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Nicollet Middle School earns national recognition

Posted on March 13, 2019

Nicollet Middle School in Burnsville has been named an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration School because of its success in using the AVID program to help students succeed academically and prepare for college. The recognition was presented at a ceremony March 7, following an extensive on-site review by AVID officials.

At Nicollet, AVID is both a building-wide initiative and an elective class designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college by developing critical thinking and organizational skills and establishing a “college-bound” culture among students.

With this recognition, Nicollet will continue to serve as a model for schools that are looking to implement or improve their AVID programs. Of the nearly 5,000 AVID schools across the nation, only about 150 have been selected as National Demonstration Schools.

“We are so excited to continue as an AVID demonstration site and to have had this opportunity to affirm the work we are doing for our students,” said Nicollet Middle School Principal Angie Pohl. “Our entire staff, student body, and community played a part in us earning this recognition.”

AVID team members at Nicollet include coordinator Amy Smalley, Andy Timmer, Brad Sorenson, Heather Nemeth, Kirsten VanHoorn, Melinda Byrne, Monique Funches, Amy Olson, Jill Peiper, Kelsey Christensen, Fred Kelson and Bob Schweim.

Read more about AVID at Nicollet online at

Posted in Achievement | Tagged nicollet, AVID

Burnsville High School students succeed at regional science fair

Posted on March 13, 2019
Burnsville High School students shone at the recent Twin Cities Regional Science Fair, with 18 projects and 15 research papers advancing to the state science fair at the end of March.
Along with advancing to the state competition, sophomore Osman Warfa was chosen to present his project - titled “The Stability of Varied Winglets” - at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix this spring.
The following projects are advancing to the 2019 State Science Fair Competition:
  • Maribel Monjaras-Rodriguez, “How Temperature Affects Nonverbal Communication”
  • Kathryn Christian,  “Personal Genetic Testing Generational Differences”
  • Kayla Becker,  “An Analysis of the Authenticity of Genealogy Assessments”
  • Alexis Bunnell,  “Are Teens on Snapchat Crack?”
  • Sophie Herzog,  “Point of Yeast Resistance”
  • Caroline Dickhausen,  “Drug Dissolution Testing”
  • Henry O’Brien,  “The Battle of the Brands”
  • Tia Rian,  “Styrofoam Degrading Citrus”
  • Luke Trussell,  “The Effects of Carbon Filters on Different Contaminants”
  • Grace Campbell and Tatum Frey,  “An Environmentally Friendly Approach to Ice Management”
  • Marwah Ismail and Nawal Mahamed,  “The Ultimate Plan: Using the Sahara Desert to Create Enough Solar Energy to Power Earth”
  • Jack Holmstrom,  “A Comparison of Environmentally Friendly Insulation Materials”
  • Nate Trussell,  “Effects of Chord Length on Propeller Efficiency”
  • Andrew Bunnell,  “PSI Affects Distance and Accuracy for a Football Kicking”
  • Olivia Caldwell,  “Evaluating Sugar Content in Fruits”
  • Osman Warfa,  “The Stability of Varied Winglets”
  • Will Erbes,  “The Effect of Fluids on Hydraulics”
  • Ava Shovein,  “Environmental Conditions on the Effects of Algae in Oil Stored”
The following research papers were selected to advance to the 2019 State Science Fair Competition:
  • Shane Anderson,  “Ear Training in Relation to Gender”
  • Montserrat Blanco Lopez,  “The Cellular Effect on Concentration”
  • Elizabeth Druvenga,  “Impacts of Compost on Seed Germination”
  • Kara Klavins,  “Tooth Appearance and Enhancement”
  • Ibraheem Malik,  “The Effect of Heat on a Fruit’s Level of Vitamin C”
  • Y Nguyen,  “White Noise”
  • Marshall Norring,  “Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate on the Flammability of Paint”
  • Tia Rian,  “Styrofoam Degrading Citrus”
  • Ethan Rossow,  “Which Whitening Toothpaste is Most Effective?”
  • Suad Hassan,  “Kinetic Energy in Tennis Rackets”
  • Sofia Kemeny,  “Relationship Between Soil Porosity and the Absorption of Pesticides”
  • Ruby Pozorski,  “Fueling the Future”
  • Nate Trussell,  “Effects of Chord Length on Propeller Efficiency”
  • Nancy Zheng,  “How Environmental Factors Affect Zebra Mussels”
  • Luke Trussell,  “The Effects of Carbon Filters on Different Contaminants”
The following students earned special awards:
  • Ava Shovein – Graduate Women in Science for Excellence in Research (Projects)
  • Ruby Pozorski - Graduate Women in Science for Excellence in Research (Papers)
  • Nate Trussell – 3M Inventor Award, US Air Force, Naval Science Award
  • Osman Warfa – Inspiring Excellence Award, US Air Force
  • Sophie Herzog – MN American Society of Microbiology
  • Will Erbes – Naval Science Award
  • Alexis Bunnell – American Psychological Association
  • Nawal Mahamed and Marwah Ismail  - Association of Women Geoscientists, Ricoh Sustainable Development Award
Photo: Osman Warfa qualified for the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May.
Posted in Academics, Achievement, Student Success | Tagged bhs, regional science fair, minnesota, ISEF, science and engineering

District 191 employees recognized for excellence

Posted on March 6, 2019

2019 Community of Excellence Awards

Eleven Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 staff members are being recognized for their extraordinary contributions to the One91 community with 2019 Community of Excellence (COE) Awards.

“In our fourth year of honoring outstanding employees with One91 Community of Excellence awards, I continue to be amazed by the dedication, professionalism and commitment shown every day in our district,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “These staff members truly reflect our mission of ‘Each Student. Future Ready. Community Strong.’”

Students, parents, community members and colleagues were invited to nominate employees in seven categories. A selection committee that included past recipients reviewed nominations and made selections. The award ceremony to honor COE recipients will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, in the Mraz Center at Burnsville High School.

The 2019 One91 COE Award Recipients are:

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Katie Ness, Digital Learning Specialist, Sioux Trail Elementary
  • Cynthia Check, Early Childhood Coordinator, Community Education

Community Engagement

  • Colleen Coleman, Teacher, Burnsville High School

Excellence in Educational Support

  • Courtnee Floback, Youth Development Coordinator, Community Ed/BHS
  • Robert Weiler, Network Administrator, Diamondhead

Teaching Excellence

  • Angela Bell, Teacher, Nicollet Middle School
  • Adam Iverson, Teacher, Nicollet Middle School


  • Alexandria Wills, Teacher, Hidden Valley Elementary

Leadership in Action

  • Kathryn Prugh Ploehn & Sarah Singleton, Teachers, Sky Oaks Elementary

Spirit of Excellence

  • Usman Hussain, Interventionist, Hidden Valley Elementary

Congratulations Nominees

  • Rahmia Abdi
  • Sacdiyo Abdullahi
  • Angie Bell
  • Chris Bellmont
  • Matt Berg
  • Melissa Blandin
  • Eddie Blaylark
  • Melanie Bryant
  • Isis Buchanan
  • Cindy Check
  • Colleen Coleman
  • Martha Dudley
  • Courtnee Floback
  • Norm Frederickson
  • Tammy Freeman
  • Janelle Grueneich
  • Lisa Hendrickson
  • Jennifer Hennen
  • Mike Huemoeller
  • Usman Hussain
  • Adam Iverson
  • Shar Lattery
  • Mary Lopez
  • Shelli McCue
  • Katie Nelson
  • Katie Ness
  • Erika Nesvig
  • Ifrah Nur
  • Ellen Olson
  • Lindsey Pollitt
  • Katy Prugh-Ploehn
  • Kate Quirk
  • Emily Rasmusson
  • Chris Robasse
  • Jeff Schwenn
  • Marcia Sexton
  • Sarah Singleton
  • Melissa Smith
  • Suzie Stachowski
  • Anne Staum
  • Tom Umhoefer
  • Bob Weiler
  • Alexandria Wills
  • Sarah Zeigler
  • Kara Zimmerman
  • ISD 191 Food & Nutrition Services

Read more about the Community of Excellence Awards online at

2019 Community of Excellence Awards

Posted in Achievement | Tagged awards, staff

BHS juniors selected as ExCEL Award nominees

Posted on March 6, 2019
Congrats to Christine Maina and Sean Floersch for being selected as Burnsville High School's ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leaderhip) Award nominees. The award honors Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community.

Christine was one of 36 statewide ExCEL Award winners. Learn more about the ExCEL award at
Read more about Sean and Christine below.
Christine Maina
What are your biggest motivations?
One of my biggest motivations is my grandmother. I was named after her and feel as though I carry her legacy. I want to make her proud, so I work hard every day to do so. I want to make her proud through my academics, my extracurriculars, and through my accomplishments. I even feel as though my love for volunteering stemmed from her. She is why I work so hard, and she is why I am who I am.
What do you enjoy most in school?
I enjoy learning about people, how they work, and what they have done to improve society, so I love learning about history. World history and U.S history are some of the most interesting and important subjects and I love applying what I learn into my life. I also love math because it is such a precise subject and I am able to use the left side of my brain.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I see myself working in the law field. I see myself as a civil lawyer in a law firm in New York City. I want to help those in need with my talents, and I want to make the justice system a little more just. It’ll be a long hard journey to get there but I know that I can do it. I’m reaching high. I want to push myself to be successful and to help others with my success.
How do you balance extracurriculars, volunteering, and family life?
I only do what I love to do, so I don't overburden myself. I look at what is most important to me and make time for it in my schedule. By doing so I have time for school, extracurriculars, volunteering, family, and myself. I do a lot by prioritizing my life. I am able to create the perfect balance.
What is your advice to other high school students?
Enjoy high school. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and you should enjoy it. Join clubs and sports that make you happy, and volunteer for organizations that you can relate to. Use your interests to help others, because you are never too young to help others.

Sean Floersch
What are your biggest motivations?
One of my biggest motivations is helping other people so they can have the best lives they can. Also since having cancer, I want to push myself as much as I can to inspire other people to never stop fighting and to show that things do get better.
What are your favorite subjects at school?
My favorite subjects are Spanish, math and yoga.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself helping other people in some way, either as a doctor, physical therapist or a teacher. I also want to be a soccer coach.
How do you balance school, extracurricular activities, volunteering and family time?
I only push myself as much as I can handle. I do not want to overwork myself, so I take breaks when I need to. I also make sure I have time with my family and friends to combat the stress from other activities.
What advice do you have for high school students?
Grades don't matter. Learning how to balance time, learning who you are, and learning how to push yourself are more important than what grades you get. High school is about making friends and growing as a person, and people need to make sure that the grade part of it does not stress them out too much because then they can't enjoy everything high school has to offer.
Posted in Academics, Arts, Activities, Student Success | Tagged bhs, excel award, leadership, youth service

Metcalf Wins State Chess

Posted on March 5, 2019

Congratulations to the Metcalf Middle School chess team, which won the Minnesota State Middle School chess championship last weekend in Bloomington.  Scorers included Gavin Kellen, who finished 8th individually, Victor Ekstrand, JJ Johnson and Mitchell Kellen. Thanks to all 19 Metcalf team participants for all of your efforts.

Middle School students

Posted in Student Success | Tagged chess, metcalf

District 191 superintendent honored by state organization

Posted on March 5, 2019

Cindy AmorosoBunsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Superintendent Cindy Amoroso has been named the 2019 Kay E. Jacobs Memorial Award winner by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA).

This annual award honors one female member of MASA for excellence in educational leadership. It recognizes Amoroso’s distinguished and more-than-30 year educational career, during which she has served at all instructional levels, including as an educational assistant, teacher, school administrator and in multiple district-level roles. 

Amoroso’s accomplishments during her career include founding a community non-profit to support early learning, founding a statewide professional development organization for curriculum and instruction leaders, redesigning a school-university partnership for mentoring new teachers, and much more. She’s served in leadership roles for professional organizations and civic organizations, including chambers of commerce and the United Way.

In supporting her nomination for the award, former and current colleagues cited her willingness to take on difficult work for the benefit of students and educators, her commitment to equity, support for leadership development, and her faithfulness to the vision and mission of her district.

“Cindy is constantly making connections between our decisions, budget, and their impact on student learning, instruction, and our school community with knowledge and tact,” said District 191 School Board Chair Abigail Alt. “Cindy asks the tough questions and demands forthright answers, especially when these conversations challenge our status quo. She sets a strong tone and expectation that we are all in this together for all students.”

The award will be presented at the MASA Spring Conference on Friday, March 8.

Free ACT prep available for juniors

Posted on March 4, 2019

All Burnsville High School juniors will be taking the ACT on Thursday, April 4. To adhere to the ACT testing requirements, only juniors will be in attendance that day. 

Students can create a free account in ACT Academy, a resource for students to practice and polish their test-taking skills. ACT Academy will provide a customized learning path for students, based on how they answer the test questions. 

Teachers can also create accounts to monitor how students are doing, create lesson plans, push out assignments and more!

For more information, please visit

Posted in Academics | Tagged bhs, ACT, prep

BHS Quiz Bowl team secures school record with third place win

Posted on March 4, 2019
The Burnsville High School A Quiz Bowl team took 3rd place in the Minnesota State League Tournament in February, the school's highest ever finish. Congratulations! Team members are, from left, Chance Persons, Zander Gorton, Will Trussell and Joe Schatz.
The BHS teams still have a few events remaining this year, including a community tournament fund-raiser on April 13 from 8 a.m. to noon. Multiple teams will compete at the National Championship in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend.
Posted in Achievement, Activities, Academics, Student Success | Tagged bhs, quiz bowl, mshsl, tournament

Changes made to proposed budget adjustments

Posted on March 1, 2019

After receiving community input at a public forum and through an online portal, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education made several changes to the list of potential budget adjustments for the 2019-20 school year.

The following changes were made to the initial list of adjustments:

  • Remove 9th grade athletics from the list of cuts
  • Remove middle school orchestra from the list of cuts
  • Remove 1 FTE in custodial/maintenance service from the list of cuts
  • Adjust the BHS Media EA cut to keep 0.5 FTE
  • Continue offering French 1 and French 2 at Burnsville High School

Board members also directed staff to include a busing change that will have high school students walk to their closest middle schools (if they are within walking distance) and be transported to the high school by bus from there. The change is expected to save about $230,000.

Board members expressed strong opposition to increasing walking distances.

District 191 is facing a $7 million shortfall for 2019-20 primarily due to state funding that hasn’t kept up with inflation and underfunding of special education services by both the state and federal government.

A final list of proposed adjustments is scheduled to be presented at the March 14 board meeting. The board will officially adopt the 2019-20 budget in June. For more information, go to

Posted in Finance

Vista View student and teacher design artwork for sled dog race

Posted on February 28, 2019

student Emerson Stattman and art teacher Kelly VoArtwork created by Vista View fourth-grade student Emerson Stattman and art teacher Kelly Vo was chosen as the US Postal Service cancellation stamp for the 2019 John Beargrease Sled Dog Racing Series trail mail.

Mushers in the race carry mail with them along the course from Duluth to Two Harbors in honor of the race’s namesake, who delivered mail along the North Shore of Lake Superior for more than 20 years in the late 1800s. The mail receives a commemorative cancellation stamp, which this year featured Emerson’s drawing of a sled dog along with the words “Beargrease Station” and “Carried by Sled Dog.”

Second grade teacher Amy Tucci follows the race each year in her class, using it to engage students in lessons about wildlife, science, writing, mathematics and more. The learning experience makes such an impression that former students will even come back to Tucci’s classroom during the races to check on mushers’ progress.

This year, Tucci’s class also had a visit from Chloe and Carlie Beatty, both of whom participated in this year’s Beargrease, as well as sled dog Pearl, who has raced in previous years.

Learn more about trail mail at the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon at

Beargrease Station Duluth Minnesota

Posted in Student Success