School Board completes superintendent's performance evaluation

Posted on June 22, 2018

At the June 21 District 191 Board of Education meeting, Vice Chair Dr. DeeDee Currier read the following summary of the board's performance evaluation of Superintendent Cindy Amoroso.

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education would like to take this opportunity to formally and publicly congratulate Cindy Amoroso on her accomplished leadership in her first year of service to our school district as superintendent.

As vice chair, I facilitate the superintendent evaluation process.

In early March, I met with Supt. Amoroso to ensure a smooth process and answer any questions.

During March and April, Superintendent Amoroso did a self evaluation and gathered feedback from her cabinet members as well as others in the district. 

In early May that information was shared with me.

Board members then filled out the assessment and were given the opportunity to provide written comments.  I pulled all the information together and this was reviewed, shared and discussed with her in the closed session on June 14.   

The evaluation focused on District Values of: Vision, Structure, Accountability, Board/Superintendent Relations, Advocacy and Unity. 

The definitions are:

Superintendents establish a vision, expect continuous improvement, and develop a focused plan for achieving District goals.

Superintendents manage and organize the District’s resources (human, fiscal, operational and material) to accomplish District Goals.

Superintendents lead the creation of instructional systems designed for high student achievement and the elimination of student achievement gaps.

Board/Superintendent Relations
Superintendents work with the School Board to identify, prioritize and set policies and governance procedures that maximize the success of all students.

Superintendents integrate principles of cultural competency and equitable practice and promote the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context.

Superintendents establish effective two-way communication and engagement with students, staff, parents, media and the community as a whole, responding to feedback and building support for and engagement across the District.

With a rating criteria of “Unsatisfactory,” “Satisfactory,” “Accomplished” and “Distinguished,” we are pleased to report that Supt. Amoroso has satisfactorily met all Board expectations, and in fact has received an average of an “Accomplished” rating in all of the 25 specific statements.

The Board commends Superintendent Amoroso on distinguishing herself in advocacy on behalf of our students, and mobilizing our community to give highest priority to both our children and to their success as productive members of our community.

She helped pass a levy referendum, continued to move Vision One91 forward, and is always focused on success for ALL students. 

Due to her knowledge and experience in curriculum and instruction, she brings a depth of perception and understanding to this position not often seen in superintendents.

She is visible in our community, in our schools, and does outreach to key partners.

We appreciate her courage to rearrange the leadership of our district to increase the momentum for student achievement.

We as a Board, are unified in our support and grateful to this outstanding educational leader and we look forward to her continued contributions to the success of all learners in our school district and to our mission of "Each Student. Future Ready. Community Strong."

Tagged school board, superintendent, evaluation

Burnsville theater presents 'Beauty and the Beast, Jr'

Posted on June 21, 2018

Based on the original Broadway production, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. is a fantastic adaptation of the story of transformation and tolerance. It's the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. There are many fun supporting roles in this "tale as old as time."

Performances are June 26-30 at 7 p.m. at the Burnsville High School Mraz Center for Performing Arts, 600 Highway 13 W., Burnsville.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students/children and can be purchased at

Burnsville Community Theater is sponsored by Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Community Education. 

Posted in Arts | Tagged theater, beauty and the beast, mraz center, bhs

Join ‘Rockin’ Readers’ this summer at Nicollet Commons Park

Posted on June 13, 2018

Young children and their families are invited to free upcoming Thursday morning activities planned for them at Nicollet Commons Park at 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville.

Join staff members from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 as they read some of their favorite stories for youngsters at 11:15 a.m. during the “Rockin’ Readers” series (see schedule below).

Stay for the Rockin' Lunch Hour Concerts at noon, sponsored by the City of Burnsville. Bring a lunch and enjoy the whole morning of activities!

New this year: Pop Up Parenting at 10 a.m. with a District 191 Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) educator available for casual conversations, engaging activities and family resources for parents of children (from birth to grade 3).

The line-up of readers and performers is:

  • June 14: Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. Concert by Kidsdance.
  • June 21: Principals Lyle Bomsta of William Byrne Elementary and Renee Brandner of Marion W. Savage Elementary. Concert by Will Hale.
  • June 28: Principals Rachel Hughes of Sioux Trail Elementary and Elizabeth Vaught of Edward Neill Elementary. Concert by Bob the Beachcomber.
  • July 12: Principal Renee Brandner of Marion W. Savage Elementary. Concert by Kidsdance.
  • July 19: Community Education Director Tom Umhoefer. Concert by Sticks and Tones.
  • July 26: Principals Chris Bellmont of Gideon Pond Elementary and Ken Essay of Harriet Bishop Elementary. Concert by AlphaBits
  • Aug. 2: Principals Jeff Nepsund of Vista View Elementary and Brad Robb of Rahn Elementary. Concert by Bob the Beachcomber.
  • Aug. 9: Principal Jon Bonneville of Sky Oaks Elementary. Concert by Kidsdance.
  • Aug. 16: Principal Kristine Black of Hidden Valley Elementary and District 191 cultural liaisons. Concert by Teddy Bear Band.
Posted in Parents, Community | Tagged rockin reader, nicollet commons park, community, literacy, cindy amoroso

Get to know incoming Metcalf Principal Shannon McParland

Posted on June 11, 2018

Watch this video to get to know incoming Metcalf Middle School Principal Shannon McParland and hear why she is looking forward to being part of the Metcalf community!

Tagged principal, shannon mcparland, metcalf

Meet incoming Sioux Trail Principal Rachel Hughes

Posted on June 11, 2018

Watch this video to get to know incoming Sioux Trail Elementary Principal Rachel Hughes and hear why she is looking forward to being part of the Sioux Trail community!

Tagged rachel hughes, sioux trail, principal

Meet incoming Vista View Principal Jeff Nepsund

Posted on June 11, 2018

Watch this video to get to know incoming Vista View Elementary Principal Jeff Nepsund and hear why he is looking forward to being part of the Vista View community!

Tagged jeff nepsund, vista view, principal

District 191 graduates receive diplomas in ceremony on June 8

Posted on June 11, 2018

2018 BHS Graduation Ceremony

The 577 students in the 62nd annual Burnsville High School Class of 2018 received diplomas in a commencement ceremony on June 8.

Student speakers at commencement were Fiona Chow, William Alvey and Olivia Brammer.

“High school has taught us to power through our struggles, work hard, and be engaged citizens,” said Olivia in her comments to classmates. “These valuable lessons have offered us endless possibilities to shape our future.”

Musical performers were Katie Lyon, Jasmine Buckner and Daniel Akah. The Concert Choir performed under the direction of student Jon Butler.

There were 15 Valedictorians this year – a higher number than in several years. Valedictorians, who have earned a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) at Burnsville High School, are Courtney Funk, Alexander Gude, Justin Jasperse, Gregory Johnson, Makaela Kallstrom, Albert Liu, Katie Lyon, Elizabeth McCormick, Anna Nguyen, Bailey Pekar, Emily Reynolds, Thomas Ryan, Joshua Stebbins, Anna Warmka and Robert Wedan. The salutatorian (with a GPA of 3.992) is Samuel Andrews.

The graduation ceremony can also be viewed online at

Posted in Student Success | Tagged graduation, 2018, Class of 2018, bhs, BAHS

Gideon Pond celebrates 5th graders; class showed amazing growth

Posted on June 8, 2018
Gideon Pond 5th Grade Celebration

At a celebration on the last day of school, Gideon Pond Elementary Principal Chris Bellmont called this year’s class of 5th grade students a shining example of how honoring diversity can raise everyone up.

“This group is so strong together,” he said.

While the celebration was primarily to wish the students well as they finish their time at Gideon Pond and head toward middle school, it was also a time to celebrate their amazing growth over the past several years.

According to Bellmont, when this year’s fifth graders were in second grade, less than 30 percent were measured as “proficient” on standardized tests. Now, three years later, more than twice as many students scored “proficient” on the MCA literacy test according to preliminary data.

Bellmont said there were many changes made that helped support these students, including focusing on culturally proficient practices, using individual student data, and the new Making Meaning literacy curriculum. But he added that the wrap-around support from staff, parents and the community is what truly allowed the student to start to shine.

Congratulations to this year’s Gideon Pond fifth graders!

Posted in Academics, Student Success | Tagged gideon pond, fifth grade, MCA, achievement, proficiency

BHS student completes ‘Rites of Passage’ program

Posted on June 8, 2018

Marcellus Dees, a student in the Burnsville High School Class of 2018, was recently honored for completing a six-month Rites of Passage Program (ROP) sponsored annually by the Minneapolis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

The program is designed to recognize and assist young African-American men in the transition into leaders of tomorrow while learning and respecting the collective history as people of African descent. Each year the ROP selects high school seniors from the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area who are college-bound, have cumulative GPAs of 2.5 or higher, are actively engaged in community service and meet other specific criteria.

In the Rites of Passage Program, students are paired with an African American adult male mentor to focus on topics such as time management, collegiate application and financial aid process, men’s health, legal rights, life skills, social and personal responsibility and communicating a positive image in a digital world.

The program culminates in an Afrocentric semi-formal ceremony in which the initiates perform a step routine, are dressed in African attire and are presented to their families and community as young men, ready for the next challenges in life.

“Marcellus is a quiet young man who never ceases to amaze me and all of us,” said his teacher Julie Miller-Hays. “He is truly a role model to others and he exemplifies the gifts his parents and family have given him. I know he will do great things.”

Miller-Hays says a quote from Marcellus’ Rites of Passage paper provides insights into him. He wrote: “My life has had many obstacles and challenges, but through the valleys and peaks, I feel I have maintained a quiet power. As a young man with epilepsy and autism the world tends to pre-judge my capabilities. However, I continue to disprove society daily with everyday a-ha moments.”

Marcellus is the son of Andriel and Michael Dees of Burnsville.

For more information, visit 

Photo: Marcellus Dees, at the Rites of Passage Program celebration, is second from the left.
Posted in Community | Tagged bhs, marcellus dees, community, #futureready, #communitystrong

Standout science student earns invite to STEM day

Posted on June 8, 2018

Matt Trussell, Metcalf Middle School student, received many accolades and awards at the Metcalf Science Fair, the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair and the MN State Science Fair for the 2017-2018 school year.

The award that stood out the most for him, Matt said, was from DiaSorin, a diagnostic biotechnology company located in Stillwater. The company honored Matt with their Merit and Relativity Award at the state science fair. In addition to receiving this award, Matt and four other middle school students from Minnesota were invited to attend DiaSorin’s STEM Day.

For STEM Day, Matt presented his science fair project, Water vs. Oil, to students, parents, teachers and 20 scientists who are employed by DiaSorin. When he completed his presentation, DiaSorin employees asked him about his interest in ecology and even where he got all of his supplies to absorb oil out of water. One sample for absorption was hair and Matt explained how he went to Great Clips to get hair samples.

“I wore gloves,” Matt said. "You have to do what you have to do for science. You can’t be afraid of a little hair!”

Matt, his mother, Jeanne Trussell, and teacher, Tracey Plante, were invited to attend STEM Day with Matt. They toured the lab rooms seeing all of the equipment and technology that DiaSorin uses daily.  

“This experience has really motivated me to work in the STEM field," Matt said. "I do like ecology and helping the earth but this has opened my eyes to other career opportunities such as analyzing blood for diseases and deficiencies.”  

To give further opportunity to Metcalf students, Bruce Lueddecke, Staff Scientist, came to Plante’s three science classes to present blood analyzer biochemistry. Lueddecke invited students to participate and students were better able to understand the process of analyzing blood from an experiment that Lueddecke presented to each class.

In order to provide enrichment and expose students to career opportunities in STEM, Plante said she plans to have other guest speakers for her science classes for the 2018-2019 school year.

Posted in Academics | Tagged science, DiaSorin, Matt Trussell, tracey plante, metcalf