District 191 graduates will receive diplomas in three ceremonies

Posted on May 16, 2018

Commencement ceremonies will take place in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 with graduates receiving diplomas at three locations in June.

Commencement for students in the BEST transition program will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at River Ridge Education Center, 100 River Ridge Court, Burnsville.

Burnsville Alternative High School will present diplomas to students during a commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, in their school’s gym at 2140 Diffley Road, Eagan.

At Burnsville High School, seniors will receive diplomas during the commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 8. Depending on the weather, the ceremony will either take place outside in Pates Stadium next to the school or inside the gym at 600 E. Highway 13, Burnsville. A decision will be made by 4 p.m. that day and posted on the district's website at

Student speakers at the BHS commencement will be William Alvey, Olivia Brammer and Fiona Chow. Musical performers will be Daniel Akah, Jasmine Buckner and Katie Lyon.

Posted in Academics, Student Success | Tagged graduation, 2018 commencement, bhs, BAHS, BEST

Nicollet, Eagle Ridge teams compete at Quiz Bowl nationals

Posted on May 16, 2018

Students from Eagle Ridge and Nicollet middle schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 competed at the national Quiz Bowl championships May 11-13 in Chicago. The teams qualified for nationals based on their results in local tournaments throughout the school year.

Quiz bowl is a game in which two teams compete head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, sports, and more. Questions are answered in two different ways, with individual players buzzing in to answer “tossup” questions and team members being able to work together to answer “bonus” questions.

The Eagle Ridge team consisted of 7th grader John Goettl and 8th graders Erik Gorton, Allan Habiger, Jasper Strayer and August Tinklenberg. The Nicollet team included 8th graders Davin Alt, Calvin Hume, Keegan McDevitt, Cameron Passon, Alex Stanek and Carter Stuart.

At the championship, both teams finished with three wins and five losses in the preliminary rounds, falling short of qualifying to compete in the playoffs.

Erik Gorton was the top individual scorer among all District 191 students, finishing 59th out of nearly 1,000 students who participated in the tournament.

“It was awesome to see how much fun they were having and how well they represented their schools and our district,” said Coach Les Moffitt. “It was especially nice to see the kids from different schools interacting and building friendships that can continue and grow next year.”

Three teams from Burnsville High School have qualified to compete at the High School Quiz Bowl Nationals, which will take place May 25-27 in Atlanta.

Posted in Activities, Student Success | Tagged quiz bowl, nationals, championships, eagle ridge, nicollet

Harriet Bishop students, parents continue hair donation tradition

Posted on May 16, 2018

A tradition now in its fifth year, the ‘Hair’riet Bishop Project was once again a big success, with 28 Harriet Bishop students and two parents giving up their long locks to benefit children and adults who need wigs due to illness.

The 2018 project, held at The Hair District in Burnsville, resulted in 293 inches of hair donated to this year’s charities, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids. Over five years, the project has included more than 200 participants and 149 feet of hair donated.

Lisa Pozorski, who has organized the project since its inception in collaboration with the Harriet Bishop Service Club, said it’s touching to be part of the event.

“Harriet Bishop is example to all of how a school community can, and is making this world a better place,” she said.

The project is made possible with support from several local businesses, including The Hair District and its stylists, who provide the salon space and skills for the actual event. Other supporters include Thrivent Financial, Chipotle, Sterling State Bank, Elpis Enterprises, Urban Halo, Kemnitz Orthodontics, Wells Fargo, Foss Swim School, Cosmopolitan Orthodontics, Peggy Hicks-RE/MAX Results, I Love Kickboxing, Peter Hohn - State Farm, Children’s Dental Care, and Conquer Ninja Warrior.

2018 Hair-riet Bishop Project
Posted in Community | Tagged service, harriet bishop, #communitystrong

BHS AVID graduates are honored at event

Posted on May 16, 2018

Forty-four seniors in the AVID programs at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School were honored at an event on May 8.

They are the fifth 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.

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.

Also at the event, Kevin and Greta Warren presented the second round of their No Doors Closed Scholar Awards. Recipients this year are Patrick Asamoah, Nivian Moraa, Sengdalivanh Novaha, Sucaado Omar and Falak Tawakalna. They 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.

AVID began in District 191 in 2009 at Nicollet Middle School, which is now an AVID National Demonstration School, and has since expanded to all secondary schools.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged AVID, colleg prep, first to go to college, cornell note-taking

Second year of Warren scholarships presented to students

Posted on May 16, 2018

Generous donors Kevin and Greta Warren have presented another round of major scholarships to students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 who are likely to be the first in their families to attend college.

The recipients 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.

Recipients this year are Patrick Asamoah, Nivian Moraa, Sengdalivanh Novaha, Sucaado Omar and Falak Tawakalna.

This is the second year of the Kevin & Greta Warren No Doors Closed Scholar Awards.

Kevin Warren, who is an attorney and the chief operating officer of the Minnesota Vikings, and Greta Warren, who is a first generation college graduate, said, “We have been blessed in our careers and we both have a passion for education, so we view it as our fiduciary responsibility to pay it forward to students within our community.”

“We are very grateful for our continued partnership with the Warrens and their commitment to support One91 students,” said Dr. Stacie Stanley, the district’s director of Systems Improvement & Student Achievement. “The 2017 scholars are already giving back to the One91 community, as they actively participated in the selection of this year’s scholars.”

Students at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School in the  Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and College Possible college readiness programs were eligible to apply by filling out applications that included essays 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 scholarships annually until a total of 16 students are in the program on a rolling basis.

In addition to financial backing, Warren has also linked students with possible networking and mentoring

opportunities to further launch them into careers and opportunities.

“This wide level of support works to ensure students not only go to college, but also graduate with a degree,” said Stanley. “We couldn’t be more fortunate.”


Picture above from left, are Kevin Warren, Nivian Moraa, Sucaado Omar, Falak Tawakalna, Patrick Asamoah, Sengdalivanh Novaha, and Greta Warren
Posted in Community, Achievement | Tagged warren scholarships, kevin warren, greta warren, minnesota vikings, SISA

Foundation 191 awards 10 grants for learning projects

Posted on May 11, 2018

Foundation 191 will fund 10 grants for learning projects during the 2018-2019 school year totaling almost $5,000, it was announced at the May 10 meeting of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education.

Each year, the not-for-profit foundation receives grant requests from District 191 staff members with creative ideas to enhance, enrich and expand educational opportunities for students, which is core to the foundation’s mission, according to Robbie Bunnell, interim president of the foundation.

“Congratulations to each award recipient,” she said. “Thank you to teachers and staff members for not only taking the time to go through this grant application process with us, but for also going above and beyond by providing fun and innovative educational experiences for our 191 students.”

Since its inception in 2005, Foundation 191 has provided more than $100,000 in grants and in-kind contributions to supplement and enhance students’ experiences.

Grant awards for the 2018-19 school year go to:

  • M.W. Savage Elementary: $500 for Whaletale Publishing.
  • BES Transition Program: $1,000 for core quilting project.
  • Nicollet Middle School: $500 for audiobooks.
  • Vista View Elementary: $400-$500 for student-led book clubs in 4th grade.
  • Sky Oaks Elementary: $500 for the Sky Flyers student leadership team.
  • Edward Neill Elementary: $292 for Boogie Boards.
  • Eagle Ridge Middle School: $150 student service club.  
  • Community Education / Hidden Valley: $500 for swimming lessons.
  • Early Childhood Programs: $400-$500 for providing more diverse literature.
  • District-Wide: $500 for Bowls for BrainPower fundraiser for weekend food for students in need.

Photo: Robbie Bunnell, interim president of Foundation 191, presents a check to Board Chair Jim Schmid. 

BHS student takes top honors, school is runner-up in competition to find nation’s strongest

Posted on May 11, 2018
Danielle “Dani” Kurr, a junior at Burnsville High School, has had quite a year in the weight room.
On May 2, USA Weightlifting (USAW) named Dani the strongest high school athlete in her weight class in America, based on results from a USAW contest. The organization also announced Burnsville High School  the strongest high school in Minnesota and runner-up to the strongest high school in the nation.
Dani began the weightlifting season by setting a new women's strength record at the school with a back squat of 225 lbs. She opened the Olympic Weightlifting season with a second place finish at the North Metro High School Open at Armstrong High School and followed up with a second place finish at the Raider High School Open at Northfield High School. Unsatisfied with finishing second, Dani decided to place her training emphasis on winning a state championship in March.
Dani found herself to be the strongest she had ever been and she was poised and prepared for the familiar opponents that had previously kept her just one step from the top. After completing her first two attempts, Dani was positioned to take second place. However, a window of opportunity opened when the leader missed on her third attempt.
Coach Justin Lerfald said, "I leaned over to Dani and said, ‘Let's go for it. I know it’s more than you've ever done, but you have second locked up. Go for it, I know you can do it.’"
Dani’s third attempt was 71 kilos (156 lbs), 6 kilos (13 lbs) above her second, and more than she had ever done.
"She absolutely nailed it,” said Lerfald. “Her teammates and coaches were going crazy." Dani was crowned state champion.
In April, Lerfald encouraged Dani to enter the USA Weightlifting (USAW) contest to determine the strongest high school athlete in America. The contest consisted of sending a video of a max attempt on three movements: the clean, back squat and bench press.
Then came the USAW announcement naming Dani the nation’s strongest high school athlete in her class.
“I am so proud of these lifters. This has been an incredible year, with some truly amazing kids,” said Lerfald.
Dani received a trophy and an invitation to attend a summer camp hosted by USAW.
"This year's weightlifting season was one of my favorite seasons I've had in any sport,” said Dani. “As for my teammates and coaches, I love them all so much! I'm grateful to be pushed and encouraged every single day by my teammates and coaches.
Dani added, “They are the best family an athlete could ask for."
Posted in Athletics, Achievement | Tagged bhs, Olympic Weightlifting, justin lerfald, dani kurr, strongest athlete, strongest high school

Byrne Spring Carnival is May 11

Posted on May 9, 2018

carnival header image

It's Carnival Time!

Please join us on May 11 from 6-8:30 p.m. for the William Byrne Spring Carnival.

There will be games, crafts, outdoor activities, and the Book Fair. Game tickets will be on sale at the door for 50 cents per game. There will be free pizza and frost deserts for purchase from the Hometown Creamery Truck.

Come and have a great time with the Byrne Community!

Posted in Parents | Tagged carnival, william byrne

Hidden Valley students shine at regional science fair

Posted on May 9, 2018


Six students represented Hidden Valley Elementary this year at the 67th Annual Southern MN Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Saturday, April 28.

The following students won awards.

Grand Award Bronze Medals
Given for projects that demonstrate the greatest potential contribution to science, exemplify student creativity and curiosity, and reflect a student’s    personal and academic growth:

  • Sam Skoglund   
  • Emma Legorreta  

Agstar Financial Award (certificate and gift card)
Given for an outstanding agricultural-related project about plants:

  • Kylie Wallace

Our students also all received either a blue or purple ribbon.  Purple signifies top scoring excellent projects that are above expectations.  Blue signifies that the project met expectations and is superior in the category.

Congratulations again to those students who participated in Mankato this year:

Grade 3

  • Sam Skoglund (purple)

Grade 4

  • Evan Higgins (blue)
  • Kylie Wallace (blue)

Grade 5

  • Juan Carlos Carrillo Ruiz (blue)
  • Ashley Gutierrez De Jesus (purple)
  • Emma Legorreta (purple)

Great job everyone!


Nathan Naef / Science Fair Coordinator

Posted in Academics | Tagged science fair, hidden valley

‘The Crucible’ comes to BHS stage May 17-19

Posted on May 9, 2018

The award-winning play, “The Crucible,” will be performed at Burnsville High School at 7 p.m. on May 17, 18 and 19 and at 2:30 p.m. on May 19, in the Mraz Center, 600 E. Highway 13.

The play focuses on a farmer, his wife, and a young servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie, and the plot thickens. Written by Arthur Miller, “The Crucible” won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1953.

“The show is really applicable to today because it's all about what happens when we try to position two groups against each other,” said Marie Hansen, director. “None of the accusations in the play are based on facts, but rather on suspicion, and in a world where the topic of fake news is becoming increasingly relevant, these witch hunts that stem from the desire for personal gain are in​teresting to think about.”

There’s more interaction than usual with the audience serving as the jury in the big courtroom scene. Also townspeople will be entering and exiting from the audience.

The school’s fab lab printer and equipment were used to create the trees for the set. “It was an awesome use of pathways and technology,” said Hansen. The production’s poster was inspired by Sammy Kutz, a student in a BHS design class.

Cast and crew members in the production include Ryan Horrocks, Emma Wavrunek, Emma Harrold, Henry Smalstig, Jasmine Buckner, Abby Harrold, Megan Bormann, Joy Bogonko, Maddie Moher, Kelly Solberg, Andrew Vixayvong, Eyakem Yilma, Kara Schwenn, Zach Holmes, Meta Lobben, Jackson Thellin, Alyse Dees, Kaitlin Johnson, Davin Blix, Isaac Nelson, Sofia Kemeny, Bianka Delgadillo, Jacob Holtzleiter, Daniel Akah, Sam Brenes, Gavin Oliveras, Jon Butler, Sophie Herzog, Matt Bollinger, Mason Teal, Jayde Grass, Gaby Kauls, Aviva Leverty, Eliana Panos, Angela Linh, Sofia Versailles, Kenzie Carrane and Mikayla Hughes.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for students and can be purchased at  

Posted in Parents, Activities | Tagged bhs, theatre guild, the crucible, marie hansen