Students and teams in District 191 were honored at the Jan. 23 school board meeting. Individuals were recognized for their accomplishments during the fall athletics and activities season at the state or even national level.
"I'm fortunate to see the amazing talent, dedication and character our students show as they participate in activities and athletics throughout the year," said Athletics Director Guillaume Paek, who recognized the individuals before Board Chair Alt, Superintendent Battle and members of the School Board.
"They represent themselves, their peers and our community in such a positive light, and I'm proud of all their accomplishments," said Paek. (Click here to see students at the board meeting)
Students who received recognition are:
Minnesota Honor Choir members
Six 10th grade singers from Burnsville High School were accepted to the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota Honor Choirs.
Evelyn Taylor has been accepted into the ACDA 9-10 Treble Choir. Hundreds of young women submit auditions for this choir each year, and Evelyn was selected as a first soprano for the honor choir. “She has a lovely tone and strong range, which are complemented by her kind and cheerful disposition,” said choir director Jaclyn Schmeichel. “She is an asset to the BHS choir program and has a bright future ahead of her in vocal music!"
Payton Bunnell, Michael Fisher, Campbell White, and Yekuno Yilma were all accepted into the ACDA 9-10 Tenor-Bass Choir. This is the largest number of young men to represent Burnsville High School at this event in many years. Schmeichel said, “All four have strong vocal talent coupled with musical skills they have been developing for many years. They are well rounded musicians with interest in musical theater, choral music, and many other genres of performing arts. We are proud of their accomplishments and can't wait to see what they do in their future time at BHS!"
Everett Sandbo has the distinct privilege of being placed in the 9-10 Mixed Choir, where he will sing with both young men and young women. “Everett has excelled in choir, both in his vocal quality, and his sight reading ability,” said Schmeichel. “He also excels in academics, where he is taking multiple honors and AP classes. We love having Everett in the BHS choir program and we are excited to support him as he grows!”
These students will perform with their choirs on Thursday, February 13th at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
Members of the Lakeville-Burnsville-Farmington CI Adapted Soccer Team
Jake Mohamed, a junior and the only Burnsville team member on the Lakeville-Burnsville-Farmington CI Adapted Soccer team, helped his team conclude the season with a record of 8-2-2 and 4th place finish at the state tournament. This is the Blazing Cat soccer team’s 13th consecutive state tournament appearance.
“Jake is one of the hardest working members of the soccer team with true competitive drive,” said Coach Shawn Tatge. “We look forward to having Jake return next year as one of our senior leaders.”
Casey Myers and Sam Skonseng
Seniors Casey Myers and Sam Skonseng qualified for the TBF Bass Fishing National Championships in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, which will be held this June, by finishing 5th out of 100+ teams in the state tournament last summer in Red Wing. They were literally 6 ounces away from finishing in 2nd place!
Jeff Nelson said, “Both Casey and Sam are wonderful young men. With a combined GPA of around 3.97, they are obviously very intelligent and hard working students. Their ability to learn and problem-solve has helped them become excellent fishermen over the past 3 years of being part of the team.
Burnsville High School Speech Traveling Team
The Burnsville High School speech traveling team qualified for and attended the Glenbrooks Invitational Speech Tournament in Chicago this fall. Glenbrooks is a national tournament and is highly competitive. All students on the team did very well and made Burnsville's name known on the national circuit for speech. Traveling team members are Zoe Lewis, Ellie Scheldberg, Kylie Krick, Sylvia Croatt and Umith Azad, and the team is coached by Katherine Rider and BHS social studies teacher Derek Tano. In the fall, KSTP-TV did a story about the program’s incredible growth. The Speech Team grew from 17 to 74 students in just one year.
Coach Rider said, “This team is possible because of the dedication and excellence that our students exhibit each and every day. Umith, Ellie, Kylie, Zoe, and Sylvia are all extraordinary students with extraordinary potential, and Burnsville should be proud to claim them.
Zoie Dundon, a 10th grader, qualified for the State Cross Country meet this fall. She placed 10th in the South Suburban Conference meet, 4th in Sections, and 69th at the state meet. Her time of 18:50.2 at the section meet is the 2nd fastest 5K ever recorded by a Burnsville athlete. Zoie was first team all-conference and received the MSHSL Academic All-State award.
Charlie Burnham, BHS cross country coach, said “Zoie is the ultimate competitor and teammate. She gives it her all in competition, but more importantly she makes practice really fn by bringing a positive attitude and supporting all of the other girls on the team.”
Grace Affeldt, a 9th grader, qualified for the state diving meet by placing 3rd at the Section meet in 1 meter diving. At the state meet she made it past the first round of cuts and ended up placing 20th. She was one of 5 8th or 9th graders who qualified for the meet.
Coach Kim Harrod says, “Grace is an amazing member of our team, she is hardworking and dedicated to the sport of diving. Everyday she gives everything 100% whether it is perfecting her dives, encouraging her teammates or committing to excellence in the classroom. We are very excited to have three more years with her on the team!”
In the fall, junior Alexis Bunnell was named one of just 25 winners of the Target Women in Science and Technology (TWIST) EPIC Awards. The awards recognize and honor high school girls from the Twin Cities for their dedication to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and for demonstrating engagement, passion, innovation, and curiosity within these fields. This isn’t Alexis’ first STEM recognition. As a sophomore, Alexis earned the Aspirations in Computing Award: Rising Star distinction from the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence and advanced to the state science fair with her project “Are Teens on Snapchat Crack?”
“Alexis has shown qualities of a true leader both inside the classroom and in the community,” said Cindy Drahos, technology and business education teacher. “She uses her great communication skills to inform her peers, community members and school faculty of opportunities to bring awareness of the computer science field to all and demonstrates a positive visionary outlook in all that she accomplishes.”