Metcalf teams win awards at engineering competition

Posted on February 11, 2015

Two teams of Metcalf Junior High students brought home awards from the Fluid Power Challenge at the University of Minnesota in January.

Metcalf Junior High eighth grader Wesley Ho adjusts his teams robotic arm during the Fluid Power Challenge at the University of Minnesota in January.

A skills based competition for 8th grade students, the program challenges students to solve a real-life engineering problem using hydraulics and pneumatics. For this year’s challenge, students had four hours to build a fully functional, three-axis robotic arm that could pick up and place a wooden cylinder on a target location.

The Metcalf team of Miranda Thompson, Catie Wright, Jonathan Butler and Nicholas Gilman won the “Best Portfolio” award, which recognizes the team’s plan and documentation of their work. The other team from Metcalf comprised of Brianna Kirk, Luna Yemane, Olivia Daniels and Grace Dragert won the “Best Teamwork” award.

Other participants at the challenge included Caitlyn Kloeckl, Jessica Nguyen, Welsey Ho, Cormac Pearce, Ben Brekke, Andrew Madonna, Brendan Kielas and Ross Waataja. The teams are led by technology education teachers Steve Brady and Alexander Franks.

For more information about the Fluid Power Challenge, go to  

Metcalf Junior High is located in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

Posted in Student Success | Tagged metcalf, engineering, STEM, fluid power challenge

State championship gymnastics team to be honored

Posted on February 11, 2015

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) will honor the 1975 Burnsville High School girls’ gymnastics team at the Class AA state gymnastics meet on Feb. 20, 2015. The meet will be held at 6 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion.

The 1974-75 Burnsville High School state champion gymnastics team was (back row) Coach Nancy Stewart, Lesley Pederson, Kathy Shogren, Maureen Potasek, Robin Pederson, Coach Peggy McDonald, (front) Sandi Adam, Cindy Ritchhart, Cheryl Nimsger, Connie Crowl, and Bonnie Berning.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the team's state championship, which it shared in a tie with Richfield High School. In addition, team member Bonnie Berning won all five individual events, giving her a combined six gold medals at that meet, which is still a state record. The 1974-75 school year was the first time that state tournaments were held for girls’ teams in Minnesota.

A reunion celebration along with Richfield’s team is planned.

Burnsville team members included Sandi Adam Koppen, Bonnie Berning Burak, Connie Crowl Erickson, Cheryl Nimsger Connelly, Lesley Pederson Ernst, Robin Pederson Ruegg, Maureen Potasek Simpson, Kathy Shogren, and Cindy Ritchhart Hoyer. Team manager was Linda Gaudette Sigel, head coach was Peggy McDonald and assistant coaches were Nancy Stewart and Jim McDonald.

Team member Robin Pederson Ruegg wrote a memoir of her experience and documenting what it was like for female athletes following the passage of Title IX. The book, "And the Home of the Braves," is available on Amazon. You can also download an excerpt.



Posted in Athletics, Alumni | Tagged gymnastics, state championship, Title IX, bhs

February is "I Love to Read" month at M.W. Savage

Posted on February 11, 2015

UPDATE: Award winners announced; MWS reaches it's goals!

Congratulations to the following 'I Love to Read' month award winners:

  • Top Pledge Classroom – Mrs. Stoltz 3rd Grade (pictured at right);
  • Top Classroom with Most Books Read (230) – Mrs. Villas 4th Grade;
  • Top Classroom with Most Pages Read (12,052) – Mrs. Elliott 2nd Grade.

Plus, we reached our school reading goal with 1,190 books and 58,000 pages. 

Way to go MWS!

February is "I Love to Read" month and it's time for the annual M.W. Savage Read-a-Thon. Get ready to pick up a good book and read.

START DATE – Feb. 9:  Pledge Packets and Reading Logs go how with students

END DATE – Feb. 20: All pledge packets and reading logs must be turned in by Feb. 20 to qualify for prizes.


2015 Read-a-Thon Goals

Pledge money raised during this year’s Read-A-Thon will support the MWS PTO Literacy Budget to support the Accelerated Reading program, purchases of books and audio materials for the Media Center the MWS PTO Volunteer Book Program.

2015 Read-a-Thon Pledge Sheet

ALL SCHOOL READING GOAL - 1,000 books and 50,000 pages
If we reach our book and page goals, 15 minutes of extra recess for all classrooms. Date TBD by your classroom teacher. This is an all school effort over the Read-a-Thon two week period. Yes, we can do it!!!

2015 Read-a-Thon Reading Log
Prize and Pledge Information

The MWS Parent Teacher Organization is a qualified 501 c 3 organization.  All donations are tax deductible. For a tax receipt please email with your name, email and pledge amount.

MOST PLEDGES: The students in the classroom collecting the most pledges will each receive a free book of choice at our Spring Book Fair. The classroom will get the Champion Trophy and a Read-Aloud Visit from Mr. Nepsund in his comfy clothes and a Build Your Own Sundae party.
MOST PAGES / MOST BOOKS READ: The top classrooms for each will receive a popcorn party celebration.

Students collecting $150 or more in pledges will each receive a $10 gift certificate to our Spring Book Fair and a poster of choice. 

The family raising the most in pledges overall will receive a $50 Gift Certificate to Barnes and Noble

Students who read the most pages and/or most books per classroom will earn a "Top Reader" achievement certificate and a "Top Reader" gold medal!

Tagged read-a-thon, marion w savage

Byrne Read-A-Thon

Posted on February 10, 2015

Pledges are being accepted for our first Read-A-Thon now until Feb. 20!

Funds raised will be invested in Byrne students' education through technology enhancement and recess equipment. The William Byrne PTO is a 501c(3) non-profit organization so all your donations are tax deductible. Learn more at the PTO Read-A-Thon page –!read-a-thon/c48r.


Tagged read-a-thon, william byrne

Boys' LAX fundraising night at Panera Bread

Posted on February 9, 2015

Burnsville High School Boys' Lacrosse is hosting a fundraising night at Panera Bread at Burnsville Center on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 4-8 p.m. Pick up a flyer in the Athletic Office and present it when ordering. A percentage of the sale will be given to the team.

So, enjoy a delicious meal at Panera while supporting your team!

Posted in Athletics | Tagged bhs, boys lacrosse, fundraising, panera bread

Nominations open for District 191 John Coskran Volunteer Award

Posted on February 6, 2015

Nominations are now open for the 2015 John Coskran Volunteer Award, presented annually in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. The award honors extraordinary volunteers who give of their time and talents to enhance students’ educational experience and achievement, and/or demonstrate the importance of volunteerism and good citizenship.

Business people, community residents, students, parents, staff members and alumni are all eligible to receive this award.

Nominations are due by March 31 and can be submitted by any group or individual who benefits from District 191’s volunteer program. The district has an outstanding volunteer program with nearly 2,500 volunteers contributing as much as 65,000 hours each year.

Selection is based upon effort, scope and impact of the volunteer’s service.

The award is named in honor of John Coskran, a former associate director of Catholic Charities, former District 191 Board of Education member and longtime advocate for volunteerism.

The nomination form can be downloaded below or by contacting Ruth Dunn, the district’s communications director, at or 952-707-2020.

All nominees will be recognized at a reception in their honor at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, at the Campus Cup café in Diamondhead Education Center. The award presentation ceremony will take place at the Board of Education meeting at 6:30 p.m. that evening, also at Diamondhead.

For more information about the award and to view past recipients, visit

Posted in Community | Tagged volunteer, volunteering, John Coskran, community service

'All Pink Out' at girls basketball game

Posted on February 6, 2015

It's Coaches vs. Cancer and BAC Girls' Basketball Night at the girls’ junior varsity and varsity basketball game tonight, Feb. 6, in the BHS gym. The junior varsity game begins at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity game at 7 p.m. 

The Coaches vs. Cancer program empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities to help people with cancer today and to find cures to end the disease tomorrow. Guided by the Coaches vs. Cancer Council, participating coaches have helped raise more than $87 million to help the American Cancer Society save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against cancer.​

Admission is free when you wear pink! BAC girls wearing their jersey will get in free with at least 1 paid adult per team. 

Come out and support the Blaze and a great cause!

Posted in Athletics | Tagged bhs, girls basketball, coaches vs. cancer, burnsville athletic club

District 191 schools to celebrate ‘I Love to Read Month’

Posted on February 6, 2015

Elementary schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 have planned learning activities to promote the joy of reading during "I Love to Read" month in February.

“This is one of many ways we get students excited about reading,” said Nancy Meyer, District 191’s elementary media specialist. “Many schools use this celebration to build a sense of community around reading by having guest readers or reading buddies from other grade levels. It really is powerful to see an entire school take time to read together.”

Harriet Bishop Elementary hosted Breakfast with a Book on Jan. 30 with parents coming to school to read books with their children while they enjoyed breakfast together. In addition, students will participate in a read-athon on Feb. 11.

Gideon Pond Elementary held its annual Storybook Character Parade on Feb. 3, with students and teachers dressing as their favorite book characters and parading through the school. Later in the month, author Nancy Carlson will visit and read to students, and former Gideon Pond student and Burnsville High School graduate Mitch Larson, author of “Pennyroyal Academy,” will meet with students on Feb. 27.

Vista View Elementary has a month of suggested reading and writing activities for students based around a Superhero theme. Students are encouraged to be “Invincible Readers.” At an opening ceremony on Feb. 2, staff members and students dressed as superheroes and discussed reading strategies. Throughout the month, students will be researching superheroes and writing stories and reports based on that research.

Edward Neill Elementary is celebrating “I Love to Learn Month” around a theme of “The Wizard of Oz.” Activities include Breakfast with a Book in “munchkinland” on Feb. 13 and “Read Alouds” featuring guest readers throughout the school during the week of Feb. 17. Plus, the school is building a yellow brick road around the school to represent all the books read by students during the month.

Sioux Trail Elementary is emphasizing reading during February with DEAR Time, a time each Friday where everyone in the school, including staff and students, will Drop Everything And Read for 20 minutes. On Feb. 27, the school will hold its first annual read-athon.

Rahn Elementary celebrated with a read-athon on Feb. 5. Then, on Feb. 27, Principal Barbara Borer will read “Green Eggs and Ham” to the school.

Marion W. Savage Elementary is celebrating its 8th annual Read-athon with a goal of 1,000 books and 50,000 pages read by the combined student body by Feb. 20. Prizes will be earned by the students and classrooms that read the most.

Tagged literacy, I love to read month

Join us for a great night at SHOWcase!

Posted on February 6, 2015

Join us tonight for SHOWcase, our annual, fully staged variety show  that features the dynamic vocal, dance and musical talents from our own Burnsville High School students. This year, we journey into the world of television with 'Channel Surfing' and tours through MTV, ESPN, CNN and more.  Enjoy music from Disney, Chicago, Broadway, John Lennon, Toto, Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars and many more!

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Mraz Center and performances run Feb. 6, 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 students.

Posted in Arts | Tagged bhs, SHOWcase, theatre guild, student variety show

Girls Nordic ski team wins Section 3 meet; boys team finishes fourth

Posted on February 5, 2015

Congratulations to the Girls Nordic Ski team, which won the Section 3 meet Feb. 3 at Theodore Wirth Park. The team will head to Biwabik for the State Tournament Feb. 12. 

Ninth-grader Kelly Koch led the Blaze team, which finished with 375 points.

On the boys' side, sophomore Nate Blichfieldt finished fourth overall, and the team finished with 315 points. Blichfieldt qualified individually for state.

Best wishes to all the individuals moving on to the state meet! 

Photo credit:


Posted in Athletics, Achievement | Tagged bhs, nordic skiing, sections, state meet