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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

BHS preschool has openings for next school year

Posted on April 30, 2019

Preschool Lab is a course offered at Burnsville High School for preschool children from the community.

High school students, under the direction of Family and Consumer Sciences teachers, gain experience teaching and working with children in a preschool setting.  

The preschool children will benefit from goal-oriented, small group, personalized learning in the areas of art, music, math, science, large motor, and pre-literacy presented through activities, games and learning centers.

Preschool Lab has multiple sessions for 2019-2020:

  • A morning session offered first and semesters (9:50-11:20 a.m.)

  • An extended session offered second semester (9:50 -1:35 p.m.)

The cost is $70 (morning) or $100 (extended) session. Eligible preschool children are 3-5 years old and fully toilet-trained.

If you are interested in more information and enrollment in our program please call or email Heidi Eichten at 952-707-2115 /

Posted in Academics | Tagged bhs, preschool

Two Burnsville High School students earn computing awards

Posted on April 30, 2019

Burnsville High School sophomore Alexis Bunnell and ninth-grader Jayden Farah both received the Aspirations in Computing Award: Rising Star distinction from the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence. The awards honor young women for their computing-related achievements and interests, and are intended to encourage the next generation of women in the state’s computer and technology industry.

Along with recognition, honorees are awarded prizes ranging from tech devices to job shadow experiences and mentorships to paid summer internships and more.

Alexis says she likes the logical aspects of technology, and the fact that it can be used to transform ideas into virtual creations that can be shared.

“Most of all, I like teaching others about technology, especially girls,” she said. “I hope to show girls the capability they have to make a difference in the now male-dominated technology field.”

Jayden says she has always had a love for taking things apart and putting them back together, and she’s appreciated the opportunity to learn more through the computing classes at Burnsville High School.

Alexis and Jayden took part in a special celebration and personal development event on April 17 put on by local technology company Cray at the Mall of America.

Middle school Latina groups provide mentors, encouragement

Posted on April 30, 2019

Visits from a business leader, a lawyer and a chef have highlighted a spring of mentorship for Latina girls groups at Eagle Ridge, Metcalf and Nicollet middle schools in District 191.

Mary Lopez, cultural liaison for the three schools, says the groups and guest speakers are about ensuring Latina students know they have a place in their school and showing them what’s possible for their futures.

The three guest speakers this year were Iris Ramos, an immigration and family law attorney, Milissa Silva-Diaz, CEO and owner of El Burrito Mercado, and Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, a chef, consultant and author.

Silva-Diaz, who visited on April 4, shared her childhood experience as the child of immigrants, attending schools where she was the only Latina student, finding her passion for sharing culture, becoming a first-generation college student, and eventually taking over the family business.

“Get involved. That’s how you find what you love to do,” she told students at Metcalf. “Once that fire is started, you can’t get away from it. It can become a career, a lifelong passion.”

On May 3, the year culminates with a trip to the Latino Youth Leadership Conference at Augsburg University, where students will participate in workshops, presentations, activities, and art that promote positive youth development, leadership, and cultural identity in Latino youth. Lopez secured a grant through Walmart to make the trip possible.

Burnsville High School's FreeStyle will host Jazz Cafe May 10

Posted on April 29, 2019
Burnsville High School will host Jazz Cafe on Friday, May 10 in the E Commons (adjacent to the cafeteria), located at 600 E. Highway 13.
The FreeStyle Choir, along with soloists and ensemble, will perform during the evening.
The event will be catered by Hy-Vee and features a pasta bar with two types of pasta, two types of sauce, chicken, garlic bread, salad and cookies.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and performances begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for performance and dinner and $12 for performance only, and can be purchased by emailing Jaclyn Anderson, BHS choir director, at
Posted in Arts, Academics | Tagged bhs, jazz cafe, freestyle choir, hy-vee, pasta bar

Metcalf Drama presents original spy-themed comedy

Posted on April 29, 2019

Written by Metcalf Middle School teacher and drama director Steven Orth, “How to Save Your Teacher (Who Is Also a Spy) in 5 Easy Impossible Steps” hilariously brings to life a story that fulfills the fantasy of every adolescent secret-agent-movie fan.

Getting swept away from their mundane middle-school reality into the adventurous world of mysterious spies and not-quite-intimidating villains, Jack and his friends learn at least as much about themselves as they do about how to use spy-gadgets. With silliness fit for the whole family and plenty of 80s references to go around, both those who love the genre and those looking for a laugh will delight.

Performances are May 2-4 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 2 p.m at Metcalf Middle School, 2250 Diffley Road in Burnsville. Tickets are $7 for these shows, but can be purchased in advance for a $1 discount through cast and crew members of in the Metcalf main office.

In addition, Friday’s performance also includes a Dinner Theatre event, catered by Casper's Cherokee of Eagan, featuring an original one-act comedy, "Spying for Dummies," written by BHS alumnus Sarah Jasa. Guests joining us for this event receive for their $25 advance-only ticket the buffet dinner, tickets to see "Spying for Dummies," and preferred seating with their included ticket to the main show,

“How to Save Your Teacher (Who Is Also a Spy) in 5 Easy Impossible Steps.”

Seating for the dinner theatre is limited, so guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets early.

For more information, you can also log on to the drama page at

Posted in Arts | Tagged metcalf, drama, espionage, dinner theatre, casper's cherokee, eagan