Wednesday, November 27 - Issue #45
Pierz Football Builds Success On, Off the Field
As you may know, the Pioneer football team is once again headed to the Prep Bowl after finishing an undefeated season. The team is also Academic All-State Gold, which requires at least a 3.26 combined GPA from their roster. Impressive. But perhaps what isn’t revealed in the spotlight is all the hard work, effort, and countless hours of teaching strong ethics and high standards of a student program that has not only turned out winning teams, but more importantly, great humans: built on trust, accountability, and respect.

This dedication gets noticed by coaches, players, fans, and officials in other communities as well. As just one latest example, what follows is an email from Mr. Vern Capelle, who was an official at the Pierz vs. Albany playoff game on November 1. Mr. Capelle is also the Superintendent of Upsala Area School District:

“Wow - what an amazing football game! The score certainly was not indicative of the game. Congratulations to both programs on the accomplishments of this season and wishing the Pioneers good luck moving forward. More importantly, I wanted to let you know how impressed our crew was with both teams and coaching staffs during the game Friday night. There were numerous examples of great sportsmanship (too many to list) and excellent fundamental football.

As a crew, we felt very privileged to be a part of the game. This was truly one of the best games that we have had the good fortunate to officiate. Please pass this along to Coach Kleinschmidt and Coach Saehr and the rest of the coaching staffs. Both programs definitely are doing things “the right way”. Your districts clearly have football programs that they can be proud of…which was evident in the stands Friday night.” --Vern Capelle, Ed. S. Read more
Healy Highlights
Spanish Students Study Picasso
The Spanish 3/4 students have been studying the life and art of Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí (in Spanish of course). They were given the option to paint a re-creation of a work by Picasso on paper or on a classroom ceiling tile (42 students chose to add to the ceiling tile museum). This year's paintings are amazing as always and the Spanish room ceiling is now almost complete!
Virtual Reality Is a Reality for Pierz Students
Traveling to the Florida Everglades, site seeing all Seven Wonders of the World, a tour through the human cell, and an escape to the far reaches of the universe are all in a day's work for students at both Healy and Pioneer. Virtual Reality (VR) allows teachers and students the opportunity to reinforce what they are learning through 'hands-on' & immersive 3D experiences. The 'oohs' and 'ahhs' as students move through these experiences is always a delight!
Pioneer Elementary School News
Differentiated Learning in Third Grade
A simple way to differentiate learning is to allow kids to choose how to showcase their learning. In Mrs. Rocheleau's 3rd grade classroom, the children had the option to choose to write a book, use technology to create a slideshow, or make an oversized poster to show what they know about their research topic.
Parents Go Back to Preschool
Hannah Paggen and Judith Hecht, School Readiness Preschool teachers, understand the important role parents play in educating young children. It is a partnership. Parents (or a special caregiver) were invited to join circle and station time to experience first hand the type of activities and learning environment their children are experiencing each day at school. Then the parents attended a short session with Ann Rickets, licensed parent educator, to learn about social-emotional development and some simple strategies they can use to help develop those skills.
Fourth Grade Kindness Retreat Teaches Respect for Self and Others
Youth Frontier was at Pioneer Elementary last week, guiding 4th graders from Pioneer Elementary and Mary of Lourdes at the annual Kindness Retreat along with Peer Helpers from Healy High School.
This is a high-energy day to give students tools to develop empathy, promote kindness and prevent bullying.
"We empower kids to be “everyday heroes” by using kindness to include others, to be respectful and to make your school a better place." More information at
** Staff Spotlight **
Because getting them to sit still long enough to talk about themselves is impossible, we are taking time this week to show our appreciation and THANKFULNESS for our custodial staff!
One look around Pioneer Elementary and Healy High School will tell you all you need to know about our amazing custodial staff: they are phenomenal at their job. This hardworking, dedicated, and kind group of individuals put the shine on our schools and a smile on the faces of staff and students alike. To create an exhaustive list of what they do each day would be nearly impossible. And as the facilities have grown, they continue to keep up with the demands of our system, both outside and inside the building. To say we are grateful is an understatement.

Superintendent George Weber can't thank our custodians enough: "I always get a look of surprise, when in conversations I mention that Healy was built in 1963 and 1968. It just doesn't look and feel like that from both the outside and the inside. Pioneer Pride means taking care of things and that is what our custodial staff believe in. The staff not only have high personal standards for their work, but also operate in an environment filled with hundreds of people at all times, which truly makes cleaning a never ending challenge. We feel good that we have staff who not only enjoy their work, but also enjoy the environment of children.  

The expectations of our custodial staff have changed significantly. We have more activities every day after school as well as evenings and weekends than ever. It is great our community resource is used so much, but it certainly adds to the workload as well as the length of the day for our staff.

We have also expanded the sheer size of their work with our additions of classrooms and fields over the last decade or so. The scope of our campus is functional, beautiful and provides terrific opportunities for more than a thousand students to excel in a variety of settings. Our whole community can feel good about what has been built and maintained with the help of so many people."

Mr. Otte, principal at Pioneer Elementary, sums up the dedication of this group: "We always have someone willing to do whatever it takes to get things done. Whether responding to an alarm at the school in the middle of the night or helping with issues at a Saturday or Sunday event (which occurs many, many weekends at our school!), we always have the help needed for our children to learn and/or perform."

Thank you Mark Gruber, Bob Gross, Jim Gross, Carol Welle, Kyle Przybilla, Loren Meyer, Brandi Saehr, Emmy Lou Keehr, Mary Sobania, & Sandy Leikvoll for all you do!
Community Education Happenings
Looking Ahead...
November 28-29 No School - Thanksgiving Break

November 28 - Turkey Trot 5K
FREE for everyone! Just come to the MAC Thanksgiving morning--race starts at 7:30am.

December 3 - Blood Drive @ MAC from 8-2pm to sign up. Walk-ins welcome.

December 12 - Pioneer Holiday Program 9:15 am and 6:30 pm @ Middle School Gymnasium, grades K-4

December 13 - No School , Pioneer only

December 16 - SH Band/Choir Concert 7pm Middle School Gym

December 23 - January 1
No School - Winter Break

Upcoming Community Ed classes:
Karla's Cookies
December 13 and 14

Fitness Sampler, Grades K-3
December 2 and 5

Cookies in a Jar, Grades 4-6
December 16

Defensive Driver (55 Alive)
December 16, 1:30pm Pierz Senior Center; call 468-6458 ext 7 to register

Watch for the new class offerings online and in the Education Today included with your January 12th Morrison County Record edition.

Use the CLASS REGISTRATION button to learn more and register!
Wishing all our families and community a
very Happy Thanksgiving. Pierz Schools is thankful for all of you!
Pierz Public Schools #484
District Office: 320.468.6458
112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364