The District Insider
Volume 9, Issue 11 | June 2022
Grand Forks Public Schools to Hold Graduation Ceremonies
Grand Forks Public Schools will hold three ceremonies for graduating high school seniors.
- Community High School held its graduation ceremony at the Alerus Center on June 2 at 7 p.m. Kali Lussier, Aiden Pudil, and Liberty Ethen Hook were the graduation speakers. There were 43 graduates.
- Grand Forks Central High School will hold its graduation ceremony at the Alerus Center on June 5 at 1 p.m. Cade Halvorson, Alexis Kraemer, and Evan Whalen will be the graduation speakers. There are 201 graduates.
- Red River High School will hold its graduation ceremony at the Alerus Center on June 5 at 4 p.m. Campbell Dorsey, Olivia Olson, and Abigail Zola will be the graduation speakers. There are 212 graduates.
Neil Named Principal of South Middle School
Travis Neil, presently the associate principal at Century Elementary School, has been named the principal of South Middle School.
Neil has been an associate principal at Century Elementary since 2019. Prior, Neil served as a building resource/parent information coordinator at Grand Forks Public Schools, spent three years as a teacher at South Middle School, four years at Lake Agassiz Elementary School, and eight years as a middle school teacher at Vancouver (Wa.) Public Schools.
Neil has experience with Marzano’s Art and Science of Teaching framework, Marzano High Reliability Schools, and has received training in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).
He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Dakota, a master’s degree in technology, curriculum, and instruction from City University of Seattle, and has completed educational leadership coursework at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Neil holds elementary and secondary principal credentials in North Dakota.
The administrative assignment was approved by the Grand Forks School Board on May 23.
Geffre, Norenberg Receive Employee of the Quarter Awards
Jake Geffre and Chelsi Norenberg have been selected as the classified and certified employees of the 4th quarter at Grand Forks Public Schools.
Geffre (classified) and Norenberg (certified) each received a plaque from the Grand Forks School Board. In gratitude for their impact on the school system and students, Geffre and Norenberg also received a $200 monetary award from the Grand Forks Foundation for Education.
Created in 2019, the purpose of the award program is to recognize excellence as accomplished by certified and classified employees. To be considered for the award, the employee must be a valuable asset to the school community by completing their job duties to the highest standard and displaying a commitment to students/parents/guardians, as well as the school/program/school system.
Norenberg is a 1st grade teacher at Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School. In her nomination, parent, colleague, and Grand Forks Air Force Base School Board President Michelle Shepperd said, “Ms. Norenberg is committed to not only her students academically but socially as well. She teaches students how to care for and respect themselves and others while building and maintaining relationships vital to their success in and out of the classroom. When you walk into her classroom, you can feel the kindness, understanding, and compassion that she not only possesses for each student but that her students have for each other. She provides extra support for those who need it and supplemental materials to those who are ready for more. Students leave her room with the confidence and ability to take on the next grade and the desire to come back and share their experiences with her because of the lifelong relationships she has established with not only her students but their families.”
Geffre, a theater technician, received nominations from colleagues Paul Barta and Rich McFarlane. In his nomination, Barta wrote, “He spends countless hours helping to design and construct sets for all shows, all the while having a student-centered approach to these ideas. He wants the students to be involved in the process by learning concepts and being actively involved in the technical aspects of the drama productions. He truly is a genius regarding all things technical in the drama world and it is fun to watch him interact with students to help them discover new things. He tries to positively build relationships with students so they want to continue learning and actively participate in the drama technology world. He treats all of the students with respect and takes great pride in teaching difficult concepts in a positive, caring manner. Besides all of the students involved, there is no one more vital to our theatre programs and their success than Jake Geffre. He really makes our productions as professional and high quality as they always are, which allows the kids to shine and be a part of something truly memorable.”
Grand Forks Public Schools Announces Administrative Assignment
Dr. Holly Larson has been named the next associate principal at Valley Middle School.
Larson has been the behavior intervention coordinator at South Middle School since August 2019. Prior to her current role, Larson had worked as a behavior strategist, middle school teacher, and elementary school counselor.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Augustana (Rock Island, Ill.) College, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and a master’s degree in counseling, both from Doane (Lincoln, Neb.) University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota. Larson has elementary and secondary principal credentials, as well as a school counselor credential.
The administrative assignment was approved by the Grand Forks School Board on May 9.
Dvorak Named North Dakota AAA School Safety Patroller of the Year
Hayden Dvorak, a 5th grade student at Viking Elementary School, has been selected as the 2021-2022 North Dakota AAA School Safety Patroller of the Year.
The Patroller of the Year award recognizes safety patrollers who best exemplify leadership qualities and perform their duties effectively and responsibly without incident.
Nominees submit an essay expressing their feelings regarding their patrol experience. Essays are judged on content, understanding of traffic safety, sincerity, and organization of ideas.
In her essay, Dvorak spoke about serving as a student leader, learning new skills, and displaying leadership.
“In safety patrol, there is a rotating captain every week and they get to tell everyone where to go. The captain usually goes to the bus stop and makes sure all the kids get on the bus safely. I think it is an important job because we make the streets safer. We also get to tell people to use the crosswalk so they don't get hurt.”
"Hayden is an excellent example of what a leader should be. She is dedicated to helping others, a creative thinker, and an overall model student," said Kiya Knable, school counselor and student leader advisor.
Dvorak will receive a plaque, a $200 gift card, and Viking Elementary School will receive a $100 credit to improve safety patrol gear.
“I have known Hayden since she started kindergarten, and she has always been a very caring and kind student,” said Principal Jolyn Bergstrom. “Hayden works hard and participates in many activities throughout the school year. She is a very dependable student!"
The AAA School Safety Patrol Program began in 1920 and includes more than 679,000 patrollers in 35,000 U.S. schools. AAA introduced the Patroller of the Year awards in 2002.
Grand Forks Central High School Coaches Announced
Andrayah Adams has accepted the head girls’ basketball coach position at Grand Forks Central High School.
“She has the ability and skills to teach the game of basketball and life,” said Tony Bina, incoming athletic director at Grand Forks Central High School. "As a former Division I basketball player, she understands the importance of work ethic, building relationships, and creating a culture of competitiveness.”
Adams had previously served as an assistant girls’ basketball coach for the MN Warriors Elite, a club/travel team in Minnesota, and as a head basketball coach at South Middle School. She is the student and family liaison at Lake Agassiz Elementary School.,
Brandon Walters has accepted the head volleyball coach position at Grand Forks Central High School.
“We are excited for Brandon to become the next head coach of our volleyball program,” said Tony Bina, incoming athletic director at Grand Forks Central High School. “Brandon’s playing and coaching experience provide him with great passion and knowledge of the sport of volleyball.”
Walters graduated from Red River High School and has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Dakota. He is employed as a design engineer at Retrax.
Broadband Assistance Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides assistance to families struggling to afford broadband. Families that qualify for the school lunch or breakfast programs are eligible and may apply.
2022-2023 Child Nutrition Information
For the past two years, students have received free breakfast and lunch at school due to federal COVID-19 relief funds. At this time, the federal government has not allocated funding for this program for the 2022-2023 school year.
The application period for the 2022-2023 school year will open on July 1, 2022. Families that do not fill out the application, or do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals, will be charged for meals beginning in August 2022.
The importance of this application cannot be overlooked; it is more than just a meal application. It:
Results in free or discounted fees to participate in or attend school activities,
Provides discounted fees for academic tests like the SAT, ACT, and AP courses. It may also qualify students for discounted rates associated with college applications, and
Provides additional funding for state and federal programs and services at your school.
Please visit our website (LINK: https://www.gfschools.org/domain/27) for more information. Thank you!
Summer Meal Sites Announced
Grand Forks Public Schools will be sponsoring summer feeding breakfast sites at eight elementary schools and lunch at three elementary schools Monday-Friday from June 6-30, 2022.
Breakfast (7:30-8 a.m.)
- Ben Franklin Elementary School, 1016 S 20th St.
- Century Elementary School, 3351 17th Ave. S
- J Nelson Kelly Elementary, 3000 Cherry St.
- Lake Agassiz Elementary School, 605 Stanford Rd.
- Phoenix Elementary School, 351 4th Ave. S
- Viking Elementary School, 809 22nd Ave. S
- Wilder Elementary School, 1009 N 3rd St.
- Winship Elementary School, 1412 5th Ave. N
Lunch (12-12:30 p.m.)
- Lake Agassiz Elementary School, 605 Stanford Rd.
- Phoenix Elementary School, 351 4th Ave. S
- Winship Elementary School, 1412 5th Ave. N
Meals are free for anyone under 18 years of age. Meals must be eaten on-site. Grab and go meals are not allowed.
Examples of Excellence
- Congratulations to Assessment Coordinator Jessie Erickson on joining the North Dakota ACT Council! ACT is dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success through supporting and promoting education and career planning; coordinating and leading professional development opportunities; identifying educational issues and service needs; and communicating research, tools, and other information on college and work readiness trends.
- Congratulations to Carter Elde (Grand Forks Central) on winning the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles at the 2022 NDHSAA Class A Boys' State Track and Field Meet!
- Congratulations to Red River's Logan Arason on being named the state champion in the discus throw and state runner-up in the javelin throw at the 2022 NDHSAA Class A Boys' State Track and Field Meet!
- Congratulations to Grand Forks Central on your 6th place finish, and Red River on your 8th place finish, at the 2022 NDHSAA Class A Boys' State Track and Field Meet!
- Congratulations to the Girls' Track and Field team from Red River High School on your 9th place finish at the 2022 NDHSAA Class A State Meet!
- Congratulations to the following baseball players on being named to the 2022 All-EDC team: Cole Barta (Grand Forks Central), Brett Feller (Red River), and Mason Stroh (Red River).
- Congratulations to the following softball players on their selection to the 2022 All-EDC team: Madeline Stangl (Grand Forks Central), Ella Spidel (Red River), Ella Weippert (Red River).
- Congratulations to the 2022 inductees of Grand Forks Central's National Honor Society! This is the 74th class of honor society students at Grand Forks Central (GFC). GFC dates back to 1887 and was the first high school in the state of North Dakota to receive its charter. At GFC, tradition and scholarship have always played a fundamental role, and we are happy to welcome our new members. Advisors are Jackie Schofield and Laura Wendt.
- Congratulations to all of our students who participated in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas! Shown above are teams from Lake Agassiz, Discovery, and Viking elementary schools.
Job Openings - Join Our Team!
- Associate Principal - Century Elementary School
- Elementary Interventionist - Wilder Elementary
- School Counselor - Elroy Schroeder Middle School
- Elementary Literacy Specialist - Lake Agassiz Elementary School
- 2nd Grade Teacher - Lake Agassiz Elementary School
- 6th Grade Teacher - Valley Middle School
- Physical Therapist
- Science Teacher - South Middle School
- Special Education Teacher - Ruth Meier Adolescent Center
- Student Behavior Facilitator - Century Elementary School
- Special Education Teacher - Severe/Multiple Handicapped Classroom
- MTSS Coordinator - South Middle School
- Student Behavior Facilitator - South Middle School
- Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
- Elementary Summer School - Introduction to Kindergarten Teacher
- Elementary Summer School - Reading/Math Teacher
- Career Educator/Career Counselor
- Coordinator - SAIL Program
- Teacher - SAIL Program
- English Teacher - Elroy Schroeder Middle School
- Special Education Teacher - Adult Transition Program
- Special Education Teacher - Intellectual/Cognitive Disabilities
- Special Education Teacher - Autism
- Special Education Teacher
- Speech Language Pathologist
- Special Education Teacher - Emotional Disturbance - middle school
- Vocal Music Teacher (50%) - Century Elementary School
- Library Media Specialist - Valley Middle School/Community High School
- Teacher - Head Start
- School Counselor - Elementary
- School Psychologist
- Vocal Music Teacher - Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School
- Summer School Teacher - Middle School Level
- Summer School Teacher - High School Level
- Create a Teacher Application
- Secretary - Valley Middle School
- Computer Technician
- Unlicensed Assistive Personnel - Discovery Elementary School
- Custodian Application Pool
- HVAC Technician
- Cook Application Pool
- June 2: Last Day of School K-12
- June 2: Community High School Graduation (7 p.m., Alerus Center)
- June 3: Clerical Day
- June 5: Grand Forks Central High School Graduation (1 p.m., Alerus Center)
- June 5: Red River High School Graduation (4 p.m., Alerus Center)
- June 13 Grand Forks School Board meeting (Mark Sanford Education Center, 6 p.m.)