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BHS Student Orientation is Aug. 20-21

Posted on August 10, 2014

BHS student orientation is scheduled for Wednesday, August 20 and Thursday, August 21 from 11 am until 6 pm. Due to the construction that has been going on during the summer, access may be limited during our orientation days. Please watch your emails for updates as we get closer to orientation. During orientation, our main office and guidance office will be open so please stop by and let us know how we can help you. Below you will find some specific information regarding class schedules, student pictures, and student parking permits.

Student Class Schedules

Students need to attend orientation and pick up their class schedule. Class schedules are not mailed home. If you are a senior, you must pick up your schedule so you know if you are at the senior campus in the morning or the afternoon. For all students, you need to pick up your schedule so that if there are any questions or concerns, there is time for you to address those with your school counselor. However, remember schedule changes are not made for convenience reasons, i.e. being with friends, having a specific lunch, having a specific teacher, etc.

Student Pictures

Our school's fall picture days are August 20 and 21 during orientation from 11 am until 6 pm. Student pictures will taken in the Mraz Center. You can already visit the website at and place orders online. The picture day ID is: MI194017Y0 (all 0 = zero). The online order window for this picture ID will be available until 48 hours after picture day.  

All students, grades 10-12, must get their picture taken in order to receive their student ID. The student ID is provided at no cost.

We encourage you to get your picture taken at orientation. However, if you are out of town or unavailable during orientation, there is a picture make-up day scheduled for Thursday, September 4.

Student Parking Permits

Parking permits will be available during orientation. Please follow the link below to complete the online application. Read carefully and bring the necessary documents and payment to orientation to receive your parking permit.

Online Application

School Supply Resources

Salvation Army  & Mission OutPost at Prince of Peace Church, Burnsville

The Salvation Army will be distributing school supplies through the Mission Outpost/Salvation Army Food Shelf in Burnsville-while supplies last. Please visit here for more information.

360 Communities-Family Support Workers 

This year 360 Communities is partnering with Vineyard Community Services (Fruit of the Vine food shelf) to distribute backpacks and school supplies on August 23 and 30 to families accessing the 360 Communities Burnsville Family Resource Center. Families can call 952-985-5300 to see if vouchers are still available. Families with a 360 Communities Family Support Worker (this includes Burnsville High School) assigned to their local school should contact them after August 25, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact Arianna Lavallee, BHS Family Support Worker, at 952-707-2133.

Posted in Parents | Tagged back to school, orientation, bhs

Patrol training on Aug. 28

Posted on August 8, 2014

The Harriet Bishop School Patrol will have a “Patrol Training” on Aug. 28 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the media center. Please join us in preparation for a good, safe year for all Harriet Bishop students. 

If you have questions, please contact Joe Risteau at



New immunization required for 7th graders

Posted on August 8, 2014

A change in state law means students entering seventh grade must receive additional vaccinations before starting school. The vaccines — for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal (MCV4) — are also recommended for students entering grade 8 through 12.

These vaccinations are in addition to other required immunizations. Students who do not show proof of the required vaccinations or a legal exemption will not be permitted to attend school.

To help families meet the new requirements, the Dakota County Public Health Department is offering a free “Back2School” vaccination clinic for students entering grades 7 through 12 this fall. The clinic will take place Wednesday, Aug. 27 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, located at 14955 Galaxie Ave.

More information about required immunizations is availabe at You can also call Public Health at 952-891-7999.

Posted in Parents | Tagged vaccinations, immunizations, health, 7th grade

Vista View is celebrating 50 years!

Posted on August 1, 2014

Vista View is celebrating 50 years serving the community and students of Burnsville. We are excited about all of the memories from the past 50 years, as well as continuing to be a positive place for learning for the next 50 years. 

Whether you attended Vista View or if you were just connected to it, you are invited to take part in any or all activities. Watch for updated information on this website or get up-to-date information on our Facebook page at

FIREMUSTER PARADE: Vista View have a float in the Burnsville Firemuster Parade on Sept. 6 to celebrate our 50th Anniversary along with the city of Burnsville! Volunteers will be needed to help decorate our float before the parade. Contact Elly Dahler at (952) 707-3400 or to get more details. 






Posted in Community, Parents | Tagged 50th anniversary, vista view

Leaders, athletes, champions join BHS Hall of Fame

Posted on July 10, 2014

The Burnsville High School Hall of Fame Class of 2014 represents the tremendous breadth of success achieved by members of the BHS community both at the school and beyond. 

2014 Inductees are graduates Jim Banke, Janet Barker Cain, James Campbell, Denise Johnson Hennen and Lance Werness, retired teacher/coach Neal Jeppson, and the 1972 Minnesota state champion football team. They will join 60 previously inducted honorees.

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level.

2014 Hall of Fame Inductees:

Jim Banke, Class of 1980, was selected to participate in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation state convention, was named Minnesota’s outstanding sophomore leader for 1978 and represented the state at the International Leadership Seminar in New York City. He worked closely with Supt. Bob Tschirki during the time when student representation on the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Board of Education had just started. He served on the Student Council from 1977-1979 and was elected student body president for 1979-80. He was a member of Chamber Chorale and produced and co-hosted the annual pop concert during his junior and senior years, working with music teacher Loren Squires. Banke attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, graduating in 1987 with a B.S. in Aviation Business Administration. There he served as president of the school’s student chapter of the L5 Aerospace Society, a national space advocacy organization now known as the National Space Society.  As the organization’s president, he was asked to represent the student body in testifying before members of the National Space Commission, which included Neil Armstrong, about the future of the space program. He also served as space technology editor for the student newspaper, The Avion. In that capacity, Banke was present at Kennedy Space Center’s press site in 1986 during the Challenger disaster. After college, Banke worked for 16 years as an aerospace journalist and early pioneer in online journalism, initially for Florida Today/USA Today. He was hired by Lou Dobbs and Sally Ride to work for For the past decade he has worked more directly on behalf of the space program, establishing himself as a major voice and leader within the space community, both locally along Florida’s Space Coast and nationally. In 2006, he was selected by then Gov. Jeb Bush to serve on the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Space and Aeronautics in Florida. Since 2007, Banke has worked as an independent consultant and owner/president of MILA Solutions, LLC with customers including NASA, the Space Foundation, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation.  He serves on several boards of directors including the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Museum Foundation, and the National Space Club Florida Committee. He provides live coverage for all rocket launches from Cape Canaveral on WMMB-AM radio and hosts a weekly hour-long show called “Space Talk.” He has received many awards including the 2013 NASA Group Achievement Award-Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, the 2007 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (the government’s highest award for a non-government employee) and the 2003 Online News Association Award for Breaking News (coverage of the Columbia disaster). As a member of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Space and Aeronautics in Florida, Banke originated the idea and wrote the report that led to the creation of Space Florida, the state’s current space agency. He also produced, directed and emceed numerous space-related community events including Kennedy Space Center’s 50th Anniversary Gala.

Janet L. Barke Cain, a 1982 BHS graduate, serves as the State of Minnesota’s First Judicial District Court Judge. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she graduated in May 1986 with a business degree from the Carlson School of Management and was recognized on the Dean’s List. She attended the Hamline University School of Law where she graduated Cum Laude in 1986. There Cain was a Merit Scholarship recipient, was on the National Dean’s Honor Roll and received the Am Ju Award in Evidence and Litigation Practice. She also served as associate articles editor of the Law Review in 1987-88 and editor in 1988-89. Cain was responsible for all aspects of criminal prosecution as well as the necessary legal research and paperwork associated with courtroom appearances as an assistant city attorney in the Criminal Division of the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office from 1992-94. She then moved to the Carver County Attorney’s Office where she served as assistant county attorney in the Criminal Division from 1994-96 and the Civil Division in 1996. She became the Juvenile Division Head in 1996, a position she held until 2008. There Cain was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Division including supervision, case management and policy and procedure development and implementation for juvenile delinquency and child protection matters. She was responsible for training local law enforcement, social services employees and other county agencies on a variety of juvenile, criminal and civil issues.  Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Cain as the State of Minnesota First Judicial District Court Judge in 2007. She is responsible for handling all calendars in the district including Criminal, Family, Juvenile Delinquency, Children in Need of Protection or Services and Conciliation Court. She is also the presiding Judge for the first Veteran’s Court in the First Judicial District.  She serves as the lead judge for the State of Minnesota Children’s Justice Initiative Carver County CHIPS Mediation Pilot Project and is responsible for implementing Early Neutral Evaluation in Carver Courts. Cain also serves on the Minnesota Supreme Court Juvenile Protection Rules Committee, the Minnesota District Judges Association Board of Directors and the Minnesota Tribal Courts/State Court Committee. Cain is active in the Burnsville community volunteering with the Vista View Elementary PTO, Nicollet Junior High and Burnsville High School fundraising activities, serving on the District 191 Community Education Advisory Council, and volunteering with the Burnsville Athletic Club.

James Campbell, a four-year class officer at Burnsville High School, graduated in 1963. He was an honor graduate, a charter member of the National Honor Society, president of Student Council, and played in the band for four years. He earned three football letters, three baseball letters and two basketball letters. He served as co-captain of each of those teams his senior year and quarterbacked the 1960 Missota Conference Championship football team (the first year of Missota Conference play). He was the 1962 homecoming king, was recognized with a citizenship award and was the recipient of a PTA scholarship. Campbell received his BS degree in Mathematics from the University of Saint Thomas in 1967. While attending college, he taught physical education and coached basketball at St. John the Baptist School in Savage. He attended the University of Minnesota from 1967-68 working on a Master’s of Science degree in mathematics, but enlisted in the U.S. Army prior to completing that degree. He served as an officer on active duty from 1968-1971 and then served in the Reserves until 2000 when he retired as a colonel. He received three Meritorious Service Medals and a Legion of Merit during his service. Campbell earned his Masters of Science in 1972 from the University of Oregon. He then taught mathematics and coached football, baseball and basketball first at Mechanic Arts High School in St. Paul and then at Hastings High School from 1972-1981. During this time he served on the mathematics education advisory board at the University of Minnesota. Campbell left academia for a computer programmer analyst position at Smead Manufacturing in 1981 where he introduced personal computer technology and conducted staff training. He developed the Information Center concept and expanded technology capabilities nationally to branch locations. From 1986-1996, Campbell worked for Washington County as manager of the Information Technology Department. During his tenure, the Washington County Information Center User Specialist Program, land management tract index and criminal justice (ALERTS) development teams won awards from the National Association of Counties. Campbell moved to the job of director of the Public Services and Revenue Division for Dakota County in 1996, a position he held through 2000, when he became Director of Information Technology.  He led the county-wide Y2K project and annually developed a county strategic plan to define the mission, vision and technology goals, a document that served as a model for other governmental agencies nationwide. The Center for Digital Government recognized Dakota County in six of his seven years as IT Director, ranking it in the top ten nationally of 3,068 counties for the quality, efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness of its technology services to its citizens. He retired in 2007. Campbell was an active volunteer throughout his career, serving on the Hastings Youth Athletic Association providing administrative help and coaching youth baseball, football and soccer. He also taught fourth grade Junior Achievement and served on the Saint Elizabeth Seton Parochial School Board. He currently volunteers at Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls.

Denise Johnson Hennen, Class of 1982, was a member of the National Honor Society during all three years of her high school career. She was a nine-time letter winner in swimming, cross country skiing and track and field during her time at Burnsville High School. She qualified for the Nordic skiing Minnesota State Tournament all three of her high school years. Hennen was also All Conference and a three-year letter winner in track and field. She excelled in swimming and was part of the 1981 girls’ swimming and diving state championship team. She was a six-time state runner-up in four different individual swim events and earned All-Conference, All-State and All-America honors. At one time, Hennen held every BHS individual swimming event record. She received a swimming scholarship to the University of Minnesota where she was Big Ten champion and runner-up in two individual events during her freshman year. She was the first female swimmer at the University of Minnesota (along with a teammate) to be named an NCAA All-American. Hennen was an assistant coach for the Wayzata Country Club Swim Team as they won 10 straight Western Country Club Swim League championships. She also served as girls head coach and boys assistant coach for the Eagan High School swim teams for four years.  She was an ACE certified group fitness instructor for 28 years. Hennen has been a busy volunteer as a booster club member for five years and home meet scorekeeper for five years for the University of Minnesota Swim/Dive Team. She spent eight years as the Shakopee hockey registrar and two years as the uniform coordinator for Shakopee soccer.  She also served as Girls Team representative for two years for Minnesota Valley Gymnastics and treasurer for them for two years and was the assistant show director for the Shockwaves Water Ski Show Team for four years.  In addition, she taught Sunday School catechism at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for seven years. Hennen has also dealt with adversity, having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008 and with a brain tumor in April 2012 which was removed in 2013.

Neal Jeppson taught physical education and health at Burnsville High School from 1973-2003, and served as the head baseball coach for 29 years and assistant coach for two years. He also spent 31 years as an assistant football coach. He was a Fellowship of Christian Athlete Huddle Leader from 1988-1996 and served as the Section 6AA Coaches Representative from 1998-2003. He was named Region 1 Coach of the Year in 1981, 1983 and 1989 and Minnesota High School All-Star Baseball coach in 1989 and 1998. He was named Amateur Sportsman of the Year by Northwest Umpires in 1989. Jeppson was awarded the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Past President's Award in 1996-1998 and the Minnesota Baseball Coaches Association Dick Siebert Award in 1999. He was selected as the Burnsville High School Teacher of the Year in 2002. He was inducted into the Minnesota Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005 and also served on the Board of Baseball Association 191 from 1988 until today.

Lance Werness graduated from Burnsville High School in 1987. He was a gifted athlete who earned varsity letters in football in 1985 and 1986. He played on the 1985 state champion team and was named to the All-Conference and All-State teams in 1986. Werness was a three-year letter winner in baseball serving as captain of the team in 1987. He was named All-Conference in 1987 and played in the Minnesota Metro All-Star game in 1987. He lettered in hockey in 1985, 1986 and 1987 as a member of the 1985 and 1986 State Champion team and the 1987 State Champion Runner-Up team. He served as captain of the 1987 team and was named to the All-Conference, All-Metro and the Team Minnesota All-Star teams that year. Werness was awarded a University of Minnesota athletic scholarship, playing hockey for the Gophers from 1988 through 1991. He received his bachelor's degree in 1992.  Werness played hockey for the St. Paul Fighting Saints from 1992-1993.

The 1972 Burnsville High School Football Team is also being honored. Coached by long-time coach and Hall of Fame member Dick Hanson, the team won the state championship that year, the first football championship for Burnsville High School in the Missota Valley Conference.  

Posted in Achievement, Alumni, Community | Tagged hall of fame, bhs, leadership, alumni

District 191 launches online enrollment

Posted on April 14, 2014

Families can now enroll students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 through a new online system. The online enrollment system allows families to go through the process of enrolling a child in District 191 schools, including submitting all necessary forms and documents.

Parents will also find helpful and convenient information about which school their child will attend, what information they will need to provide, and what steps they need to take before their child starts school.

“We know that it’s not always convenient for parents to come in to our Welcome Center to enroll, so this system will let them go through the process on their time,” said Connie Erickson, District 191 director of Technology and Information Systems. “At the same time, we’ll always have people available at the Welcome Center to answer questions or help parents through enrollment.”

As parents complete each enrollment step,  the system saves their progress so they can pause any time and come back later to finish.

Created with TIES, an organization that provides education technology such as the SchoolView parent portal, the new system will eventually tie directly into the district’s student database, making enrollment more efficient and effective from the district’s perspective, too.

Online enrollment was piloted at two schools in January and feedback from a parent survey resulted in some modifications before it was launched districtwide. Currently, the online enrollment process is only in English but other languages will be added.

Online enrollment is available at The district’s Welcome Center is located in the lower level Diamondhead Education Center and can be reached at (952) 707-4180 or

Posted in Parents | Tagged enrollment, welcome center, enroll, new students

Five individuals and the Burnsville Lions Club to join the BHS Hall of Fame

Posted on October 4, 2013

The six new members of Burnsville High School's Hall of Fame were inducted during a ceremony on Sept. 12, in the school's Mraz Center and were also recognized during half-time at the football game that night.

They are Katie Snyder Bolling, the Burnsville Lions Club, Mike Luckraft, Greg Orson, Laura Slominski and Alyse R. Solberg Stofer. They joined 54 previously inducted honorees.

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level.

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

2013 Inductees are:

Katie Snyder Bolling, a 1994 graduate of Burnsville High School, excelled in athletics, lettering in swimming as a freshman and sophomore, qualifying for state and earning All-Conference status her sophomore year. She lettered in track for three years and soccer for two years, playing on the State Championship teams in 1992 and 1993 and earning All-Conference Honorable Mention in 1993. She also lettered in girls’ hockey playing on the 1993 inaugural team. Bolling was a member of the Burnsville Giants U16 soccer team which won the 1992 National Championship. She continued playing soccer at the College of St. Benedict, receiving All-MIAC honors in 1996, and All-NCAA honors in 1997 and was voted Most Valuable Player in 1997. She graduated from St. Benedict’s in 1998 with degrees in accounting and business management. Bolling became a marathon runner and competed in Grandma’s Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Colorado Marathon and the Boston Marathon. She also became a triathlete earning USAT All American Triathlete recognition from 2004-2007. She qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in 2007 where she was recognized for her volunteer humanitarian fundraising efforts on behalf of World Bicycle Relief. In 2008, Bolling became the fourth employee of World Bicycle Relief, an organization that distributes bicycles and provides mechanic training in 10 African countries. She was featured in the 30-year anniversary book of Ironman World Championships. She participated as a scholar at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2013.

Greg Orson was ranked third academically in the Burnsville High School Class of 1974 and served as commencement speaker. He was a well-rounded student with many successes academically, athletically and musically while in high school. He was a National Merit Scholar and Minnesota State Scholarship winner and was named to the National Honor Society both his junior and senior years. He earned two varsity athletics letters each in football and basketball, and three letters in track and served as co-captain in all three sports for the 1973-74 year. He led the football team to its first state championship in 1972, finishing the championship game with 160 yards rushing and two touchdowns. In 1973, he set the school record for touchdowns in a season with 18 and was voted All-Conference, All-State and Prep All-American. Orson was a two-year starter at forward-guard in basketball. His team won the conference championship in 1974 and was named All-State Team of the Week twice during that season. He participated in the 1973 state track meet at half-mile and earned All-Conference designation for individual events and relays in both 1973 and 1974. He was voted the "Athlete of the 1970s Decade" at Burnsville High School by the Burnsville Sun newspaper. Orson received a State Star rating for his trombone quartet and band in 1973 and 1974. He was the lead trombone in the school's wind ensemble, the lead trombone for summer musicals in 1972 and 1973, and the lead trombone on the first Burnsville High School tour to Europe in 1974. He also earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1973, and refereed youth football, basketball and baseball games. Orson attended Gustavus Adolphus College where he received his undergraduate degree with high honors, with a major in mathematics and minor in chemistry. He attended the Mayo Medical School and was in the Orthopedic Residency Program at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine from 1983-1988. He has been an orthopedic surgeon at Meritcare Medical Group of Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D., for 25 years, specializing in hip and knee replacements. As chair of the Orthopedic Department for 12 years, Orson received five “Guardian Angel” awards. He developed and continued to lead the quality improvement program for the Orthopedic Department. He was also an assistant clinical professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and was twice recognized as the Department of Surgery's Teacher of the Year.

The Burnsville Lions Club has been a strong supporter of Burnsville High School and the entire school district for many years. The group has presented scholarships to many BHS seniors, including last year when $19,500 was presented to students. Lions members have supported athletics at the school and have helped students attend national contests for which they have been selected. They provide funding for youth eye exams and provide eye glasses to students who need them and cannot afford them. Lions volunteer their time at many school events. They have also distributed dictionaries to every ISD 191 third grader for more than ten years. The Lions Club was recognized with District 191’s John Coskran Volunteer Award in 2004-2005 for these activities.

Mike Luckraft, a 1985 graduate of Burnsville High School, won seven varsity letters during his tenure at the school. He earned three letters in hockey, playing on the 1983 State Runner Up team, the 1984 State Tournament 6th place team and the 1985 State Championship team. He also garnered several individual honors in 1985 when he was a captain and was named to the All-Conference Team, the All-Metro Team, the All-Tournament Team and the All-State Team. He was also selected for the Team Minnesota vs. Team Massachusetts team and the Maroon Gold All Star Team. He holds the BHS record for playing in the most career games – 27 each year for a total of 81 games. Luckraft also excelled in golf at BHS, earning three letters during his high school career and serving as team captain in 1984 and 1985. He was named to the All-Conference team all three years and holds the school record for earning the Individual Championship in the Lake Conference Tournament in 1983, 1984 and 1985. He qualified for the Minnesota State High School Golf Tournament in 1984. Luckraft lettered in soccer, playing on the Lake Conference Championship Team in 1985. He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League in 1985. Luckraft attended the University of Minnesota on a hockey scholarship and played on the Men’s Varsity Hockey Team which qualified for the final four in 1985-86 and 1986-87. In 1987, he transferred to the University of South Carolina - Coastal where he received a golf scholarship. He played on the varsity golf team there until his graduation with a physical education major in 1989. Luckraft, who became a member of the PGA of America in 1995, has served as a golf professional, general manager and director of golf at several golf clubs since his graduation including Willingers Golf club in Northfield, MN, where he currently works. He served as an assistant varsity hockey coach at BHS from 1993-1995 and 2006-2010.

Laura Slominski, a 1998 BHS graduate, was an academic letter winner, a member of the LIFE Leadership Group and a member of National Honor Society. She also excelled in athletics, being honored as the 1998 BHS Athena Award winner and Ms. Hockey 1998. She was on the second place Girls State Hockey Tournament team in 1996, earning a spot on the state tournament All-Tournament Team. She was named All-Metro and A.P. All-State Honorable Mention in 1997 and was All Conference 1996-1998. As captain of the 1997-98 Girls Varsity Hockey Team, Slominski was named an All-Metro player. She was also named to the Star Tribune All-State Second Team, the St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State First Team and the Coaches All-State Team. Slominski participated in soccer at BHS playing on state tournament qualifying teams in 1995 and 1996 and served as captain of the 1997 team. She garnered an All-Conference Honorable Mention in 1995, an All-Metro Honorable Mention in 1996 and All Conference designations in 1996 and 1997. She was selected to the St. Paul Pioneer Press All State Teams in 1996 and 1997, to the Coaches All-State Teams in 1996 and 1997 and to the Lake Conference All –Academic Team in 1997. Slominski attended the University of Minnesota where she played hockey as she studied psychology and management. She was honored with the U of M Women’s Hockey Highest G.P.A. Awards in 2000 and 2001, the U of M’s women’s hockey Unsung Hero Awards in 1999 and 2002 and the U of M’s Hockey Team Ridder Award for Volunteer Work in 2002. She was also recognized with the WCHA All-Academic Team, Big Ten Academic Awards in 2000, 2001 and 2002. She served as captain of the U of M Women’s Hockey Team in 2001-2002 and was a member of the team that placed third in 1998-99 AWCHA, were 1999-2000 AWCHA National Champions, 2000-2001 WCHA League Champions and 2001- 2002 WCHA League and Conference Champions and NCAA third place winners. She was a WCHA All Star Team participant and Assistant Captain in 2001 and a Patty Kazmier Top Ten College Hockey Player of the Year candidate in 2002. Slominski played with U.S. Under 22 Women’s Hockey Team in 1999-2000 and participated in the USA Hockey National Women’s Festival in 2005. She graduated from the U of M with a master’s of education in 2006 and has been teaching mathematics and coaching girls’ varsity hockey at Edina High School since 2008 where her teams were Co-Conference Classic Lake Champions in 2010, finished third at state in 2009 and 2012 and second at state in 2010 and 2011. With an overall record at Edina of 104-30-18, Slominski has been recognized as Section 2AA Coach of the year in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She was also presented with the 2009, 2010 and 2012 MN Wild 3M Excellence in Coaching Award for Section 2AA.

Alyse R. Solberg Stofer graduated with highest distinction from Burnsville High School in 1993. She was also a cheerleading captain for boys’ soccer and football. She participated on the cheerleading competition squad which earned the Cheerleading Excellence Award and was named a Gold Star Squad. Stofer earned the Presidential Academic Fitness Award and was a member of the National Honor Society in addition to serving as class president. She received the Academic Excellence Award and was recognized as a Senior Achiever in Leadership. She received scholarships from the Burnsville Jaycees and the Lions Club and was also awarded the Tandy Technology Scholarship. She attended the University of Iowa where she majored in biomedical engineering graduating in 1997. She continued her education at the University of Minnesota where she earned a master's degree in biological science and biomaterials in 2003. Stofer was featured in U.S.A. Today as a New Face of Engineering in 2003 and was recognized by the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science and Technology Societies as a Young Engineer of the year in 2006. She received the Distinguished New Engineer Award from the Society of Women Engineers in 2006 and was recognized as an Emerging Leader in Product Research by the Society of Women Engineers in 2011. Stofer has been an active member of the Society of Women engineers since 1998 and now serves as president. She is also a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society and serves on the board of the American Association of Engineering Societies. She holds a patent for barriers and methods for pressure measurement catheters and has four other patents pending. She serves as a judge at the Southwest Regional Science Fair and is a Best Prep eMentor for local students interested in engineering. She has been a keynote speaker at Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) events.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged bhs, hall of fame, inductees

Newest members joining the BHS Hall of Fame

Posted on October 4, 2012

The Burnsville High School Hall of Fame Class of 2012 represents the tremendous breadth of success achieved by members of the BHS community both at the school and beyond.

2012 Inductees are graduates Mike Corcoran, Joshua David Dahl, Kevin Gorg, Bob Hawkins, Paul W. Jensen and Muriel Thompson.

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level.

2012 Inductees are:

Mike Corcoran was a teacher in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools for 30 years (1971-2001).He taught the popular and path-breaking course, Majority at 18, which provided students an insight of what it meant to be a citizen of the United States and how they could be involved in a democratic government. He also taught Current Events, American History, U.S. Government and World Cultures. He served as senior class advisor and graduation coordinator from 1980-1995 and as president of the Burnsville Education Association from 1991-1995. In 1993, he was recognized as the District 191 Teacher of the Year and went on to become a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. He was a staff development specialist and graduation standards coordinator for the district from 1995-2001. After his retirement, Corcoran worked at Edina Community Lutheran Church until 2005, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He then focused his energies on teaching and learning about this disease. He served as a board member of the American Lung Association, served as a spokesperson for OSI Pharmaceuticals, Genentech and Fairview Hospitals. He was the co-founder of the Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk and A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation for which the Angel Foundation awarded him the “Angel Award” in 2009. Corcoran succumbed to lung cancer in March 2009.

Joshua David Dahl graduated from BHS in 2003. He was part of the 2001 Minnesota State High School League State Champion Dakota United Adapted Soccer Team in the fall of 2001. He lettered five times with the soccer team and was named to the State All Tournament Adapted Soccer Team in the fall of 2002. He also received six letters for Dakota United Adapted Hockey. Dahl loved baseball and served as student manager for the BHS varsity baseball team from 2000-2003. He received the Metcalf Junior High award for Outstanding Character in 2000 and was a member of the BHS Homecoming Court in 2001. Dahl also participated in other sporting events as Blaze mascot “Sparky.” He participated in Young Life and training to be a junior leader, was active in his church’s youth groups and served as an usher. He was a dedicated helper with physically handicapped classmates in his special education classes. He also volunteered at Twins Fest for three years prior to his death in January 2004.

Kevin Gorg graduated from BHS in 1985 after helping lead the Burnsville boys’ hockey team to its first ever state championship as the starting goalie. After graduation, Gorg played in the United States Hockey League for the Des Moines Bucs, where he was voted Most Valuable Player of the team and Most Popular Player by the fans. After playing in Des Moines, he played for the University of St. Thomas for four years, winning 3 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championships and qualifying for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament his senior year. Gorg was named All-Conference twice during his collegiate career. He began coaching boys’ hockey upon graduation, and served as the Burnsville High School head coach for one year and head coach at Mounds View High School from 1993-98. He then became the first coach of the women's hockey team at St. Thomas, and stayed until 2007. During this time, the team won three MIAC Championships, and he was named the MIAC Coach of the Year in 2003. Gorg has been in broadcasting since 1998 for both Canterbury Park and Fox Sports North. He has also worked for two years for Fox 9, covering the Boys’ State Hockey Tournament. He often can be found on television covering all Minnesota Wild games, along with a number of Timberwolves games, Twins games, and Minnesota Golden Gopher athletic events. Additionally, Gorg can be heard on the radio on KFAN FM 100.3 talking hockey and horse racing for Canterbury Park. He truly is one of the voices and faces of Minnesota Sports.

Burnsville Police Chief Bob Hawkins graduated from BHS in 1978. While at BHS, he lettered in baseball and was a member of the National Honor Society. He earned his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Metropolitan State University and his Master’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of St. Thomas. He served in the United States Army from 1978-1981 and was a military police canine handler. He began his civilian career as a police canine officer in Eagan. He has served the Burnsville Police Department rising from the rank of Sergeant to becoming Police Chief in 2004. Hawkins was a D.A.R.E. instructor in the schools and also served as a Youth Relations Officer at BHS. As Chief, Hawkins began the B.L.U.E. (Building, Learning, Understanding, and Encouraging) in the School program. The goal of this program is to make connections with staff and students, to become a resource for the school and to build relationships with students through positive interaction and role modeling. He was recognized with the BES Community Partner Award for this program. He has also received the Burnsville Police Department’s Distinguished Service Award twice, the Meritorious Service Award three times and been nominated for Officer of the Year twice. He served as the Burnsville Rotary president in 2008-2009 and serves as president of the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association.

Paul W. Jensen graduated from BHS in 1985. He lettered in swimming for four years and was a member of the 1985 State Champion 200 medley relay team and was captain of the swim team in 1985. Jensen also served as manager of the girls swim team and lettered once for that. He performed in the stage band and was a member of the National Honor Society. He attended Northwestern University on a Navy ROTC scholarship graduating in 1989 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned as a Naval officer, serving on active duty until 1998. He continues to serve in the Naval Reserve and has risen to the rank of Captain and is commander of an underwater demolition team based in Coronado. His many awards for military service include the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. After leaving active duty, Jensen began his business career as owner of Jensales Inc. The company encompasses Jensales Restoration and Repair Parts (tractor and industrial parts), JensPrint (commercial printing and custom T-shirt/clothing production), JenSpeed Racing and Development Fabrication, Tryg Document Management Services and the Alden Advance Weekly newspaper. Jensen also is the lead firefighter and lead first responder in the Manchester Fire Department. He is on the Riverland Community College Advisory Board and Business Curriculum Committee, and volunteers with Alden-Conger 4-H club. He services on the Freeborn County Youth Mentoring Program, the Central Road Eacing Association Board and the Carlston Township Road Maintenance Advisory Board.

Muriel Thompson retired from teaching at BHS in 2000 after 32 years at the school. She taught Basic American Literature, American Literature 1600, American Literature 1900, Honors American Novelists and Advanced Placement Literature/Composition (College in the Schools) and served as the Language Arts Area Leader from 1988-1999. She also served as a staff development adjunct instructor in District 191 from 1988-2000 and was advisor to the yearbook and Student Council. She co-founded the Minnesota Writing Project and served as co-director from its inception in 1990-2003. She now serves as director of the group which facilitates summer institutes at the University of Minnesota for teachers toimprove literacy instruction and foster professional inquiry, collaboration and writing in and out of the classroom from kindergarten through college. Thompson was the University of Minnesota co-coordinator for College in the Schools composition and served on many task forces and committees for the Minnesota Department of Education. Currently, she is on a team of kindergarten through grade 16 experienced educators serving on the Language Arts Quality Teaching Network and also on the Consortium for Post-Secondary Success: Pre K-12 Collaboration Group. Thompson has been a prolific presenter and member of professional panels over the years presenting locally, throughout the state, the nation and internationally. She was recognized with an honorable mention for the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Community Service Award in 2009.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged bhs, hall of fame, inductees

Six individuals join the BHS Hall of Fame

Posted on October 4, 2011

The Burnsville High School Hall of Fame Class of 2011 represents the tremendous breadth of success achieved by members of the BHS community both at the school and beyond.

2011 Inductees are graduates Mary Ajax, Adam Bailey, John Bergman, Tom Osieski, Amy Stromwall and John Sullivan.

“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as an example of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Dave Helke, principal.

The BHS Hall of Fame was established in 2006 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. It is a way to recognize those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level.

2011 Inductees are:

Mary Ajax, a 1970 graduate of BHS, is the president and chief executive officer of 360 Communities. After graduating from Mankato State University (MSU) with a degree in psychology in 1974, she began working for 360 Communities (formerly Community Action Council) where she oversaw the expansion of the agency’s work in violence prevention including the first safe home in Dakota County built specifically to meet the needs of domestic violence victims. Under Ajax’s leadership, 360 Communities has become a significant presence in Dakota County with programs focused on school success, violence prevention, welcoming newcomers and building community. Ajax, who was recognized with the Minnesota Medical Associations “Stop the Violence” award in 2005 and with the MSU Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award in 2007, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Fairview Minnesota Valley Care System, chaired the Burnsville Noon Rotary and served as chair of the United Way Council of Agency Executives.

Adam Bailey was active in football and golf during his attendance at BHS. Graduating in 1994, he was named all-conference honorable mention in football in 1993 and 1994. He went on to play football at the University of Minnesota where he earned a degree in law enforcement. He now works as a police officer in the St. Paul Police Department and has twice been honored with the rare Medal of Valor. Bailey continues to support Burnsville football by returning to talk with the team about his experiences and about how important it is to have strong values and good morals for success in life.

John Bergman, class of 1965, played varsity football, basketball and baseball during his high school career. He was also a member of the National Honor Society, the Student Council, wrote for the school newspaper, served as drum major and was a member of the Homecoming royalty. He received his undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MBA from the University of West Florida. Bergman was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve where he served until his retirement in 2009 as Lieutenant General. He flew helicopters and was a flight instructor until he left active duty in 1975. He continued in the Reserve and held posts in Rhode Island, Illinois, New York, Kansas, California, Louisiana and Germany. He served as chairman and secretary of the Navy Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board from 2001-2003 and as director of Reserve Affairs in Quantico, VA. In 2005 he assumed command of Marine Forces Reserve/Marine Forces North headquartered in New Orleans where he was responsible for training and readiness of approximately 100,000 Marine Corps Reserves and for representing the entire Marine Corps to the US Northern Command. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Single Mission Air Medal with Combat ‘V’ and numerous unit awards.

Tom Osiecki started the Burnsville boys' hockey program in 1966 and coached at BHS for 24 years. During that time, his teams were section champion six times, state runners-up twice and state champions twice. He was named Minnesota Hockey Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1986 and was inducted into the Minnesota High School Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995. He took a break from coaching high school hockey from 1990-1995 while he worked as a National Hockey League scout for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars. He returned to BHS in 1996 as the girls' hockey coach. He then started the St. Olaf women’s hockey program and coached there from 2000-2004. He was recognized as the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2002. He returned to BHS and coached the girls team again from 2004-2006. He is a recipient of the Cliff Thompson Award, given to members of the hockey community who make outstanding contributions to the sport in Minnesota. Osiecki also coached football and baseball in the 1960s He also served as head coach of the BHS badminton team and won four state championships in that capacity.

Amy Stromwall is a 1989 graduate of BHS. She attended Hamline University where she was a Presidential Scholar from 1989-1993 and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1993. She was named a Division III All American swimmer in 1992 and 1993 and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Female Athlete of the Year in 1993. She holds school records in two events and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. She was also recognized as the Walter Kenyon Biology Award winner in 1993. Stromwall graduated from the University of Minnesota’s School of Medicine in 1999 and now works in the area of sports medicine. She was recognized as one of the area’s "Top Doctors” by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. She serves as a physician for the Minnesota Twins, USA Swimming, Indy Racing League and the Indy 500. Stromwall was also a member of the U.S. National Amateur Triathlon Team from 1994-1996. She is a product tester for the Nike running department and served as a tester for the Speedo triathlon department.

John Sullivan, now deceased, was a student at BHS from 1979-1982. “Sully,” as he was known, was the team manager for football, wrestling and track and field. He continued working with the teams for more than 20 years, even after he moved to a group home in West St. Paul. He was described as “the spirit of the Braves/Blaze.” Sully’s presence at practices and games was an inspiration to team members. He cheered the teams on with lines like “State line road” and “Love you, guys.” His enthusiasm for the teams was contagious and team members rewarded him for his dedication with a letter jacket and cowboy hat that he wore to all the games. Many BHS sports followers remember Sully as the consummate fan and he was much appreciated for his unflagging and enthusiastic support of the athletes and their teams.

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged bhs, hall of fame, inductees

New members are selected for 2009 BHS Hall of Fame

Posted on January 8, 2009

Six new individuals will be inducted into the 2009 Burnsville High School Hall of Fame during a dinner ceremony on Aug. 28 at the new Burnsville Performing Arts Center.

The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals or organizations that have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and/or unique contributions to the community on a local, state, national or international level.

The first 20 members of the Hall of Fame were inducted in August 2006 during the school’s 50th anniversary celebration. Six more members were added in both 2007 and 2008. To read more about them, go to  

The 2009 inductees will be:   

Dr. Michelle Brown (Alumni - Class of 1972) was involved in Girls Athletic Association, Burnsville Athletic Club fast pitch softball, choir and a student poetry journal while attending Burnsville High School. She was admitted as a member of the National Honor Society during her sophomore year and appeared in "Who’s Who Among High School Students." After high school, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and earned a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1984. She is currently president and medical director of Lemuria Health Institute in Monterey, Calif., which specializes in wellness, pain and stress management. Brown is involved in several professional, community organizations and has been a guest lecturer at many medical/health seminars, workshops and conventions.

Dennis Dale (Retired Staff) was a physical education teacher and swim coach at Burnsville High School from 1972-1985. His BHS teams won three girls' and one boys' state swimming titles. Dale is currently coaching swimming at the University of Minnesota where his collegiate teams have won several Big Ten championships. He has also coached for USA and Brazilian swim teams and has won many individual coaching honors.

George Harris (Alumni-Class of 1973) lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track while attending Burnsville High School. During his senior year, the football team went undefeated and won the first Minnesota State Championship while he was voted most valuable player. Harris graduated from Brigham Young University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, He obtained a Juris Doctor degree in 1981 from Washington University and was admitted to the Missouri State Bar and the Federal District Court. He was also admitted to the Utah State Bar and is currently operating Harris Law Office in Highland, Utah, where he is involved in several community organizations and volunteer activities.

Todd Okerlund (Alumni - Class of 1983) was an eight-time letter winner in football, hockey, and golf while attending Burnsville High School. He was a member and captain of the 1980 state champion football team and during his senior year. He led Burnsville to its first state tournament appearance in hockey with the team as runner-up that season. Okerlund exemplified what was right about team sports; namely, commitment, leadership on and off the ice, and a tremendous work ethic. He is the only BHS alumni to represent the USA in Olympic hockey. In 1988, Okerlund graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota and is currently a business partner with the Fuzion food group based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

Richard VanderLaan (Community Commitment to BHS) was active with Burnsville baseball as a booster since the late 1980s. He is one of the founders and CEO of Baseball Association (BA) 191, a sponsor of American Legion Baseball. BA 191 formed a partnership with the City of Burnsville for the development of one of the finest baseball complexes in the State of Minnesota. VanderLaan is also involved in several community organizations including the Burnsville Community Foundation, Art & All That Jazz and the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce. He is a long-time resident of Burnsville and his three children are graduates of Burnsville High School.

David Voracek (Alumni - Class of 1982) was involved in football while attending Burnsville High School. He received the Bob Pates Memorial Award which is given to a senior athlete who has given his best to the football team by using his talents and potential to the fullest. Voracek graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s Degree from Northrop University. He earned a second Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California. Voracek was recently named Deputy Director of Research and Engineering at the NASA Dryden flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.  He has authored or co-authored over 20 NASA technical reports, journal articles and conference papers. He is active in several local school and community activities.

Posted in Academics, Arts, Achievement | Tagged bhs, hall of fame