbreaking

BHS students honored for exemplary academic performance

Posted on May 27, 2015

Burnsville High School juniors Maedin Abegaz and Emily Carlson have been named Scholars of Distinction ​by the Minnesota Department of Education. They were among 48 students statewide to receive this prestigious award at the Scholars of Distinction award program on May 16.

Emily Carlson (left) and Maedin Abegaz

Students were recognized in the areas of science, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), mathematics, social studies, leadership and theater arts.

Both Emily and Maedin were recognized in the area of science. Maedin’s project was “Testing Wound Dressings with Light Activated Dye to Combat Surgical Site Infections.” Emily’s project was “Effects of Organic Agricultural Processes and Grass Feeding on the Bacterial Content of Raw Ground Beef.”

To earn recognition, students must complete required work in Minnesota’s academic standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter, and apply their knowledge and skills on challenging projects. For more information visit

Posted in Student Success | Tagged bhs, minnesota department of education, scholars of distinction, science

Superintendent Gothard named to United Way Board

Posted on May 27, 2015

Dr. Joe Gothard, superintendent in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Greater Twin Cities United Way Board of Directors.

He will be the only school superintendent on the 52-member board and will serve along with representatives from several other organizations and businesses including General Mills, University of St. Thomas, Xcel Energy, Minnesota High Tech Association, Allina Health and more.

The board of directors meets monthly to discuss strategic issues facing the organization and to ensure United Way is on the right track, according to the website

Greater Twin Cities United Way focuses on three key areas: stabilizing families, helping children succeed and empowering healthy lives. The organization serves people living in or near poverty in nine counties: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and western Washington.

Gothard has served as superintendent in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage since July 1, 2013.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged joe gothard, United Way, community