What's New @ 542

October 2020

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Jodi Himmelspach for being named "Teacher of the Year!" Let's take a look back and see how her journey began.

Mrs. Himmelspach graduated from Dickinson Trinity High School in Dickinson, ND and received her degree in Math Education from Dickinson State University. Her first teaching position was in Elko, NV, where she taught for 2 years. After that, she taught in Richardton, ND for 4 years. Then Mrs. Himmelspach made the move to Battle Lake School. This year Mrs. Himmelspach celebrates her 28th year teaching! She recalls her interview with Battle Lake School and remembered thinking that the people she met during her interview were awesome! " It felt like the right fit," she states. Mr. & Mrs. Himmelspach were especially drawn to the lake since southwest ND is really dry and does not have much for lakes or rivers in that area, and they love the lake! In her words, "I'm so glad we picked Battle Lake . . . it is a great school with a tremendous staff and awesome students!

Mrs. Himmelspach wanted to be a teacher off and as a kid. She thought about other professions, but when she met her husband and he was going to be a teacher, that finally helped her decide to become a teacher as well. "I enjoy teaching and have come to like it more through the years," states Mrs. Himmelspach. She shared with us that in her first year of teaching, she taught 7th graders the entire day, and that was a challenge. She adds, "I have to say that I'm not very fond of this distance learning! I miss seeing my students in person every day." Her favorite class to teach is Algebra II and adds that Geometry tends to be the most difficult to teach. "It can be challenging to get students to learn to use the mathematical reasoning process required to construct geometry proofs."

Mrs. Himmelspach loves to cook, bake, and read. She enjoys running (actually more of a slow jog), and in the summer, she likes to work in her flower beds and spend as much time as possible on the lake!

Congratulations Mrs. Himmelspach on this tremendous honor!

Welcome Mr. Owen

Tyler Owen is the new Physical Education and Health teacher at Battle Lake Public School. Mr. Owen is originally from Alexandria, Minnesota, where he attended Alexandria Area High School (AAHS). After graduating from AAHS, he played two years of college basketball at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, before transferring to Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education. In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching a wide variety of sports, playing guitar, and singing. Watch the video below to learn more about Mr. Owen.

Welcome Mr. Mollberg

Joe Mollberg is a new teacher and the Virtual Academy Liaison at Battle Lake School. Originally from Detroit Lakes, Mr. Mollberg graduated from the University of North Dakota with his undergrad in Elementary Education. He taught 3rd grade from 2017-2019 in Frazee, MN before moving to the Bay Area of California, where he subbed last winter and spring. He is currently in graduate school at MSUM working toward his masters degree in Education Leadership.

Joe grew up in a family of teachers. Both his parents and multiple aunts, uncles and grandparents also taught. He knew at a young age the importance of education. In high school he had multiple opportunities to intern under teachers and loved the relationships he saw formed during those internships. All of these experiences led him here!

Mr. Mollberg expressed how he is already enjoying his time at Battle Lake School and is thankful for the kind, warm welcome he received. In his words, "It's a crazy year with the world we live in, but I'm excited to be here and hopefully make a positive impact!" Joe hopes to help out in coaching in the near future. He has experience in a variety of sports but if he had to choose, his two favorite are basketball and football. He competed in both at the high school level, and went on to compete in football at the college level. Mr. Mollberg also coached both sports at the high school level during his time in Frazee.

Welcome Mr. Mollberg!

Park Region Conference - Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Brady Speicher for being named Park Region Conference Coach of the Year. When asked how it felt to receive this award, Mr. Speicher replied, "It is a great honor to be recognized by the other coaches in the conference."

Mr. Speicher had coached cross country with Battle Lake school for the past three years, but this was his first year as head coach. His goals for the future of cross country is to develop a program that will be competing at the highest level every year.

When asked to reflect on this past season, this is what Mr. Speicher had to say. "The season was great! The boys team won the conference meet and the girls team took second. I'm very proud of the athletes and the way they represented the OTC Cross Country team throughout the year. With the MSHSL originally postponing the volleyball and football seasons we got a lot of new athletes and many of them had success."

Congratulations on this honor Mr. Speicher!

High School Musical

As questions arise regarding this year's senior high school musical, we asked Mr. Neisen about the format of rehearsals and how the show will be affected by the pandemic.

What's the musical going to be this year/what format?

This year due to Covid-19, we are switching things up a bit! During the summer planning phase, we considered a number of variables that would be in play. Everything from learning models, to live audiences, to live streaming or pre-recording the show, etc. With many factors we were unsure about, we knew we wanted to offer something. So this year, we are excited to put together a Broadway Revue style of show that showcases many numbers from tons of different musicals!

Is it going to have a particular plot?

As far as a plot goes, we are letting our students create the story we want to tell. We are still in the process of designing the flow of the show.

How is it going to look different from previous musicals?

This year will look quite different as far as the staging and set go. Things will be more spaced out to accommodate distancing. Since we are using music from many musicals, the stage and set will remain more simple.

Will there still be live music?

Yes, there will be live music - to an extent. The singers will be able to sing live, with taking the proper precautions. However, we will not be bringing in a pit band to play this year, so most things will either be accompanied by Mr. Neisen on the piano, or sung to a performance track.

How are rehearsals different from previous years?

Rehearsals also look a lot different this year. We started off in small groups meeting for about 30 minutes for sung rehearsals, and allowed 20 minutes for the air to exchange. Now that we are working on more elements than just the singing, we have each group for about an hour and a half a week, whereas in years past, we would have the whole group for 5-6 hours a week.

What kinds of issues have come up that weren't issues before?

Scheduling has been an issue to work around - between our hybrid model, fall sports being cancelled then brought back, and just the busy lives of our students, we've been doing our best to manage our rehearsals.

How will the public be able to watch the musical?

We are still figuring out the best live streaming solution for our show, but it will be viewable online. More details to come.

Mr. Neisen's final take away.

"I wanted to make sure we could have some sort of show in some capacity. Even though it's not a typical Fall Musical from Battle Lake School, we wanted it to be special and fulfilling for the students involved."

2020 Fashion Trends

Mute or neutral colors are in! Earthy neutrals were prominent on the Spring 2020 runways, with designers like Max Mara, Kate Spade, and Brandon Maxwell serving up caramel browns, rusty khakis, and olive greens. According to data pulled calming neutrals and serene blues are among the most popular color groups of 2020.

November Events

November 13

No School

November 17


Media Center

6:00 - 7:15 pm

November 26 & 27

No School - Thanksgiving Break