Monday, May 1, 2017


If you think back to any team or organization you have ever been a part of, you will likely recall some people were leaders. Sports teams have leaders. Some of these leaders are team captains, some are coaches. Some people become leaders based on their energy and focus. Energy and focus are characteristics that describe the 2016-2017 Lester Prairie Varsity Choir, a group filled with leaders.
In the spring of 2016 The LP Varsity choir, made up of singers from grades 9-12 performed Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody”. It was a monuments work that gained a well deserved standing ovation. The soloist Logan Groff remarked, “Bohemian Rhapsody focused the choir.” And yes, it did. Logan’s performance and vocal abilities were a great source of this focus. When you speak of leadership, his leadership is one of inspiration. It’s the kind of leadership that is game changing.
Fast forward 10 months and the Lester Prairie Varsity Choir found itself performing in it’s first Large Group Vocal contest in 20 years. The song they brought to the Watertown Performing Center was ‘Shut De Do’, a traditional American spiritual. The song has a great deal of energy and excitement. Director David Rue comments, “This song demands a lot, you’ve got to have the right singers and soloists to pull it off. The great thing about this year’s choir is their ability to focus. And, I’m proud of what they gave to this song.” The LP Varsity Choir came out of Watertown with three ‘Excellent’ ratings. Alysha Curtis remarked “It felt great to be recognized. We worked hard.” 
Building on the success Mr. Matthew Abernathy, a New York born music director at the Minnesota Opera, came out to work with the Varsity Choir. Lauren Trittabaugh states, “It helped us. It was fun and interesting.”

Things continue to look up for the LP Varsity Choir. This year’s spring concert features both ‘Shut De Do’ and a contemporary piece by Jake Runestad called ‘Nyon Nyon’. The song is the choir’s most challenging by far. But, as with every song, new leaders are emerging. Ruby Lezama puts it this way, “It’s not easy that’s for sure. But, it’s fun and challenge to over come.” True words from another of the Lester Prairie Varsity Choir’s many leaders

Visiting Musician Mr. Matthew Abernathy from the Minnesota Opera

Some suggested for summer Math Resources for 6th – 8th grade students.

             by Amy Smith, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teacher at Lester Prairie Schools

First of all….math in the summer?  Yes!  Just a little bit of work will help boost your child’s learning for the fall.  There are many skills to learn.  However, even just keeping up on your basic facts will be a plus.  6th graders should have their math facts polished.  7th graders have learned operations (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) with negative numbers so keeping these skills fresh in their mind would be helpful, along with fraction operations.  8th graders need to be very comfortable doing operations with negative numbers and fractions. 

Lots of math facts sites or apps are available to solidify your child’s basic math facts.  Some suggestions are the flash cards at, some of the games at, or just regular old-fashioned flash cards. The Dollar Store has lots of them. 

If you are interested in other math practice check out – it is free for 20 practice problems or you can get a monthly membership for your child.  There are many lessons, math and other subjects, available for your child to practice over the summer. 

Khan has informative instructional videos on many math topics.  This is a good resource to use both in the summer and throughout the year if your child needs math help. 

In case you are going camping or someplace where there will be no cell service a good non-technology option is to purchase a workbook.  Many books stores have a variety of good workbooks with 6th grade, PreAlgebra, and Algebra topics.  Purchase one and take your child away from their electronic device to work on their math skills.  They will be so happy!   J  

Whatever you decide, just helping your child keep their math skills over the summer will give their learning a boost for classes in the fall.  Looking forward to another great year!