Twin Oaks Tribune

Twin Oaks Middle School

Volume 7, Issue 1

They have arrived!

Just as promised, they all arrived on Tuesday, excited to get back in to their school routines! Even with the rain throughout the day on Tuesday, it was a very successful first day and ultimately a great first week. A big thank you to everyone who certainly contributed to a smooth transition back to school for the 7th and 8th graders, and in to middle school for our 6th graders.
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6th Grade "M & M" Week

The 6th grade staff once again did a great job this week of helping our 6th graders feel welcome and comfortable with their annual "M & M" (Managing Middle School) week! The events of this week included everything from detailed tours with staff, to how to manage the locker, to Digital Citizenship/Literacy, and more. Each of the events throughout the week aided the students in feeling like they belong here at the middle school. As the week progressed I also noted that I was helping fewer and fewer students navigate their combination lock and find their classrooms. Great work team!
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Getting our 'Lakers' reading

Throughout the week, our English teachers all brought their students in to the media center to find their first book of the year and get them all going as readers, reminding them once again, that, Lakers Read!
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PBIS Alive and Well

Throughout the week, Mr. Dahl and members of the guidance office visited with all students during primetime, reviewing what it means to be LAKERS, sharing with them our student matrix for behavioral expectations. As we all know, maintaining our status as an exemplar PBIS school for the 4th year in a row, will take continued effort on all of our parts, staff and students, continuing to teach our students what is expected of them, rewarding them for positive behaviors and helping guide them to better choices when necessary. I am confident that we will keep up the great work, keeping Twin Oaks a great place to learn and work.
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Student Relationships and Engagement is key!

Throughout the week I saw many classrooms focused on creating positive learning environments where students were engaged and excited about learning. While it doesn't fully capture what is happening, in the photo below, Kylee Erickson is having her 8th grade Spanish II students getting to know fellow classmates Spanish names by passing a ball around the classroom with a greeting in Spanish. A little competition against the clock, certainly helped motivate them to succeed.
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Welcoming New Staff

We have a few new folks who have joined our Twin Oaks team in the past week. We have four new lunchroom supervisors this year, Autum Johnson, Melissa Littman, Melissa Smith, Susan Whaley. We will also have a new paraprofessional assisting in both the CID and Lifeskills programs, as Janine Peterson joins us next week. Finally, Sarah Loechler will have a counseling intern on Mondays and Fridays throughout the school year, her name is Nicole Cecka (pronounced 'checka'). Please join me in welcoming these new people to our Twin Oaks family.

Erik Torgerson Rocks!

Now this was an awesome video, I sure hope he keeps his "day job" with us as counselor!

Way to go TOMS!

Teachers of the Week

Brian Anderson

Position: 8th Grade Physical Education teacher

Years in the district: 16

Years in education: 16

Alma mater: Bemidji State University

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): When I was in middle school my favorite teacher was Mr. Carollo. He was always goofy, easy to talk to, and made school fun. One day he taped me to my chair so I couldn't keep getting up.

Favorite quote/motto: "Be the kind of friend that someone wants to call when they get a flat tire." The "flat tire" related to any situation in life.

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite book: With two 4 year olds at home... My current favorite book is "Daddies do it different".

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): When I was in high school my grandparents have me their old 1984 Plymouth Horizon. No door locks, topped out at 50, but a sweet way to turn 16.

Anything else you would like to share: I have worked in many different buildings in our district. Twin Oaks is a place to be proud of. Our staff and administration are second to none. A great place to call home.

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Vicky Hilzendeger

Position: 7th grade math

Years in the district: 16

Years in education: 16

Alma mater: University of North Dakota

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): Having to watch Channel One from the hallway because I talked too much

Favorite quote/motto: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid." Albert Einstein

Favorite movie: Girls Just Want to Have Fun (reminds me of my childhood time with cousins)

Favorite book: There are many but all time favorite would probably have to be Are You There God It Is Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): A surprise 16th birthday party. This was very out of the "norm" for my parents which is probably why I had no clue!:)

Anything else you would like to share:

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Staff Members of the Week

Julia Pruzinske

Position: CID Paraprofessional

Years in the district: 6

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): Playing traveling softball

Favorite quote/motto: Live as if your dying tomorrow

Favorite movie: Peter Pan

Favorite book: Any poetry books

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): My chocolate lab, Tucker

Anything else you would like to share: I love my job, and am thankful every day I get to spend my time with great students and staff!

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Kendrea McCrady

Position: CID Paraprofessional

Years in the district: 9 +

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): My mom was a teacher at my middle school and every day she would stand at the end of the hallway between classes and yell my name and wave at me!

Favorite quote/motto: "Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and to be that perfectly." St. Francis Sales

Favorite movie: All This,and Heaven Too

Favorite book: Any good mystery!

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): My grandson

Anything else you would like to share:

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Quote of the Week (a PLC favorite)

"The goal is not simply learning a new system, but creating conditions for perpetual learning. It is an environment in which innovation and experimentation are not viewed as tasks to be accomplished or projects to be completed, rather they become ways of conducting day-to-day business--forever.

The Week Ahead



  • Problem Solving Team (PST), 3:00-4:00 Guidance Office Conference Room
  • Laker Pride Day
  • Learning Team Meetings, 2:15
  • BILT Meeting, 3:10-4:00