Why Activities Matter--It's Not Just Sports
Learning skills for the future outside the walls of the classroom
Robotics, Competitive Speech, Drama Club, Choir, Band, Business Professionals of America, Future Farmers of America, Art Club, Athletics, Peer Helpers, oh my! All these activities and more are providing our students with incredible experiences and skills that will serve them well into their futures.

From Dave Rocheleau, Activities Director for the district: “There is no question that education-based activities greatly enhances student achievement. High school and elementary after-school activities are intended to enrich a child's education. Our activities at Pierz Schools are definitely an extension of the school day! Our fields, courts and hands-on activities are some of the most important classrooms we have for our children. In these experiences, our students are learning time management, teamwork, resiliency, assertiveness, perseverance, discipline, hard work, self-control...the list goes on and on.”
Pierz School Referendum '18
The Pierz School Board is holding a referendum on April 10 (remember to vote early or on Election Day). After the last referendum, the community helped evaluate options that would address inadequate facilities and space issues. This referendum is different than the 2017 proposal – it is $8.8 million  less,  does not include an auditorium, and has less square footage. The just under $10 million plan will provide an improved instructional model for our children. We'll increase the number of elementary classrooms, build an elementary gym, and move pre-school children inside. We'll also reconfigure the parking lot to improve safety, and expand and update the high school kitchen/cafeteria. The school board is committed to helping you understand the impacts of a "yes" vote or a "no" vote so you can make an informed decision.

Please watch for more information coming soon!
Healy Highlights
Family and Consumer Science Has Style and Talent!
Seventh grade students in Mrs. Athman's FACS classes are proudly modeling the pajama pants that they recently finished. During the construction of the pants, students practiced time management, resourcefulness, responsibility, and following directions along with using math and reading skills. Students are pictured with the parfaits they assembled using homemade pudding, fruit, wafer crumbs and whipped cream. In that lab, the students learned the science of how cornstarch works as a thickening agent.
Stuckmayer, Marshik for District 19 Triple 'A' Award
Kelsi Stuckmayer and Jesse Marshik participated in the District 19 AAA banquet on Jan 24. Kelsi was declared the female winner and advanced to the Region 5A AAA Banquet held on Jan 31 at the Holiday Inn, St.Cloud. Congratulations to both Jesse and Kelsi!
Business Professionals of America Students Compete, On to State
The BPA students successfully competed at Region 7 in Alexandria on Friday, January 26.
Simon Kroll: 1st Place – Computer Security; 2nd Place – Computer Programming Concepts; 2nd Place – Information Technology Concepts

Zach Becker: 4th Place – Banking and Finance

Kami Athman: 1st Place – Fundamentals of Word Processing; 3rd Place – Basic Office Systems and Procedures

Calvin Zapzalka: 5th Place – Business Law and Ethics; 7th Place – Administrative Support Concepts; 8th Place – Business Meetings Management

These four students will be competing at the State Leadership Conference in Minneapolis on March 8, 9 and 10. Congratulations to students and coach Geri Pohlkamp!
Robotics Team Heads to State!
The Pierz Mechaneers Robotics Team heads to STATE! Competition starts Friday, February 2 at Rivers Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Congratulations and Good Luck, Team and Coaches!
*** DID YOU KNOW ? ***
Getting kids to move, exercise, get the wiggles out and push themselves physically each day is SO important to lifelong physical and mental health!

If we take 7 different elementary classrooms in one day for Phy. Ed., that would allow about 175 students to have Phy. Ed. That is in our one gym. If we had 2 gyms, we would double that number and thus 350 students could have Phy. Ed. each day. The fact is, we have 675 students now at the elementary school so even if someday we could add another gym, it would mean students would get Phy. Ed. every other day.

**Meet the Team**
(an ongoing feature highlighting our hardworking and all-around awesome staff!)
Kim Horning - Spanish Teacher
¡Hola! Me llamo Kim Horning (Hi! My name is Kim Horning), and I am the Spanish Teacher at Healy High School. I am also the Spanish Club Advisor and Junior High track coach. You may be more familiar with my maiden name, Zimney, my sisters, my dad and I have all enjoyed many years at Pierz Schools!
 
While attending Healy High, I played volleyball, basketball and ran track. I was a cheerleader and danced. Some of my time was spent with the jazz band, pep band, choir, yearbook, drama club and student council. Being in all these activities taught me so much -- how to work with others, how to be a good teammate and employee, it taught me compassion and empathy, and how to set a goal and follow through to accomplish it.

I chose to become a teacher because I love school. I love learning and I want to share that enthusiasm with others.
Sara Underhill - Art Teacher
I’m Mrs. Sara Underhill, the high school art teacher. I have been teaching art in Pierz for 8 years. I think being an art teacher is the best job ever. I enjoy being able to try new materials and help students problem solve and be creative.

Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” My goal as a teacher is to make artists. When I say “make artists,” I don’t expect every student that leaves my class to produce art as a profession or even as a hobby. I want my students to be reflective, committed young adults that are able to think critically, collaborate productively, communicate effectively, and be creative. That’s the artists I want to create.
Pioneer Elementary School News
Kindergartners Are Engineers!
Miss Nancy Dalsted and Miss Jenny Dalsted (yes, they're sisters!) teamed up to teach Kindergartners how to be engineers! They learned about structure (how something is built) and function (what something does). After reading Jack and the Beanstalk with our PLTW (Project Lead the Way)/Makerspace teacher Miss (Jenny) Dalsted, they designed and built their own beanstalks that could hold up a "golden egg!"  
Author/Illustrator Gary Harbo Visits
Author/Illustrator Gary Harbo visited Pioneer Elementary this week! He's published numerous books, teaching people how to draw, breaking it down in simple steps. Here, he's teaching 6th graders how to think about drawing - depth, fingers holding objects and what the fingers are doing, and spatial relation. Tomorrow's lesson - adding COLOR and action! This author visit was funded through a PTO Grant.
Fifth Graders Learn from an Expert
Mr. Robert Russuck, a retired architect, was in the fifth grade rooms twice this month to teach them a little about architecture, medieval times, and to help them engineer some pretty creative castles!
**Student Spotlight**
Featuring students in grades 5-12 selected by their teachers for being awesome humans.
We wish we could feature ALL our hard-working students!
Healy Student Spotlight
Jessica Otto, 11th Grade
Nominated by Mrs. Strohmeier: "Jessica is an extremely hard working student. She is organized, diligent, kindhearted, helpful, and generous. She comes to class with a smile on her face, is always ready to work and is available to lend a hand to others around her. She has been enrolled in the college CNA course as she wants to pursue a career in nursing. She works evenings and weekends at a nursing home where she enjoys spending time with residents. She puts forth great effort in her academics and strives to always do her best. She is a pleasure to have in class! Keep up the good work Jessica!"
Pioneer Student Spotlight
Austin Pawlu, 5th Grade
Nominated by Mrs. Fuhrman: "Austin is a very conscientious worker who takes his time so that he can do his very best on all of his coursework. He sets a great example for others and is setting himself up for success for not only his coursework, but also cultivating skills and habits that will help him in his future." Way to go, Austin!
Upcoming Events
Pioneer Elementary Musical, "Let Your Hair Down, Rapunzel"
Thursday, February 8 at 9:30am 
Friday, February 9 at 7 pm
President's Day Break
No School - February 16 &19
Books for Bingo!
February 15 - 6-7pm
Pioneer Elementary Cafeteria
Pre-registration not required.
Just show up ready to have fun!
State Robotics Competition
Rivers Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud.
February 2 and 3
Opening Ceremony - Feb 2, 6pm (Public welcome to attend and cheer on the team!)
Pierz Public Schools #484
District Office: 320.468.6458
112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364