From the Office of the Superintendent 8/6/19

Summer Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

There's still a few weeks left before we welcome students back to school - ample time to enjoy a few more summer activities in Duluth!

Our HR Department is busy helping post and fill positions for the upcoming school year. If you know someone interested in working for our school district please refer them to the website, encourage them to review open positions and fill out an online application.

Please help welcome Jacob Hintsala as principal for our Residential & Day Treatment programs and Brian Kazmierczak as principal for Lincoln Park Middle School. Best wishes to Denise Clairmont on her retirement and to Brenda Vatthauer in her new position with Hutchinson Middle School.

A reminder to check your mail for Back to School information from the district and information regarding staff development activities prior to the start of school. There's a district Back to School web page with information that will be included in mailings to families and staff.

Kind Regards,


If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: Superintendents@ISD709.org. Twitter: @billgronseth

2019-20 Principal & Staff Announcements:

As we prepare for a new school year, please help welcome and support all in their positions:

>>Jacob Hintsala, Principal, Residential & Day Treatment: Jacob’s experience includes Lincoln Park Middle School Assistant Principal, Dean of Students for Hermantown Middle & Elementary, Special Education Teacher for Hermantown and Duluth Public Schools Academy and Program Coordinator for Northwood Children’s Services. He holds certification for Principal K-12, Emotional Behavioral Disorders K-12 and Specific Learning Disabilities K-12. Jacob holds an Educational Specialist Degree and Masters of Science in Educational Administration from Capella University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.

>>Brian Kazmierczak, Principal, Lincoln Park Middle School: Brian joins us from Barnum Public Schools where he served as Principal for Barnum High School. In Barnum, Brian implemented Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), the expansion of STEM activities and the use of data to support student achievement. His experience includes Technology Integration Specialist for the Pequot Lakes School District and teacher for Pequot Lakes and Deer River High Schools. He holds an Educational Administration License (K-12 Principal and Superintendent) from Minnesota Moorhead State University, a Master of Science Teaching, Learning & Leadership from Southwest MN State University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of North Dakota.

>>Peter Johnson, CTE Coordinator: Peter comes to Duluth Public Schools from Lake Superior College where he served as a welding instructor. He’s also served as an instructor in Cook County, Janesville and Luxemburg-Casco schools. His experience includes coordinating a $1.2 Million program expansion including curriculum development, grant writing and alignment with standards; Program Evaluation Project with Lake Superior College/Cook County; Home Build Project Construction Program; IFORWARD Online High School; All Star Program, PBIS. He holds a Masters in Educational Administration, Principal Certification, Director of Instruction Certification and Vocational Director License from Concordia University.

Board Attends Superintendent Search Workshop

The Duluth School Board met with the MN School Board Association to learn about best practices, how to involve the community, what other school districts in Minnesota are doing as they prepare to hire a new superintendent. Superintendent Bill Gronseth will be with the school district through June of 2020 when his contract ends, the Duluth School Board has said how appreciative they are to have ample time to work on and develop a thoughtful, thorough process for a superintendent search.



Duluth News Tribune

August School Board Agenda Items - Detailed Information Online

(This is not a comprehensive list of Board agenda items)

>>Facilities Management & Capital Projects Status Report

>>Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum Reports

>>Policy Updates

View School Board Meetings on YouTube

ISD 709 News

We know there are a lot of great things going on in our schools - let's make sure we're letting everyone else know, too! Share your school, student, staff accomplishments, projects and events with Kathleen.Kaufman@ISD709.org, they'll be used in email newsletters, social media, websites and other communication venues.

Need Help with Backpacks, School Supplies?

City of Duluth Parks & Recreation
Back to School Fair & Annual Backpack Distribution
August 22, 2019 12:00PM - 4:00PM
Three Locations:

Central Hillside Community Center - 12 East 4th Street
Morgan Park Community Center - 1242 88th Avenue West
Portman Community Center - 4601 McCulloch Street
Open to all Duluth children K-12. Please be prepared to show student ID by one of the following:
School ID, Social Security card, Medical card, Birth certificate

Many thanks to CHUM for their support, check their website for more information.

Can You Help By Providing a Donation? www.chumduluth.org

Duluth Arts Teachers Rock Curriculum
This summer Duluth arts educators are working on Media Arts benchmarks and updating Duluth Public Schools curriculum to reflect new Minnesota standards. They're supported by Jeremy Holien, Minnesota's Visual and Media Arts Specialist.
Thank you, Deb Hannu, for the photos and info.
Hunter Pride
Denfeld Band, Boys Hockey, Girls Soccer, Cheerleaders, Super Fans, all representing legendary school spirit at the annual Spirit Valley Days celebration. A new school year and new high school sports season on the horizon.
#GoHunters #SuperCavLives
Summer Time, Summer Learning for Duluth Teachers
Several Duluth Public School teachers attended the Hormel Symposium in June to learn more about serving gifted and high potential learners. Led by regional, national and internationally recognized presenters, sessions focused on foundational knowledge, creativity, curriculum strategies, and social/emotion needs of students.
Thank you, Kaylee Pelkey, for the photos and info.
Awesome Animals
Thanks to Roger Hill for visiting Laura MacArthur KEY Zone and teaching students about spiders, snakes, frogs and other interesting creatures. The students and staff loved it! #reptilesrock #Inspire709
Duluth KEY Zone

Duluth East Grad Receives Statewide Scholarship
Annika Jarvela, Duluth East High School, is the recipient of a 2019 Statewide Scholarship from the Minnesota Parent Teacher Association (PTA), congratulations! Each spring Minnesota PTA awards three scholarships to high school seniors from PTA/PTSA schools who are pursuing a degree in education at a Minnesota college or university. Annika will attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth this fall.

Duluth Music Teachers Rock Curriculum

This summer Duluth music educators are working to update Duluth Public Schools curriculum to Minnesota standards. Teri Akervik, ISD 709 Curriculum Specialist, leads the work.

Denfeld Robotics Team Pitching In
The award-winning Denfeld DNA #4009 Robotics Team had a fun time interacting with folks during the Lincoln Park Meet on the Street mid-summer celebration. They demonstrated how their different robots throw frisbees and balls. Several community members, including police officers and the event organizer, faced off in a friendly competition catching robot-thrown frisbees.
Denfeld DNA Website

Duluth East Daredevils Inspire
Members of the Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team inspiring younger students during their Lego Robotics Camp. This is the second camp hosted by the team this summer. The team also donates a LEGO Robotics camp to the Boys and Girls Club of Duluth.

Duluth East Daredevils


Deb Hannu, ISD 709 Visual and Media Arts teacher, attended the School for Arts Leaders, a National Art Education Association training opportunity. Deb is one of 25 teachers nationwide that make up the SAL 2019 Cohort. Her work and research capstone will be presented with her peers at the NAEA annual convention in Minneapolis in March.

Duluth Community Schools Collaborative Highlighted

Thank you, Duluth Community School Collaborative, for your partnership and support at Myers-Wilkins Elementary, Lincoln Park Middle School and Denfeld High School.

Duluth News Tribune