Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting teams head to state under direction of new coach

Posted on February 19, 2018

In its first season, the Burnsville High School boys’ powerlifting team was crowned state champions, while the girls team earned runner-up at the USAPL Minnesota State High School Championships on Saturday, Feb. 10 in Rockford, Minn. In addition, five Blaze athletes won individual state titles, and seven lifters qualified for the National Championships in March.

Head coach Justin Lerfald took over the school’s Olympic weightlifting program at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Since then, he’s added powerlifting, an alternative style of lifting, to the program. Lerfald is a former St. Olaf College football coach, strength coach, and professor in Exercise Science. In addition to running the weightlifting program, Lerfald is an assistant football coach and works in special education at BHS.

Powerlifters who received medals at state are:

  • Kara Klavins and Gabby Lacher (1st place)

  • Kyle Atkinson, Samuel Heino and Issac Pasko (1st place)

  • Jordan Discher and Dylan Hughes (2nd place)

  • Osadolor Ikponmwosa (3rd place)

Justin Gitonga and Heather Nulf also competed.

The Olympic weightlifting team has competed in three meets this season. Fifteen lifters have qualified for the state championship.

Students who have qualified to compete at the state Olympic weightlifting competition are:

  • Varsity: Erin Bachmeier, Miah Keller, Dani Kurr, Raezjine Merriweather, Lucas Moreno, John Simon

  • JV: Jonah Dawson, Kayla Gant, Zach LaMotte, Cameron Maderos,  Heather Nulf, Eleana Pierce, Mark Simon, Natalie Thoresen and Chase Vongkham

Ryan Beattie, Dylan Fischer, Nathan Le, Dylan Olsen, Gunnar Rypkema, and Drew Schwab are still vying for state.

“I am truly humbled for the opportunity to work with the athletes, students, coaches, and parents of District 191,” said Lerfald. “I am so proud of the lifters for all they have accomplished, and I look forward to sharing more memories as we raise the bar.”

The Last Chance Meet on Feb. 24 is the final meet where students can qualify for state. Olympic State Championships and Power National Championships take place in March, while the Olympic National Youth Championships are in June.

Posted in Achievement, Student Success | Tagged bhs, powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, nationals, state championships

Statement Regarding Fire Alarm At Burnsville High School On Feb. 16

Posted on February 17, 2018

A fire alarm was activated the evening of Feb. 16 at Burnsville High School. Police officers responded to the incident and assisted in evacuating the building and ensuring people left the event in a safe manner. When it was determined that there was no fire, staff and students involved with ongoing events were allowed back inside the school.

Although police received reports of a weapon and a bomb threat during the evacuation, police have found no evidence of either.  

After this week’s tragedy in Florida, we know there is a heightened state of concern when it comes to safety in school settings. We are grateful for our strong relationship with public safety resources, including police, and for their work to keep attendees safe last night.

We also want to remind and encourage community members not to spread rumors and instead look for information from official sources including the district or police department. Rumors can cause confusion and make it difficult for school staff and police officers to ensure student safety.  If you have information related to the safety of schools or students, please reach out to school staff members directly.

Declaración sobre la alarma de incendio en Burnsville High School Feb. 16

Una alarma de incendio se activó la noche del 16 de febrero en Burnsville High School. Los agentes de policía respondieron al incidente y ayudaron a evacuar el edificio y garantizar que las personas abandonaran el evento de manera segura. Cuando se determinó que no hubo incendios, el personal y los estudiantes involucrados con los eventos en curso pudieron regresar a la escuela.

Aunque la policía recibió informes de un arma y una amenaza de bomba durante la evacuación, la policía no ha encontrado evidencia de ninguno.  

Después de la tragedia de esta semana en Florida, sabemos que hay un mayor estado de preocupación cuando se trata de la seguridad en el entorno escolar. Estamos agradecidos por nuestra sólida relación con los recursos de seguridad pública, incluida la policía, y por su trabajo para mantener a los asistentes a salvo anoche.

También queremos recordar y alentar a los miembros de la comunidad a no difundir rumores y, en cambio, buscar información de fuentes oficiales, incluido el departamento del distrito o de la policía. Los rumores pueden causar confusión y hacer que sea difícil para el personal de la escuela y los oficiales de policía garantizar la seguridad de los estudiantes. Si tiene información relacionada con la seguridad de las escuelas o los estudiantes, comuníquese directamente con el personal de la escuela.

Ogeysiis 16kii Febaweri waxa dhawaajiyay qalabka digniinta debka ee Dugsiga Sare Burnsville

Fiidkii 16ka Febraayo waxaa laga dhawaajiyay qalabka digniinta dabka ee Dugsiga Sare Burnsville. Askarta kasoo jaawaabeen oo xaliyeen dhacdadan, waxayna gacan wayn ka geysteen sidii loo daad-gureyn lahaa dadka kusugnaa gudaha dhismaha iyo sida ay uxaqiijin lahaayeen in dadka oo dhan uga baxaan munaasabada si badbaado leh. Markii la go'aamiyay in aysan jirin dab, ayaa shaqaalaha iyo ardayda ka mid ahaa qaban khaabada munaasada dib loogu soo celiyay gudaha dugsiga.

Inkasta oo ay booliisku heleen warbixinno ah in hub iyo bambo ay jireen intii dadka la daad-gureynayey, lakiin bilaysku ma helin wax caddayn ah labadaba arinba.

Madaama ay dhibaato wayn isbuucan ee ka dhacda Florida, waxaan ognahay in ay iska jirto xaalad walaac leh marka ay soo gudboonato arin sal kuleh nabadgelyada iskuulada. Waannu ku faraxsan nahay xidhiidhkayaga xooggan ee aan la leenahay sugayaasha amniga bulshada, oo ay ka mid yihiin  bulshada degmanda iyo booliska si hagaagsan uwada shaqayeeyay xaga sugida ammaanka qaybgalayaasha munaasabada iyo kuli dadka kasoo qaybgaloo dhan.

Waxaan sidoo kale xusuusanaynaa, kuna dhiirri-galinno xubnaha bulshada in aysan faafin warwar aan sal laheen, hadii aad ubahaan tahay macluumaad ama warar rasmiga  waxaad kaheli kartaan waaxda degmada ama booliska. Faafibta wararka aan rasmiga aheen waxay keeni karaan jahwareer waxayna ku adkeynayaan xalinta dhacdadadan shaqaalaha dugsiga iyo saraakiisha booliska sidii loo hubin lahaa nabadgelyada ardayga. Haddii aad hayso macluumaad la xariira amaanka dugsiyada ama ardayda, fadlan si toos ah ula xiriir xubin shaqaale dugsi.

Tagged fire alarm, bhs, safety

Event aims to connect neighbors, strengthen community through conversation

Posted on February 15, 2018

Neighbors coming together to learn more about each other is a way to build community. That’s why Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Community Education has scheduled a community-building conversation from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at Diamondhead Education Center. 200 W. Burnsville Parkway.

“Know Your Neighbor: Coming Together in Community” is a free event to bring people together to learn more about one another. Community members are invited to attend, share their stories (if they wish) and hear from others. The event will also be an opportunity to reflect upon and discuss what community is, why it’s important and how it can be built up.

Community Education has been encouraging residents to better understand each other. A course called “Knowing your Muslim Neighbor” was first offered in 2012 and has been offered every year since. It’s taught by community member Yunas Mashood and includes an educational discussion with time for questions.

Then “Knowing Your Muslim Student” was offered especially with educators in mind and has been attended by several teachers from District 191.  

“Know Your Neighbor evolved out of the ‘Knowing Your Muslim Neighbor’ class,” said Jennifer Gardner, enrichment coordinator with Community Education. “Participants became energized by our diverse community and approached Mr. Mashood and me about continuing and expanding the idea of getting to know and understand each other. So a core group began meeting to plan for it, and now we’re excited to have more community members become involved.”

This event is free and open to the public. Preregister online, or let us know you're planning to attend by calling 952-707-4150. 

Posted in Community | Tagged know your neighbor, community education

Superintendent's Message regarding the recent school shooting in Florida

Posted on February 15, 2018

Feb. 15, 2018

Dear One91 Families,

After the tragic and horrific events in Parkland, Florida yesterday, I know all of our thoughts are with the students, families and staff who are affected. Today is a tough day for all of us who work in schools.

After our initial horror and sadness about the event in Florida, immediately our thoughts go to the safety of our own students, our own children who are in school. Here in District 191, we are committed to providing the safest possible schools for students and staff members.  It is a topic that is constantly on our minds and in regular conversations.  We care deeply about our students and staff.

We have taken many steps to increase safety. Recent renovations as a result of Vision One91 improved security at our schools, including secured entryways, closing classrooms, and upgraded or expanded security camera systems. All schools participate in five lockdown drills each school year, and we work closely with our local police departments to make sure our plans and practices align and that our responses to any situations are coordinated.

We know, however, that the most important safety measure we can provide is a strong community where students, staff and community members are connected to each other and care for one another. If you feel that you or another member of our community needs help, please reach out to a staff member at your child’s school and encourage your children to do the same.

As a parent or guardian, you may have questions about how to help your child through emotions they may have. You can always talk to teacher, counselor or other staff member at your child’s school, or I encourage you to use resources available online at

Thank you for partnering with us to be a strong community that comes together to support our students.

Cindy Amoroso, Superintendent

Qoysaska khaaligah ee one91,

Kadib markay ka dhacday arintan naxdinta iyo cabsida leh Parkland, Florida, waxaan ognahay in aan kuli laxunahay kana fakarayno qoysaska iyo shaqaalaha ay saameeyeen dhacdadii naxdinta leheed. Maanta waa maalin aad udhib ah kuligeen iskuulada ka shaqeeya.

Kadib markay dhacday arintaan naxdinta leh Florida, si dhaqsa ah waxaan isku taxluujinay sugida amaanka ardaydeena hadda ku jira iskuulka. Xagan degmada one91 waxaan xooga saarna inaan hubino nabada iyo badbaadada iskuulada ay dhigtaan ardaydeena xubnaha shaqaalaheena. Waana mawduuc si joogta ah maskaxdeena uga dhex qeeliya oo aaan aad uga fakarno oo keena wada hadallada joogtada ah. Waxaana aad uga taxaddarnaa ardayda iyo shaqaalaheena si’ay helaan dugsiyo amaan leh.

Waxaan qaadnay  tallaabooyin muhiim ah laguna sugiyo amaanka, Dayactirada iyo dib uhabaynta cusbaa ee laga hergeliyay Aragtida/Vision One91 ayaa wuxuu horumar kusameeyay sugida ammaanka dugsiyadeenna, tasoo ay ku jiraan gelitaan dugsiga amaanka la sugo, xidhitaanka fasallada, dib u habeeynta ballaaran lagu sameeyay nidaamyada duubinta kamarada ammaanka. Dhamaan dugsiyada oo dhan waxay ka qaybgalaan tababar loogu diyaargarga markii ay dhacaan arrimaha degdeg ah, 5 mar ayaa lagu tababaraa xirida iskuulada si amaanka loo sugi,  waxaanan aad ula shaqaynaa waaxda booliska/askarta ee degaanka si’aan u hubinno in qorshesheena iyo talabooyinka sugida nabada ay isku dhow yihiin si aan iskula shaqeeno markii arin qatar ah dhacaan.

Waan ognahay, in tallaabada ugu muhiimsan sugida amaanka ay tahay bulsho isku xiran oo xoog leh, si ay ardayda, shaqaalaha iyo xubnaha bulshadu isla shaqeeyaan, iskuna takuleeyaan. Haddii aad dareentid in adiga ama xubin ka mid ah bulshadeena ay ubaahanyihiin caawimaad, fadlan la xiriir xubnaha shaqaale oo ka tirsan iskuulka ilmahaaga oo ku dhiiri geli caruurtaada in ay\ sameeyaan sidoo kale

Walidiinta iyo masuulka, waxaa laga yabaa inaad su’aal ka qabto sidii aad u cawwin laheed ardaygaaga markii dhacdo naxdin leh, waxaa badanaa dusha usoo baxa dareeno badan lasoo. Shabakada hoose wuxuu ku siinayaa talabooyin ay waalidiinta iyo shaqaaluhu u isticmaali karaan inay kala hadlaan dhacdada naxdinta leh carruurtooda, sida arrimaha ku saabsan dagaalka xasuuqa ama xadgudubka wax ugeesashada dadka kale:

Waad ku mahadsantihiin inaad nala shaqeyneysaan si aan u noqono bulsho xooggan oo taageeraan ardaydeena.

Si daacad ah,
Kormeeraha Guud Cindy Amoroso

Estimadas familias de One91,

Después de los eventos trágicos y horribles en Parkland, Florida ayer, sé que todos nuestros pensamientos están con los estudiantes, las familias y el personal que se vieron afectados. Hoy es un día difícil para todos los que trabajamos en las escuelas.

Después de nuestro horror inicial y la tristeza por el evento en Florida, inmediatamente pensamos en la seguridad de nuestros propios alumnos, nuestros propios hijos que están en la escuela. Aquí en el Distrito 191, estamos comprometidos a proporcionar las escuelas más seguras posibles para los estudiantes y el personal. Es un tema que está constantemente en nuestras mentes y en conversaciones regulares. Nos preocupamos profundamente por nuestros estudiantes y personal.

Hemos tomado muchos pasos para aumentar la seguridad. Renovaciones recientes como resultado de Vision One91 mejoraron la seguridad en nuestras escuelas, incluidas las entradas aseguradas, el cierre de  y los sistemas de cámaras de seguridad actualizadas o ampliadas. Todas las escuelas participan en cinco simulacros de encierro cada año escolar, y trabajamos en estrecha colaboración con nuestros departamentos de policía locales para asegurarnos de que nuestros planes y prácticas se alineen y de que nuestras respuestas a cualquier situación se coordinen.

Sin embargo, sabemos que la medida de seguridad más importante que podemos proporcionar es una comunidad sólida en la que los estudiantes, el personal y los miembros de la comunidad estén conectados entre sí y se cuiden unos a otros. Si siente que usted u otro miembro de nuestra comunidad necesita ayuda, comuníquese con un miembro del personal de la escuela de su hijo y anime a sus hijos a hacer lo mismo.

Como padre o tutor, es posible que tenga preguntas sobre cómo ayudar a su hijo a superar las emociones que pueda tener. Siempre puede hablar con el maestro, el consejero u otro miembro del personal de la escuela de su hijo, o lo aliento a usar los recursos disponibles en línea en

Gracias por asociarse con nosotros para ser una comunidad fuerte que se une para apoyar a nuestros estudiantes.


Superintendente, Cindy Amoroso

Tagged community, safety

BHS student’s app earns top spot in 2nd U.S. Congressional District contest

Posted on February 15, 2018

Congressman Jason Lewis presented Ross with his official “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” at Burnsville High School on Feb. 12.
Congressman Jason Lewis presented Ross with his official “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” at Burnsville High School on Feb. 12.

Burnsville High School junior Ross Waataja had just three weeks to use coding to create an original mobile app as an assignment in his Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles class taught by Cindy Drahos.

That’s all the time it took for Ross to create an app that has won first place in the 2nd U.S. Congressional District as part of the national Congressional App Challenge (CAC). Congressman Jason Lewis presented Ross with his official “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” at Burnsville High School on Feb. 12.

U.S. Congressional districts around the country sponsor the competition to inspire high school students to pursue computer science and other careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). In all, 190 Congressional districts across 42 states involved over 4,900 students in the event this year.

Ross and other winners are invited to showcase their apps to members of Congress and the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a reception in Washington, D.C., in April. Also, students’ apps are eligible to be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol Building and on the website. Each winning student will be awarded $250 in Amazon Web Service credits.

Ross’s inspiration for the app was a love of sports. His app, named Sport Savvy, involves earning points for correctly answering sports trivia questions.

“The hardest part was coming up with the questions,” he said. Issues developed along the way — as they always do with tech projects — but his troubleshooting skills resolved them.

Judges commented that Ross’ app was creative and the use of sports caught their eye. They said his questions were well-written and easy to follow in the app.

“It’s very impressive that Ross was able to create this app in just three weeks and earn this national recognition,” said Drahos, who encouraged her students to enter the competition. “It required a lot of creativity, problem solving and determination.”  

Posted in Achievement, Student Success | Tagged bhs, Advanced Placement Computer Science, Congressional App Challenge (CAC), #HouseOfCode, Sport Savvy app, Amazon Web Service

Message to Metcalf Families Regarding Social Media Post

Posted on February 14, 2018

Dear Metcalf Families,

Earlier tonight (Feb. 14), a Metcalf student posted a threatening message to social media. We immediately investigated with the support of local police. Officers spoke to the student and determined that there was no credible threat. We wanted to let parents and families know about the situation as soon as possible.

Student safety is our top priority and so we take any threat seriously. Out of an abundance of caution, there will an increased security presence at the school on Thursday.

Support will be available for students who have concerns or simply want to talk.

We encourage all parents to take this opportunity to talk to their children about their use of social media. Threatening messages are never jokes and can result in serious consequences for the student.

If you have questions, please feel free to call the school at 952-707-2400.

Kelly Ronn, Principal

Estimadas Familias de Metcalf,

Anoche, un estudiante de Metcalf publicó un mensaje amenazante en las redes sociales.  Inmediatamente investigamos con el apoyo de la policía local.  Los oficiales hablaron con el estudiante y determinaron que no había una amenaza creíble.  Creemos que es importante que los padres y familias tengan información sobre la situación.  

La seguridad de los estudiantes es nuestra máxima prioridad, por lo que tomamos cualquier amenaza en serio.  Debido a la abundancia de precaución, habrá una mayor presencia de seguridad en la escuela hoy, jueves.

Estaremos apoyando a estudiantes que tengan inquietudes o simplemente quieran hablar.  

Aconsejamos a todos los padres a aprovechar esta oportunidad para hablar con sus hijos sobre su uso de redes sociales.  Los mensajes amenazantes nunca son broma y pueden tener graves consecuencias para el alumno.

Si tiene preguntas, no dude en llama a la escuela al 952-707-2400.

Kelly Ronn, Directora

Partnership with music studio opens doors for students

Posted on February 14, 2018

Homecoming pep fests are memorable experiences for most high school students, but the pep fest at Burnsville High School last fall may prove life changing for senior Markell Sutton. His musical performance led a staff member to introduce him to THE GARAGE, a music venue and recording studio that partners with the city of Burnsville and Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 to provide learning opportunities for students.

In Markell’s case, what the partnership is providing is an opportunity for self-expression and the chance to pursue his passion and hopeful career pathway.

“I didn’t even know anything about [THE GARAGE],” he said. “I did not know it even existed.”

The first day, Markell sat down with GARAGE staff members, including studio manager Robb Frost, and started laying out a plan that matched his goals and ambitions. Just five months later, Markell has released a four-song EP titled “Spoken Chronologically” along with a music video, and he has plans to release a full album later this spring.

“Markell has done an amazing job of coming to the program prepared and ready to take advantage of this great opportunity,” said Jack Kolb-Williams, executive director of THE GARAGE. “His work ethic, commitment, and dedication to the craft is inspiring to watch especially for someone his age. We can't wait to see how he develops as he gets closer to finishing his mix-tape later this semester.”

Markell says he started writing and recording as a 12-year-old when he got an iPad for Christmas and discovered the music sharing site SoundCloud. He would spend free time typing lyrics into the notes app on his phone, asking his friends what they thought of his work. Eventually, he met a group of friends who shared his passion.

“It was a good experience,” he said. “Sitting in the basement with them, writing stuff and recording just for fun.

“Eventually, when I was 15, I was like, OK, you gotta talk about something. You know, put your life into it,” he said, explaining how his work started to evolve into something more meaningful.

Going forward, Markell is hoping to keep producing music and find opportunities to perform.

“If I feel myself improving, that’s the best thing,” he said. “Just hearing people give comments, you learn from that. But your main focus is yourself. You just have to be yourself.”

Markell is one of two Burnsville High School students recording music at THE GARAGE this year. Jamal Hassan, a 9th grader at the school, has working with Kolb-Williams and Frost to develop his own sound and begin writing with a plan to release a demo album later this school year.

You can hear Markell’s music at

THE GARAGE is run by Twin Cities Catalyst Music, with youth programming provided through the Burnsville Youth Collaborative. Learn more about THE GARAGE at

Posted in Student Success, Community | Tagged bhs, #futureready, Pathways, GARAGE, burnsville youth collaborative

Coin Drive at MWS runs Feb. 12-23

Posted on February 14, 2018

It’s a MWS COIN DRIVE for books!!!!!

DATES: Monday, February 12 - Friday, February 23


MWS Staff vs. Students

Each classroom will have their own jug to collect coins.  The staff jug will be in the Teacher’s Lounge.  Every day, coins will be counted and students and staff will be updated on who is in the lead. 

The top collection classroom will get a comfy clothes/jammies day!!

All funds raised will go toward the purchase of books for MWS students via Scholastic’s All For Books at the book fair.


What is ALL FOR BOOKS – Check out the links below for more information


Sponsored by the MWS Student Leaders and the PTO. For more information please email the MWS PTO at

Tagged coin drive, marion w savage

Burnsville High School is top public school in newspaper survey

Posted on February 14, 2018

Burnsville High School is among award winners in the annual Readers’ Choice Survey of Sun ThisWeek and the Dakota County Tribune newspapers.

Every year the newspapers invite readers to choose their favorites in multiple categories. Results are tallied and Readers’ Choice Award Winners are announced.  

Burnsville High School was selected as the Best Public School in the Award Winners List 2018.

In the Readers' Choice Awards for 2017, Burnsville High School Principal Dave Helke ranked #1 Best Principal.

The newspaper printed a special section with a list of all winners in January and the list will also be featured online for six months.

Posted in Community, Achievement | Tagged bhs, readers' choice, Sun ThisWeek, dakota county

With new classes, district aims to ‘grow its own’ future teachers

Posted on February 9, 2018

Talking to a group of Burnsville High School juniors – most of whom were students of color – District 191 Systems Improvement and Student Achievement (SISA) coordinators Frannie Becquer and Jeff Pope asked how many of their teachers in the last 11 years looked like them. A few students could say they’d had one teacher of color. Most said none.

“When you don’t see yourself in a career, research shows you’re less likely to think that’s an option for you,” said Pope.

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District 191 is not alone in having a teaching staff that doesn’t look like its student population. Across Minnesota, only 4 percent of teachers are people of color, while 31 percent of students are.

career fields guideA new partnership with Normandale Community College is designed to address that disparity and open the teaching pathway to more students of color. Next fall, Burnsville High School seniors will be able to take two education courses and earn seven college credits through Normandale, all without leaving the high school.

The courses, “Introduction to Education” and “Multicultural Education and Human Relations in School,” are being made possible thanks in part to a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Although the school is actively recruiting students of color to participate, the classes are open to any senior who meets academic requirements or gets a recommendation from a teacher.

"These classes will give students a jump start, both in terms of earning college credit and in having a better idea of what's involved in education and whether it's a good fit for them," Pope said.

The approach aligns with Burnsville’s Pathways model, which helps students think about and prepare for their futures by providing real-world opportunities right in the school, many of which lead to professional certifications or college credit.

The benefits of the program, though, are not just for current students who might go on to become teachers. Research shows that a more diverse teaching corps supports the academic success of students of color. A recent study reported that having just one black male teacher in elementary school can make make a dramatic difference for black male students, increasing their chances of graduating high school and the likelihood that they will aspire to attend a four-year college.

“The Grow Your Own grant is an important tool for addressing Minnesota’s K-12 teacher shortage,” said Robb Lowe, coordinator of dual enrollment at Normandale Community College. “We’re fortunate to be able to work with Burnsville High School on this important initiative.”

Registration for these and other classes is going on now. Learn more about Pathways at Burnsville High School at

Posted in Building Community at BHS, Academics | Tagged Pathways, education, dual-enrollment, bhs, normandale community college, grow your own grant