Byrne 50th anniversary celebration video

Posted on May 17, 2017

Happy 50th birthday William Byrne STEM Elementary! 

On Friday, May 12we celebrated our 50th year! It was great to see and meet a few of the teachers and students who began here when it was first opened in 1967. Thanks to the students and staff for representing Byrne through our motto REACH, which stands for Respect, Empathy, Achievement, Citizenship, and Hopes & Dreams.  

Tagged william byrne, 50th anniversary

BHS seniors' successes highlighted at ceremony

Posted on May 16, 2017

Scholarships, awards and recognitions were presented to students during the 2017 Senior Honors Recognition Ceremony at Burnsville High School (BHS) on May 15.

Burnsville Breakfast Rotary winners with police chief B.J. Jungman, pictured at left.

"This evening is all about the commitment that our students have made and the dedication they have shown to their education," said Principal Dave Helke. "All of these seniors have made their learning and academic success a priority."

Local businesses, civic organizations and community members donated a total of $89,500 in scholarships for Burnsville High School seniors.

“We are very fortunate to have a community that places a high value on education and gives generously in so many ways from the early childhood to senior years,” said Helke. “We are grateful and appreciative to be part of a community so supportive of education.”

Several scholarships were presented in memory of former teachers, students and community members (see the complete list of award winners here).

For example, the family of Burnsville community leader Ken Slipka presented two scholarships. Scholarships were also presented in memory of Taylor Ziebol, Mary Lenhardt, Lon Hitch, Renae Gustafson and Robert Naffziger.

The Class Acts annual teacher variety show raised funding to provide $1,000 scholarships to 14 Burnsville High School seniors this year. Over the past 28 years, Class Acts has raised over $250,000 for scholarships to graduating seniors.

Two alumni, Scott Kadrlik and Joe Reger, presented scholarships from the Hanson Foundation, established to honor retired teacher and coach Dick Hanson.

Each academic department at the high school presented an outstanding senior award. Seniors also received specific awards for their achievements in academics, athletics and the arts.

For the first time, Foundation 191 hosted the event and is overseeing the disbursement of the scholarships. Foundation, a not for profit organization, began in 2005 to enhance, enrich and expand educational opportunities within the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

Posted in Academics, Achievement, Activities, Arts, Community, Parents, Student Success | Tagged bhs, senior awards, scholarships, awards, recognition

District 191 teachers present at Coding in the Classroom Summit

Posted on May 16, 2017

Five teachers in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 shared their expertise at the Coding in the Classroom Summit, a statewide conference where teachers are exploring ways to bring computer science opportunities to all students.

Lisa Christen’s students use Spheros to tell time.

Nancy Meyer, media specialist at Nicollet Middle School, did a presentation on middle school makerspaces, which are new places in District 191 schools where students can be creative, collaborate and problem solve. Meyer is a member of the group that planned the conference. 

Sky Oaks Digital Learning Specialist Lisa Christen and districtwide elementary Media Specialist Katie Salmela presented “Creating and Connecting Content Areas with Codable Robots.” Just as students would, participants in their seminar used several different robots to complete a challenge that connected coding with math, language arts, science or social studies. Teams then presented and demonstrated how their projects worked.

Lexi Rollie and Beth Raebel, digital learning specialists at Gideon Pond Elementary and Hidden Valley Elementary, respectively, presented on using the website with their students. During their session, they demonstrated how can be used to develop problem solving, communication and collaboration skills. Attendees left with ideas on how to track progress using the website’s courses, as well as offline lessons.

Cindy Drahos, business IT/programming instructor at Burnsville High School, along with Rachel Gorton, the district’s Instructional Technology Coordinator, shared the district’s curriculum for including coding/computer science at all grade levels -- which few districts have.

Drahos discussed opportunities for teachers to be part of the Computer Science Teacher’s Association of Minnesota (CSTA) at the national and state levels.

As part of Vision One91, digital learning specialists were added at each elementary school to provide students with direct instruction on technology skills and applications, as well as support teachers in using technology for instruction.

With the addition, students in District 191 are now learning coding in all grades K-12. The expansion has caught the attention of educators and media, including KSTP-TV, which recently featured District 191 schools.

Partnership will provide students with access to county library systems

Posted on May 16, 2017

Students at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School will have instant access to the vast resources of two county library systems — without having to worry about overdue fines — through a new collaboration that begins May 22.

Both Dakota County and Scott County public library systems have worked with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 to make this happen.

Learn how to use the card

“Students will benefit from access to incredible resources including online one-on-one homework help, research tools, eBooks, audiobooks, movies/TV DVDs, music CDs, electronic magazines and print books,” said Doug Johnson, director of technology for District 191. “Student cards will make public library resources a part of every student’s learning experience and leverage existing public resources to support student learning.”

The card can be used online and also in library buildings. The no-fine cards will expire when students graduate.

“Through this partnership, our students will learn about and have access to all the wonderful resources our public libraries offer for both academic and personal use,” said Johnson. “In return, the public libraries will be cultivating a new generation of library users and supporters, as well as encouraging a more informed citizenry.”

Students who will be in grades 9-12 at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School next year will be part of the pilot project, which will expand to additional grade levels at some point. All high school students now have Chromebooks as personal learning devices, which give them the ability to maximize use of the public library’s resources.

Students will receive information about this opportunity from their language arts teachers at school. Johnson will share information with parents through an email sent via the district’s SchoolMessenger system.

For more information, email

The opportunity is voluntary and students/families can opt out either by not activating their accounts or by contacting Johnson at

Posted in Academics | Tagged bhs, scott county, dakota county, library, online access, resources

Senior Carnival slated for Friday, May 26

Posted on May 15, 2017

Burnsville High School is hosting a senior carnival on Friday, May 26 for all seniors. The event is free and will be held during school hours in Bob Pates Stadium. 

Featuring a tropical theme, the event will include the following:

  • Inflatables 
  • Yard games
  • Food trucks (optional food purchases; students can bring a bagged lunch)
  • Kickball tournament
  • Dunk tank
  • Pedal Go-Carts

This is a great opportunity for students to hang out with their friends, relax and reminisce about their years at Burnsville High School.

Congratulations, Class of 2017 and best wishes for the future!


Posted in Parents, Activities | Tagged bhs, senior carnival, Class of 2017

Vikings executive and spouse set up ongoing scholarship for District 191 graduates

Posted on May 12, 2017

It started with a donation of 400 backpacks filled with school supplies for students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 in September 2016.

Recipients of the Kevin and Greta Warren No Doors Closed Scholar Awards are, from left, Tommy Bui, Dhavena Tejpaul, Manuel Andrade and Nia Blanks. Also pictured, are Stacie Stanley, director of student achievement; Jeff Pope, AVID coordinator; Superintendent Joe Gothard, Kevin Warren and Greta Warren. Ten others who applied will receive $500 each.

Now, generous donors Kevin and Greta Warren have presented major scholarships to four District 191 students who will be the first in their families to attend college.

The recipients, two female and two male students, will receive $5,000 each year for four years to cover tuition and other costs to earn an undergraduate degree at a college or university.

The Kevin & Greta Warren No Doors Closed Scholar Awards were presented students at the District 191 Board of Education meeting on May 11. Inaugural recipients are Manuel Andrade, who attends Burnsville Alternative High School, and Nia Blanks, Tommy Bui and Dhavena Tejpaul, who attend Burnsville High School.

“Greta and I want to ensure we do what we can to give local high school students a critical secondary education opportunity,” said Warren, who is an attorney and the chief operating officer of the Minnesota Vikings. “We both have a passion for education and have been blessed in our careers, so we view it as our fiduciary responsibility to pay it forward to students within our community.”

“This incredibly generous scholarship will be a game changer for our students,” said Dr. Stacie Stanley, the district’s director of Systems Improvement & Student Achievement. “Our students have shown strong academic ability and this will allow them to garner the post-secondary education they will need to make a difference in each of their communities.”

Students in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and/or College Possible college readiness programs were eligible to apply. Fourteen students from Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School filled out applications, which included writing about obstacles they’d overcome, their goals for community involvement and their plans for the future.

In addition to their essays, students were evaluated on leadership, community participation, volunteer service and participation in sports or the arts. They had to meet a certain grade point average, be members of underserved or underrepresented groups on college campuses, and show desire and determination to succeed.

The Warrens plan to continue awarding four scholarships annually until a total of 16 students are in the program on a rolling basis.

When reviewing the applications, the Warrens decided spontaneously to donate additional one-time funding of $500 to each of the 10 students who applied for the scholarship but will not be receiving it.

In addition to financial backing, Warren has already connected students with possible networking and mentoring opportunities to further launch them into careers and opportunities.

“The Warrens are very giving people whose donations are going to make a major difference in the lives of several young people,” said Stanley. “We are so grateful for all that the Warrens are doing to support the future success of One91 students.”

Posted in Student Success, Achievement, Community, Academics | Tagged scholarships, mn vikings, no door closed, AVID, college, graduates

BHS AVID graduates are honored at event

Posted on May 12, 2017

2017 AVID Graduates Celebration

All 31 seniors in the AVID program at Burnsville High School were honored at an event on May 9 when it was announced that 100% of them will go on to further education next year – most to four-year colleges.

They are the fourth group of graduates who have participated in the AVID college readiness program in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. The first graduating class of AVID students numbered 18 in 2014.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college prep program designed to increase the number of students who go to four-year colleges by helping them acquire the organizational and study skills they need to be successful. Students learn academic strategies, develop critical thinking skills, ask probing questions, use Cornell note-taking and participate in group collaboration. Most of the AVID graduates will be the first in their family to go to college.

"Our school community is extremely committed to your success, and you have answered by taking advantage of the opportunities AVID has provided you," Superintendent Joe Gothard told the seniors. "Please take all that you have learned and apply it to an area of study, a career and involvement in the community that sets you apart. Graduate from BHS on June 9th, with confidence that we believe in you and expect nothing but future happiness and success."

Students shared how participation in the AVID elective class had changed their lives. They gained organizational skills, increased self-confidence and acquired study skills that will support their future success.

AVID began in District 191 in 2009 at Nicollet Middle School, which is now an AVID National Demonstration School, and has expanded to all secondary schools during the 2015-16 school year.


Posted in Academics, Student Success | Tagged bhs, AVID, scholarship, recognition

District 191’s BEST program invites community to open house on May 23

Posted on May 11, 2017

Community members are invited to an open house hosted by the BEST transition program in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 on Tuesday, May 23, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at River Ridge Education Center, 100 River Ridge Court, Burnsville.  

The program has a new location in the district’s former Administrative Services Center (ASC) as part of Vision One91, the work to redesign the district to meet the needs of today’s learners. Previously, the building housed about 40 districtwide employees in several departments that have been moved to Diamondhead Education Center. The name of the building has been changed to River Ridge Education Center.

The building has been renovated to meet the needs of BEST, which is the transition program for  adult learners, ages 18 to 21, with disabilities. Students have individual education plans (IEPs) focusing on their transition from school to adult life in areas of employment, postsecondary education and independent living.

Open house activities will include tours and an overview of the BEST program. Visitors will be able to participate in the Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES Lab), a work development lab where students participate in work simulation experiences in the following areas: computer technology, construction/industrial, processing/production, consumer/service and business/marketing.

BEST used to be located in leased space across Highway 13 from Burnsville High School. Students and staff have benefited from the move because the new building has additional space that has been renovated to meet the specific needs of the program.

“The two separate floors allow for greater differentiation to meet the needs of a variety of students,” said Jenne O’Neill-Mager, administrator of the program. “In addition, it has specially-designed kitchens and bathrooms that promote greater independence for our students.”

Posted in Vision One91, Community | Tagged BEST, open house, Vision One91

BHS sophomore receives Bronze Medal at international science fair

Posted on May 11, 2017

Sophomore Hanna Holmstrom received the Bronze Medal award at the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project Olympiad (ISWEEEP) on May 6 in Houston. She competed against students from across 62 countries.

After presenting her research at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair in March, Hanna’s project, “A Comparison of Alternative Protein Sources and their Impact on the Environment," was selected to advance to ISWEEEP, where she competed against top science students from around the world.

Hanna also had the opportunity to meet and speak with top scientists in the fields of energy, engineering and the environment at the competition.

“Competing at ISWEEEP presented me with a wonderful opportunity to meet other students who share my passions and to connect with science professionals,” said Hanna. “I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to compete at that high of a level and am very excited and proud about what I have done with my research in the past year.”

“I am proud of Hanna for the research she conducted on reducing carbon emissions by changing the protein source. Her project was innovative and timely,” said BHS science teacher and mentor Jennifer Hugstad-Vaa. “In addition, her ability to verbally communicate her research was instrumental in her receiving the Bronze Medal.”


Posted in Achievement, Student Success | Tagged bhs, hanna holmstrom, science, engineering, Environment Project (ISWEEP)

Free summer meals available for children

Posted on May 9, 2017

Thanks to a federal program, breakfasts and lunches will be provided at no charge to all children, ages 1 to 18, this summer at several schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. Meals meet nutritional standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Children's meals must be eaten on site. Adult meals will be available for purchase.

Download a Summer Meals Flyer

In addition, a partnership between District 191 and The Open Door of Eagan will deliver free lunches to non-school locations using “The Mobile Lunch Box”.

At these sites, which are open to the public, breakfast will be served from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to  1 p.m. on the dates noted. Meals are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Edward Neill Elementary School, 13409 Upton Ave. S, Burnsville, Monday through Friday from June 14 to Aug. 18 (closed July 3-4)
  • Gideon Pond Elementary School, 613 E.130th St., Burnsville, Monday through Friday from June 14 to Aug. 18 (closed July 3-4).
  • Nicollet Middle School, 400 E. 134th St., Burnsville, Monday through Thursday from June 14 to Aug. 17, and Friday, July 7 (closed July 3-4).
  • Burnsville High School, 600 E. Highway 13, Burnsville, Monday through Thursday from June 19 to July 27 (closed July 3-7)
  • Marion W. Savage Elementary School, 4819 W. 126th St., Savage,  Monday through Thursday from July 6 to 27 and Friday, July 7.
  • Sioux Trail Elementary School, 2801 River Hills Drive, Burnsville,  Monday through Thursday from July 6 to 27 and Friday, July 7.
  • Vista View Elementary School, 13109 County Road 5, Burnsville, Monday through Thursday from July 6 to 27 and Friday, July 7.

Additional public sites and meal details include:

  • Arbor Vista Mobile Home Village, 14750 W. Burnsville Pkwy., Burnsville, Mondays and Wednesdays, June 16 to Aug. 17, lunch only from 11:15 a.m. to noon.
  • Rambush Estates, 1709 W. Burnsville Pkwy., Burnsville, Mondays and Wednesdays, June 16 to Aug. 17, lunch only from noon to 12:45 p.m.
  • Twelve 501 Apartments, 12501 Portland Ave. S., Burnsville, Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 17 to Aug. 18, lunch only from 11 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Chancellor Manor, 14250 Irving Ave. S., Burnsville, Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 17 to Aug. 18, noon to 12:45 p.m.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Meals will be provided to all enrolled children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Menus may be found at  

Posted in Community, Parents | Tagged summer meals, food service, healthy kids