A Team Staff News

March 17, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

March Madness is upon us! Those of you that know me, know I love basketball...and thus these next three weeks are fun for me. Last time I mentioned a sports reference, Chad Beebe ended up coming up with a winning touchdown for the Vikings. On that note -- two words -- Eastern Washington!


Strategic planning

It was my turn for the “In the Know” column in the Echo Press this month. As we hopefully turn the corner on COVID we will look to re-engage in some of our strategic planning work. Over the next number of months we will ask for your insights and input in brief survey form as well as some small focus groups. Please click on the link to be informed about next steps in our process. Look for a brief survey in the near future.


District Office Transitions
We have two pending retirements in our District Office Human Resources department with Scott Heckert and Nancy Thompson turning the page to the next chapter in life. As we continue to watch our enrollment numbers, as well as the state legislature, we are looking to create some efficiencies across the district that stay away from the classroom. After looking at different models and structures of districts across the state similar in size to us, we have decided to merge the departments of Finance and Human Resources. Trevor Peterson will become the Director of Finance and Human Resources and we have posted for a new position of Assistant Director of Finance and Human Resources. We hope to have this position hired in April. This change, along with our new finance software and additional shifts in some of the other positions in HR and Finance, will allow us to be more efficient and effective with our resources. Our goal is to streamline the staff experience whether in the onboarding process or questions related to finance and HR.


We also know that we are losing a great deal of history with the departure of Scott and Nancy. Their servant spirit combined with us not allowing them to change their cell phone number will support us through the transitions.

Upcoming Events

  • March 20: First Day of Spring
  • April 2: No School PreK-12, Compass Closed
  • April 5: No School PreK-12
  • April 14: Special School Board Meeting, DO, 6:30am
  • April 19: School Board Meeting, DO, 7:00pm
  • April 22: Lakes Area Talent Show, AAHS PAC, 7:00pm

Lakes Area Talent Show

This is our first talent show endeavor at Alexandria Public Schools Community Education. We think this event will be a great way for people to safely engage with each other while giving our community a chance to showcase their talents. There is a $10 entry fee to audition, pay online HERE. The talent show will take place on April 22nd at 7:00 pm at the Performing Arts Center. All auditions will need to submit a video, click on the flyer image for details.

School Board Briefs - March 15 Regular Meeting

First Reading of District Policy Revisions

The Board approved the first reading of policy updates for:

  • Policy 201 - Legal Status of the School Board
  • Policy 202 - School Board Officers
  • Policy 203 - Operation of the School Board - Governing Rules
  • Policy 203.1 - School Board Procedures, Rules of Order
  • Policy 603 - Curriculum and Program Development/Reduction Policy
  • Policy 604 - Instructional Curriculum

Adopt School Board Policies

The Board adopted the revisions to the policies listed below that received a first reading at the February 22 school board meeting.


New A-Team Members

We welcome the following individuals to our A-Team staff:


  • Traci Andert, Cook, effective 3/8/2021
  • Gabriele Beniak, Special Education Teacher, effective 8/30/2021
  • Maggie Cauthren, Cook, effective 3/8/2021
  • Beth Cutler, Paraprofessional, effective 3/1/2021
  • Amanda Hemann, Special Education Teacher, effective 8/30/2021
  • Gina Holdvogt, Math Teacher, effective 8/30/2021
  • Kiara Krippner, Cook, effective 2/23/2021
  • Brittany Lanus, Compass Assistant, effective 2/23/2021
  • Cari Larson, Special Education Teacher, effective 8/30/2021

Other Items from the March 15, 2021 Regular Board Meeting

  • Jennifer Mounsdon, Mechatronics Head Coach, and Mechatronics student team representatives shared highlights from the Robotics progrram.
  • Darcy Josephson, Asst. Superintendent - Teaching & Learning, provided a K-5 elementary programming update.
  • Michelle Bethke-Kaliher, Director of Student Support Services, updated the Board on 2021 summer school programming planned for the district. The Board approved the summer school calendar and programs as presented.
  • Trevor Peterson, Director of Business Services, reviewed the 2021-2022 capital improvement projects proposal. The Board took action to approve the 2021-2022 capital improvement projects as presented.
  • The Board accepted the resignation of Bob Cunniff, board clerk, effective March 31. Cunniff has served on the board since 2017 and his term was set to expire on December 31, 2022. Board member Dean Anderson will assume the clerk duties until the end of the calendar year 2021.
  • The Board acted to pass a resolution declaring a vacancy on the board. The statute requirest that a vacancy be filled by school board appointment until a special election is held in the current year. A special school board meeting has been set for April 14 for the appointment process.

Points of Pride

Individuals recognized for "Points of Pride" at the March 15 school board meeting included:


For the fifth consecutive year, the AAHS One Act Play cast and crew earned the state's top award, the 'star' award for their play, "Machinal". This is their seventh consecutive advancement to the MSHSL One Act Play Festival.


AAHS and DMS theatre teacher Jessica Chipman was chosen by Minnesota theatre directors to judge the MSHSL One Act Play Festival for Class A.


DMS Band Director Derek Ziemer was selected as a Cannonball Educator for Cannonball Musical Instruments. Derek created a video on his distance learning setup that was featured at the Midwest Clinic Band, Orchestra and Music Conference in Chicato, which brings music educators from across the world together to learn more about their craft.


Four members of the Girls Hockey Team have earned Academic All-State honors: Reise Waldorf, Maya Klimek, Anna Doherty and Aliejah Castle.


Senior AJ Sparr hit a major wrestling milestone, recording his 100th career win on Saturday, February 20th.


Colton Roderick reached a major milestone in his basketball career, scoring his 1,000th point on Friday, February 12th in a game against Bemidji.

Alexandria Public Schools

Our Mission is to achieve educational excellence and to inspire a life-long passion for learning.


Our Vision is to be an extraordinary school district that tailors learning for each child, by working together!