Nominations open for District 191 John Coskran Volunteer Award

Posted on January 29, 2018

Nominations are now open for the 2018 John Coskran Volunteer Award, presented annually in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. Nominations are due by March 23.

The award honors extraordinary volunteers who give of their time and talents to enhance students’ educational experience and achievement, and/or demonstrate the importance of volunteerism and good citizenship.

Business people, community residents, students, parents and staff members are all eligible to receive this award. Selection is based upon effort, scope and impact of the volunteer’s service.

The award is named in honor of John Coskran, a former associate director of Catholic Charities, former District 191 Board of Education member and longtime advocate for volunteerism.

Nominations can be submitted online or by using the form below and contacting Ruth Dunn, the district’s communications director, at or 952-707-2020.

All nominees will be recognized at a reception in their honor at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the Campus Cup café in Diamondhead Education Center. The award presentation ceremony will take place at the Board of Education meeting at 6:30 p.m. that evening, also at Diamondhead.

For more information about the award and to view past recipients, visit:

Posted in Community, Parents | Tagged volunteer, awards, John Coskran

Sock drive brings in more than 1,700 pairs

Posted on January 24, 2018

Congratulations and thank you to all the students, staff members and families who contributed to the first Eagle Ridge Middle School Sock Drive. In total, we collected 1,793 pairs of socks!

A special thank you goes to students in the ERMS National Junior Honor Society who helped lead the event and build excitement among their peers.

"It was a tremendous effort and I am very proud of our Eagle Ridge community," said NJHS adviser and Eagle Ridge teacher Kevin Sayers.

One-third of the socks will be donated to 360 Communities and given to families in Dakota and Scott counties. The remaining socks will be donated to homeless shelters in Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Posted in Community, Student Success | Tagged service, eagle ridge, national junior honor society, kevin sayers, socks, 360 communities

Nominations sought for 7th Annual Inclusive Education Practices Award

Posted on January 24, 2018

Nominations are being sought for the 2018 Inclusive Education Practices Award to recognize outstanding school staff members whose work ensures students with all abilities have inclusive education opportunities in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

The award was created by the district's Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC), which is comprised of parents, community members, school staff and administrators. The group advises the special education department on policy and program planning.

SEAC is seeking nominations of school staff members who put the qualities and words of the District 191 Strategic Roadmap — Expectations, Respect, Integrity and Partnership — into action in support of inclusive education practices.

Individual staff members or school teams, such as a group of staff members representing a grade level, program or committee, may be nominated for the award. Nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 23.

Submit Your Nomination Online

Inclusive education is:

  • Children with all abilities participating and learning together;
  • Ensuring that each and every student feels welcome and part of the school community;
  • Opportunities for academic achievement and social involvement for all students.

Previous recipients of the award are teachers Mark Riggs of Burnsville High School, Leanne Banks of Eagle Ridge Middle School, Barbara Gierada of William Byrne Elementary, Lori Haggerty of Rahn Elementary Tiny Tots Preschool, Oluwatoni Adedeji of Sioux Trail Elementary, and Kari Spry of Early Childhood Special Education.

For more information, contact Stephanie White at Download a nomination form below or submit your nomination online.

Posted in Parents, Community | Tagged special education, inclusive education, awards

Vista View students’ artwork will adorn Beargrease trail mail envelopes

Posted on January 24, 2018

To honor the race’s namesake, who delivered mail along the North Shore of Lake Superior for more than 20 years in the late 1800s, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has a tradition of mushers carrying mail with them along the course from Two Harbors to Duluth. This year, a little piece of a Vista View Elementary classroom will be making the 400 mile trek, too.

A collage of sled dogs created by students in Amy Tucci’s second grade class last year was chosen to adorn the envelopes of all the trail mail at this year’s race, which starts Jan. 28.

Tucci said she had displayed the artwork at both the Iditarod and Beargrease races, and that led to in invitation to submit it for consideration. Being selected, she said, was a huge honor.

The artwork is not the students’ only connection to sled dog races. Tucci uses the races to engage students in lessons about wildlife, science, writing, mathematics and more.

“We tracked the weather and hours of daylight and snow amounts. We researched animals that mushers might see along the North Shore and wrote friendly letters to mushers,” she said about last year’s race, adding that musher Ryan Redington shared a video of an Arctic fox from when he was racing the Iditarod.

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.

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

Beargrease Trail Mail Artwork
Posted in Arts | Tagged vista view, art, science, sled dog, john beargrease, iditarod

BHS junior elected as Youth in Government presiding officer

Posted on January 22, 2018

Burnsville High School junior Alyse Dees has always had an interest in government and how it works, so joining Youth in Government (YIG) was an easy decision for her. That interest turned into leadership at the Minnesota YIG Model Assembly in Minneapolis in January, where she was elected to be presiding officer of the National Issues Forum at next year’s model assembly. It’s one of just 16 major student roles for the entire state.

Youth in Government is a nationwide program by the YMCA. The Minnesota branch of YIG has 1,600 students in grades 8-12 throughout the state gathering at the state capital in St. Paul and at the Hilton in Minneapolis. There, they can see how the state government works in a realistic and complex simulation by arguing court cases, debating state and national issues and learning how to agree or disagree respectfully. This year’s Burnsville contingent included 85 members, one of the largest delegations.

“I feel fantastic about being elected to this position,” Alyse said. “I love the National Issues Forum, so being able to run the program and making sure that everyone gets to enjoy themselves is what I am looking forward to.”

Alyse has been involved in Youth in Government since she was in eighth grade. She says she doesn’t see herself working in the government or in political science in the future, but does enjoy being involved in government.

BHS senior Olivia Brammer served as the delegation leader for Burnsville this year.

“Alyse has continuously proved herself as a leader through appointed positions and desire to lead an entire program area,” she said. “She and her campaign team worked tirelessly to get her elected. Because of this, people saw her as someone who is responsible and an effective leader.”

Olivia added that Alyse is constantly striving to learn more about how the government works and how she can play an active role. Her guidance counselor, Rebecca Akerson, agrees.

“Alyse is passionate about being an informed community member and citizen,” she said. “She enjoys staying educated about government issues and politics. While it may not be her career path, she is interested in staying active and having a voice in government decisions.”

Justin Lassen, a Youth in Government representative from the YMCA, also noted that Alyse truly cares about what is happening in YIG and is not a delegate who sits quietly on the sidelines.

“She is active and involved in seeking great change,” he said. “I do believe her activism and pride for government will always stay with her.”

Learn more about Youth In Government by going to

NOTE: Story and photo by Justin Amaker, Burnsville High School senior and District 191 Communications intern.
Posted in Student Success, Achievement | Tagged bhs, youth in government, politics, government, alyse dees, YMCA

Eighth-grader earns kudos for peace poster

Posted on January 22, 2018

A poster about peace created by Hailey Erickson, an eighth-grader at Metcalf Middle School, is getting attention.

First, Hailey’s poster won the District 5 Lions Club Peace Poster contest. Then it won the regional multiple-district contest (which included Minnesota and Canadian areas) and earned cash prizes. Now it’s on the way to the Lions Club International competition in Chicago.

“I am very impressed with Hailey's work ethic and with her being so open to a challenge,” said Aimée Plueger, art teacher at Metcalf Middle School in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. “She took the contest theme of ‘The Future of Peace’ and seamlessly blended ideas of peace in her artwork with images of the future, time and our world.”

Plueger said that Hailey's attention to detail in the artwork and her ability to create motifs is impressive for such a young artist.

Judges commented that Hailey’s artwork is unique, full of so much thought, deeper meanings and beautiful colors. One judge commented, “You have to study it to see all the concepts in it, you don’t see everything the first time you look at it.”

Hailey is a member of the after-school art club at Metcalf Middle School that Plueger advises. Art has always been an important part of her life, and always will be, said Hailey.   

She thought about various ideas for the poster, then sketched parts and pulled them together to create the finished product. She used her favorite mediums of acrylic, pastels and charcoal to create it.

One thing she loves about art is that people can look at the same piece of art and draw different interpretations and their own meaning from it.

Posted in Arts, Student Success | Tagged art, metcalf, peace, poster, burnsville lions

Nominations open for One91 Community of Excellence Awards

Posted on January 16, 2018

Nominations are now open for the 2018 One91 Community of Excellence Awards to honor employees in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

The purpose of the awards is to recognize the extraordinary contributions of One91 staff members who are working to ensure each student is Future Ready and Community Strong.

“We are fortunate to have many talented and dedicated staff members who are fully committed to our students and each other,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “It’s so important to recognize and celebrate their work, and these awards are one way we do that.”

Nomination categories include Collaboration and Partnership, Innovation, Community Engagement, Excellence in Educational Support, Teaching Excellence and Leadership in Action.

In addition, a Spirit of Excellence award will go to an individual or team that exemplifies the best of what the district seeks in its employees.

Students, parents, community members and colleagues are invited to submit nominations. Nominations are due by Monday, Feb. 12, and can be submitted online at Paper nomination forms are also available in schools and at the Welcome Center at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway.

Selections will be made in March and recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony on April 17 at the Burnsville High School Mraz Center.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged awards, Community of Excellence

From fan to scholarship winner to participant, teacher’s ties to Class Acts are deep

Posted on January 16, 2018

In one way or another, Meghan Jermeland has been part of Class Acts since it began 30 years ago in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

She grew up with it and has continued her commitment to the annual teacher comedy variety show, which has raised a total of $345,000 for scholarships for graduates at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School.  

When she was young, her parents Wes and DeeDee Hanna took her to Class Acts rehearsals because she and her sister could not stay at home alone. She didn’t mind going because, “It’s fun to see your parents and teachers being part of something funny, and entertaining people.”  

Then as a senior at Burnsville High School, Jermeland received a Class Acts scholarship.

When she started teaching at M. W. Savage Elementary 14 years ago, she joined the Class Acts choir and also performed in comedy skits.  

She scaled back her involvement a bit when she had children, but has continued her long-time commitment in other ways. Currently, she’s the Class Acts rep at Sky Oaks Elementary, where she teaches third grade.

“Singing, dancing and acting on stage may be out of the comfort zone for teachers, but they do it anyway to benefit their students,” said Jermeland. “We know the scholarships make a big difference to our students and that’s what has kept Class Acts going for three decades and that’s truly awesome.”

Posted in Alumni, Arts, Community | Tagged class acts, meghan jermeland, sky oaks, marion w savage, bhs, alumni

District 191 Board elects officers for 2018

Posted on January 12, 2018

Members of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education unanimously elected officers to one-year terms as part of their annual organizational meeting on Jan. 11.

Board member Jim Schmid was elected as chairperson while DeeDee Currier was elected as vice chairperson. Bob VandenBoom was elected as clerk and Dan Luth as treasurer. Others serving on the seven-member board are Abigail Alt, Eric Miller and Darcy Schatz.

Board members kept their pay at $550 a month. The chairperson will receive an additional $50 per month in recognition of expanded duties and responsibilities.

Board meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of most months. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place in the Burnsville Room, upper level, Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway. Meetings are cablecast on Educational Channel 18 and are also streamed and archived on the district’s website at

Listening sessions take place from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. prior to board meetings as opportunities to speak informally with board members and Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. Anyone planning to attend a listening session is asked to call Jami Kenney, the superintendent’s secretary, at (952) 707-2005.                                                                                                                          

Meeting agendas, board packets and minutes are available on the district’s website at

Tagged school board

BHS Snow Week kicks off Jan. 27

Posted on January 11, 2018
2018 Snow Week


During a pep fest on Monday, Jan. 29, Burnsville High School crowned seniors Chris Maina and Talori Dunsworth as their Snow Week King and Queen! Members of Snow Week Royalty include:

  • 9th Grade: Ethan Voss and Gabby Gromacki
  • 10th Grade: Ryan Mokandu and Sara Tozier
  • 11th Grade: Noah Helke and Jenna Hartung
  • 12th Grade : Justin Amaker, Noah Gagliano, Brock Schultz, Chris Maina, Eyakem Yilma, Ryan Jacobson, Max Fox and Lucas Moreno
  • 12th Grade: Nawal Abdiwahed, Olivia Bendickson, Allie Dennstedt, Talori Dunsworth, Jenna Lichty, Niki Le, Mallory O'Brien and Megan Kortenhof

Burnsville High School Snow Week kicked off Saturday, Jan. 27 with a dodgeball tournament. The fun will last for an entire week, culminating with a Neon Dance on Feb. 3 from 8-11:30 p.m.

The festivities include themed dress-up days, trivia, a medallion hunt, boot hockey, volleyball, relay races at the boys' basketball game versus Shakopee and the dance.

You can view and download photos from the 2018 Snow Week Pep fest here!

Click here to see the schedule of events and themed dress-up days!

Posted in Parents, Community | Tagged bhs, snow week, medallion hunt, athletics, dress-up days, student council