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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

Volunteers selected for Coskran Award in District 191

Posted on April 26, 2019

2019 Coskran Volunteer Awards

Seven extraordinary volunteers received 2019 John Coskran Volunteer Awards in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 on May 9.

"Every year, I am amazed again by the tireless dedication of our Coskran Award winning volunteers," said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. "We are extremely grateful that they share their time and talents to prepare our students to be future ready and to make our community strong."   

All nominees were honored during a public reception from 5:30 to 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at the Campus Cup Café at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway. A brief program will take place at 6 p.m.

The awards were presented during the Board of Education meeting that began at 6:30 p.m. on the same evening, also at Diamondhead.

Recipients of the 2019 John Coskran Volunteer Award are:


  • Sara Negasi, a student at Burnsville High School, who has helped support community education as a volunteer at the front desk.


  • Adam McDonald, who supports students one-on-one and through large events at Harriet Bishop
  • Becky McGuire, who has connected community businesses to Harriet Bishop through the school’s SMART Fair
  • Joey Pederson, who supports many programs at Rahn Elementary, including helping to organize Art Adventure with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts


  • Lin Topping, who volunteers as an instructor for the District 191 adult basic education program


  • Kate Quirk and Robyn Tousignant, art teachers at Burnsville High School, who volunteer their time to help community members and students make bowls for Bowls for BrainPower

This is the 18th year of the awards, which are named in honor of John Coskran, a long-time advocate for volunteerism who served 34 years at Catholic Charities and retired as associate director in 1993. Mr. Coskran, who also served as a member of the District 191 Board of Education, died in 2014.

For more information about the award or for information on how you can become a volunteer, go to the district website at

Award Profiles

Sara Negasi

Sara is a sophomore at Burnsville High School who volunteers her time through the Community Education Youth Development program. This year alone, she has volunteered more than 100 hours through the program.

She was nominated by Youth Development Coordinator Courtnee Jackson Floback, who raved about Sara’s contributions as a volunteer at the front desk for Community Education.

In that position, Sara is not only warm and professional, but she has also taken on a leadership role by training all of the incoming volunteers. Sara is known to be highly motivated and willing to help in any way she can, including providing translations, preparing classrooms for instructors, answering phone calls and simply being a friendly face to greet everyone visiting Diamondhead Education Center.

Courtnee noted that the office staff at community education regularly rave about how valuable Sara is as a member of their team.

Sara’s service also extends beyond District 191. This year, she has volunteered atRiver Valley Project Explore and the Minnesota Children's Museum.

Adam McDonald

Adam McDonald is a parent of three students at Harriet Bishop Elementary and one in preschool.

Nominated by teacher Staci Strowbridge, Adam is known for his passion and his ability to engage students in meaningful ways. Ms. Strowbridge wrote that “Regardless of the age or grade level of students he’s working with, he naturally engages brains and he teaches with patience and clarity.”

He volunteers to work with students directly for a full day each week. Combined with his work around events and clubs - including the school’s SMART Fair and Service Club - his estimated volunteer time for this year is around 200 hours.

Adam is also known for his willingness to help in any way that’s needed. Whether it’s intervention or enrichment, he quickly gets to know students and develops a positive relationship with them. Students look forward to their one-on-one or small group time with “Mr. Adam.”

Adam is supporting student learning at every level, helping preschoolers with color recognition, counting, sorting and turn taking; supporting students with literacy development by reading with them; and building relationships with students and encouraging them to try their best, celebrating their accomplishments.

He’s served as an ambassador of Harriet Bishop, for which he volunteers countless hours, and he positively represents the district to families that are considering enrolling their students at Harriet Bishop.

Becky McGuire

Becky McGuire is a parent of one student at Harriet Bishop Elementary and two at Eagle Ridge Middle School.

She has been involved in just about every volunteer opportunity there is at Harriet Bishop, including serving in leadership on the school’s Parent Teacher Organization; co-leading the Hornet Hop school dance; volunteering for Art Adventure, International Night and carnivals; and supporting Staff Appreciation, Breakfast with a Book, Service Club events, field trips, Friday Folders and other classroom/teacher needs.

One of the places where Becky has had the most impact is with the Harriet Bishop SMART Fair Expo. She helps involve the community in the event and keeps families engaged at the event by organizing businesses and groups that are involved with Science, Math, Technology, Music, Art to present or provide activities during the fair.

Ms. Staci Strowbridge, the teacher in charge of the SMART Fair, praised Becky’s work to organize those partners and said “Becky always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude. She's constantly willing to help out and contributes in numerous ways.”

To add to her list of volunteering, Becky is coordinating the 5th Grade Send-off Party and is helping with collecting pictures for this event. She also volunteers at Eagle Ridge, including as a science fair judge.

Becky was nominated by District 191 employee Jennifer Deshaw who wrote: “Having Becky at Harriet Bishop is a blessing! Her ‘let’s do it’ attitude and ability to work together with others is what makes her shine. She cares about her fellow parents and invests her time and energy into not only her children but all the students throughout the school.”

Joey Pederson

Burnsville High School graduate Joey Pederson, who is now a mother of a 4th grader at Rahn Elementary and a 6th grader at Metcalf Middle School, is not only an amazing volunteer within our school district, but she is also an active member of the Burnsville community.

Joey has given herself fully to the Rahn community for the past 7 years in what seems like an endless number of ways. She has been the yearbook advisor for that entire time, using her skills as a photographer and her endless energy to capture countless moments throughout the school year. Joey is all about inclusion when it comes to the yearbook. She wants to make sure all students are represented.

Joey has also been a big advocate for chess both at Rahn and within the district. She can often be seen with her camera at chess tournaments snapping photos and encouraging students. Joey has not only had children in chess club, but she has also helped as an advisor to keep chess club running at Rahn.

At the school, Joey helps in the classroom; acts as chaperone for field trips; helps provide food for teachers during conferences and staff appreciation week; provides carnival help; supports Brainpower in a Backpack; and has also volunteered as a science fair judge. Anytime someone is needed, she is there to help!

She showed that willing, volunteer spirit again this year by joining the school’s small Art Adventure group of parent volunteers, which helps bring art and its history to the classroom in partnership with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She also took on a new Bake Sale that coincided with Election Day, engaging the entire community in helping to support and better understand Rahn.

Lin Topping

Lin Topping became a volunteer with Adult Basic Education in the fall of 2016, and over the past three years, she has logged more than 600 hours of official volunteer time, as well as hundreds of hours of “unofficial” time, meeting with students outside of the standard class times.

Lin currently volunteers two days a week. She stays all day and even uses her lunch break to tutor students who need extra help.

Lin has volunteered in several levels of morning ESL, a computer skills class, a reading and writing afternoon class, and an evening class at Hidden Valley to teach English to parents of District 191 elementary students.

It’s not just Lin’s devotion of time to the ABE program and students that makes her stand out. It’s her willingness to help every student she can, and her patience and kindness that give students the extra boost of confidence they need to continue their studies, even with busy schedules and home lives. Lin takes time to connect with each student and intuitively knows how to best help them learn. She frequently connects their home lives to the skill they are learning, making it comfortable and fun.

ABE teacher Susan Edmonson, who nominated Lin for this award, said: “Many of our students are new to the country and a welcoming, kind, patient soul like Lin, being in the classroom with them, is exactly what they need to feel at ease in their new home.”

Kate Quirk and Robyn Tousignant

Kate Quirk and Robyn Tousignant are art teachers at Burnsville High School. This year they served as pottery experts for the annual Bowls for BrainPower event, which raises money to provide weekend food for our students through the BrainPower in a Backpack program.

Taking on this responsibility, Kate and Robyn have spent countless hours – on weekends, before and after school, and during breaks – working with students and community members to create, glaze and fire hundreds of bowls in support of Bowls for BrainPower event in April.

Kate and Robyn were in charge of this year’s Potter’s All Calls, weekend events where members of the community are invited into the high school to learn how to make bowls, mugs and even bird houses. One of those “all call” events coincided with the first Burnsville Family Fest, meaning hundreds of community members were in school at the same time. They stepped up and provided a demonstration on the main stage, showing what Bowls and pottery making is all about.

Kate and Robyn also are responsible for coordinating the student Bowls team. The Bowls team meets on designated Tuesdays after school in the Art Wing, where students learn how to make and glaze bowls.  

And then finally, the pair oversaw the annual Bowls for BrainPower on April 11, welcoming the public to the event and showing off all the hard work in support of BrainPower in a BackPack, raising more than $17,000 this year. Without their generosity and skills as artists and teachers, this project would not be possible.









Board approves contract with new superintendent

Posted on April 26, 2019

Dr. Theresa BattleAt its meeting April 25, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education unanimously approved a three-year contract with Dr. Theresa Battle to serve as superintendent starting July 1, 2019.

“We know that Dr. Battle will leverage the breadth and depth of her professional career to lead us through challenges and celebrations alike, and that she will help us build on our current work to ensure each student is Future Ready and Community Strong,” said Board Chair Abigail Alt.

Battle is currently an assistant superintendent for St. Paul Public Schools. Her previous experience includes district leadership roles in Minneapolis Public Schools and Osseo Public Schools. She started her career in education as a teacher and has also served in school leadership and curriculum and instruction leadership roles. She holds an educational doctorate degree and masters of arts degree from the University of Minnesota.

“I am excited to be joining the District 191 community to build on the great work that is already being done,” Battle said. “As I've started to get to know the district, it’s clear that there is a deep passion and commitment to success for each student."

As superintendent, Battle will be the district's chief executive officer and will be responsible for the oversight of operations and decisions in the district. Her salary will be $187,000 in the first year of the contract and will increase by 1% in each of the next two years. The board also approved an addendum to the contract that would provide up to $6,000 to cover moving expenses incurred between July 1, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2021.   

Alt said the contract was intended to recognize the experience, skills and education Battle brings to District 191, while also respecting the district’s financial situation.

“We just came through a difficult budget process and the financial pressures we face are unlikely to subside,” Alt said. “With that in mind, we simply can’t sustain large salary increases. This contract is just the first of many that will be negotiated this year, and it reflects our financial reality.”

View the complete contract

Posted in Superintendent Search | Tagged theresa battle, superintendent

Road construction will affect some bus routes starting April 29

Posted on April 25, 2019

On Monday, April 29, the city of Savage will begin construction on Glendale Road. Unfortunately, this will affect several District 191 school bus routes, including some that are not close to the construction.These changes will start on Monday, April 29.

Emails have been sent to families of students whose routes will be changed. Please check your email to see your new bus information.

If you have questions, please call District 191 transportation at 952-707-2069 or your school's cultural liaison.

El lunes 29 de Abril 2019, la cuidad de Savage comenzara la consyruction en la calle Glendale Road. Deafortunadamente esto afectara a varia rutas de autobus escolares de nuestro distrito, incluyendo a unas rutas que no estan cerca de la construcion.

Los horarios y lugares de recojida y dejada de su estudiante puede que cambie. Estos cambios comenzara el dia lunes 29 de abril.

Por favor revise si correo electronico para ver la informacion de su nueva informacion si no recibo correo llame al departamento de Transportacion 952-707-2069 o a la enlace cultural de su escuela.

Isniinta, Abriil 29, magaalada Savage ayaa bilaabi doona dhismaha Glendale Road. Nasiib darro, tani waxay saameyn doontaa waddooyinka basaska dugsiyada ee 191, oo ay ka mid yihiin kuwa aan kudhicin dhismaha.

Ardayga ayaa soo qaadaya wakhtiyada la soo dajiyo iyo waqtiyada la joojiyo iyo meelaha laga yaabo inay isbeddelaan. Isbeddeladan ayaa bilaabmi doona Isniinta, Abriil 29.

Fadlan calaamadee emailkaaga si aad u aragto macluumaadkaaga cusub ee baska. Haddii aadan helin emailka, fadlan wac Gaadiidka Degmada 191 oo ah 952-707-2069 ama waxaad la xiriiri kartaa kofkaa dhaqanka iskuulka.

ERMS Theatre presents 'Wizard of Oz'

Posted on April 25, 2019

Wizard of Oz PosterJoin the Eagle Ridge Middle School Theatre for their production of the timeless classic "Wizard of Oz" opening Thursday, May 2.

Shows are May 2-4 and May 9-11 at 7 p.m., with matinee preformances on May 4 and 11 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students. Order online at


  • Dorothy Gale - Corrina Benson
  • Scarecrow - Maddie Murray
  • Tin Man - Abby Briese
  • Cowardly Lion - Michael Goettl
  • Glinda the Good Witch - Maisy Scheuneman
  • Wicked Witch of the West - Bianca Froebe
  • Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz - Bryce Soberski
  • Aunt Em - Elly Hovde
  • Uncle Henry - Uzu Lackey
  • Miss Gulch - Eliza Lorensen
  • Toto - Teagan Limberg
  • Gatekeeper of Oz - Hannah Bacon
  • Hickory - Braiden Moher
  • Zeke - Jack Glausser
  • Hunk - Beck Lobben
  • Nikko - Adam Briese
  • Ensemble - Ali Norton, Amy Runov, Ashlyn Jensen, Christina Peterson, Cori Dawson, Eden Chapman, Hazel Kubisiak, Ian Jones, Isaac Sorensen, Isabella LaGorio, Kendra Wood, Maya Berc, Molly Rippentrop, Sara Cadwell, Sara Russell, Sophie Meyers, and Wes Krueger


  • Lights: Gabe Hubbard & Tito Froebe
  • Video Backdrop: John Goettl
  • Music & Sound: Jayla Thompson
  • Mics: Max Corcoran & Jane McGuire
  • Costume & Props: Kailyn Jonland, Mckenzie Weller, and Amanda Currie
Posted in Arts | Tagged eagle ridge, theater

Burnsville High School will celebrate Decision Day on May 1

Posted on April 25, 2019

Seniors are invited to attend the Decision Day celebration Wednesday, May 1 in the Career Center.

Whether students plan on attending college or vocational school, joining the military, setting off to work, participating in BEST or taking a year off, this event is focused on celebrating all seniors and their plans for the future.

“Decision Day is celebrated around the country to recognize high school seniors for their postsecondary plans and encourage younger students and families to prepare early for life after high school,” said Marcia Sexton, coordinator of the Career Center. It coincides with the date that most seniors must confirm their plans to enroll at a specific college.

Students are invited to visit the Career Center in the afternoon to sign their grad caps, fill out their senior survey and finalize a transcript request. Students will also be encouraged to 'tweet' out celebratory messages about their college decision.


Posted in Parents | Tagged bhs, career center, Decision Day, future ready, one91

BYC Family Night is April 23

Posted on April 19, 2019

Join us for BYC Family Night on April 23 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Nicollet Middle School, 400 E. 134th St. in Burnsville.

The Burnsville Youth Collaborative (BYC) is looking for feedback to help evaluate our after school program, and we would love to hear directly from you. The event will be catered by Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, and there will be free food and prizes!

Please join us to celebrate the 2018-2019 school year!

Noche Familiar

Martes, Abril 23rd
6:00-7:30 pm
en Nicollet Middle School, 400 E. 134th St., Burnsville

Comida y premios gratis!

BYC está buscando comentarios para ayudar a evaluar nuestro programa después de la escuela,

¡y nos encantaría escucharlo directamente de usted! Atendido por Mediterranean Cruise Cafe!

¡Únase a nosotros para celebrar el año escolar 2018-2019!

Habeenka Qoyska
Maaniltu waa Talaado, April 23rd
6:00-7:30 pm
Waxaa lagu qabanayaa Nicollet Middle School

Waxaa la bixinayaa Cunto la cag la aan ah iyo abaal amir.

Iskaashiga dhalinyarada Burnsville! Waxaan Ra baan in aan helaan fig radiina ku saamsan Barnaamijka galabtii ay ilmau ku haraan Iskuulka.

Cunta waxaa keenayo Mediterranean Cruise Cafe!

Fadlan nala soo si aan u gu dabaal dagno dugsi saladeedka 2018-2019

Posted in Parents | Tagged burnsville youth collaborative, feedback

CANCELED: Burnsville High School spring clean-up slated for April 27

Posted on April 19, 2019

UPDATE: Due to predicted weather, the spring clean up that was scheduled for Saturday, April 27, has been canceled. 

The Burnsville High School spring clean-up is Saturday, April 27 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Students and staff will be cleaning up the school’s campus and preparing the Giving Garden for the upcoming spring and summer. This event promises to provide some outdoor fun while giving back to the community.

Participants should bring work gloves and outdoor tools if possible.

Students who want to volunteer can sign up at:

Posted in Community | Tagged bhs, spring clean up, giving garden, youth service