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Girls on the Run

Posted on November 19, 2018
Students from Girls on the Run with Para-Olympian Amy Purdy at Target Headquarters.Congratulations to all 20 Vista View Girls on the Run who braved 12-degree weather to run their 5K outside of Mall of America this Saturday:  Zam Zam, Hafsa, Enyssa, Lillyanna,Lexi, Rozelind, Emma, Angie, Gabriella, Elli, Olivia, Lydia, Wafah, Bushra, Natalie, Miral, Madalinn, Tiann, Elizabeth and Phinley.  Congratulations also to their running buddies including family and staff members:  Mrs. Steeg, Mrs. Goldsmith, Ms Ditmarsen and Ms. Counters and their coaches  Ms. Houtman, Miss Megan and Mrs. Crawford.
The team also completed its community service project on Tuesday, Nov. 6, raising $278 to sponsor an endangered Amur Tiger at the Minnesota Zoo. Team membes will get to meet a zookeeper as a thank you!
Additionally, four Vista View team members were selected to speak with Mrs. Crawford and Para-Olympian Amy Purdy (right) at a Target/Always question and answer panel at Target Headquarters on Nov. 9.  They shared their experience with Girls on the Run and were able to ask Purdy questions about her motivation and success.

Final 'High School Musical' performance sold out Nov. 17

Posted on November 17, 2018

Message from Principal Dave Helke

We are so very grateful for the overwhelming interest in people coming to see the production of 'High School Musical' on the Mraz stage and supporting our talented students, staff, and volunteers who have made it happen!

The closing performance this evening, Nov. 17, is sold out, so there will not be tickets available at the door for purchase. We are hoping that when you receive this announcement you will share it with family and friends to help us spread the word and avoid any unnecessary travel.

Thank you to all who have and will be coming to see the show! Your support of Burnsville High school theatre is greatly appreciated!

David Helke

Posted in Arts | Tagged bhs, musical, theater

Vista View honors community veterans

Posted on November 13, 2018

Community members with past or current military service were invited to a Veteran’s Day ceremony at Vista View Elementary School in Burnsville on Nov. 12.

The ceremony began with a presentation of the colors and also included patriotic songs and information about each branch of the military and some American history.

Veterans were asked to come to the front of the gym to be honored and students presented them with paper poppies and other artwork to thank them for their service.

Students line up to thank veterans

It is important for Vista View to host a Veterans Day program, according to teachers Corbin Orlenko and Anne Podratz, who organized the event. They say the ceremony ties into state standards for what should be taught, and is also a ceremony that unites everyone.

"It gives us an opportunity to honor the veterans,” said fifth-grade student Yasmine Edwards. “They served our country and should be recognized."

Students welcome veterans as they enter the Vista View gym.

The event was one many held at schools around the district in recognition of Veterans Day.

“Thank you, veterans, for your service and sacrifice to ensure our freedom,” said Principal Jeff Nepsund, in his closing comments. “Thank you, families, for your support. Thank you staff and students for setting aside time to honor those who have given so much so we can experience the peace and comfort of living in America.”

Students line up to thanks veterans.

Posted in Community

Three Burnsville Blaze athletes sign National Letters of Intent

Posted on November 13, 2018

The Athletics Department at Burnsville High School is proud to announce that three student-athletes will sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, Nov. 14, to play their respective sports at the NCAA Division I or II level at the college of their choosing.

Signing on Wednesday will be:

  • Maya Hansen—Women’s Soccer at South Dakota State University

  • Kira Sosinske—Women’s Soccer at Saint Cloud State University

  • Lyndsey Howard—Women’s Hockey at Mankato State University

These student-athletes have put together outstanding athletic careers while attending Burnsville High School, as well as demonstrated outstanding academic success in the classroom. The Burnsville community wishes them the best of luck as they continue on with their athletic and academic careers.

Posted in Athletics, Academics, Student Success | Tagged bhs, NCAA, national letter of intent, soccer

Culinary program hosts annual Star Tribune cookie contest

Posted on November 12, 2018

Burnsville High School hosted recipe testing for the 16th annual cookie contest of the Star Tribune newspaper last month, and students in culinary classes at the school were actively involved.

Students worked with professional chefs to test the top 17 cookie contenders, and senior Abdi Abdullahi was selected to be one of the judges.

Organizers of the event were Rick Nelson, a 1978 graduate of Burnsville High School who is the restaurant critic for the Star Tribune. He and Lee Svitak Dean, the food editor at the newspaper, recently co-authored a book, entitled the “Great Minnesota Cookie Book” about the first 15 years of the popular cookie contest. The testing was headed up by Amy Carter, executive chef of product development for Lunds & Byerlys.

“This was an amazing opportunity for our students to work alongside industry professionals, get to know them and see how they work,” said Matt Deutsch, a culinary instructor at Burnsville High School. “Students worked on products they’ve never worked with before to produce all different types of cookies — many more than they could during their culinary lab time at school.”

Carter said the kitchen at Burnsville High School is well-designed, organized and clean, and provided an excellent workspace for the event. During the two-day event, students weighed, measured and prepared ingredients, and assisted the chefs with production by mixing, shaping, baking and finishing the cookies.

“Students were very interested in what we were doing and very focused,” said Carter who believes that students gained a better understanding of how important it is to pay attention to details by working side-by-side with professional chefs.

“I saw some cookies I’d never seen before,” said Abdi, who would like to have his own restaurant someday. “It was interesting to learn about and make different types of cookies and also to evaluate them.”

There were nearly 200 entries this year, according to Nelson. The winning cookie and four finalists will be announced in the Taste section of the Star Tribune on Nov. 29.

Deutsch, who is a trained chef in addition to being a licensed teacher, and Beth Asfeld, a family and consumer science instructor, offer a variety of culinary classes right at Burnsville High School as part of the Hospitality & Tourism pathway in the Business, Management & Entrepreneurship career field.

Star Tribune Annual Cookie Contest
Posted in Academics, Student Success | Tagged Pathways, bhs, culinary

District 191 hosts ‘Gratitude Event’ on Nov. 15

Posted on November 9, 2018

Gratitude has been shown to help you make friends and deepen relationships. It can improve physical and emotional health. In short, Gratitude just might make us happier. How might gratitude help us build community?

Community members are invited to “The Gratitude Event” on Nov. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy. The event is part of District 191 Community Education’s “Know Your Neighbor” series.

Participants will explore gratitude through facilitated conversation about the  benefits of gratitude, share different gratitude practices, and participate in group gratitude activities.

A simple soup supper provided. There is no charge to attend, however, an RSVP is requested and participation is limited to 50. Register online at, by calling 952-707-4113, or by sending an email to

Know Your Neighbor meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at Diamondhead Education Center. All are welcome to attend these meetings.

Veterans Day Luncheon Nov. 12

Posted on November 8, 2018

Are you currently in the military? Or have you previously served in any branch of the service? Do you know someone that has served (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends)? At Eagle Ridge Middle School we are planning ways to honor our Veterans. We are looking for Veterans that would be willing to come have lunch with our students on Veterans Day, November 12, 2018. This would be an opportunity for students to ask you questions and learn more about what you've done for our country.

  • 6th grade lunch: 10:55-11:39 a.m.
  • 7th grade lunch: 11:42 a.m.-12:26 p.m.
  • 8th grade lunch: 12:29-1:13 p.m.

Contact Shelley Hermes for more information.

Eagle Ridge Middle School is located at 13955 Glendale Road, Savage, MN 55378. 

2018 Board of Education Election Results

Posted on November 7, 2018

Four seats on the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 101 Board of Education were on the Nov. 6, 2018 general election ballot. 

Voters re-elected member Abigail Alt, and elected Jen Holweger, Scott Hume and Lesley Chester to serve on the board.

  • Abigail Alt: 14,166 votes
  • Jen Holweger: 13,620 votes
  • Scott Hume: 13,606 votes
  • Lesley Chester: 12,697 votes
  • Jim Schmid: 12,064 votes

The newly-elected board members will serve four-year terms beginning January 2019, joining existing members DeeDee Currier, Darcy Schatz and Eric Miller.

See complete unofficial election results.

Firefighters provide new coats to keep students warm in District 191

Posted on November 2, 2018

For the second consecutive year, local firefighters have provided brand-new winter coats for elementary students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 through a partnership with Operation Warm, a national nonprofit organization. Donations from individuals, groups and local corporations support the project.

Members of the Burnsville Professional Fighters Local 2910 and 4481 presented 360 coats to all students who wanted them in kindergarten through grade 5 at Vista View Elementary School in Burnsville.

“We hope students realize there are many people in the community who think they are very special and want to make sure they stay warm all winter long,” said James Glover, a Burnsville Fire Department Captain who helps organize the event.

He thanked donors and also praised school social workers Katie Keller at Rahn and Kelly Freeburg at Vista View for coordinating information to parents, and sizing and setting up for a smooth distribution day.

Last year, firefighters from Burnsville provided nearly 400 new coats to students at Sky Oaks Elementary in Burnsville. They encouraged firefighters in Eagan to join the effort and provide new coats to students this year, said Glover. That happened on Oct. 26 with 150 coats given to students in preschool, kindergarten and first grade at Rahn Elementary School in Eagan.

At both events, firefighters assisted students in selecting brightly-colored warm coats that fit them just right. Then they helped students write their names in the coats with permanent marker.  

“As our Minnesota winter approaches, we greatly appreciate local firefighters providing coats to our students to keep them warm and to show support for their success in school,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “This is truly what we call Community Strong.”

Operation Warm
Posted in Community

Metcalf class project is real-life lesson in how change happens

Posted on November 2, 2018

Eighth-grade students who researched and then proposed some changes at Metcalf Middle School received real-life lessons through the classroom project.

It started with an assignment in Steve Orth’s Blaze Time class with Principal Shannon McParland invited to hear the students’ presentations. Blaze Time, which takes place at all middle schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, is one class period each day focused on enrichment, acceleration or intervention programming for students. For Orth’s class, the assignment was an opportunity for enrichment and authentic learning.

Students’ suggestions (in brief) were:

  • Advisory: Shorten it and make it like a study hall
  • Chromebooks/electronics: Let them be used at lunch
  • Passing time: Lengthen the current three-minute time by one to two minutes
  • Field trips: Increase them to at least two per school year
  • Stairwells: Open an additional stairwell during passing times

McParland took their suggestions to her school leadership team for discussion. In her return visit to the class, she announced that passing time would increase by one minute to give students four minutes to move between classes.

“Your voice matters,” she told students, “and when you propose changes the correct way with data and recommendations, you make possibilities become reality. That’s how change happens.”

She also gave updates on their other proposals:

  • Advisory period will not be shortened but it is evolving to focus more on goal setting, organization and other work and life skills that will benefit students now and in the future.
  • Chromebooks are banned at lunch by all three of the district’s middle schools to protect them from potential damage. “At Metcalf, you’re allowed to use phones by lockers, and that’s a privilege,” she said.
  • By law, the school can’t charge for field trips that are connected to the curriculum. She’s looking into grants or other funding to expand opportunities for field trips so there’s at least one per grade each year.
  • For the safety and security of students, an additional stairwell will not be opened, she said.

“I’m proud of  you,” Orth told students. “You did more than you had to do with this assignment, and you even got one proposal approved. Plus Principal McParland left the door open for more dialogue.”

Orth wanted this to be an authentic learning opportunity for students. The goal was for them to see the value of not just gathering information, but also sharing their suggestions in order to bring about change.

“You didn’t get everything you proposed, but that’s real life,” he said. “You used your voices to advocate for change and to make a difference. Your voices matter.”

While talking with McParland, students brought up other changes they’d like to see like having an 8th grade overnight event at the school and reinstating the school newspaper.

“If you’re passionate about something then do the research, gather the data, develop the presentation and come talk with me and share the information,” she said.

Posted in Academics | Tagged metcalf, middle school