A Team Staff News

March 2, 2022

Message from the Superintendent

Dear A -Team Staff:

March is here!! Those of you that know me, know that I love basketball and thus March Madness!! There are a number of other things that I love about March:

- March 4th - a nice pun to move forward - my 2nd favorite calendar related pun with next one arriving in exactly two months

- March 10th -- My dad's birthday

- March 13th -- Spring your clocks ahead / daylight savings time

- March 17th -- St. Patrick's Day

- March 20th -- First Day of Spring

Consider this message the optimistic closure to February! Happy March!


Alexandria Education Foundation is seeking a new Executive Director

The Alexandria Education Foundation (AEF) has begun searching for a new executive director. The current executive director, Christine Reilly, has accepted a position as the Andria Theatre executive director. We want to take this opportunity to thank Christine for being a tremendous partner in education and wish her well in her new venture.

A job description is available here. If you know of a qualified candidate, please share the opportunity.

Department Updates

Teaching & Learning Update

by Darcy Josephson, Asst. Supt-Teaching & Learning

Certified Staff:

Some of you have inquired about completing the Minnesota Teaching License continuing education requirements during this school year. There are some online opportunities you may wish to access to complete some of the training requirements with an online professional development program our district subscribes to called Infinitec.

There are some classes pertaining to Culture Competency in Infinitec, please note these DO NOT meet the requirements of the statute so would not meet the requirement.

The following are the steps to complete a class on Infinitec and receive the continuing education credit:

  • Set up an account following these directions.

  • Search for the class you would like to take and view the class.

  • Print the certificate for the class.

  • Write a one paragraph reflection on how you would use this new learning.

  • Attach the certificate and the one paragraph reflection to the continuing education document and turn it into Brittany Vis.

Just a reminder, there should be one hour of training in each area, so if the class is shorter than one hour, you may need to view two classes to complete the hour.

Please contact me, djosephson@alexschools.org or ext. 4205, with any questions!

School Board Briefs - February 28, 2022 regular meeting

New A-Team Members

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

  • Nancy Carlson: Receptionist, effective 2/28/2022
  • James Cox: Custodian, effective 2/2/2022
  • Madeline Foster: Behavior Analyst, effective 2/14/2022
  • Hallie Freborg: Compass Group Leader, effective 2/7/2022
  • Michael Gaffaney: Phy Ed Teacher, effective 1/31/2022
  • Virginia Green: Aquatics Coordinator, effective 2/21/2022
  • Emily Herdering: Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, effective 1/26/2022
  • Julia Hrubes: Paraprofessional, effective 3/7/2022
  • Roberta Johnson: Compass Group Leader, effective 2/7/2022
  • Jordan Lee: Secretary II, effective 3/7/2022
  • Blaine Kalahar: Bus Driver, effective 2/8/2022
  • Jason Kerkaert: Assistant Bus Mechanic, effective 2/1/2022
  • Elise Magaard: Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, effective 1/27/2022
  • Samantha McDaniel: Secretary III, effective TBD
  • Eric Peterson: Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, effective 1/17/2022
  • Peter Russell: Cook, effective 1/31/2022
  • Madison Sand: Compass Group Leader, effective 1/21/2022
  • Mya Sawyer: Compass Group Leader, effective 1/25/2022
  • Romona Schmidt: Cook, effective 2/22/2022
  • Mark Schouweiler: Bus Driver, effective 2/1/2022
  • David Sternquist: Bus Driver Trainer, effective 1/17/2022
  • Samantha Strehlow: Compass Group Leader, effective 1/21/2022
  • Katelyn Thiery: Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, effective 1/27/2022
  • Valerie Vonderharr: Assistant Kitchen Manager, effective 1/24/2022
  • Emily Witte: Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, effective 1/27/2022


The following staff members have submitted letters of retirement. Thank you for your service and dedication to the students and families of Alexandria Public Schools.

  • Joan Crabtree: Psychologist, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/29/1989]
  • Steve Deitz: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 9/1/1987]
  • Donna Edmunds: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/27/1999]
  • Tom Ellison: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/28/2012]
  • Brenda Haar: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 9/27/2004]
  • Mark Halvorson: Performing Arts Manager, effective 4/30/2022 [date of hire: 6/29/2015]
  • Nancy Hasz: Literacy Coach, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/29/1989]
  • Lori McKirdy: Paraprofessional, effective 6/3/2022 [date of hire: 1/4/2000]
  • Naomi Pilantz: Teacher, effective 1/21/2022 [date of hire: 8/28/2017]
  • Zelda Redfield: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/27/1999]
  • Michelle Redmond: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/28/1998]
  • Robin Schuhmacher: Paraprofessional, effective 6/2/2022 [date of hire: 9/20/2010]
  • Kim Werlinger: Teacher, effective 6/6/2022 [date of hire: 8/27/1991]

First Reading of District Policy Revisions

The Board approved the first reading of policy updates for:

  • Policy 524 & 453 - Internet Acceptable Use and Safety
  • Policy 619 - Staff Development for Standards
  • Policy 720 - Food and Nutrition Services Program
  • Policy 806 - Emergency Management
  • Policy 901 - Community Education
  • Policy 912 - Use of Volunteers in School

Adopt School Board Policies

The Board adopted the revisions to the policies and procedures listed below that received a first reading at the January 2022 school board meeting:

February Points of Pride

The Discovery Middle School Spelling Bee went 14 rounds before Miles Bryce took first place. Nils Stadsklev was the runner up. Both advanced to the Regional Spelling Bee, held in early February. Ten other students competed in the DMS competition by being the top spellers in their grade level: Thomas Dutcher, Sully Glade, Ryley Converse, Everleigh Quick, Ella Vanderheiden, Marie Unver, Brody Zappe, Markelle Burginger, Dhani Wencl-Singh and Aiari Hopp.

Ten Discovery Middle School students participated in a Minnesota State MATHCOUNTS chapter competition, taking 1st place in the team competition. All 10 students placed in the top 8, with 5 advancing to the state competition. Team participants and individual results:

  • Alex Rodriguez: 1st place overall, 1st place in the countdown round, state bound
  • Lars Dahl: 2nd place overall, 3rd place in the countdown round, state bound
  • Thomas Dutcher: 2nd in the countdown round, state bound
  • Dominic Maus: state bound
  • Joshua Makalinao: state bound
  • Jackson Dutcher: 4th in the countdown round
  • Ning Zhang
  • Carson Bumgarner
  • Elizabeth Wagner
  • Sigfried Henrich

Ben Borden was selected as the AAHS representative for the MSHSL Triple A Award (Academics, Arts and Athletics).

The DMS Honor Choir, consisting of Alize McClellan-Beliveau, Mara Duscher, Grace Femrite, Hudson Kleven, Lilly Krusemark, Emma Laurent, Fiona Schmidt and Isabella Wilson attended a Middle Level Choir Festival at NDSCS College in Wahpeton, where they collaborated with well-known choral directors and singers from 5 other schools to perform a public concert.

7th grader Alex Rodriguez auditioned and was chosen to play in the MNSOTA Middle Level Honor Orchestra with other 7th-9th graders from around the state. They performed at the Minnesota Music Educators Convention in February.

The AAHS One Act Play cast and crew earned their 6th consecutive ‘star’ award for their play, "Trousers," at the MSHSL State One Act Play Festival.

Noah Hubbard received a perfect score of 40 out of a possible 40 points on February 9th at the North Vocal Solo and Ensemble at Concordia College in Moorhead.

Wrestlers Blaze Nelson and Kelly Johnson each recorded their 100th career win in the match vs. Ottertail Central on February 5th.

The Cardinal Gymnastics Team earned the title of Section Academic Champions with a team GPA average of 3.917.

Senior Ailynn Fettig earned a trip to the state gymnastics tournament.

Jaelyn Miller secured a spot in the Girl’s Nordic Ski state tournament at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN.

Nicolas Welle set a new pool record in the 100-yard butterfly on January 27th vs. Brainerd.

The Boy’s Swim Team competed in the Central Lakes Conference Championship Meet with excellent results, including:
  • 2nd place in the 200 medley relay: Eric Peterson, Logan Tung, Nicolas Welle and Carter Holm
  • 1st place in the 200 freestyle: Anthony Hoyt
  • 1st place in the 50 freestyle: Nicolas Welle
  • 1st place in the 100 butterfly: Nicolas Welle
  • 1st place in the 100 freestyle: Carter Holm
  • 1st place in the 500 freestyle: Anthony Hoyt
  • 2nd place in the 200 freestyle relay: Nicolas Welle, Erik Reineke, Logan Tung and Carter Holm
  • 2nd place in the 100 backstroke: Eric Peterson
  • 1st place in the 100 breaststroke: Logan Tung

The Cardinal Football Team was chosen as one of 62 national finalists for the inaugural National Football Foundation (NFF) National High School Academic Excellence Award, recognizing the top high school football teams in the nation for excellence in the classroom.

Other Items from the February 28, 2022 Regular Board Meeting

  • Voyager Elementary staff, Dana Christenson, Beth Melrose, and Kayla Walsh presented on restorative practices/circles as part of their school climate initiative.
  • Lincoln Elementary staff, Brendan Bogart, Jillian Burns, and Kayla Noble presented on the Special Area Team 3rd Grade Space Unit cross-curriculum work.
  • Adopted the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee Resolution as presented by Theresa Ziebarth-Moritz, AIPAC Chair.
  • Adopted school calendars for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.
  • Adopted the 2022-2023 Discovery Middle School curriculum & program modifications/course changes that received a first reading at the December 20 board meeting.
  • Approved the addition of eSports as an activity.
  • Approved the amended fiscal year 2021-2022 budget as presented by Trevor Peterson, Director of Business Services.
  • Rejected the bid for HVAC system upgrades at Discovery Middle School and Garfield Elementary School due to having only one bid and project costs over the estimates. The administration will reevaluate and revise the plan as necessary, with the goal to seek bids in the fall of 2022 with a target construction date of summer 2023.

  • Approved the framework for the 2022 Extended School Year summer school calendar and programs as presented by Michelle Bethke-Kaliher, Director of Student Support Services.

  • Approved the school board communication process to continue receiving public comment via email and to add a 30-minute period before each school board meeting (6:15-6:45 pm) for the public to address the superintendent and school board (limited to 2-3 board members to stay in compliance with open meeting laws). There will be one speaker at a time; each speaker will be limited to 3 minutes, with a maximum of 10 speakers. Those school board members will then give a brief synopsis of the comments made during the 30-minute session to the full school board at the end of the regular meeting. The emails sent to the board, along with any district responses, will be published on the district's website. This format will be in place for March, April, and May. At the May meeting, the Board will review and reflect and make any necessary changes if need be. School board meetings are now being live-streamed, and archive recordings can be viewed here.

Upcoming Events

March 4: Alexandria Education Foundation EdTalk & EdCelebrate Event, Broadway Ballroom. Social Hour - 6pm; EdTalk, 7pm; EdCelebrate, 7:45pm; Live Auction, 9pm. Purchase tickets here; Bid on Silent Auction items here.

March 7: DMS 6th grade Red/Purple Bands Concert, DMS Gym, 6:30pm; 6th grade White/Gold Bands, DMS Gym, 7:30pm; The AAHS & DMS Jazz Ensemble will be performing a short program at both concerts.

March 8: Township Elections, no activities from 6-8pm.

March 10: PreK-12 Parent Contact

March 11: Cool School Polar Plunge, DMS, Sign up and fundraise here, Plunging starts at 2:30pm

March 11: "The Inheritance", written by DMS 8th-grade Playwrights Club, DMS Auditorium, 6pm performance

March 12: "The Inheritance", written by DMS 8th-grade Playwrights Club, DMS Auditorium, 2pm performance

March 13: Daylight Savings Time Begins

March 14: Grades 6-12 Parent Contact

March 17: 67th annual Kiwanis Concert, AAHS PAC, 7pm

March 17: PreK-5 Parent Contact

March 18: No School PreK-12; PreK-5 Parent Contact

March 21-22: No School PreK-5; School in Session 6-12

March 21: Regular School Board Meeting, DO, 7pm

March 24: STEAM Expo, AAHS, 4:30-7:30pm

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!