Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sportsmanship at LPHT

According to the Webster dictionary, sportsmanship is defined to be “fair play, respect for opponents, and polite behavior by someone who is competing in or observing a sport or other competition”. From my observations so far this year our student athletes here at LPHT are showing good sportsmanship.  Not once have I seen a player berate an official for what may have been a “poor call”.  I applaud them for their self-control and their efforts.  Now if we can only carry this quality of sportsmanship over to the fans (students and adults).
Before every LPHT home basketball game the announcer reads a sportsmanship creed speaking to this very subject.  Are you listening to it while it is being read?  It goes like this: “Lester Prairie and Holy Trinity Schools encourage positive sportsmanship and behavior at our activities.  Please encourage players and coaches with positive comments and acts and also by respecting the decisions of the game officials.  What you do and say during the contest reflects on your team, school, and community.  Enjoy the game by being a good sport.”
Are you being a “Good Sport”?  Are you applauding the efforts of the athletes?  Are you respecting the calls of the officials?  Are you being positive with your comments directed towards the players, coaches, and officials?  If not, then what kind of example are we setting for the student athletes of LPHT?

Let the Coaches coach.  Let the officials officiate.  Let the players put forth their best effort.  Do not embarrass this community by yelling things like “you guys are terrible”.  Let’s be positive and proud of our teams no matter the call or the outcome.  Let’s make our section of the bleachers a “Good Sportsmanship Zone”.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Band Members Serenading students and staff

Members of the LP Band are serenading students and staff as they enter the building

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Trying to Catch Up to My Students With Technology

Mike Bjork – LPHS Science Teacher
Remember the old adage, “You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks”?  Well when it comes to technology, I am that old dog.  I can remember vividly sitting in the computer lab at Dassel-Cokato High School back in 1986 trying to create some sort of animated figure on a new Apple IIe and then trying to print out that image on a dot matrix printer.  FRUSTRATING does do it justice.  But, that was the “new” technology of the day and, looking back, we were pretty lucky to have what we had.  I went kicking and screaming into the computer era.  I am pretty old school in many ways and I didn’t like these “new contraptions”.  Little did I know then that it wasn’t that I didn’t like them, I didn’t understand them.
Now, fast-forward about 30 years.  The Apple IIe is long gone, as is the old dot matrix printer.  Computers now are much faster and do so much more of the work for you.  I can’t imagine not having one.  The bad thing that I face now is that my students are more technologically savvy than I am.  I often times have to ask a student or younger co-worker how to do things on a computer.  Becoming better at using this technology in my classroom is so vital to the success of my students; I am working hard at catching up to them.
One of the pieces of technology that I am becoming more familiar with and using with my 6th grade class is Google Classroom.  Google Classroom allows me to post assignments into a classroom that I set up and the students can go in, complete the assignment and share it with me electronically.  Probably one of the best features, that I have figured out so far, is that I can share feedback with students by posting individual comments to them about their assignment.
The 6th grade students are working on their Science Fair projects at this time in the school year.  There are lots of small assignments that they need to complete as they are progressing through their projects.  They are writing Scientific Questions, Hypotheses, research papers, material lists, and procedure lists.  In a few weeks, they will be tabulating their data into data tables and creating graphs to show the results of their experiments.
By putting these assignments on Google Classroom, my students can create rough drafts and submit them to me.  I can comment back and forth with the students, answering questions and providing suggestions and ideas on how to improve what they have submitted.  Instead of having them write things out on paper, have them turn it in, spend a few days reading and commenting, and then giving them back to corrections.  What used to take days, I can do in a matter of a few minutes.  The kids get instant, well pretty close to instant, feedback and I get to communicate better with all of my students.  It’s a win-win for all.
So here I am, the “old dog”, learning new tricks right along with my students.  That’s pretty cool.

Boys C Squad Hoopsters Start Out Strong

The Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity Boys “C Squad” sits with a 5-1 record in the early going of the winter season.  That record will carry through to the new year as they will sit through a three-week break during this holiday season.

While the team made up of mostly 9th graders has a nice record, they have played in many close games thus far.  The season started out with a non-conference road win over Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 52-34, and then the boys rallied for three straight close wins over Norwood-Young America, Trinity, and New Life Academy.  The squad’s lone loss was a 24-21 battle at Southwest Christian.  LPHT will get a chance for payback against SWC on February 1st at Lester Prairie.
Led by a trio of guards, and some hot shooting, the team is averaging almost 45 points per game, with Tyler Scheevel (15.3 ppg), Parker Bayerl (8.7), and Dylan Ruzicka (7.2) leading the way.  Both Trevor Schuette and Matt Fasching have held down opposing big men with a nice presence in the lane.  Speedster Nathaniel Hausladen has added good minutes while battling a series of early season injuries and ailments, and 8th grader Evan Lee adds a spark to the lineup and will be used more as the year progresses.  The C team will return to action on January 7th at Cedar Mountain-Comfrey, and returns home on January 12th vs. Legacy Christain at 4:45.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Essay Contest Winners Annouced

The Veteran’s of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A. sponsored a fall essay contest for grades 6 through 8, and for grades 9 through 12.  Lester Prairie Public Schools was fortunate to have three winners in the contest:  Paige Bayerl (Grade 7), Arlene Nowak (Grade 10), and Renee Ahlbrecht (Grade 10).  Congratulations to these young ladies and their accomplishment.

Pictured from left to right are: Julie Weinbeck Baruch, Paige Bayerl, Arlene Nowak, Renee Ahlbrecht, and Shirley Fiecke.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Science Fun

                Wow! It has been a busy couple of months. The high school science department has been continuing with hands-on activities. We have been doing everything from learning about vectors to who discovered the shape of DNA. During second quarter, the biology students have made a variety of videos (including music videos and puppet shows) to prove their understanding of cellular respiration. Within the next few days they will have the opportunity to extract DNA from their very own cheek cells. This is a very simple process, maybe they will even show you at home!
            Physics students have been showing all they have been learning by creating problems for their fellow peers to solve. It was quite exciting to watch students complete this assignment, I got to see some of their creativity shine through. We are now moving forward to a chapter full of momentum.
            Chemistry students recently had a test. To review, we played a game, “Tortuga.” The point of the game is to write down the correct answer before the other teams. The winner of the round “builds” a turtle. First they may add a shell, then a head, legs, a hat, etc. Now that we have entered the Holiday season, we built a santa face instead.
            “When the Air Hits Your Brain.” an enthralling book about a young man's journey to becoming a neurosurgeon. The anatomy students have been working their way through this book for a few weeks now. They will be finishing this week and writing a paper about how this book relates anatomy to real world experiences.
            Well, that catches you up on what has been going on in the high school science classes. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Happy Holidays,

Science Department

Friday, December 4, 2015

Spanish Song Parodies

Spanish Song ParodiesWritten By: Janelle Afrasiab, High School Spanish Instructor

Google Translate can be both, a great resource, or a Spanish student’s worse enemy, all in the same sentence-or song.  Recently we watched a couple Spanish music videos that were parodies of popular English songs.  We watched a video of someone who had taken the lyrics to the song Let it Go from the Disney movie Frozen and translated it into other languages, took those translations and translated it back into English.  In what was supposed to be the most inspirational part of the song where she sings “Let it go”, it was translated as “Give up”.  

            Senor Ashby entertained us with his parody of Fergalicious by Fergie.  In his song Gringolicious he illustrated a lot of common mistakes Spanish students make by either using false cognates (words that look the same or similar in Spanish but have VERY different meanings in English) or how Google Translate may not always give you the word you are looking for.  For example if one were to look up “back” on Google Translate, it would tell you that in Spanish it is “espalda”.  However, that’s the word for the body part back and not the word you would use if you wanted to tell someone to sit in the back of the room.  Please, before trying to speak Spanish ask any of the Spanish students what embarazado really means before you try using it yourself.  If not, you may have some explaining to do.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lester Prairie Students Participate in the Largest Online Gathering

Students at Lester Prairie Elementary had the opportunity to be involved in an interactive online music presentation.  Students stayed in their individual classrooms to view a free, live, and interactive concert given by Dave Ruch and sponsored by ZOOM.  The live program was streamed over the internet and projected onto the classroom SMART boards.  Dave is a teaching artist who introduced students to instruments such as the mandolin and the jaw harp. Students followed his directions to sing along and add movements to the songs.   This gathering included 24,000-30,000 students from every state in the U.S. as well as countries throughout the world. 

Caption for photo:

Students in Mrs. Bayerl’s second grade sing along and do actions with Dave Ruch.

Lester Prairie School District Works to Promote Positive Lifestyle Choices Among Student-Athletes

This year, the Lester Prairie school district has been developing a Life of an Athlete Program.  Life of an Athlete is a nationwide program that promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages athletes to make good choices.  Life of an Athlete is a statewide program in both New Hampshire and New Mexico and is implemented by thousands of schools in thirty-nine states.  The life of an Athlete program manual describes the program as a comprehensive prevention program developed by olympic trainer John Underwood.  Life of an Athlete takes a proactive approach to improving school climate by coordinating all aspects of high school athletics including coaches, athletic directors, administrators, parents, and communities.

The Lester Prairie Life of an Athlete program has identified student leaders and developed an Athlete Code for the school.  We have developed support for student leaders to effectively enforce the athlete code and maintain accountability among student-athletes.  We are currently working on engaging coaches and the community to support student-athletes in making good life choices, working with athletic community as a whole to support positive lifestyle choices, proper fan behavior and the roles of coaches.

The goals of the Lester Prairie Life of an Athlete program are to gain an understanding among student-athletes of the consequences of their lifestyle choices both good and bad, provide training on character development, wellness, enforcing the athlete code, and engaging youth leaders in communicating with the community.

For more information on Life of an Athlete visit: http://www.lifeofanathlete.us/

Blaine Walstrom
Activities Director

REACH Coordinator

What’s Happening in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math?

                One of our schools goals is always to raise our MCA math scores.  One way we are trying to reach this goal is by implementing the Accelerated Math (AM) program in your child’s math class.  AM is a computer-based program that individualizes instruction.  The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math classes will be using AM to help build missing math skills.  AM has different grade level libraries that allow for students to work at their independent skill level.  Students are assigned a library based on the results of their September STAR test.    
At the beginning of October, students started working on AM.  They will continue to work on AM on the math day in their enrichment classes.  They can also work on these when done with their work in other classes, like their reading book.  Based on need, we may also work on AM in your child’s math class.  Please help us help your student by supporting this effort with AM.  Make sure your student is working on and keeping up with their AM worksheets and meeting their objectives.   
AM is a good way to get extra math help, see problems worded differently and will help your child build their missing math skills.  By now your child should be started on the AM sheets in class and be aware of how the process works.  If you have any questions for me about the process, please feel free to give me a call or send an email. 
Amy Smith
Math teacher

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kindergarten Children Take a Close Look at Science

How can we use and change paper? Lester Prairie kindergarten students recently explored ways to use and change paper as they began the science study “Exploring Matter”.  As typical five and six year olds, they thrive on opportunities to be actively involved and to investigate, experiment, discuss, share, and draw conclusions about the world they live in. It was through this type of exploration they learned that by cutting, folding, tearing, and bending paper, they could make items such as paper boats, airplanes, chains, bridges, and collages. They predicted how many plastic, counting bears a paper boat would hold before sinking and they measured and compared the distance their planes flew. Through their observations the children learned what kinds of paper can and cannot easily absorb water and also that different papers have different strengths that can be affected by folding.

A final investigation included making recycled paper. The boys and girls tore newspaper and construction paper into tiny pieces, added water, and put it all in a blender. After it became pulp in the blender the children used metal screens to squeeze out the excess water. The material dried and formed recycled paper.

The children are looking forward to asking and answering questions about how to change metal, wood, and water as they continue to explore matter.

Picture 1: Will it sink? Arlet Garza, Alexes Juarez, and Roman Tervo predict that it will sink soon!

Picture 2: What kind of paper absorbs water? Cade Heimerl and Keaton Mathews are eager to share the results of their experiment.

Picture 3: Recycling Paper Step 1- First Eli Mullin, Keaton Mathews, and Cooper Mattson helped to tear newspaper into tiny pieces.

Picture 4: Recycling Paper Step 2 – Next Eathan-Ryan Simerll, Arlet Garza, Eli Mullin, and Alex Overbye, examined the pulp after the paper had been mixed with water in the blender.

Picture 5: We made paper! Arlet Garza, Alex Overbye, Mariana Ixtlilco, and Daniela Lopez are proud and amazed by the finished paper products.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Help LESTER PRAIRIE SCHOOL this holiday season by shopping at PRAIRIE MARKET, saving your receipt and donating them to our school!  You can just send then to school with your child!

For each receipt. Our school will earn points toward FREE educational equipment and supplies – all donated by PRAIRIE MARKET.

Thank you in advance.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Girl Scouts from Troop 34039, from the Hutchinson Service Unit, participated in making a cabinet for the Lester Prairie Schools.  Lester Prairie was in need of a place to store hygiene supplies that were donated to them by Common Cup.  These group of girls decided that it would be a great project for them to make and donate a cabinet to the school.  The girls made this project as a part of their Bronze and Silver awards.  There were ten girls involved into making this project happen.  These girls are Caitlyn Moore of Lester Prairie, Jazmine Hankins and Kanessa Mikolichek of Silver Lake, Tiffany Adickes, Alecia Meier, Maggie Pohlman, Grace Ebert, Hosanna Nix, Caitlin Hartsuiker, and Cassandra Nelson-Adickes all of Hutchinson.  Tony and Harvey Mikolichek, along with Roger and Deann Hartsuiker, assisted them in this project.

The cabinet is located in Mrs. Scoblic’s room, on the high school side of the building.  Items that are available to students are:  shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, feminine hygiene supplies, lip balm, lotion, bar soap, body wash, etc.  Students can access the items during the school day; just contact Mrs. Scoblic and pick up needed items.  If families are in need of supplies, email Mrs. Scoblic through the Lester Prairie School website.  Supplies can be gathered and sent home with your child.  *If anyone would like to donate to this supply, they are welcome to do so.  


The Lester Prairie Band Program donned costumes for their “No Tricks, Just Treats” concert on Monday, November 2nd. Junior and senior bands performed along with the jazz band, drumline and a sax quartet. Songs included were “Hawaii Five-O”, “Tunes that Go Bump in the Night” and “Night in Bald Mountain” among others. The grandchildren of Roger Feltmann also presented a donation to the band in his memory towards a new bass clarinet.

 Senior Band performing “Night on Bald Mountain” Pictured are Joanna Perales, Karissa Leach, Courtney Bohnen, Tallon Schwantes and Rodrigo Medina

 Grandchildren of Roger Feltmann presenting their donation towards a bass clarinet. Pictured are Marcus Feltmann, Brooke Albers, Morgan Feltmann, Michael Albers, Adam Feltmann and Hope Feltmann.

 Jazz Band performing “Hawaii Five-O”. Pictured are Jamie DeBruyckere, Myranda Hentges, Evan Lee and Kayla Weinzierl. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

LP/HT Drama Department’s Alice in Zombieland a Huge Success

The Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Drama Department performed Alice in Zombieland, by Craig Sodaro and directed by Julie Olson, in front of large audiences during both of the evening performances. Performance dates were November 13thand 14th at the Lester Prairie School. Alice in Zombieland is a comedy that combines Alice in Wonderland with the Wizard of Oz and a few Zombies thrown in for good measure. The Drama Department received a generous grant from the Lester Prairie Booster Club to purchase authentic Alice in Wonderland costumes for many of the cast members. The costumes really helped the students take on the character of each part. They enjoyed dressing the part and the authentic costumes made it easier for them to connect with their character. The students gave an outstanding performance both nights.

A brief synopsis of the play: Alice, now a teen, has never forgotten her adventures n Wonderland when she was a youngster. Her best friend Dinah has always told her it was just a dream. But when the White Rabbit appears with his beckoning “we’re late,” they’re off to Wonderland together! Dinah has no choice but to believe Alice. They arrive just in time for tea with the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Door Mouse. But something is ominously different – the tea is served by zombies! Everyone in Wonderland, including the Queen, is turning into a zombie. As they investigate, Alice and Dinah discover Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West casting her spells on everyone. Not only does she have zombies doing her work, Dorothy is under her spell as an intern. The witch is turning Wonderland into a Spells-R-Us shop with zombies as her workers.

This play was produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Services, Inc., Englewood, Colorado.

Alice in Zombieland cast:

Alice …. Grace Jeurissen
Dinah … Mikayla Cohrs
White Rabbit … Cameron Bolf
Mad Hatter …. Logan Groff
March Hare … Andrew Jackson
Dormouse …. Alexis Kubista
Zombie One … Marissa Theis
Zombie Two …. Taylor Bayerl
Duchess … Harley Hentges
Cook … Myranda Hentges
Tweedledee … Ben Hagman-Hecksel
Tweedledum … Sydney Sheehan
Mock Turtle … Cody Roush
Chesire Cat … Paige Heirmerl
Guard One … Matthew Schmidt
Guard Two … Paige Bayerl
Queen … Gerri Williamson
Witch … Jamie DeBruyckere
Dorothy … Delaney Sebora
Customer One …. Arlene Nowak
Customer Two … Olivia Sanders
Customer Three … Olivia Sanders

            Hannah Hollister, Shannon Wiederholt, Andrew Aguilar

Picture 1 - Entire cast and crew of "Alice in Zombieland"

Picture 2 - L to R: Myranda Hentges as the cook, Harley Hentges as the Duchess, Andrew Jackson as the March Hare, Logan Groff as the Mad Hatter, Mikayla Cohrs as Dinah, Grace Jeurissen as Alice.

Picture 3 - L to R: Andrew Jackson as the March Hare (in the background), Logan Groff as the Mad Hatter, Cameron Bolf as the White Rabbit, Grace Jeurissen as Alice.

Picture 4 - L to R: Shannon Wiederholt as a zombie, Marissa Theis as a zombie, Gerri Williamson as the Red Queen, Delaney Sebora as Dorothy, Jamie DeBruyckere as the Wicked Witch, Olivia Sanders as a customer, Arlene Nowak as a customer, Paige Heirmerl as Chesire Cat, Myranda Hentges as the Cook.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Art Adventures at Lester Prairie Elementary School

November is Art Adventures month at Lester Prairie Elementary School.  Students of all grade levels are treated to a special art experience thanks to the Lester Prairie Arts Council.  Members of the council come into individual classrooms once a week with copies of artwork from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  The children explore the pieces and are taught where they came from and the significance of them.  They then create their own artwork that is in someway connected to one of the pieces they studied. At the end of their elementary career, students travel to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see the actual pieces they have studied over the years.  

Picture Caption:  April Lee instructs Mrs. Roth’s second graders on the piece “Dress,” a Lakota beaded animal-hide dress circa 1880-1900.