Friday, December 7, 2018--Issue #26
'Tis the Season of Giving at Pierz Schools
Every day, we are humbled by the generosity of our staff, students and the community. And, as we enter the holiday season, the giving increases even more.

At the high school, Peer Helpers organize a Coat Drive each year. This year’s lofty goal was to collect 300 winter clothing items. With the help of our entire community, we smashed that goal, collecting 384 items--all donated to Morrison County Social Services. In the spring, Peer Helpers will once again hold a Shoe Drive, to collect adult and children’s footwear for local charities.

The Healy students in Minnesota Honor Society (MHS) hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive this week. So far, we have over 60 appointments (most of them students!), and collected over xx pints of blood during the drive. The MHS students also are coordinating a community Toy Drive. They have placed collection bins at local businesses and will also raise money for the Toy Drive through Penny Wars at Healy, during which students bring in change to add or subtract from other classroom ‘buckets’--a fun way to raise funds and awareness with our students. Last year students raised over $1,200!
At Pioneer Elementary, staff and students are overwhelmed by the outpouring of giving during the holidays. The elementary has a giving tree adorned with paper ornaments, each listing a specific need from our Pioneer families: completely voluntarily, staff take a paper tree off the Christmas tree and purchase the needed item for a family. The student council students in grades 4-6 help coordinate the Toy Drive--serving more than 50 Pioneer families each year! The elementary student council also coordinates "Gum Day": students at Pioneer can purchase a pack of gum for $1 and chew it throughout the day:) All proceeds go toward purchasing gifts for the Toy Drive.

New toys and donations can be brought to business drop boxes or Pioneer Elementary until December 19. For more information on the Toy Drive or distribution, please contact Michelle Ferguson at Pioneer Elementary 468.6458 x2216.

Thank you to all staff, students, parents, and community members who have given so generously--whether it's your time or your donations, your presents or your presence. We, at Pierz Schools, are so grateful to live and work in a community of caring.
Healy Highlights
Spanish and Jazz students attend concert, dinner
The Spanish III/IV classes, Spanish Club and Jazz Band 1 students attended a fabulous concert at The Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. Nachito Herrera and The Havana Jazz Social Club played an hour long set with guest dancers from Grupo de Danzas Colombianas. The students then got to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch at Mexican family restaurant Boca Chica, established in 1964. ¡Qué fabuloso!
Blood Drive at Healy collected 60 units of blood and raised awareness
The annual Red Cross Blood Drive hosted at the Healy MAC by MHS students was this week. We had many, many students donate as well as members of our staff and community: all told, 72 people presented to donate, collecting 60 units of blood! Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Here are just a few of their stories .
**Meet the Team**
(Find out what makes Pierz Schools so successful--our employees!)
This week's spotlight is shared by our hard-working, heart-full, social workers at Healy and Pioneer
Ms. Marilyn Keith, Healy Social Worker
Hello! I am Marilyn Keith (the one in the photo without sunglasses--and not the football player:), Licensed School Social Worker for Healy High School for the past 12 years. I am also the Peer Helper Advisor, a judge for the Speech Team, a Spelling Bee Judge, a member of the Healy Book Club, and other random things.

I once took a class about dream interpretation at St. Cloud State, so I tend to remember a lot of my dreams. Recently, I had a “dream” where I had somehow
obtained all the knowledge in our high school building: it was the best dream

On a more serious note, it is not lost on me how incredibly fortunate I am to work at
Healy High School and am fortunate to be a piece of an amazing puzzle.
Ms. Michelle Ferguson, Pioneer Social Worker
Hi! I am Michelle Ferguson, Licensed School Social Worker at Pioneer Elementary. I have worked at Pioneer for 21 years.

I have been married to my husband Jody for almost 9 years. I have one son, Preston (16), who is a junior at Healy High School. My husband and I have also had the opportunity to help in the raising of Preston's three cousins for the last 5 1/2 years. Madison (21) graduated from Brainerd High School and is a Senior at Concordia University in Moorhead. Jaden (18) graduated from Brainerd High School and is a Freshman at Mankato State University, and Kayla (15) is a 9th grader at Brainerd High School.

It is an honor and privilege to work at Pioneer Elementary, I am grateful for all the friends and families that I met over the years. 
Pioneer Elementary School News
Preschool visits the community
As part of a unit on community helpers, the preschoolers planned to visit Pierz City Hall, library, post office and the drug store. In preparation of the trip, the preschoolers had to write a letter to someone. They purchased a stamp to mail their letter, bought a penny treat at the drug store and were able to listen to a story from community librarian, Grace Heschke.
Sixth graders learned the fine art of knitting--and loved it
Mrs. Sandy's 6th graders finished their beautiful creations last week--just in time for this cold snap (and Holiday gift-giving, hint hint).
**Student Spotlight**
Featuring students in grades 4-12 selected by their teachers for being awesome humans.
We wish we could feature ALL our hard-working students!
Alexandra Thielen, 7th Grade
Nominated by Mr. Teske: "Alex is an outstanding student in science class. She comes to class everyday with a smile on her face. She is inquisitive and respectful to everyone around her. She is a joy to have in class." Keep up the good work, Alex!
Duncan Osborne, Senior
Nominated by Joel Pohland: "Duncan is a student who moved to Pierz when he was younger but really embraced the community. He is well liked amongst his peers and is a great role model. He does lots of work in the elementary during the day and is a very hard worker." Thank you for being such a kind person, Duncan!
Holiday gift ideas--ditch the screens!
Taken from Screenagers 'Tech Talk Tuesday' blog :

Here are some ideas for unique gifts for the holidays to help promote off-screen time for kids and teens and bonding time for families:

  • Consider a gift that adds a fun or relaxing touch to a bedroom. Pillows, lamps, cool rugs or throws.
  • An alarm clock is an important gift. In fact, it keeps on giving—every day that a young person does not use the phone as an alarm clock means longer and deeper sleep (research has shown this).
  • Rubik's Cube and other board games
  • 3D Globe Puzzle
  • Magazine, activity, and other mail subscriptions (KiwiCrate, Little Passport, Nat Geo for Kids, New Moon--magazine for girls ages 8-12)
  • Tickets to a sporting, theatre, or music event
  • Musical teach-yourself gifts like a harmonica or ukulele.
  • Follow the blog link for more ideas, links to these gifts, and more
Upcoming Events
Jr High Band and Choir Concert
Monday, December 10 @ 7pm
High School PAC

Elementary Christmas Program Thursday, December 13 @ 1:15pm (grades 1-4) OR
6:30pm for 1st and 2nd grade
7:30pm for 3rd and 4th grade
Pioneer Gym

SH Band and Concert Choir
Monday, December 17 @ 7pm
High School PAC

High School Conferences
Wednesday, December 12
3:30-6pm at Healy PAC/Gym
6-7:30pm in teacher rooms

No School at Pioneer K-6
Friday, December 14

No School-Winter Break
December 24-January 1
Upcoming Community Ed classes:
Youth Wrestling starts December 10 - free but sign up here

AARP Driver Safety course
4-hour refresher
December 12, 1:30-5:30pm
Pierz Senior Center
$25 (AARP membership qualifies you for a $5 discount)

Early Childhood Screening
December 14 by appointment
If you have a 3 or 4 year old child, call Kandice to schedule their screening at 320-631-2505

Watch for the next edition of the Education Today in the MCRecord January 6, 2019 with new class offerings (or check online for an advance sneak peak)!

Call 468-6458 ext 7 to register
Pierz Public Schools #484
District Office: 320.468.6458
112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364