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

Seniors enjoy a "beach day" at Senior Carnival

Posted on May 22, 2015

Burnsville High School hosted a Senior Carnival during school hours on Friday, May 22, to celebrate all graduating seniors.

Students filed into Bob Pates Stadium for a warm afternoon of fun and games. Donned in Hawaiian shirts, tanks, shorts and leis, many of the students reveled in the carnival's "beach day" theme. The event featured food trucks, a wipeout course,  mechanical surfboard, hamster ball, dunk tanks, henna artistry and much more! 

Congratulations, Class of 2015! Best wishes for the future!


Posted in Parents | Tagged bhs, senior carnival, Bob Pates stadium, class of 2015

Hidden Valley teacher is District 191 Teacher of the Year

Posted on May 22, 2015

Jennifer Bohr, left, is the 2015 District 191 Teacher of the Year.

Jennifer Bohr, a sixth grade teacher at Hidden Valley Elementary School in Savage, was named as the 2015 Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Teacher of the Year in the annual recognition organized by the Burnsville Education Association on May 20.

Bohr was first named as the 2015 Building of the Teacher at Hidden Valley where she has taught since 2012. She led Responsive Classroom training sessions for Hidden Valley staff after school, coordinated the district spelling bee and coordinated quarterly Meet and Confer meetings with teachers, administrators and school board members.

She taught at Sky Oaks Elementary School in Burnsville for 20 years in 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Other roles included resource teacher, testing and assessment coordinator, enrichment teacher and Title I teacher. She served as advisor for Student Council and Math Masters, and coordinated the school’s geography bee.

“The greatest characteristic that separates Mrs. Bohr from other educators is that she is always figuring out a way to better her teaching practice,” wrote Abby Ertyl, a colleague of Bohr’s at Hidden Valley. “She is consistently reflecting on what she can do differently to improve student performance and always considering what she might change to reach more students. Nothing is routine for Jennifer. Even after 23 years of teaching, she is still looking for new and exciting ways to engage students and make learning a priority.”

Bohr says it’s important that she gets to know her students. “By working hard to build relationships with students, I help them invest in their education and find joy in learning,” she said. “When I see kids working hard and wanting to be successful, I feel I have done my job well.”

She feels good when students thank her for teaching them or stop back to visit and share how something she did has helped them to be successful in school.

She also gets to know their families. “It is important to me that parents know I am supportive of them and their child,” she explains.

Bohr has also filled many leadership roles in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 in the areas of professional development and curriculum development.  

She will next be considered as the 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year sponsored by Education Minnesota.

2015 Building Teachers of the Year are (front row, from left) Angie Preston of M.W. Savage Elementary, Greta Krupke of William Byrne Elementary, Vicki Spieler of Early Childhood Family Education, Bobbie Kunkel of Sioux Trail Elementary, Laurel Mirs of Gideon Pond Elementary, Matt Berg of Sky Oaks Elementary, Jennifer Bohr of Hidden Valley Elementary, (middle row, from left) Kimberly Wood of Vista View Elementary, Rachel Lucius of Rahn Elementary, Sue Woodcock of Early Childhood Special Education, Nate Strand of Burnsville High School, Kevin Silberman of Nicollet Junior High, (back row, from left) Emily Mechavich of Harriet Bishop Elementary, Bobby Griffiths of Metcalf Junior High, Teacher on Special Assignment Nancy Meyer, Patty Herkenhoff of Edward Neill Elementary, Jeff Hammer of Eagle Ridge Junior High, and Tony McNeil of Burnsville Alternative High School.
Posted in Achievement, Alumni | Tagged 2015 Teacher of the Year, jennifer bohr

Students rally to support a great cause, donate blood

Posted on May 22, 2015

Thank you to all the students who donated blood at Burnsville High School's 30th Biannual American Red Cross Blood Drive on Thursday, May 21. Nearly 140 units of blood were donated, with a total of 258 units for the year. This year's blood drive at BHS has been one of the most successful high school drives in the state!

The students worked together for a great cause, helping to build a safe and reliable blood supply and give patients in the community the gift of life.

Thank you to physical education teacher Mark Vanderwoude for organizing the event and to community partners who provided food donations.


Posted in Community | Tagged bhs, american red cross, biannual blood drive

BHS team wins 2015 Physics Day milk carton boat race

Posted on May 21, 2015

A team of Burnsville High School (BHS) physics students took first place in the milk carton boat race at the 2015 Physics Day at Valleyfair in Shakopee on May 19. 

During the three days of competition, the team's boat had the best course time, recorded at one minute and 36 seconds. A total of 10 schools participated, and BHS raced against four boats.
Headed by science teacher Jon Huber, the team includes Izaak Davison-Kerwood, Makayla Ericksen, Sarah Jacobson, Zach Lillevold, Clay Lindstrom, Nicole Lynch, Jake Moeller, Maddie Phillips, Canyon Thunstrom and Sunny Vuong.
The team boat will be sponsored by Valleyfair and Go4St8 Physics in the 2015 Minneapolis Aquatennial milk carton boat race.
Posted in Student Success | Tagged bhs, science, physics, milk carton, boat race, Valleyfair, Minneapolis Aquatennial

FIRE Academy strengthens parents’ connection to District 191 schools

Posted on May 20, 2015

Eighty-nine parents who recently completed the first parent academy in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 participated in a graduation ceremony at Diamondhead Education Center on May 18.

The academy, named FIRE (Family Involvement for a Rich Education), included parents from Sky Oaks Elementary, Nicollet Junior High and Burnsville High School.

Moms and dads, originally from Somalia and Spanish-speaking countries, met once a week for eight weeks to learn about the American educational system and how they can support their children’s learning at school and home. The goal is to form a stronger partnership of parents and school staff that will benefit students and their academic success.

“Filled with new knowledge and tools, your participation in the FIRE Academy conveys strong convictions about the hopes and dreams you have for your children’s education and future,” Superintendent Joe Gothard told parents at the ceremony. “Our goal is to reduce historical gaps in achievement. When we look at student’s race, socioeconomic level or English language proficiency, we have one strong message — all students can learn and succeed, and it is our collective responsibility to guide our children towards making the most of their educational opportunities.”  

FIRE Academy sessions were led by four of the district’s bilingual cultural liaisons who serve as vital links between families and schools. The academy included topics such as navigating the school system, the importance of grade point averages, how to plan for college, advocating for your child, and more.

At the graduation ceremony, parents shared about their deep trust for schools, literally seeing them as a "second home," how they understand so much more about school and know how they can help prepare their children for college. Another parent emphasized the importance of speaking with her children’s teachers and counselors and using SchoolView, the district’s parent portal.

“I have personally heard from numerous parents about just how much the program has empowered them and I see many benefits for our students coming out of this,” said Dr. Stacie Stanley, the district’s director of equity. “It’s exciting to see these new parent leaders with their increased confidence and understanding.”

She said that next year more parents will be involved in FIRE at Sky Oaks Elementary, Nicollet Junior High and Burnsville High School, and the parent academy will expand to Gideon Pond, Hidden Valley and Marion W. Savage elementary schools.

Posted in Parents | Tagged FIRE, parents, FIRE Academy, parent academy

BHS students produce MVTA, City of Burnsville bus panels

Posted on May 20, 2015

Students enrolled in Burnsville High School’s Interactive Design, a business elective class taught by Dr. Tyler Krebs, have produced interior panels for display in local and express Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) buses. The panels focus on themes involving school spirit, transit and in cooperation with the City of Burnsville, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.

Pictured, from left, are School Spirit winner ​Osbaldo Vega; Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz; Transit winner Abby Mizusaki; Beyond the Yellow Ribbon winner Holly Kildahl and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Foundation President Mike Huddleston.

The students’ “school spirit” and “transit” artwork was reviewed by the MVTA and winning entries were selected in the two categories. The “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” winning entries were selected by Mike Huddleston and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Foundation. Winners were:

  • School Spirit – Junior Osbaldo Vega of Burnsville (son of Nelson and Estella Vega)
  • Transit – Senior Abby Mizusaki of Burnsville (daughter of Kathryn & Ryan Mizusaki)
  • Beyond the Yellow Ribbon – Senior Holly Kildahl of Burnsville (daughter of Mary & Joel Kildahl).

The students received a certificate of award and a $25 gift certificate to Best Buy for their efforts.

A number of students received honorable mentions for their efforts and all panels are currently displayed on MVTA buses. As part of their class, students were to complete a project using software such as Photoshop, along with a variety of graphics and images. The MVTA had the panels printed and dry-mounted by Cornerstone Copy Center, for display on the interior of MVTA buses. Students were also given a copy of their final product.

"Today’s high school students are very creative and sophisticated in using graphic tools and techniques to complete their projects,” said program coordinator Robin Selvig, MVTA Customer Service Manager. “We hope it is fun for the students to receive life-size copies of their bus panels and we invite them to ride the buses to see their work.”

The City of Burnsville program was added to enhance the student’s experience of creating bus panels for insertion on MVTA buses and also to help promote Burnsville as a “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” City. The goal of “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” is to create a statewide network of volunteers, agencies, organizations and services that can provide military families with assistance and support at a moment’s notice. Individual Yellow Ribbon cities are tasked with developing and maintaining that network within their communities.

Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Foundation President Mike Huddleston participated in the presentation of the panels to the students. “It is exciting to see what the students create and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with Burnsville High School,” said Mayor Kautz. Huddleston added, “Thank you for allowing us to participate in this activity and to help spread the good word about our Foundation.”       

MVTA is the public transportation provider for the businesses and residents of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Prior Lake, Rosemount, Savage and Shakopee.  

Posted in Student Success, Arts, Community | Tagged bhs, city of burnsville, MVTA, beyond the yellow ribbon, business education, tyler krebs, mayor kautz

Instructional technology to be highlighted at May 28 fair

Posted on May 19, 2015

Parents and community members are invited to attend a Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Tech Share Fair on Thursday, May 28. At the fair, teachers and their students will be demonstrating some of the many interesting ways technology is being integrated into their work.

Whether it’s using iPads to make public service announcement videos or using Minecraft to visualize the world of J.R.R. Tolkein’s “The Hobbit,” teachers and students are using technology to support and enhance classroom learning all the time. More than a dozen demonstrators representing elementary and secondary schools will be on hand.

“This is an opportunity to see instructional technology in action, ask questions, and get more information about how the recently-approved technology levy will support more of this work,” said Doug Johnson, the district’s director of technology.

The Tech Share Fair is set for Thursday, May 28 from 5 to 6:15 p.m. in the upper level Senior Commons of Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy.

Posted in Academics, Community, Vision One91 | Tagged technology, technology education, Vision One91, instructional technology

Community invited to meet seven seniors

Posted on May 19, 2015

Just a few days before they graduate, seven Burnsville High School seniors will be interviewed by Superintendent Joe Gothard about their school experience —both the challenges and the rewards — and also about their future plans. Participating seniors are Adam DeCurtins, Natalie Fideler, Anders Grahn, Jasmine Lim, Paul Nong, Libin Said and Colton Van Dorpe.

The event will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, in the Senior Campus Commons (upper level) of Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway.

“Every year hundreds of interesting young people graduate from Burnsville High School,” said Gothard. “This is an opportunity to meet a varied group of amazing seniors before they take the next big step in their lives. It should be an interesting conversation and I invite you to attend, hear from these young people and ask questions.”

Posted in Community | Tagged graduation, bhs, joe gothard, seniors, community, real-world ready

Burnsville High School groundbreaking set for May 28

Posted on May 19, 2015

A groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction at Burnsville High School will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, on the west side of the school.

Space is being added to the school so that all ninth graders can attend, beginning in Fall 2016, and benefit from a comprehensive four-year high school experience.

“It’s exciting to begin making Vision One91 a reality with many changes coming outside and inside our schools,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard. “A lot will be happening over the next 16 months as Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 implements Vision One91, a plan to redesign the school district to meet the needs of today’s learners and ensure each student is real-world ready.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will include brief remarks and an overview of work that will be done. Student musicians will perform and dirt will fly.

Look for ongoing updates about learning, technology and construction at Click on the gold medallion to easily access information.

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