What's New @ 542

March & April 2021

Basketball Memories

Basketball season has come and gone, but the memories will always remain. We sat down with Brady VanErp, Kayne Cameron, and Adysen Tysdal, looking to learn more about their memories of basketball...this is what they had to say.

When asked of their favorite memory. Brady’s answer was when they played Park Christian his junior year. Brady dropped 28 points for the overtime win. Kayne’s was his junior year when they were playing Hancock in the first round of playoffs. They almost took the upset win but had two starters go down during the game and they let the game slip away.

When asked of their high point of their career, Brady's was making varsity as a freshman. Ady’s high point was when she got to play varsity with her sister, Makenna, in Makenna's senior year of high school.

They all had a positive answer when asked what they thought when they had a bad game and lost. The answer was unanimous, "It’s just one game and you just have to get back at it and work harder next time."

Lastly, they would asked what advice they would give a younger student wanting to play basketball. Once again, unanimously stating, "If you put in the work you’ll see the result. You become a family, sticking together on and off season."

Reading & Math Corps

What are the Reading and Math Corps?

Reading Corps and Math Corps are part of the AmeriCorps, which is a national service program. Reading tutors work with students one-on-one to improve their literacy skills, and math tutors work with students in small groups to improve their math skills.

What is your goal for students?

The goal of Reading Corps is for children to be proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade. Reading Corps tutors work with students in grades K – 3. The goal of Math Corps is for every student to be proficient in Algebra by the end of 8th grade. The program targets Algebra because it is a gateway course to high school graduation and college admission. Math Corps tutors work with students in grades 4 – 8.

About how many students are being tutored?

Battle Lake School has 2 Reading Corps tutors and 1 Math Corps tutor. The Reading Corps tutors are serving 22 students and the Math Corps tutor serves 23 students.

What results have you seen in students going forward?

We have had very good results with many students reaching or getting close to reaching their goals. Several students exit the programs each year.

Who are the Battle Lake School tutors for these students?

Christina Ellstrom and Cindy Johnson are Reading Corps tutors, and Becky Cox is the Math Corps tutor.

How knowledgeable are these tutors in their respective areas?

The tutors go through extensive training before they are placed in schools. Becky Cox taught math for her entire working career.

What are some of the qualities you're seeking in a good tutor?

Responsible, dedicated, patient, understanding, and passionate about making a difference.

A Look Into the Choir Life

You may be thinking, throughout the years, I have been able to see student’s talent grow by witnessing choir concerts, musicals, and appearances at sporting events; but ever since COVID, I’ve missed out on those events. Well, we reached out to choir teacher, Mr. Shawn Neisen, to give you a look into what our students have been working on.

Choir definitely looks different this year, just like every class does. We are wearing masks while we sing and staying distanced by spreading out in the auditorium. In general, it’s harder to hear with everyone being so far apart, not just for me, but for the students as well. I’ve had a lot of people express that they can’t wait to return to normalcy. I’m right there with them! It hasn’t been easy for anyone, especially those involved in the fine arts. Interest and involvement has been up and down, but our goal has not; whoever shows up, we’ll make music together.

We are under a lot of restrictions that had us pull back on a lot of things, but especially performances. We put on a virtual concert near the end of February, which featured Junior High Choir, Chorale, and Concert Choir. It featured music from across the spectrum ranging from folk tunes to more modern choral music. While it doesn’t replace a live performance, it does open the doors for more people to see the talent our students have.

Choir definitely looks different this year, but it has not slowed us down in the slightest. We have put our best foot forward and can’t wait to be able to get back up in front of a live audience!

Spring Poetry

Poems are a great way to share the new seasons' feelings and the energy we gain when we think of all that we can do outside. Spring brings joy to most we can see through the changing of the season that there is no better way to spend the Spring than outside and with family and friends.


Some springs, apples bloom too soon. The trees have grown here for a hundred years, and are still quick to trust that the frost has finished.

Some springs, pink petals turn black. Those summers, the orchards are empty and quiet. No reason for the bees to come.

Other summers, red apples beat hearty in the trees, golden apples glow in sheer skin. Their weight breaks branches, the ground rolls with apples, and you fall in fruit.

You could say, I have been foolish. You could say, I have been fooled.

You could say, Some years, there are apples.

-Rose Mclarney

Many of the great poets focused on the new emotions that come with Spring. It is a change that is welcomed among many people that live in colder climates. It is a time where the sun shines and brings warmth to the coldness of the weather we’ve had for the past few months. Pleasures of Spring and the flowers that it brings. Flowers also give us a good feeling that Spring is here and winter is slowing to an end.

Daisy Time

See, the grass is full of stars,

Fallen in their brightness;

Hearts they have of shining gold,

Rays of shining whiteness.

Buttercups have honeyed hearts,

Bees they love the clover,

But I love the daisies' dance

All the meadow over.

Blow, O blow, you happy winds,

Singing summer's praises,

Up the field and down the field

A-dancing with the daisies.

-Majorie Pickthall

Having Fun in the Springtime

With the changes of Spring, it’s fun to go outside and do different activities with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get things done too! We asked a few teachers about some of their favorite spring activities and this is what they had to say.

Mrs. Schaller said one of her favorite spring activities is working in her yard and vegetable garden. Every spring she starts her tomatoes and peppers from seeds and then plants them in her garden in June. For those that live in town, there are different flowers and vegetables that do well in pots and can even be inside (so long as you have sunlight). She also recommends going out and fishing on any of the local lakes. She goes out fishing every once in a while with her husband and son. She is excited for the change of the seasons because her family are very outdoorsy and love to spend their time outside.

Spring is also a great way to start fresh and feel great about the start of the year. Mrs. Lundquist says, “I absolutely love the ‘hope’ spring restores in me. Winter always feels too long at this latitude!” Mrs. Schaller and Mrs. Lundquist both stated that they enjoyed having those weeks with warm weather!. Mrs. Schaller is eager for the weather to get nicer so she could take her class outside for learning days. Mrs. Lundquist said, “Those first warm days…..sweet smells, small buds, and plants peeking through the soil make me smile.”

Both Mrs. Lundquist and Mrs. Schaller are excited for summer and what it has to offer. Hopefully getting that much needed time outside and having fun. It was great to hear their answers and what they had to say about their favorite parts of springtime.

Catching Up With Mr. Olson

We caught up with second grade teacher, Mr. Olson, and asked him to reflect on this past year and how COVID impacted it, this is what he had to say.

"This year teaching as been challenge, as some students were at home and others in school. The beginning of the year was quite different as we had to adjust to the social distancing guidelines and mask mandates. However, as the year went on, it became easier."

Mr. Olson and his classmates have not been able to go on any field trips outside of the building to date but hopes to bring the students to Glendalough before the school year ends.

Teacher Spotlight with Mrs. Akerman

Heather Akerman grew up in Battle Lake. Her favorite childhood memory is summertime at her grandparents house, spending time with her cousins. She attended M State in and then MSUM for her undergrad and Master's in Special Education.

Heather has been working at the school for 12 years; six years as an Elementary Paraprofessional and six years as a Special Education teacher. On top of that, she is the Assistant Volleyball coach and she coached the junior high girls basketball team. Before teaching at Battle Lake, she taught in Underwood for two years. Her favorite part of the day is completing assessments with K-12 students. Her favorite class to teach is life skills. One of her favorite memories from teaching is attending graduation, as she gets to see all the seniors' hard work pay off.

Get Creative!

When you think of creativity, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most think that it's a characteristic, that you are either creative or you're not. That it’s something not everyone can be, but that is the exact opposite of reality. You aren’t born with it, anyone and everyone has the potential to create. It isn't a matter of am I creative but what can I create?

The ability to use our imagination to create something is one that everyone possesses. Whether we know exactly what lights the flame or are wandering in the dark, we are all capable of extraordinary things, sometimes it just takes some guidance. Finding what sparks your creative instincts is the first step. Find something that you are passionate about that allows you to use your imagination. Sometimes it is as simple as starting a journal, this allows you to write without having to meet anyone's expectations. Some other options might be drawing, photography, cooking, or even painting.

There are countless ways to "Get Creative" and that's the best part, there aren't any guidelines telling us what is and what isn't, we make the rules and get to decide. Creativity can take any form and everyone gets to express in it their own way. There is no right or wrong way, so go out and find your inspiration because it is in you, whether you believe it or not.

Sports Corner

Click on a link below to get the athletic schedule for that week.

May 1 - 7

May 8 - 14

May 15 - 21

May 22- 28

Upcoming Events

May 6

Jr. High Band & Jr. Jazz Concert

Battle Lake School - Auditorium

7:00 - 8:30 pm

May 7

Elementary Band & 4th Grade Recorders Concert

Battle Lake School - Auditorium

7:00 - 8:30 pm

May 8

Prom - Grand March

Battle Lake School - Big Gym

7:30 - 8:30 pm

May 10

School Board Meeting

6:30 - 8:00 pm

May 10

Sr. High Band & Jazz Band Concert

Battle Lake School - Auditorium

7:00 - 8:30 pm

May 23


Battle Lake School - Auditorium (Video Conferencing)

7:00 - 8:00 pm

May 25

Last School Day for Seniors

May 28

Last Day of School

May 28


Battle Lake School Football Field

6:00 pm