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Colleges honor seven outstanding juniors at BHS

Posted on May 15, 2019

Seven high-achieving juniors received Junior Book Awards from prestigious colleges during a ceremony at Burnsville High School on May 16.

Colleges present the awards each year across the country to 11th grade students in recognition of their outstanding academic accomplishments, dedication to learning, leadership, school involvement and community service. Each award recipient receives a book that is connected to the college in some way, often written by a professor or alumnus.

Burnsville awarded seven book awards from Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Smith College, University of Minnesota, Wellesley College and Yale University.

Students receiving Junior Book Awards this year are:

  • Ushmil Azad – University of Minnesota, Norman Bourlag Science Achievement Award
  • Sean Floersch – Yale University
  • Abigail Fors – Dartmouth College
  • Anh Lien – Smith College
  • Christine Maina –Harvard University
  • Charlie Mejia – Columbia University
  • Marwa Osman – Wellesley College

"The award is a testament to everything they have done inside and outside of the classroom during their entire academic career," said Principal Dave Helke. "They have worked hard, strived to do their best and have found success in many ways. Congratulations on this recognition."

Junior Book Awards are a nationally-known distinction, according to school counselor Becky Akerson, who advises students to include it on their college applications.

Posted in Achievement, Academics | Tagged bhs, junior book awards

Symposium will showcase student-created education research

Posted on May 14, 2019

Education Student Research SymposiumBurnsville High School students will present their research on how student identity impacts learning at the first BHS Education Student Research Symposium on Thursday, May 16.

The student researchers are enrolled in the school’s two newest education classes – “Introduction to Education” and “Multicultural Education and Human Relations” – through which they can earn college credit and start to pursue a career as a teacher. The classes are new this year, adding to the school’s Education Pathway, which also includes classes in psychology, sociology, child development and even a preschool lab experience.

The symposium is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. in the Burnsville High School E-Commons, with research presented “gallery style.” Spanish and Somali language interpretation will be available.

For more information about Pathways at Burnsville High School, go to

Posted in Academics | Tagged bhs, Pathways, research, symposium

Powwow will celebrate American Indian graduates

Posted on May 14, 2019

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 will join with other south metro school districts to host the annual South of the River Powwow at Burnsville High School on May 18 to celebrate the community’s graduating American Indian students.

The confirmed line up includes Master of Ceremony Jerry Dearly; Arena Director Chaske LeBlanc; drums Ringing Shield Singers, Street Chiefs, Red Lake Singers, Ghost Nation and Iron Boy; and head dancers Frank Smith, Angel De Leon, Nevaeh Balderrama and Andrian A. Amaya.   

The powwow is free and open to the public. Attendees will experience a day of dance, food and fellowship through a Native perspective. Ringing Shield and Street Chiefs are the invited drums. Doors open at 11 a.m. The schedule will include first grand entry at 1 p.m., free feast at 5 p.m., second grand entry at 7 p.m., with the powwow concluding at 9 p.m. Interested persons can also follow the powwow on Twitter and Instagram at @SOTRpowwow.

The event is being organized by the South Metro American Indian Education Committee (SMIEC), which includes District 191, Lakeville, Shakopee, Prior Lake-Savage, Farmington and District 196, along with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. 

Organizers are still seeking sponsors, craft and informational vendors, volunteers, dancers (all dancers will receive an honorarium). If you are interested, please contact Dominic Good Buffalo at or 612-490-3484.


Posted in Arts, Community | Tagged bhs, powwow, south of the river, South Metro American Indian Education Committee, graduating seniors

Retirees' service totals 949 years in District 191

Posted on May 13, 2019

Forty-three employees, who have contributed a grand total of 949 years of service to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, are retiring during the 2018-19 school year. They were honored by the district at a reception on May 7.

“We thank all of you for your contributions and the positive impact you have had on our school district,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “All the best to each of you as you begin this exciting new stage of  your lives.”
Congratulation to these retiring employees:
Early Childhood Special Education:
  • Kaye Fredrikson, educational assistant
  • Janice Stahly, teacher
Edward Neill Elementary:
  • Judie Prayfrock, teacher
Gideon Pond Elementary
  • Janet Beth Berg, teacher
  • Mary Young, food service
Harriet Bishop Elementary:
  • Pamela Nordmark, teacher
Marion W. Savage Elementary:
  • Kathryn Bisek, teacher
  • Margaret Murray, teacher
Sioux Trail Elementary:
  • Vicki Kanne, teacher
Rahn Elementary:
  • Susan Campbell, educational assistant

Vista View Elementary:

  • Barbara Dubanoski, educational assistant
  • Joseph Hrimnak, custodian
  • Kathryn Silvers, teacher
William Byrne Elementary
  • Carol Bartells, educational assistant
  • Debra Bigelow, teacher
Metcalf Middle School:
  • Colleen Foley, teacher
  • Lucretia Jeffers, teacher
  • Rodney Kreps, custodian
  • Stephanie Nash, teacher
Nicollet Middle School:
  • Frederick Kelson, teacher/counselor
  • Kathy Wittnebel, licensed school nurse
  • Patrick Marchessault, custodian
Burnsville Alternative High School:
  • Debra S. Johnson, teacher
Burnsville High School:
  • David Berg, educational assistant
  • Kevin Floyd, teacher
  • Cheryl Gores, teacher
  • Julie Miller-Hays, teacher
  • Beth Herby, food service
  • Kathleen Quirk, teacher
  • Martha Schmidt, teacher
  • Amy Stead, teacher
  • Patricia Wagner, educational assistant
  • Pamela Walcher, licensed school nurse
Adult Basic Education
  • Katherine Korkowski, teacher
  • Jean Braun, teacher
  • Thomas Hartman, custodian
  • Jane Wessen, educational assistant
Diamondhead Education Center:
  • Cynthia Amoroso, superintendent
  • Keith Carlson, custodian
  • Ruth Dunn, communications director
  • Constance Erickson, instructional technology coordinator
  • Trudie Harris, employment specialist
  • Douglas Johnson, technology director
Posted in Achievement | Tagged retirees

Outstanding graduates, former staff to join BHS Hall of Fame

Posted on May 8, 2019

Five individuals will be inducted into the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

The newest Hall of Fame class will be inducted at a free public ceremony on Friday, Sept. 13, in the school’s Mraz Center for Performing Arts. A reception will take place at 5 p.m. followed by a program at 5:30 p.m. and recognition during halftime at the football game that night.

The Hall of Fame Committee has selected the following for induction into the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame:

  • Bruce Anderson, math teacher and coach

  • Brady Bedard, Class of 1994, national music promotion executive

  • Terry Brown, Class of 1971, award-winning artifact restoration & installation professional

  • Joan Brzezinski, Class of 1980, international relations

  • Rick Nelson, Class of 1978, author and journalist

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level. For more information, visit  

Posted in Achievement | Tagged bhs, hall of fame, classes of 1971, 1978, 1980, 1994

Future teachers honored in annual BHS signing ceremony

Posted on May 8, 2019

Sixteen seniors who plan to become teachers took part in a signing ceremony on May 7 in the Burnsville High School Mraz Center, located at 600 E. Hwy. 13. The ceremony, similar to those where high school senior athletes sign letters of intent regarding where they will play college sports, honors students who are committed to pursuing a teaching career.

Teachers Dave McDevitt and Hayley Ohama, both advisors of the Future Teachers of America (FTA) club, were on hand to welcome parents, teachers and students to the event.

Ohama began the signing ceremony by saying to the signees: “To all of you amazing students here today, congratulations on making such a powerful decision. You are committing to a brighter future for everyone. You are dedicated to improving lives.”

“Your future holds empowerment. As a teacher, you have the power to provide students with the tools they need to succeed in life,” said Ohama. “You will provide them with the critical thinking minds they need to challenge the future and make our world a better place. Your future holds the most rewarding job in the world.”

Future teachers include:

  • Hannah Appold - University of North Dakota

  • Simon Ault - Normandale College

  • Thomas Faba - Normandale College

  • Taylor Harris - Minnesota State University-Mankato

  • John Hummel - Parkland College

  • Alec Johnson - Winona State University

  • Rachel Kelly - Boston University

  • Jennifer Le Vvintre - Augsburg College

  • Bryana Maddox-Sanders - Augsburg College

  • Tyana Maddox-Sanders- Augsburg College

  • Andrew Moe - University of Wisconsin-River Falls

  • Taylor Robinson - Winona State University

  • Sam Scheuneman- Augsburg College

  • Kara Schwenn - University of Minnesota

  • Angie Paz - Normandale College

  • Crystal Yiu - University of Northwestern, St Paul

Through a new partnership with Normandale Community College, a teaching pathway is now available at Burnsville High School. Seniors can take two education courses and earn seven college credits 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. Learn more about Burnsville High School's new education classes.

Students in the classes will present the research they’ve conducted this year at a symposium on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 p.m. at BHS. The research is around the impact of student identity on learning.

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.

Posted in Achievement | Tagged bhs, future teachers of america, signing ceremony, education

Eight schools in District 191 receive exemplar status for 2018-19

Posted on May 7, 2019

Eight schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 have been recognized for achieving Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Sustaining Exemplar status through the Minnesota Department of Education.

Gideon Pond, Harriet Bishop, Hidden Valley, Marion W. Savage, Neill, Sioux Trail, and Sky Oaks elementary schools and Eagle Ridge Middle School have been identified as exemplar schools that have completed PBIS implementation and are continuing to achieve positive student outcomes.

In addition, District 191 was recognized as a "District Progressing towards Sustaining Implementation," making it one of only six districts statewide to be honored for its work around PBIS.

“We are so proud of the work that administration, coaches, and staff in these buildings have done,” said Kelly Czapar, District 191 behavior analyst. “Their work, passion, and dedication surrounding PBIS is absolutely incredible!”

PBIS is an approach where schools use evidence-based practices to enhance academic and social outcomes for all students. It helps establish clear expectations, common language and practices, and systems of positive feedback to help develop a strong school community.

To be identified as a Sustaining Exemplar School, schools need to have completed training and demonstrate continued implementation of school-wide PBIS with fidelity.

For more information on PBIS Sustaining Exemplar Recognition Schools, visit

Posted in Achievement | Tagged PBIS, exemplar status

Byrne Spring Carnival is May 17

Posted on May 2, 2019

It's Carnival Time! 

William Byrne students and families are invited to join us at the William Byrne Spring Carnival on May 17 from 6–8 p.m.

There will be games, crafts, outdoor activities, and the book fair. Game tickets will be on sale at the door ($0.50 per game, cash or credit). There will be tacos and frosty deserts for purchase. 

Come have a great time and support Byrne!

BHS senior earns National Merit scholarship

Posted on May 1, 2019

Burnsville High School senior Will Trussell was selected as the winner of the National Merit 3M Scholarship. Less than 1 percent of high school seniors earn National Merit scholarships, which are awarded based on scores on the PSAT test, as well as academic success.

Will won’t find out the exact value of the scholarship until later this summer, but it will be renewable for 4 years.

As a junior, he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college entrance exam, an accomplishment that fewer than one in a thousand students nationwide obtain. At Burnsville High School, he’s involved in Quiz Bowl and Math League. He’s also in the marching band and theatre pit band.

Get to Know Will Trussell

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

Will Trussell (WT): After graduation, I am planning on attending the University of Minnesota--College of Science and Engineering. I don't know for sure what I will study, but I would like to study something related to math and/or technology. I also plan on participating in the Marching Band at Minnesota.

Q: What do you think motivates you to succeed academically?

WT: I don't really know what motivates me to succeed academically. As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to do well in school. In kindergarten, I set the goal of achieving college tuition that was partially or fully paid for through scholarships, and everything I've done since then has been driven by that desire.

Q: What are some of your interests outside of academics?

WT: Outside of academics, I really love to play music, especially jazz. I play trumpet in Burnsville's Wind and Jazz Ensembles, and I really enjoy playing some of the more challenging music, especially in Jazz Ensemble. I also really enjoy baseball. I never played traveling, high school, or legion, but I've always played and officiated In-House Baseball. I love the relaxed atmosphere of BAC.

Q: What advice would you give to younger students to be successful in high school?

WT: My biggest piece of advice would be don't blow anything off. Everything in high school matters, whether or not it helps you get into college. For me, high school is where I built study habits and other skills that will make me a more successful college student. Blowing things off in high school just creates bad habits that make college more difficult, as well as the end of high school. That being said, senior sliding is still normal! Don't make high school a nose-to-the-grindstone thing all the time, either. Take time to make memories with friends and those close to you.

Photo: Will Trussell
Posted in Academics, Achievement | Tagged bhs, will trussell, national merit, scholarship, perfect ACT

Online registration for Blaze summer camps is now open!

Posted on April 30, 2019

There are a variety of great summer camps offered at Burnsville High School this year for grades K-12!  

Online registration is now open. All registrations and payments are made through FeePay.

For detailed information about summer camps, please visit the BHS Summer Camps website.

If you have any questions about camps or online registration, please contact Jeanine Riggs at 952-707-2151.

Posted in Athletics | Tagged bhs, summer camps, online registration