BHS teacher selected to attend seminar on Kennedy presidency at Boston University

Posted on June 5, 2018

Kathryn Wendling, a social studies teacher at Burnsville High School, has been selected to attend a week-long professional development seminar at Boston University this summer about the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

The seminar is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and will be led by historian Barbara Perry, who is the director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia.

The seminar will ask the question: "More than fifty years after its tragic end, the presidency of John F. Kennedy continues to fascinate people in the United States and around the world. Why should a mere thousand-day presidency continue to attract such universal attention?"

“That really resonates with me and I am very excited to be able to look at JFK's presidency in a scholarly way with Dr. Barbara Perry, a biographer and Kennedy expert,” said Wendling.

Seminar participants will explore the successes and failures of Kennedy’s presidency more than 50 years after his assassination, including the Cold War, the Peace Corps, civil rights and the arts, through media, leadership theory and public policy. They will tour President Kennedy’s birthplace, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, and the Edward Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Full room and board and a travel allowance are provided to all participants.

Wendling, who has a master’s degree in political science, has been fascinated by the Kennedy presidency since childhood. “I have always read anything Kennedy-related I can get my hands on and I have a collection of Kennedy books and magazines in my classroom,” she said.

She previously was selected to attend a professional development seminar at Stanford University on the U.S. Supreme Court -- also through the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 education while also serving the general public. For more information, go to

Posted in Academics | Tagged bhs, kathryn wendling, Gilder Lehrman Institute, boston university

Gifted program position, some middle school athletics added back to proposed budget

Posted on June 4, 2018

At its May 24 meeting, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education heard a plan to reinstate a gifted program position at Harriet Bishop Elementary, as well as middle school wrestling and tennis programs as part of the proposed budget for 2018-19.

The two items had been marked for elimination, with middle school sports combining with high school programs, in an original proposal presented earlier this spring. The proposal to create combined middle and high school (grades 7-12) cross country and dance programs is still in place.

To help cover the cost of continuing the middle school and other athletics programs, the proposal includes increases in fees across the district. The specific proposed increases are:

Middle School Sports

  • Fees for all sports increase from $80 to $105

High School Sports

  • Competitive cheer and spirit cheer, from $105 to $140
  • Olympic weightlifting and weightlifting, from $115 to $150
  • Cross country, adaptive soccer, dance team, tennis, adapted hockey and adapted softball, from $135 to $175
  • Soccer, volleyball, basketball, alpine ski, nordic ski, wrestling, track and field, from $155 to $205

At Harriet Bishop, the full-time teaching position to be reinstated supports the school’s gifted and talented program. Executive Director of Business Services Lisa Rider said the plan was to reinstate the position for the 2018-19 school year, during which time Principal Ken Essay would work with staff to develop a model for delivering a high quality gifted program moving forward.

The School Board will adopt a budget for 2018-19 before June 30. For more budget information, go to

Posted in Finance | Tagged budget, 2018-19

Community scholarships presented to graduating seniors

Posted on June 1, 2018

Burnsville High School seniors were awarded scholarships totaling more than $110,000 at this year’s Community Scholarship Awards Ceremony May 24.    

The event was sponsored by Foundation 191, the not-for-profit organization created to enhance, enrich and expand educational opportunities in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. Foundation 191 now oversees the Community Scholarships Program which provides scholarships to graduates funded by area businesses, civic organizations, clubs and individuals.   

“We are fortunate to have a supportive community that places a high value on education and gives generously in so many ways.” said Dave Helke, principal of Burnsville High School. “We are so grateful and appreciative of the scholarships that will help our students achieve their goals for higher education.”

Several scholarships were presented in memory of former teachers, students and community members. For example, the family of Burnsville community leader and businessman Ken Slipka presented two scholarships. Scholarships were also presented in memory of students Devin Delaney and Taylor Ziebol; teachers Mary Lenhardt, Lon Hitch, Renae Gustafson and Robert Naffziger, and administrator Howard Hall. The Dick Hanson Scholarship Fund, in honor of the former teacher and coach, presented scholarships to six students.  

The Class Acts annual teacher variety show raised funding to provide $1,000 scholarships to 11 seniors at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School this year. “We are totally a ‘community scholarship’ as the show has continued only due to the incredible support from our community businesses, community members and the entire staff of School District 191,” said Lucretia Jeffers, an organizer of the event. “In 30 years, Class Acts has given out $376,000 in scholarships to our graduating seniors wishing to further their education.”

Scholarship donors and recipients are:

  • American Legion Burnsville 1700 - Olivia Brammer and Samantha Panos;

  • Apple Auto Scholarship presented by the Minneapolis Foundation - Kelly Solberg;

  • BA191 Ken Slipka Baseball Scholarship - Garrett Gregersen;

  • Burnsville Association of Educational Assistants - Payton Handrahan;

  • BHS Student Council - Luke Haddorff and Malorie O’Brien;

  • Burnsville Athletic Club - Elizabeth Cummings, Mackenzie Duncan and Jack Kudra;

  • Burnsville Breakfast Rotary - Jacob Boatman, Kaitlyn Lakson and Chelsea Zerr;

  • Burnsville High School Tennis - Macauly Donohue, Allie Draper, Alex Gude, Kendra Gudmonson, Luke Haddorff, Payton Handrahan, Albert Liu and Sutton Strander;

  • Burnsville Lions’ Club - Samantha Brenes, Katherine Do, Michelle Dolan, Natasha Hassan, Vanessa Kiriago, Maxwell May, Davina Persaud, Sarra Suphavong, Falak Tawaklna and Julio Urgiles-Inamagua;

  • Burnsville Noon Rotary - Kaitlyn Lakson;

  • Burnsville Principals Association - Ayla Resendez;

  • Class Acts - Daniel Akah, Olivia Bendickson, Samantha Brenes, Kristine Brinkman, Princess Daniels, Vitoria Gueorguiev, Katlin Johnson, Shealyn McMahon, Lucy Mertens, Yevgeniy Bak and Spencer Harned;

  • Dakota Electric Association - Eyerusalem Abebaw, Lysandra Alvilar, Cameron Bedford, Jake Beeson, Jacob Boatman, Jeffy Jeffy, Dalatheon Legrand, Julia Machuchu, Christian Marineau and Murwoa Yusuf;

  • Devin Delaney Memorial Scholarship - Garrett Gregersen, Conner Mauck and Jonah Norling;

  • District 191 Employees - Jose Cazares, Elizabeth McCormick, Emily Reynolds, Ryan VanEps and Murwoa Yusuf;

  • Firefly Credit Union Firefly Credit Union Blood Drive - Jake Chudecke, Kaylee Martynow and Elizabeth McCormick;

  • Firefly Credit Union Great Savings Challenge - Elizabeth McCormick;

  • Hanson Scholarship - William Alvey, Olivia Brammer, Christopher Fuentes Chevez, Mitchell Huerd, Brock Schultz and Elija Worley;

  • Harriet Bishop PTO - Ali Mohamed;

  • Howard Hall Memorial Scholarship - Abeal Sinbero;

  • Ken Slipka Leadership Scholarship - Makaela Kallstrom;

  • Kopp Family Foundation - Madison Burk, Antonio Alvarez Cruz and Tiffany Preisinger;

  • Lifetouch Presidential Scholarships - Janessa Cook, Megan Osterhaus and Alessandra Genis;

  • Lon Hitch Community Involvement Memorial Scholarship - Falak Tawakalna;

  • Lon Hitch Education Memorial Scholarship - Vanessa Kiriago;

  • Mary Lenhardt Memorial Scholarship - Kaylee Martynow and Shealyn McMahon;

  • Metcalf PTO - Elizabeth McCormick;

  • National Honor Society General Scholarship - Sydney Dahl, Thanh Manh Dinh, Albert Liu, Megan Osterhaus, Cristian Pina-Flores, Derek Pina-Flores and Thomas Ryan;

  • NHS Officer Scholarship - Courtney Funk, Elizabeth McCormick and Emily Reynolds;

  • P.E.O. Chapters DP/EI Women’s Scholarship - Hannah Schliemann;

  • P.E.O. S.T.A. R. Scholarship - Elizabeth McCormick;

  • Renae Gustafson Memorial Scholarship - Fiona Chow and Albert Liu;

  • Robert Naffziger Memorial Scholarship - Abeal Sinbero;

  • Savage American Legion - Kristyn Loyva;  

  • Savage Rotary - Sereirotha Phay;

  • Taylor Ziebol Memorial Scholarship - Sameesha Harmon;

  • Timothy L. Correll (TLC) Foundation - Samantha Duncan;

  • Walser Foundation Driving a Stronger Community - Olivia Brammer.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged bhs, community scholarships, seniors, class acts

Where in the World Do YOU show REACH?

Posted on June 1, 2018

We want to know where you show REACH during summer break!  

  • So pack your REACH t-shirt as you head off to your cabin, or summer camp, fairs, sporting events, or even traveling to another continent !
  • Take a selfie and email it to Ms. Henle at  

When you return to school, this fall, a bulletin board will have  All the places Byrne students found to show REACH !





Tagged globe, reach, william byrne

Vikings players ‘Team Up to Give Back’ at Rahn Elementary

Posted on June 1, 2018

Students at Rahn Elementary School of Arts and Technology in Eagan found their school invaded by Vikings on May 30. Thankfully, these Vikings were there to hand out backpacks with books and spend some time playing games with students both in classrooms and the gym.

As part of the Minnesota Vikings first Team Up to Give Back community service day, more than 30 players were on hand at the school, including running back Latavius Murray, linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Andrew Sendejo. Some visited classrooms, squeezing their professional athlete-sized frames into first grader-sized chairs, to read, color, play games and chat with students. Others were active with students in the gym, playing games of tag and team relays.

The community outreach effort actually kicked off the week before when Rahn third-grade students worked with artists to create pieces that will be installed at TCO Performance Center, the Vikings’ new training facility in Eagan.

Read more about Team Up to Give Back at

Photo at top: Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr talks with first graders during a visit on May 30.

Vikings Visit Rahn Elementary

Posted in Community | Tagged vikings, rahn, community, literacy, physical fitness

Two seniors among finalists in economics essay contest

Posted on May 30, 2018
Two seniors from Burnsville High School were among 30 finalists in an essay contest held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis this spring.
Matthew Fischer and Kelly Solberg each received $100 and were honored at an awards luncheon in May, where they heard from economics experts and toured the facility.  
This year’s essay topic was, “Should the federal government increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour?”
Essays were judged by college economics faculty and Federal Reserve staff members on the basis of comprehension, organization, conclusions, creativity and writing.
Kathryn Wendling, their social studies teacher, connected students with the contest. 
Posted in Achievement | Tagged bhs, essay contest, federal reserve bank of minneapolis, economics

BHS students entering military recognized by Burnsville Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

Posted on May 30, 2018

Burnsville Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) recognized Burnsville High School seniors May 22 who have made military commitments during a Burnsville City Council meeting and at a reception at the Dan Patch American Legion in Savage.

Nine students from Burnsville, Eagan and Savage have made commitments – two to the U.S. Marine Corps, three to the U.S. Army and four to the Minnesota Army National Guard.

They include:

  • U.S. Marines: Zachary Schultz of Savage and Nathan Schumacher of Savage.
  • U.S. Army: Seth Merrill of Burnsville, Perry Appau of Burnsville, and Hussein Ruto of Burnsville.
  • Minnesota Army National Guard: Jake Naumann of Eagan, Garrett Schrupp of Rosemount, Jackson Gray of Savage, and Brock Latvala of Savage.

Mike Huddleston, coordinator for Burnsville BTYR, said this is the third year the organization has honored BHS students to congratulate them for making a commitment to serve their community and country. “This is a very honorable endeavor that we feel should be acknowledged and celebrated before you leave to begin your military training,” he said, “I also want to recognize and thank the families of these young folks for letting us borrow them to go to boot camp so that they can represent Burnsville, Eagan and Savage and our country.”

During the City Council meeting, the students were given a $75 gift card and a gift bag with sundry items, including a chocolate bar, as a nod to the military members of the past who often found “John Wayne Bars,” in their K-rations, an individual daily combat food ration introduced during World War II; and a protein bar, which is a nod to today’s military, which receives MRE rations.

The Burnsville VFW, Burnsville American Legion, Burnsville Lions, Burnsville BTYR, Two Eagles Marine Detachment – Marine Corps League and Dan Patch American Legion provided donations in support of the student recognition. A reception for the students and their families was held at the Dan Patch American Legion in Savage, where students were provided with complimentary one-year memberships and American flags.

BTYR is a state-wide network of a diverse group of citizens and community leaders uniting key areas within local communities to leverage existing support activities, build awareness, and act to recognize and support veterans, service members and military families.

Three of the nine Burnsville High School students who are entering the military posed for a picture with members of the Burnsville City Council, Burnsville Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and representatives from the city of Savage, city of Burnsville, and Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District
Posted in Community, Achievement | Tagged bhs, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, Minnesota Army National Guard, beyond the yellow ribbon, Burnsville City Council, Burnsville VFW, Burnsville American Legion, burnsville lions, Dan Patch American Legion in Savage

Sioux Trail custodian earns national school support employee award

Posted on May 29, 2018

Mark Glende, head custodian at Sioux Trail Elementary School in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, is one of five school support staff in the nation to receive the 2018 Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) award. Given annually by the National Coalition of Classified Educational Support Employee Unions, the RISE award is presented to staff members are doing extraordinary and inspirational work in their schools and communities to promote quality education, foster positive learning environments, and ensure student success.

Glende was recognized for his proven track record of going above and beyond to make the school a safe, welcoming and enriching place for all the students. He has particularly focused on sustainability and conservation programs, both to help the school save money and as a learning opportunity for students.

“I'm very proud to win this award. I truly believe if we each leave things a little better than we find them, we can accomplish amazing things,” said Glende. “I am proud to be able to work every day to make that a reality for students in my community."

Some of the work he’s led includes creating a employee and student group to study the effects of energy conservation measures like turning off classroom lights and making sure blinds were down at the end of the day to conserve heat. Because of the group’s work along with support from the entire school, Sioux Trail Elementary became one of the first Minnesota schools to become an ENERGY STAR Leader Top Performer and in 2007 ranked as the second most energy efficient school in the Midwest.

Glende has also organized school-wide efforts and student groups focused on recycling and composting organic materials to cut down on what the school sends to the landfill. Over a couple of years, the school went from producing enough trash to fill a four-yard dumpster daily to only filing a one-yard dumpster weekly.

His leadership saw him appointed to and elected chairman of the city of Burnsville’s Environmental and Sustainability Task Force.

Other projects during his time at Sioux Trail have included painting a world map on the playground, painting numbers and fractions on steps to help younger students learn math, and even painting inspirational words on gym walls in his effort to turn “dead space” into “learning spaces.”

“Mr. Glende is a positive role for our staff, students, and community members,” said Sioux Trail Principal Shannon McParland. “He supports lifelong learning by showing students how to be future ready as global citizens within our world. He models making our world a better place by recycling, saving energy and reusing goods and products.”

Glende has worked in District 191 schools since 1996, nearly all of that time at Sioux Trail. He was honored by the district for his volunteerism with a John Coskran Volunteer Award in 2004.

“Mark is a classic example of school employees across Minnesota who go above and beyond every single day to make our schools safer and more enriching for our students,” said Keith Niemi, President of SEIU Local 284. “We are incredibly proud of Mark and the positive impact he is making on students, his school and the community. His whole SEIU Local 284 family are incredibly proud of this outstanding achievement.”

Learn more about the RISE Awards at

Posted in Achievement | Tagged awards, mark glende, sioux trail, custodian

Negotiations at impasse; Board wants arbitration

Posted on May 25, 2018

Update: A tentative agreement has been reached between the District 191 Board of Education and the representatives of the Burnsville Education Association. Read a joint statement here


Future teachers honored in first-ever BHS signing ceremony

Posted on May 23, 2018

The first-ever teacher signing ceremony took place in the Burnsville High School Career Center on May 23 with 14 seniors who plan to become teachers.  

BHS language arts teacher Allison Millea heard about a similar event that took place in Iowa last year and wanted to create an official ceremony at Burnsville High School to honor students who have committed to pursuing a teaching career.

It’s like the ceremonies with high school seniors signing letters of intent with the colleges and universities where they’ll play sports.

“To all of you amazing students here today, congratulations on making such a powerful decision,” said Millea, who is completing her 5th year of teaching. “You are committing to a brighter future for everyone. You are dedicated to improving lives.”

She told students: “Just remember: no matter the age, the content, the year, you are shaping the future of humanity. Not to sound dramatic, but you are literal superheroes for making the choice to teach. If you want to make the world a better place, start with education. Future teachers, please know that everyone in this building is so impossibly proud of you. As you sign your letters of intent today, you are already making tomorrow brighter. Congratulations!”

Future teachers include:

  • Olivia Brammer, Augsburg University
  • Samantha Brenes, Normandale Community College
  • Kristine Brinkman, Bethel University
  • Megan Fuerstenberg. Minnesota State University - Mankato
  • Jayde Grass, Winona State University
  • Joy Grittner, Winona State University
  • Zachary Holmes, Winona State University
  • Mitchell Huerd, Normandale Community College/Minnesota State University - Mankato
  • Alexandra Kielas, Winona State University
  • Shealyn McMahon, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  • Jackson Morris, Normandale Community College
  • Natalie Root-Hepner, Dakota County Technical College
  • Abby Tucci, Lake Forest College
  • Elija Worley, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.

Teachers Dave McDevitt and Hayley Ohama, advisors of the Future Teachers of America (FTA) club, assisted with the event along with Marcia Sexton, college and career specialist. Students wore t-shirts or sweatshirts from the colleges/universities they’ll attend. Parents were invited.

On a related note, next year through a new partnership with Normandale Community College, a teaching pathway will begin at Burnsville High School. Seniors will be able to take two education courses and earn seven college credits -- right at 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. Learn more about Burnsville High School's new education classes.

"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," said Jeff Pope of the district’s Systems Improvement and Student Achievement Department.

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.

2018 Teaching Letter of Intent

Posted in Student Success, Academics | Tagged bhs, future teachers, Pathways, education