Page 1

Bond Election Precincts Page 5

Veterans Day Events

Homecoming Week

Page 18-19

Page 27

November 2017 | Volume 25, Issue 4

Make your vote count on Tuesday, November 7 |

The Courier

Independent School District 15 Communications Department St. Francis, Minnesota Serving the communities of Andover, Athens Township, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township

Challenges ISD 15 bond referendum will address Katrinna Dodge

1. Safety and security

On November 7, residents of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) will vote on the proposed $80 million bond referendum. The impact is an estimated additional $1.74 annual tax increase on the current value of a $200,000 home on top of current tax rates over a 25-year period. With one question on the ballot, ISD 15 plans to address three main challenges with the upcoming bond referendum by partnering with the community in building our future together:

We are ensuring all ISD 15 buildings where students are attending have controlled access at main entrances, improving onsite traffic flow, and safe student pick-up and drop-off areas. Keeping students and staff safe is a priority for ISD 15. Onsite traffic flow and pedestrian safety Proposed improvements will address community needs for onsite traffic flow. Providing onsite traffic signage at schools will increase the drop-off/ pick-up experience and driver and

Staff Writer

pedestrian safety. One of the proposed improvements would be dedicated onsite turn lanes along Highway 47 at St. Francis Middle School. Secure main entrances Improving main entrances at all school buildings to have controlled access will raise the level of monitoring anyone entering and leaving academic buildings throughout the school day.

2. Outdated classrooms and community spaces Learning in the classroom has changed since the 1950s and 1960s,

St. Francis Community for Drug Awareness (SFCDA) and Vision Quest in Oak Grove hosted the Dash for Dreams Warrior Course on October 7. Eighty participants braved the 10-obstacle course to raise money for drug awareness. The youth challenge (pictured) was held prior to the adults taking the course. Photo Submitted by Michelle Anderson

when the majority of our school buildings were built. Today’s 21st century classroom has an emphasis on collaboration, individualized instruction and technology integration. Modernizing classroom spaces is preparing our students for the workforce and postsecondary options. American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance Updating community spaces, such as the football stadium, to be ADA compliant will allow this space and others to be more inclusive and accessible for community members, students and staff with disabilities. Special Education We will reorganize existing spaces within school buildings which will improve the learning environment to meet the needs of special education students. Career and college readiness We are modernizing classroom spaces to prepare students for post-secondary opportunities and the workforce after high school graduation. Updating our learning spaces, such as vocational tech, science labs, computer labs, music rooms and more, creates a welcoming and engaging learning environment. Recapturing instruction space By reorganizing and recapturing existing instructional spaces, these improvements will provide better educational experiences for students. Two additions are planned. The construction of a 10-classroom addition at St. Francis Elementary School will allow grades four and five students now housed at St. Francis Middle School (SFMS) to return to a K-5 setting. This will allow SFMS to recapture the second floor space to meet the needs of their students. A four-classroom Continued On Page 7

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Inside Schools in Action..................................... 2 School Board Highlights...................... 10 Community Education......................... 12 Community & Business........................ 16 Sports & Outdoors................................ 28 Meetings, Events & Benefits................. 31 Life........................................................... 32


November 2017

The Courier |

Schools in Action Superintendent’s Bulletin Troy Ferguson ISD 15 Superintendent

The weather this weekend reminded us all fall is definitely here. This fall we are eagerly awaiting the outcome of Independent School District 15’s (ISD 15) November 7 bond referendum. We have been writing, speaking and meeting about the bond for months and I want to take this last opportunity before Election Day to discuss the contents and ramifications of the potential outcomes of this very important referendum. First though, I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to become informed about the proposed

bond and what it represents. I can’t stress enough how important it is for every voter to do their research and seek out accurate information on which to base their vote. Sadly, there is often inaccurate, even sometimes untruthful information spread through the rumor mill or social media. I ask each of you to be thorough and consider the source of the information you receive. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and we all need to be respectful of those opinions by showing the courage and courtesy to engage in discussions with each other.

In the end, we are building our future together. A successful bond would enable ISD 15 to address critical deferred maintenance and physical facility needs districtwide, enhance program and educational spaces to better meet current educational curricular needs and objectives, improve districtwide safety and security and address ADA and accessibility issues across the district. Many have asked, what happens if the bond effort fails? Simply put, an unsuccessful bond referendum would not allow the vital needs of our facilities to be met. The portable classrooms from the mid-1970s would remain in use, safety and security improvements across the district would be put on hold

and our buildings and learning spaces will continue to age and become less relevant to the way we are currently teaching our students. An unsuccessful bond effort would also further delay the muchneeded ADA and accessibility improvements in our buildings and grounds, including the high school stadium. St. Francis Elementary School 4th and 5th grade students will

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to continue to attend school at St. Francis Middle School, and districtwide boundary adjustments may be necessary to accommodate student population equally among our schools. Many of you have commented over the past several months you believe ISD 15 has listened to your concerns about the bond effort that did not pass last May. Over 800 people responded to our survey seeking input and that input helped us move forward with the single question on the November ballot. This bond effort is a result of your feedback on what we as a community would be willing to support. For example, on a home valued at $200,000, an additional $1.74 per year on top of what you are currently paying would enable our district, indeed our community, to truly move forward as we build our future together.

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The Courier |

November 2017


Saints Academy adds agricultural education Emily Trout

Saints Academy & Saints Online Agricultural education teacher

Matthew Anderson

Saints Academy & Saints Online Community Relations Coordinator

Agricultural education in Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) is back after being reintroduced to the district for the first time in more than 20 years. Agricultural education offers courses for students in horticulture, agriculture science, wildlife management and more. Adding this programming to ISD 15 will also offer students a variety of choices for their educational pathways. Emily Trout, agricultural education teacher at Saints Academy & Saints Online, was hired from the University of Minnesota to help guide the new program. Students interested in the agriculture programming and courses should contact Principal Scott Manni at Another addition with our agriculture program is the club, Future Farmers of America (FFA). The original St. Francis FFA Chapter was chartered in 1956 but ended in the 1980s. Trout is currently working to recharter the chapter so it can be officially recognized at the state and national levels. On October 3, three FFA members participated in the fall University of Minnesota Career Development Event Invite in the forestry contest. Members were able to test their knowledge on a written exam, timber cruising, tree identification and identification

of common forestry equipment. Overall, the St. Francis team placed 18 out of 24 teams. Brandon Johnson ended up placing 54, Nathan Dahlheimer placed 68 and Tyler Strom placed 73. Students are already

Pictured (L-R) Katie Benson (FFA President), Emily Trout, Brandon Johnson, Nate Dahlheimer and Tyler Strom. Submitted Photo

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November 2017

The Courier |

What’s new in elementary technology? Teresa Galbraith, Diane Peterson and Ryan Fiereck

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The elementary technology teachers in Independent School District 15 are really excited to be introducing our new updated curriculum and hardware this school year. The technology teachers want to make sure you know about the exciting things going on in your students’ classroom lab. Over the next issues we will be introducing you to the new technologies. Our new curriculum and hardware pieces support our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) benchmarks. We are preparing our students for their dynamic futures! The first new tool we would like to introduce is our color coded keyboards (pictured, left). Many of the students at the start of the year were excited just by the color change in the keyboards, but these keyboards

are much more. The colors represent the correct fingering expectations for our students as they progress through the keyboarding curriculum. Gone are the days of guessing which finger is responsible for which

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The first Coffee with the Superintendent event was held Saturday, October 14. Pictured is Superintendent Troy Ferguson engaged in conversation. Independent School District 15 residents were invited to meet with the superintendent in a casual format. Brio in Andover hosted the first event and provided the coffee. Watch for another Coffee with the Superintendent event to be scheduled during the second trimester of this school year; date and location to be announced. The Courier photo

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The Courier |

November 2017


Wirz recognized at Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals Association Ruth Kraemer

MASMA Executive Administrator

Chris Wirz, maintenance supervisor for Independent School District 15 (ISD 15), St. Francis was awarded the 2017 Facilities Management Professional of the Year on October 5 at the annual Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals Association (also known as MASMA) conference held in St. Cloud. Wirz began working for ISD 15 in the Grounds Department during college after graduating St. Francis High School in 1984. With a degree in computer science in 1988 from Central College in Pella, Iowa, Wirz accepted a fulltime position as a custodian for two years, then served as a maintenance technician for three years before accepting the position of assistant maintenance supervisor. In 2006, Wirz was promoted to maintenance program supervisor, where he has excelled through his leadership capabilities of being a forward thinker, innovator,

problem-solver and planner for ISD 15. “His positive, can-do attitude transfers not only to the employees he supervises, but to all facets of our district,” said Superintendent Troy Ferguson. “He truly wants what’s best for all stakeholders in the district.” “From the time I started this job, Wirz has been nothing but helpful and supportive,” commented Vicki Guzik, administrative assistant of the Maintenance Department. “Many of my friends dislike going to their jobs, but I’ve always looked forward to coming to work here. After working with a boss like Wirz, I have started to feel a little left out when I am with my friends… every time they say bad things about their bosses, I have nothing to say.” MASMA is a professional organization committed to promoting excellence in the operation and care of educational facilities. As part of this award, a $1000 scholarship will be given to ISD 15 in Wirz’s name. Each year MASMA awards its highest

Pictured (L-R) are Lisa Rahn, ISD 15 Community Education director, Chris Wirz, maintenance supervisor and Troy Ferguson, superintendent. Submitted Photo

honor to a member who exhibits professionalism, leadership and service in their career and life. This award is in recognition of Wirz’s contributions to MASMA, ISD 15, his community and his profession. MASMA is a group of over 700 individuals in the areas of facilities, grounds and health and safety operations for Minnesota K-12 and higher education organizations. It is a member-oriented, problem-solving, professional group committed to facilities management.

ISD 15 Bond Election Precincts Katrinna Dodge

Staff Writer

Remember to vote on November 7, 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. concerning the bond referendum. Visit Voter-Registration-Information to register online or look up requirements to register on election day. Precinct 1 Central Services Center (District Office) 4115 Ambassador Boulevard NW St. Francis, Minnesota Precinct 1 includes all territory in ISD 15 located in the Cities of Bethel, Nowthen and St. Francis and Stanford, Athens and

Spencerbrook Townships. Precinct 2 Lifelong Learning Center 18900 Cedar Drive NW Oak Grove, Minnesota Precinct 2 includes all territory in ISD 15 located in the Cities of Andover and Oak Grove. Precinct 3 East Bethel Senior Center 2241 – 221st Avenue NE East Bethel, Minnesota Precinct 3 includes all territory in ISD 15 located in the City of East Bethel and Linwood Township.

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Lisa Rahn, director of Community Education, stated, “I have watched him [Wirz] handle difficult situations and he has always remained calm and works diligently to fix the issue. Wirz is very humble and gracious, dedicated to his job and community, and has consistently shown this by stepping up and contributing his time and talents outside of his regular job duties. On behalf of the district, we are proud of his accomplishments and congratulate him on a job well done.”

Congratulations to new National Honor Society (NHS) advisor Sharon Bergman and guest speaker Mary Lundquist on a successful NHS induction on October 4 at St. Francis High School. Pictured are NHS officers (L-R): Treasurer Vanessa Saarela, Co-Vice President Kylie Bergman, President Sarah Provost, Co-Vice President Holly Anderson and Secretary Julia McCarthy. Jeff Fink, SFHS Activities director  Mary Dresch Agency

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November 2017

The Courier |

FIRST Robotics comes to St. Francis High School

ISD 15 awarded at MAEOP Janet Anderson

ISD 15 Administrative Assistant Office of Teaching & Learning, Curriculum & Instruction

Char Provost

In early October, a group of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) office professionals attended the Minnesota Association of Educational Office Professionals (MAEOP) 68th Annual State Conference & Business Meeting. This annual conference promotes professionalism and provides learning and networking opportunities for educational office employees. This group was lucky enough to have had two awesome speakers, Kat Perkins from NBC’s The Voice and motivational speaker Annie Meehan, along with a variety of professional development classes. The highlight of the conference was when our very own Nancy Hass, office professional of St. Francis Pictured (L-R) Nancy Hass who was Elementary School, selected as Office Professional of the Year accepted the Office Courier Contacts and Ryan Johnson, principal of St. Francis Professional of the Elementary School. Submitted Photo Main Phone����������������������������763-753-7031 Year award. Hass Advertising�����������������������������763-753-7032 has worked in ISD 15 for over 35 years. Hass is one of the most Billing������������������������������������������763-213-1588 positive and hardest working staff member in our district. Her Fax�������������������������������������������������763-753-4693 Email������������������������������������� love of ISD 15 and students shines through every day. Website�������������������� Like us on Facebook Address 4115 Ambassador Boulevard NW St. Francis, MN 55070-9368 Publisher Lisa Rahn�����������������������������������763-753-7048 Editor Kathleen Miller����������������������763-753-7042 Production Binie Bertils Katrinna Dodge��������������������763-753-7033 Pat Johnson�����������������������������763-753-7025 Advertising Representative Sarah Yannarelly��������������������763-753-7032 Billing Amy Lindfors��������������������������763-213-1588 Deadline Information Deadline for the December/January issue of The Courier is November 10.

Pictured (L-R) back row: Deb Halde, Miki Ericson, Kristi Stierns, Kara Merrifield, Annie Mickelburg; front row Janet Anderson, Nancy Hass and Vicki Guzik were some of the ISD 15 staff members who attended this year's MAEOP conference. Submitted Photo

St. Francis High School Choir presents… 37th Annual Madrigal Dinner Enjoy a magnificent choral show written and performed by

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News Submission Send news and photos/captions to Subscriptions The publication is delivered at no charge to all residents in Independent School District 15. The Courier can be mailed to any address for an annual (11 issues) subscription rate of $18. The Courier is a publication prepared and distributed by Independent School District 15 Community Education and paid for with revenues generated by advertising sales.

Artwork by Noelle Meyers

SFHS Robotics Parent mentor

This fall St. Francis High School (SFHS) will join over 200 Minnesota schools in FIRST Robotics. FIRST stands for: For Inspirations and Recognition of Science and Technology. Last May the Independent School District 15’s school board unanimously approved funding to incubate this new activity. FIRST Robotics will engage our youth in learning more about science and technology as they learn to build a robot for competitions in the spring of 2018. Careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are among the highest sought-after jobs for students, and FIRST Robotics provides an opportunity to learn foundational skills to make our students competitive. Students will get hands-on learning in STEM and they will gain important experience in problem solving, time management, conflict resolution and communication skills as well. “It’s an exciting time for St. Francis High School,” said Jeff Fink, SFHS activities director. “FIRST Robotics is a fantastic program that will ignite and support students interested in science, technology, engineering mathematics and more.” Clarissa Dobson, SFHS science teacher and FIRST Robotics mentor, has been a strong proponent of providing more STEM opportunities for students interested and capable of advanced learning. “We took a group of students to a competition last spring and they were really enthusiastic about this opportunity to learn more about engineering as a high school activity,” she said. FIRST Robotics operates under the guidelines of Coopertition® which is the concept and philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. SFHS is fortunate to have help from neighboring teams who have set up similar programs in their schools or organizations. Joe Bruhjell, eighth grade technology education teacher and science/STEM specialist, will be serving as the FIRST Robotics competition coach for this developing team. He stated, “We are currently assembling a rookie team and have over a dozen students expressing a commitment in becoming part of this inaugural group. We’re hoping to spread the word so others who are interested can join as well.” The rookie team is currently being assembled with over a dozen students already committing to be part of this inaugural team. Parent mentor Char Provost is hoping to ignite interest among other parents and community sponsors to help support this effort. “At this point, we are looking for volunteers to help our faculty and these students get this off the ground,” she stated. “It’s really great to see the SFHS spirit come alive in these kids who want a chance to learn about STEM careers.” There is something for every student in FIRST Robotics. While the focus is on engineering and building a robot, many talents are needed on the team. Other areas include marketing, finance, fundraising, communications, graphics, management and more. Parents and community volunteers are needed to mentor in all these areas. Learn more by coming to an informational session on Wednesday, November 8, 6:30 p.m. in the St. Francis Middle School, Room 126. If you have questions, email Coach Joe Bruhjell at

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The Courier |

November 2017

Work experience internships around ISD 15 Julie Gloege

ISD 15 Saints Online, Saints Academy Teacher, Work-Based Learning Coordinator

“There is no better place to learn much needed job skills than on the job with experienced mentors,” commented Julie Gloege, work-based learning coordinator for Saints Online and Saints Academy. So far this school year, Saints Online

and Saints Academy staff of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) have set up three internships around the district for students to gain the needed skills while doing tasks they are interested in. One internship is taking place at the ISD 15 Transportation Department, working with the mechanics. The second internship is at St. Francis Middle School (SFMS) working with the

Saints Academy student Luna Skiles works with ISD 15 mechanic Jeff Mattila in the Transportation Department’s garage. 

Photo By Mollie Ziebart

Choir Department and the after school show choir. The third internship is with Nutrition Services in the Crossroads School & Vocational Center (CSVC) cafeteria. Luna Skiles loves to work on trucks and cars in her free time as well as participate in drumline. She is learning how to work on diesel engines alongside the mechanics at the bus garage. On a typical day, Skiles will check the fluid levels, fix tickets, oil levels and help the mechanics. She is supervised by Steve Tharp, ISD 15 Transportation shop foreman, and the other bus garage mechanics, who all do an excellent job of keeping our district vehicles in great running order and on the road. Kyra Klebs loves participating in both choir and show choir. She is learning valuable teaching and leadership skills while assisting Sandra Manglos, choir teacher at SFMS. Klebs also helps with show choir after school as well. She is learning valuable skills doing what she loves. Jesus Hernandez Hernandez is learning how to manage a kitchen and school cafeteria through his internship at Saints Academy by safely handling Kindergarten students at Cedar Creek Community School had a visit from the East Bethel and Oak Grove Fire Departments. Students enjoyed seeing a fire truck, learning about the equipment used by firefighters and learning about fire safety rules. Kathi Greene,

Continued From Page 1

Bond Referendum addition is planned at East Bethel Community School to replace 40-year-old portable classrooms.

3. Aging buildings

Jesus Hernandez Hernandez, our first official cafeteria intern of this school year. 

Submitted Photo

food while organizing the salad bar and using proper cleaning techniques in the cafeteria. Hernandez is also learning about the food groups and the importance of planning a balanced meal. Patti Guzy, ISD 15 Nutrition Services staff, supervises and provides training and says that he is doing an excellent job. The work-based learning program is hoping to find more opportunities for our students within the school district and around the St. Francis community. Saints Online and Saints Academy are located at CSVC in St. Francis. A big thank you goes out to the staff that are providing great learning experiences for our students in the work-based learning program.

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Routine wear and tear All school buildings within ISD 15 are 25 years old or older. The majority of these buildings have not seen substantial updates since they were built. Extensive use Public schools are used not just by staff and students, but by community members and others throughout the calendar year. Community Education alone had 930 facility and field reservations with approximately 24,690 participants, not including K-12 activities. School buildings are more than just a place to learn; they are a hub for the community to connect. Outdated infrastructure and interior needs Our schools have outdated interior and infrastructure needs, including mechanical, electrical, walls, floors, roofs, windows and doors. The proposed bond referendum will address replacing interior finishes, such as the demountable partition wall systems and dilapidated ceiling tiles. To learn about the Tuesday, November 7 bond referendum and for up-to-date information, visit


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November 2017

The Courier |

CCCS field trip to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Third-grade students tell beautiful environment. Students enjoyed the day as they practiced all of their observation skills including what items look, feel, smell and sound like. Many parents were able to attend this field trip as well, discovering this wonderful scientific treasure we have in our own backyard.

Shirley Meyers

CCCS fifth grade teacher

Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) fifth graders spent a day visiting Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (Cedar Creek ESR) in October. Students did an ecosystem comparative study noting the differences in temperature, soil and sunlight exposure in each area. A hike to Cedar Creek ESR bog highlighted the history of the area and how scientists continue to study the changes of this

time with shadows Margie Hanson

CCCS third-grade teacher

Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) third-grade students in Margie Hanson’s class are working on their science standards. They focused on Earth Science, which highlights the sun and moon locations and movements that can be observed and described. We investigated the path the sun takes in the sky. We observed our shadows in the same location three times during the school day at 9:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. We discovered that the sun changes positions during the day, rises in the east and sets in the west, and the shadows get longer and shorter as the sun moves across the sky. Margie Hanson’s thirdgrade students outside at CCCS. They are observing their shadow and how their shadow’s position changes throughout the day.

Submitted Photo

St. Francis Middle School Indigenous Day Carline Sargent

Joe, Cedar Creek ESR education staff, is teaching the students about a small red-bellied snake they discovered on their hike. Submitted Photos

Community Grief Seminar Making it Through the Holidays Tuesday, November 21 6:30-7:30 p.m. Strike Life Tributes Cambridge 720 1st Avenue East Cambridge

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ISD 15 American Indian Education and multicultural education coordinator

Nate Haukos is busy documenting his findings while visiting the forest.

Facing the holidays as a grieving individual can be overwhelming to deal with. We would like to invite all families to share in an evening program designed to give practical suggestions on how to cope with the additional stresses of the holiday season.

Students from St. Francis Middle School (SFMS) interested in learning more about Native American history and culture participated in Indigenous Day after school activity on October 12. The students learned some history about the Ojibwe and Dakota tribes that were the first (indigenous) people of Minnesota. Students enjoyed sampling some indigenous foods such as blueberries, raspberries, popcorn, wild rice, hazelnuts, acorns, cranberry juice, green beans and maple syrup.

Paul Johnson Speaker

The seminar will be held by Paul Johnson, nationally known speaker on grief issues and former faculty member of Bethel University. A special Christmas tree ornament in memory of your loved one will also be available for those who preregister. We will provide one remembrance ornament in memory of each loved one whose family we have served over the past year and to other families who preregister by November 7. An ornament is available in memory of each loved one, even if your family was not served by our funeral home.

Pictured (L-R) are: Brenden Marx, Austin Carey, Silena Lamb, Christopher Wakonabo, Gavin Carey, Dion White and Wesley Kauppi sampling some indigenous food. Photo by Carline Sargent

Ornaments will also be ordered in December. To preregister for this 23rd annual seminar and order the Christmas tree ornament in memory of your loved one, call the Strike Life Tributes Isanti at 763-444-5212 or Strike Life Tributes Cambridge at 763-689-2070.

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The Courier |

November 2017

St. Francis High School Madrigal Singers dinner show—tickets on sale now St. Francis High School Choir Boosters

Hear ye, hear ye! The St. Francis High School (SFHS) Madrigal Singers welcome your presence at their annual dinner show November 1619. Staged in the Renaissance era, Madrigal Matchmaker is the theme of this year’s dinner show. The talented Madrigal Singers will present a choral performance combined with their original, comedic script that includes a full cast of characters such as court jesters, wandering minstrels, royal chef and the castle band. The Plot When the royal court gathers, single princes and princesses join for an evening of social engagements as they all strive to meet their match. The plot twists and turns through various activities and rivalries among the unwed royalty. Come to the dinner show to learn who will be given a rose to make their match. This year’s feast will feature royal stuffed chicken breast, baked potato with all the fixings, harvest vegetables, warm breads, salad and dessert. Of course, the traditional hot Wassail toasting beverage will accompany the feast. A vegetarian option is also available. History of Madrigal Singers at SFHS— a tradition through the years In its 37th year, the Madrigal Singers are a student-produced choral ensemble, typically arranged in elaborate counterpoint and performed without instrumental accompaniment. Students audition for a fall class and meet over the summer to write a script.

During school, students meet in a daily class to rehearse the production, design the stage and create costumes. Since 1981, the SFHS Madrigal Singers have been performing their show in the fall at their annual Madrigal Dinners. This community gathering is the choir’s primary source of fundraising by providing a musical celebration of food, fellowship and an amazing musical experience. New this year, the Madrigal Singers Dinner Show will include a silent auction with opportunities for the audience to bid on items during intermission. Each performance will host a unique array of themed baskets, gift certificates, and more. Community service by the SFHS Madrigal Singer In addition to raising funds for the school choirs, students give back to the community by representing St. Francis High School in various performance engagements. Watch for them at the American Legion Veterans Day breakfast, Holiday Concert, Mall of America caroling and the St. Francis Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Supporting SFHS Choirs St. Francis High School is fortunate to have strong community support for the arts and tickets for these shows typically sell out quickly. Invite your family and friends, and join us at this gala event. Tickets are $23 for adults and $18 for students. Evening shows are November 16-18 at 7:00 p.m. The matinee show is November 19 at 4:00 p.m. For tickets or other information about SFHS Choirs, visit

Welcoming Justine Hilden to ISD 15 Jessie Rowles

SFMS Community Relations Coordinator

St. Francis Middle School (SFMS) welcomes Justine Hilden, special education teacher. Hilden comes to the middle school with a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University in elementary education, a master’s degree in special education, certificates from St. Cloud University in developmental Submitted Photo disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, plus seven years of experience teaching special education. Hilden grew up in the district and attended SFMS. She said, “It’s great getting the opportunity to be teaching with the teachers that helped make middle school a positive experience and inspired me to be a teacher. I love that I get to now work and continue to learn from them from an educator experience now.” Hilden still lives in the community and is looking forward to teaching at her former school. She loves to travel and visited Hawaii and Texas last summer. She enjoys taking her dogs for walks, reading books and watching Netflix. Her free time is spent with family and friends, going to her grandparent’s lake place, attending concerts and volunteering at her church. When asked about her goals for the upcoming year she commented, “I want to build positive relationships with my students that I am supporting. I want to help them be successful in their classes. I also want to help create a positive environment for students where they can experience success in reading and writing. I teach students who have struggled with reading and writing, and often have a negative attitude. I want to help build positive experiences in reading and writing.” SFMS forward to her passion for middle school students. Hilden noted, “Middle school is a fun age. Students have fun and great personalities. They have a great sense of humor. I enjoy teaching middle school students because every day is a new day.”

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Individual – Relationship – Adolescent – Adult – Child 2017 St. Francis High School Madrigal Singers.

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St. Francis Forest Lake Lighthouse Building Franklin Building 23038 Rum River Blvd. NW 69 North Lake Street BHP – Preferred One – UCare – MHCP

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Oil Change (Synthetic Blend up to 5 Quarts, Standard Filter) Tire Rotation | Winter Safety Inspection St. Francis Middle School’s Activity Night on October 6 included hair dressing, inflatables, bingo, dodgeball, basketball, food and more. (Left) Pictured in front of inflatable (L-R) Leah Benner (grade 7), Natalie Campbell (grade 7) and Brooke Reintjes (grade 7). (Right) In front of football field backdrop (L-R) Ava Randall (grade 6), Kennedy Clark (grade 6) and Emma Murphy (grade 6).

Jessica Rowles, SFMS Community Relations Coordinator



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The Courier |

School Board Highlights School Board Perspective

Marsha Van Denburgh ISD 15 School Board Member

Schools should be safe. Our students and staff should expect safety at school. As a school board member, I am concerned about keeping our schools safe. One part of the upcoming bond reflects that concern. Our efforts have focused on increasing safety at our schools. Secure entrances would be built, so when anyone enters a building, they would not have access to hallways anymore. Visitors would immediately walk into a controlled entrance without access to hallways. Such security should give us a safer

School Board Highlights Katrinna Dodge

Staff writer

September 25, 2017 Jill Anderson not present. 2017 Payable 2018 Proposed Property Tax Levy Bernice Humnick, director of Business Services, presented to school board members of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) about a proposed levy to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). The proposed levy is $8,304,210.89, the maximum amount ISD 15’s school board can request from MDE, giving the district flexibility until the final levy is approved. The amount of state funding a public school district can apply for is determined by state formulas primarily based on specified amounts per pupil. This amount regulates the tax policy and maximum authorized property tax levy set by MDE. Additional

school system. Determining the best for our schools means lots of hours spent learning from school board members, administrators and the public. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson first championed the idea of public education? Jefferson’s ideas and others were debated for many years before public education became the standard in states. This was a very divisive concept in our early history. So much in our United States history has been debated for centuries. Certainly a safe learning environment was as important then as it is today.

funding needed by a public school district must acquire voter approval for operating and capital levy referendums. For the 2017 fiscal year, Minnesota State Legislature approved an increase of two percent; however, ISD 15 would need an additional ten percent or $626 per pupil allowance to match inflation. For the 2017-18 school year, the adopted general fund revenues consists of three percent local, three percent federal, 11 percent property taxes and 83 percent state. The 2017-18 budget for adopted general funds consists of four percent equipment, five percent supplies, eight percent purchased services, and 83 percent for employee wages and benefits. Passed unanimously. The Communications Department would like to note that the proposed levy is separate from the upcoming bond referendum on November 7.

School Board Members

School Board Meeting Schedule

Mike Starr Chairman 

School board meetings are held in the Community Room at Central Services Center, located at 4115 Ambassador Blvd. NW, St. Francis.


Marsha Van Denburgh Vice-Chairwoman  763-753-6653 Barbara Jahnke Clerk763-753-6846 Rob Schoenrock Treasurer763-232-7902 Jill Anderson Director


Amy Kelly Director763-744-8458 Sean Sullivan Director763-807-0010 Email:

Monday, November 13 & 28 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, December 11 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Monday, January 8 & 22 Dialogue with School Board 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. Live streaming and video archives of school board meetings are available at

Stoplight on Highway 47 Superintendent Troy Ferguson updated the school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) about discussions with the city of St. Francis regarding safety measures on Highway 47 near St. Francis Middle School. The city of St. Francis has made progress with Anoka County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) on options to make the crosswalk safer for pedestrians and drivers. The city in partnership with ISD 15 is proposing a stoplight to replace the pedestrian flashers across the highway. Ferguson requested the school board’s support in working with the city. Policy 543 on hold At the school board meeting of Independent School District 15 on September 11, the school board eliminated policy 543 Teacher Academy. After the decision, a grievance was put forward by Education Minnesota Local 1977 - St. Francis. Superintendent Troy Ferguson informed the school board on September 25 that the grievance and the removal of policy 543 was put on hold as the two parties continue discussing the policy. StarTribune “School choice splits Twin Cities suburbs into haves, have-nots” An article in the September 25 StarTribune reported the number of students lost per students open enrolled at Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) as 15:1. The Communications Department contacted the StarTribune reporters to understand how the calculation was determined, which is different than ISD 15’s 7:1 rate for the number of students lost per

I have students in the buildings now as many of you do. I want them to be able to feel that security of a building that enables them to concentrate on their academics rather than worrying about intruders or “bad guys,” as my little ones would say. Our recently instituted ALICE training helps to plan for unsafe situations and provide more safety in our schools. You have entrusted your children’s safety with all of us at Independent School District 15. My hope is that we can provide even more measures to ensure safety and security for all in our school system.

each student coming in. The district’s 7:1 is 15 percent, which appears to be the error made in the StarTribune article. ISD 15 continues its commitment to improving test scores by continuing instructional support and increasing achievement outcomes. By refining the World’s Best Workforce to focus on 21st century learning, personalizing learning and tailoring professional development to meet students’ needs, the district has outlined a path to close the learning gap and achieve the mission.

School Board Highlights Katrinna Dodge

Staff writer

October 9, 2017 All members present. Lifelong Learning Center Site Report Nancy Wallace, program supervisor of Early Childhood Family Education, and Kandi Danielson, program supervisor of Early Childhood Special Education, reported on the programs within the Lifelong Learning Center building, which include Adult Basic Education, Just 4 Kids, HeadStart and Early Childhood programs and services. Wallace and Danielson focused on Early Childhood’s strategic plan of incorporating Independent School District 15’s mission and core values by 2020. MDE Positive Review Superintendent Troy Ferguson reported that the Commissioner of Education from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) provided Independent

School District 15 (ISD 15) a positive review and comment for the upcoming bond referendum based on their analysis of required documentation provided by ISD 15 and MDE. The review and comment is available to the public under the Communication Resources page at Changes to Dialogue with School Board and Consideration of Visitors discussed The school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) discussed removing the Dialogue with School Board session and unmuting the audio during the Consideration of Visitors from future school board meetings. Consideration of Visitors takes place during school board meetings; the audio is muted during live streaming. Dialogue with School Board is open to the public prior to the start of the school board meetings, 6:30-7:00 p.m. The school board referenced neighboring school districts’ practices, Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) policies and recommendations and the pros and cons of muting versus unmuting considerations of visitors concerning data privacy. They also considered neighboring school district practices and MSBA’s recommendation of removing the dialogue session. School board members shared their opinions, concerns and requested more information before making a decision. The school board of ISD 15 will vote on eliminating Dialogue with School Board and muting/ unmuting Consideration of Visitors at a future school board meeting.

The Courier |

November 2017

Student council prepares for school year Jamie Studnicka

EBCS Community Relation Coordinator

East Bethel Community School (EBCS) student council has kicked off a school year of events. To be on student council, candidates must fill out an application that is reviewed by teachers and advisers. The application is centered around how the student demonstrates Kind, Safe, Respectful and Responsible (KSRR) behavior. After the application process, candidates created posters and are elected by their classmates and teachers. Student council is a great leadership opportunity for students. Students are involved in opportunities to support their community and school. This year student council is listing a variety of new events. Each month the

student council will host a KSRR celebration assembly. They will kick off KSRR at EBCS with a celebration assembly highlighting the K (kind) with examples of random acts of kindness. The student council will also host two family involvement nights featuring the book walk. One will be held in the fall and another in the spring. These nights are designed to put free books in the hands of students and promote reading. After the book walk, families are invited to the gym to enjoy a movie. The goal is to bring the community and school together for a fun night. In the spring, student council will give the EBCS students an opportunity to show off their immense talents with the annual talent show. There will be a show for the students at school and then performers get the full experience on the stage at the Performing Arts Center at St. Francis High School. In addition to events, the EBCS student council monitors, promotes and counts the school’s golden eagle feathers. Eagle feathers are given to classes who demonstrate exceptional KSRR during the course of the day. Student council counts and recognizes the top classes each month.

East Bethel Community School 4th and 5th grade students elected to student council. Submitted Photo

Cedar Creek Conservation Area’s school forest Richard Rose

Naturalist at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Cedar Creek Community School (CCCS) and East Bethel Community School (EBCS) participate in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) school forest program along the Cedar Creek waterways. This partnership program, first introduced statewide in 1949, gives the schools access to curriculum resources, teacher training and a DNR developed stewardship plan to help maintain the forest with over 130 school forest sites in Minnesota. Our school forest includes red and white pine plantations, mixed deciduous forest, prairie, oak savannah, two ponds and the Cedar Creek. It is truly one of the most unique teaching spaces in the entire state. Studies show that students who are taught in the outdoor classroom are often more engaged and motivated with their learning.

Teachers have the opportunity to teach students hands-on lessons that integrate math, science, art, writing, reading and social studies while gaining an appreciation and awareness of natural resources. Our community is also welcome to enjoy our school forest. If you have an interest in being a supporting partner in our school forest program, contact Megan Everson, fourth-grade teacher at CCCS, at

or Kathy Priebe, kindergarten teacher at EBCS, at kathy. We have participated in this program since 2005. Sara Hill’s fifth-grade students studied landforms in their school forest along the Cedar Creek. They will continue to observe the earth’s surface and set up further investigations to study man-made changes affect the processes of erosion, deposition and stream flow.

What I Am Thankful For essays from St. Francis Middle School students Kalie Buhn

Kevin Waters’ Language Arts Class

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for my family and friends. I love them so much and hope we all get together this year for Thanksgiving. I grateful for my animals and so excited. Every year we get to bring our turkey in. Believe it or not, our turkey Clive gets her own chair and plate of food! I’m also grateful for the food we get to eat this Thanksgiving. Now you guys know what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving and you know about my turkey! Kiersten Terris

Jessica Rowles’ Language Arts Class

In the past few days that we’ve been watching the news about the wildfires in California, I think about how lucky I am that I still have my home and a place to live. I’m not referring to the things like a computer or television but instead the love and memories that have been shared with my friends and family. It’s not the size of my home that matters, it’s the warm feeling I get every time I walk through the door. My heart breaks for the families who have lost their homes, but it has reminded me of how thankful I am to still have mine. Miles Wold

Nancy Larson’s Language Arts Class

I am thankful for the little special things in my life. A special thing to me is my dog Otis. He makes me laugh because he so funny. He likes to annoy my mom with all his barking and loves to destroy toys and items. I am thankful for him because he puts me in a good mood. I am also thankful for my brother Mason. My brother is always kind and nice to me. He is very smart because he can do geometry. He helps me with my math homework and shows me how to draw. I am thankful for my family because of all the hard work they do for me. My dad works on oil rigs and my mom is a teacher. They buy me all the Legos and Yo kai toys I want. I am thankful for many more things, but these are a few that are very special to me. To read more student essay about what they are thankful for, visit

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November 2017

The Courier |

Community Education ISD 15 site report: Lifelong Learning Center Katrinna Dodge, Staff Writer Kandi Danielson, program

supervisor, Early Childhood Special Education Nancy Wallace, program supervisor, Early Childhood Family Education

On October 9, Nancy Wallace, program supervisor of Early Childhood Family Education, and Kandi Danielson, program supervisor of Early Childhood Special Education, reported to the

school board of Independent School District 15 (ISD 15) on the programs within the Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) building, which include Adult Basic Education (ABE), Just 4 Kids, Head Start and Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE). Early childhood programs include Preschool Place 15, ECFE classes, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) birth-age 5 services

and Early Childhood Screening. Preschool Place 15 prepares children, ages 3-5, for kindergarten and their academic career. ECFE provides information and opportunities for parents to learn and receive support through weekly parent/child classes, special events, and

home visits. Early Childhood Screening equips parents with a free, simple check of their child’s health and development and should be completed by the child’s third birthday. Services at LLC connect families to early childhood programs, community resources and provide answers

Community Education Directory Community Education Director............................................................... 763-753-7048 Adult Basic Education (GED)...................................................................... 763-753-7190 Adult Enrichment & Rec................................................................................ 763-213-1640 Communications/The Courier.................................................................. 763-753-7031 Youth Enrichment • Grades K-5................................................................ 763-213-1616 Districtwide Youth • Grades 7-12............................................................. 763-213-1640 Driver Education/Behind the Wheel..................................................... 763-213-1640 Early Childhood Family Education.......................................................... 763-753-7170 Early Childhood Screening.......................................................................... 763-753-7187 Facility Scheduling............................................................................................ 763-213-1589 Kids Connection/Just 4 Kids Program Supervisor..................................................................................... 763-213-1616 Cedar Creek Community School Site............................................... 763-753-7160 East Bethel Community School Site.................................................. 763-213-8921 Lifelong Learning Center Site................................................................ 763-753-7199 St. Francis Elementary School Site..................................................... 763-213-8674 Preschool Place 15/School Readiness.................................................. 763-753-7170 Rec Department................................................................................................. 763-213-1823 • •

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instruction at St. Francis High School Classroom Education

Registration for classroom driver education is being accepted for the 2017-18 school year. Classroom driver education information available on the website.

Behind-the-Wheel Driving Instruction Six hours of required behind-the-wheel instruction Flexible scheduling

Fitness 15 Sandhill Center • 23820 Dewey Street • Bethel

Monday-Thursday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. & 1:00-4:00 p.m. Friday Closed

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Applications available at or call 763-213-1640 for more information. Sponsored by ISD 15 Community Education

to questions. ECSE provides in-home and in-classroom services focusing on the strengths and priorities of the family and student. This includes an Individualized Education Program plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for students to improve their social skills, self-esteem and developmental performance. ECSE assists with the transition process between preschool to kindergarten by inviting kindergarten educational assistants to interact with LLC educational assistants to help create the link between preschool and elementary school. Wallace and Danielson overviewed the ways ISD 15 Early Childhood aligns with the district mission and core values. Early Childhood Site Improvement Goals have been developed around the district-defined Strategic Definitions. Aspects of that alignment include professional development that aligns with site goals, defining essential learning benchmarks from the Early Learning Standards for Minnesota and planning for ways that the benchmarks are integrated into day-today curriculum. Utilizing technology to more efficiently and effectively record children’s growth and development and developing ways to more fully engage families in their child’s learning are ways to measure progress in achieving benchmarks. Early childhood staff meet together in teams and through the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to plan for meeting children and families learning needs. Three initiatives that ISD 15 early childhood programs align with the Site Improvement Goals include the Pyramid Model implementation and the Child Engagement Model, both of which are funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Education. The third initiative is the Early ID Grant which is funded through the Anoka County Children and Family Council to find innovative ways to get three-year-olds into screening.

The Courier |

November 2017

Community picture day is coming

Classes & Events 23820 Dewey Street Bethel, MN 55005

Jenny Dupre

ECFE Instructor

Have photos of children ages six months to five years old taken. Photos will be taken by the same photographer that takes Preschool Place 15 school photos. Various packages are available on a prepaid basis. No appointment necessary. If you have questions, please contact the LLC office at 763-753-7170. Date: Tuesday, November 28 Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m. Location: Lifelong Learning Center

Mark your calendar for Tot Shop for Mom and Pop Jenny Dupre

ECFE Instructor

A fun shopping experience for your young child! Children age birth to kindergarten can choose and purchase gifts for moms and dads, plus have them wrapped! Gifts are reasonably priced. Pizza and beverages will be available for purchase. Date: Friday, December 8 Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m. Location: Lifelong Learning Center

Before and after school childcare Program Sites Cedar Creek Community School East Bethel Community School St. Francis Elementary School Lifelong Learning Center Kids Connection is a comprehensive childcare program for children in kindergarten through grade five that provides a safe, fun experience and offers families a variety of childcare options. The program is open 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours include before and after school programs and full day programs on non-school days. Questions? Call Chris at 763-213-1616 or Lori at 763-213-1641. Visit

Just 4 Kids is a childcare option for children who are three years of age by September 1, 2017, to kindergarten entrance. Children participate in various activities in a safe, wellsupervised environment. Extended childcare options are available at: • Cedar Creek Community School, 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Preschoolers who attend Just 4 Kids will be bused to the Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at no fee. • St. Francis Elementary School, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Preschoolers who attend Just 4 Kids will remain at St. Francis Elementary School. If preschoolers are attending Preschool Place 15, they will be bused to LLC at no cost. Customize your childcare arrangements! Before and after preschool, daily and weekly rates are available for Just 4 Kids. Questions? Call Chris at 763-213-1616 or Lori at 763-213-1641

Enjoy top entertainment by popular local artists at the monthly Lunch Bunch shows. Make sure to register early, most shows will sell out! Lunch Bunch is located at Sandhill Center in Bethel. Doors open: 10:30 a.m. Lunch served: 11:00 a.m. Showtime: 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Cost: $20 Seating is on first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call


or register online at

Todd Anderson–Tribute to the American Cowboy Tuesday, November 14 Course: LB173 You’ve seen Todd Anderson perform as Elvis, enjoyed his Perfectly Frank (Sinatra) show, and gotten into the Holiday spirit with his Christmas Crooner show. Now sit back, enjoy and sing along with Todd as he brings you the beloved Cowboy and Western songs of yesteryear. In his tribute to the American Cowboy, Todd reprises the songs of the cowboys made famous during the decades of the 30s, 40s, 50s and into the 60s by legends such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Frankie Laine, Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold and their contemporaries. You’ll enjoy not only hearing the music once more but also the stories and trivia behind these classic cowboy songs.

Strength In class you will use dumbbells/hand weights and resistance bands to strengthen muscles, improve bone density and increase metabolism. Class is for seniors or active older adults. Day: Monday Time: 8:00-8:45 am Instructor: Cathie Hagford Fee: $2 per class, no registration required (class is not eligible for insurance reimbursement)

Line Dancing Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living. This is an excellent class for those just beginning in line dance as well as the more experienced line dancers! Day: Thursday Time: 10:00-11:00 am Instructor: Ginger Anderson Fee: $2 per class, no registration required (class is not eligible for insurance reimbursement)

SilverSneakers® Yoga

SilverSneakers® Yoga will move your whole body through a complete series of seated and standing yoga poses. Chair support is offered to safely perform a variety of seated and standing postures designed to increase flexibility, balance and range of movement. Restorative breathing exercises and final relaxation will promote stress reduction and mental clarity. Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday Time: 9:00-10:00 am Instructor: Cathie Hagford Fee: Free to SilverSneakers® and Silver & Fit® members, $2 per class for non-members, no registration required

SilverSneakers® Classic

Have fun and move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living. Hand–held weights, elastic tubing with handles and a SilverSneakers® ball are offered for resistance. A chair is available if needed for seated or standing support. Days: Wednesday, Friday Time: 8:00-8:45 am Instructor: Cathie Hagford Fee: Free to SilverSneakers® and Silver & Fit® members, $2 per class for non-members, no registration required

Fitness 15 We offer plenty of ways for you to get in shape, so you’ll never be bored with working out. We have two treadmills, two elliptical trainers, two stationary bikes and a Nautilus four-station weight machine. Relaxed atmosphere—senior citizens are encouraged to attend! Days: Monday-Thursday Times: 8:30-11:30 am 1:00-4:00 pm Fee: $2 per visit, no registration required (no membership fees)

Sandhill is a Silver & Fit qualified center. For more information on the Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program or the Sandhill Center, please call 763-213-1640. To see if you qualify as a Silver & Fit member or a SilverSneakers member, please contact your insurance company.



November 2017

The Courier |

Bright Beginnings in ISD 15 Early Childhood 763-753-7170

Call ECFE at for more information or to register for any of the opportunities on this page. Lifelong Learning Center • 18900 Cedar Drive NW, Oak Grove • Online at Follow ISD 15 Early Childhood on Facebook to stay in the know and connect with other parents.

Early Childhood Screening Early Childhood Screening should be done soon after the child’s third birthday. • Screening is a FREE, simple check of a young child’s health and development • Health: health review, height and weight, immunizations, vision and hearing • Development: cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, social/emotional, speech • Parents/guardians must attend screening with their child

Limited Spots Available


• Plan on screening taking approximately two hours to complete

If your child was screened in another district, or if you want conscientious objector information, call 763-753-7187. This Early Childhood Screening satisfies the Minnesota state requirement that all children must participate in screening before entering public school kindergarten. It does not determine kindergarten readiness. Call 763-753-7187 if you currently have a 3, 4, or 5-yearold child who has not been screened.

Early Childhood Events Mall of America Adventure

Come to Pop In and Play!

We will begin with a self-guided tour of the Sea Life aquarium. Explore living creatures that live under the sea. You will have time to explore the mall, visit Legoland and have lunch on your own with your child. Most appropriate for children ages 3 and up.

Pop in for fun activities. Come once or come every week, whatever works for your schedule. Meet other families and build relationships that last a lifetime. No pre-registration required.

Date: Tuesday, December 5 Time: Bus leaves LLC at 8:45 a.m. and returns by 3:00 p.m. Fee: $10 per person Deadline: Please register by November 20

Preschool Place 15 Classes

} Morning, afternoon and evening sessions available } One, two, three times per week } Two-hour to two-and-a-half-hour sessions } Most classes are age specific } Free or reduced tuition and fees based on family size and income

Classes are also available for two-yearolds and very young three-year-olds Independent School District 15 Early Childhood Family Education is offering Preschool Place 15 at the Lifelong Learning Center in Oak Grove.

The curriculum of Preschool Place 15 focuses on social skills and early literacy development. Mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts and physical development are also part of the curriculum. Environments are designed to enhance and expand children’s understanding of the world as they direct their own play. Teachers facilitate the child’s learning; they guide and encourage independent learning in each child.

Preschool Place 15 Attention new parents—you are invited! Celebration Baby Enjoy songs and games together and meet others who are experiencing the joys and challenges of raising a baby. Your baby must be nine months of age or younger when you attend the event. Don’t forget to pick up your free gift! Date: Thursday, November 30 Time: 9:15-11:15 a.m. Cost: FREE Free sibling care is available, but you must pre-register. Early Childhood Family Education A division of ISD 15 Community Education 763-753-7170

For more information on classes and to register, visit or call 763-753-7170

Oh Baby!

Welcome Baby Home Visit An early childhood teacher will schedule a visit with you and your baby in your home or at the Lifelong Learning Center. Information about the joys and struggles of being a parent, infant milestones and development, Early Childhood Family Education and community resources will be shared with you. Call Jenny at 763-753-7196 or email infant. for more information.

Visit our webpage for more events and classes.

Days & Times: Tuesdays 12:45-2:45 p.m. Wednesdays 9:15-11:15 a.m. Fee: $4 per child/max $12 per family (limit of 4 children per adult)

Upcoming Schedule: November 1 Pumpkins and Acorns 7 Our Friend Corduroy 8 Bears, Bears Everywhere 14 Farm Friends 15 Pizza Pizzazz 21 Gobble, Gobble Fun 22 Ooey Gooey Fun 28 Messy Moments 29 Come to My Party December 5 Friends Around Us 6 In the Neighborhood

What is Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)? A place for babies A place for toddlers A place for preschoolers A place for all dads, moms and other relatives in a parenting role ECFE is a place where parents and young children learn and play together and can meet other families with young children. We are one of nearly 350 in the state of Minnesota offered through school districts. We believe all families deserve support, information and opportunities to be involved in their children’s learning. We recognize that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. ECFE provides information on getting ready for school, discipline, child development, communication and growing together as a family.

What happens at weekly ECFE parent/child sessions? Time together: Parents and children explore a variety of activities planned by a licensed early childhood teacher. Time for play: Children practice and discover their own capabilities by experimenting with materials, playing with other children and trying out toys appropriate for their age. Time for parents: While the children are busy playing, you have an opportunity to meet with other parents and gain support. A licensed parent educator will lead the group and share information about parenting issues, child development and resources. Most baby and young toddler classes have discussion in the early childhood classroom; older classes separate to a nearby room when appropriate for the group.

The Courier |

November 2017


St. Francis Elementary School hosts varsity football readers Nicole Mold

SFES Community Relations Coordinator

Students at St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) were in for a special treat when they had guest readers in their classrooms from the St. Francis High School varsity football team. The players came during homecoming week and read to many of the classrooms. The players asked to read in their former teacher’s classrooms and reminisced about their experience at SFES. This experience brought huge smiles to the faces of both the students and the players after reading in each classroom. (Above) Junior Riley Huebner and senior Zach Gust read This Book Just Ate My Dog! to Janine Johnson’s first grade class at St. Francis Elementary School. Other books read by participating football players included: Mighty Truck, What To Do With a Box, Beekle, Ninja Red Ridinghood, How to Train a Train, The Wildest Brother and My Teacher Is A Monster. (Left) John Westling, junior captain, finished reading Thump, Quack, Moo to Amy Spindler’s Pre-K class at St. Francis Elementary School.  Photos by Mike Stoffel

On October 11, students from St. Francis High School and Saints Academy attended the American Indian Campus Visit Day at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN). Students heard motivating speeches from past American Indian students, experienced an Architectural Design class, toured the campus and participated in a question and answer student panel consisting of American Indian students currently attending the UMN. Pictured (L-R) Tiana Charfauros, Thomas Lindl, Hailey Lussier, Alena Tholen, Bella Kraska Martin, Coral Julin and Kayla Jensen posing with the Goldie Gopher statue.

Carline Sargent, ISD 15 American Indian Education and multicultural education coordinator

Juanita Reed-Boniface, Anoka Farm Bureau Board member, spoke to members of the Career Explorations and Agriculture Sciences classes about careers in agriculture. She shared stories of agricultural workers in a variety of occupations.

Juanita Reed-Boniface, Educational Consultant, Agvocate & Partner Boeckenhauer Cattle

ISD 15 Community Education announces a trip to…

Republic of Ireland Seniors at St. Francis High School woke up early on the crisp October 4 morning and met on the football field to have breakfast and listen to an inspirational speech by SFHS Principal Doug Austin.

Katrinna Dodge, Staff Writer, Photo by Lily Strecker

Tree & Shrub Sale Accepting orders for bareroot tree and shrub seedlings

About the sale:

Reasons to plant trees & shrubs:

• 20-30 species offered • Sold as bareroot seedlings • Sold in bundles of 10 & 25 • Below retail prices • Local pick-up in Spring

• Enhance beauty • Create habitat • Increase property values • Save energy • Reduce irrigation

For more information and to order online visit or call 763-434-2030

Experience the southern portion of the beautiful Emerald Isle in June 2018. Steeped in history and folklore, this ten-day trip is open to ISD 15 community members, staff, family and friends. Travelers must be 18 years or older unless accompanied by an adult. Included is round-trip airfare from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Dublin, eight nights hotel, nine full Irish breakfasts, eight evening meals, two lunches, motorcoach transportation with an experienced driver/guide and all entrance fees to attractions. The approximate cost is $3,000 per person, based on $900 airfare, double-occupancy, minimum of 30 travelers and exchange rate. Cost of trip is made in four easy payments.

More Information For more information, please contact Carline Sargent at 763-213-1575,, or visit


November 2017

The Courier |

Community & Business 2018 preliminary property tax levy addresses public safety needs Erik Thorson

Anoka County Communications Director

Facing rising costs related to public safety, the Anoka County Board recently approved a preliminary property tax levy increase of 3.9 percent. “Public safety has long been a top priority for this county board,” said Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, chairwoman. “The levy increase we are proposing will fund seven new positions in the Sheriff ’s Office and four new dispatcher positions in our 911 Emergency Communications Center.” Additional detention deputies are needed to provide adequate supervision in the county jail, where the average daily inmate population has climbed from 54 in 1981 to 247 this year, nine over capacity. It will also help reduce the need for detention deputies to work overtime hours which not only takes a toll on the deputies and their families, but is costly as well. The number of 911 calls is up more than 15

percent from 2010, necessitating the hiring of at least four new dispatchers to handle the growing volume of requests for assistance. The 2018 budget is also impacted by a projected eight and one-half percent jump in employee health insurance premiums. “We are certainly not unique in facing rising health insurance premiums,” Sivarajah said. “Employers everywhere—public and private—are dealing with these significant increases. It is a cost of doing business and necessary to attract and retain quality workers.” The county board will vote to adopt the final levy in December. To learn more about the county budget and property tax levy, plan to attend the Truth in Taxation meeting on Thursday, December 7 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 705 of the Anoka County Government Center in Anoka. Note: Anoka County only has authority over the county portion of the property tax bill; cities and school districts have their own taxing authority.

Short on time? Shop online. Pick-up at the store. Exciting concepts in grocery… Brick Oven Pizzeria Smokehouse Chop Shoppe

(for produce)

Sushi Bar

Brian Lubrant

Rum River Tree Farm

Rum River Tree Farm has been entering Christmas trees at the Minnesota State Fair for more than 20 years. In 2017, they won their first Grand Champion with a Fraser Fir. Adam McColley, shearing foreman at Rum River Tree Farm, keeps an eye out for the perfect tree as we trim through our Christmas tree fields over the summer. About a week before the fair begins, Ryan Bartz makes the final selections for our entries, and with help from Tim Miller, they harvest the trees the day before the fair. The trees are delivered on the first day of the fair and set-up in tree stands to make any final adjustments before they are judged. The State Fair has steep competition with over 100 trees entered every year. Trees are rated on a 100-point scale based on categories such as color, shape and overall quality of the tree. Attending the Minnesota State Fair isn’t all about winning, it is also a way to stay involved in the Christmas tree community and spread the holiday spirit as the summer comes to an end. Submitted Photo

St. Francis Lions Club presents

International Cheese Market Ready-Chef-Go Meals Farmer’s Market Meat Market Fisherman’s Wharf Bake Shoppe Pharmacy Floral Dry Cleaning Caribou Coffee Shop online, pick-up in store

209 6th Avenue NE Isanti, MN 55040 763-444-5884 •

Growing grand champion trees

Turkey Games 2017

Saturday, November 11

St. Francis American Legion Hall

County Road 24 (Bridge Street) & County Road 9

Turkey Bowling 3:00-5:00 p.m. Turkey Dinner, cost $5 5:00-6:30 p.m. Turkey Bingo 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Cover all Grand Prize $500 County Market Gift Card

Rug Doctor rental

Please bring a non-perishable food item for the local foodshelf.

And much, much more

Come and play… have fun…

Employee Owned


The Courier |

November 2017


Fresh on the Farm

Sharon Johnson Minnesota Fresh Farm

A time to be thankful Another farming season has come to a close, and it’s time look around and count our blessings. It was a good year. There were no late frosts in the spring or early ones in the fall. There wasn’t too much rain, and when there was too little, we were able to use our irrigation equipment. We avoided the hail that hit many farms around here. Farming is a risky business. There are bugs and weather and weeds and diseases to worry about. Some years are good and some are not so good. If the year is bad, you’ll hear a farmer say, “next year!” Always. As our family gathers for Thanksgiving, we will recount what blessings we have received this year. We’ll remember, too, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who farmed here in Anoka County. We give thanks for Bruce’s grandfather, Potato Johnson, who started farming on this land 90 years ago, just before the Great Depression. We especially give thanks for his wife, Helen, who kept the farm going by selling vegetables and chickens, while raising four children alone. On my side of the family, we remember

my great grandfather, John Moos, who immigrated from Luxembourg. Around 1875, he and his young family arrived by train to Anoka and walked to what is now Nowthen to start a livestock and crop farm. In our house, we see daily the large wooden chest in which John brought all of his possessions from the country where his father and his father’s father, kept vineyards until those vineyards could not sustain families anymore. We are thankful for the men and women in our family

File Photo

trees who had the stamina and courage to start and keep their farms. When things look a little bleak around here, we simply need to look at the photograph of my grandma, Amelia Moos, who you can see pictured with her 15 children on the day of her husband’s funeral. The youngest child was only six. She kept on farming. These are the types of people who planted and tended farms all around you. Whether you have ties to Anoka, Isanti or Sherburne County farmers in your own family tree or you’ve moved here from elsewhere, continue to see the fruits of their work. When you gather around the Thanksgiving table, remember to give thanks for those who produced the turkey, potatoes and pumpkin for your pie. And give thanks for those who came before them.

Recently crowned East Bethel ambassadors have been busy visiting other communities in Minnesota to spread the joy of East Bethel since being crowned during Booster Days in July. Pictured (L-R) are East Bethel Princess Lexi Flaten, Little Miss East Bethel Lucy Thell and Kayla Dorn and Miss East Bethel Savannah Fairfield.

Tori Larson, East Bethel Scholarship Program assistant coordinator

North Branch Area Community Education proudly presents

Saturday, November 18

Unique, handmade gifts, furniture and so much more

22973 Rum River Boulevard NW across from Woodbury Park St. Francis

We Our Advertisers & Readers Thank you for choosing us!

Doors open at 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.


Located at the North Branch Area High School and Middle School

Please bring nonperishable food items for local foodshelf.




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No strollers please. Take the Heartland Express free shuttle that goes between both schools.

St. Francis United Methodist Church A Community Dedicated to Seeking Christ and Serving Others Pastor Kevin Coder 3914-229th Avenue St. Francis 763-753-2273 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7


November 2017

The Courier |

Chaplain Coder guest speaker at Breakfast for Veterans Pastor Kevin Coder

St. Francis United Methodist Church

Honoring Our

Veterans We honor the memory of the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation and our way of life. Their dedication to our country makes us proud to be Americans, and we owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. On Veterans Day, we salute our nation’s fallen and the families who carry on without them. Their heroic spirit and sacrifice will never be forgotten. We will always remember that freedom is not free.

These local businesses humbly pay tribute to our veterans past and present for their courage, sacrifice and service to our country: Absolute Portable Restrooms

Advanced Automotive Care, Inc.

Allstate Insurance Jolynn Erikson

American Legion Post 622

Cambridge • 763-444-9887

St. Francis • 763-753-8282

East Bethel • 763-434-2343

St. Francis • 763-753-4234

Blake A Cheeley, CRPC®, AAMS®

Blue Star Kettle Corn

Central Heating & Cooling, LLC

St. Francis • 763-753-2988

Oak Grove • 763-300-9110

Isanti • 763-753-3628

City of East Bethel

City of Nowthen

City of Oak Grove

City of St. Francis




Counselor Realty Leo Zacher 763-444-0281

Highway 47 Auto Sales

Independent School District 15 St. Francis • 763-753-7040

King’s County Market

Lakeside Cabinets & Woodworking

St. Francis • 763-753-2630

Nowthen • 763-753-2628

Norgren’s Napa Auto Care

North Anoka Plumbing, Inc.

Northland Screw Products, Inc.

Nowthen • 763-753-9227

St. Francis • 763-753-3373

St. Francis • 763-753-3628

Reynolds Music & Consignment Center Anoka • 763-421-1062

St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce 763-438-5163

Sara Sauer, CPA East Bethel • 763-753-2630

Temperature Specialists, Inc.

True Value Hardware

St. Francis • 763-753-2974

St. Francis • 763-753-1265

St. Francis • 763-452-0239

McDonald’s St. Francis • 763-753-4713 Patriot Lanes Bar & Grill St. Francis • 763-753-4011

Tasty Pizza St. Francis • 763-753-4988


Village Bank St. Francis • 763-753-3007

The St. Francis Lions Club will be hosting their 7th annual Free Breakfast for Veterans on Friday, November 10, 8:0010:30 a.m. at the St. Francis American Legion Post 622. All are encouraged to attend. Breakfast for non-veterans is $5. This year’s guest speaker is CH (CPT) Kevin Coder chaplain for the 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion (AHB). CH Coder has been in the National Guard for 18 years, enlisting in 1999 as a mental health specialist. CH Coder was deployed with Taskforce Falcon to Kosovo in 2004 to 2005, as the NCOIC for the Combat Stress Control Clinic at Camp Bondsteel and Camp Montieth. CH Coder started officer candidate school when he returned home from deployment. He graduated in 2008 and became a quarter master officer, serving as a platoon leader in Alpha Co. 134th BSB. CH Coder became a chaplain candidate in 2009 and started seminary. In 2016, CH Coder graduated from Luther Seminary and in 2017 accessioned as a chaplain and promoted as a captain and assigned to the 2-147th AHB. CH Coder is married to Sara Coder and has 3 children, Kennedy (7), Madison (5) and Lincoln (3). CH Coder has served as the Senior Pastor of St. Francis United Methodist Church for the past four years. 2-147th AHB 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter (2-147 AHB) is an Army National Guard utility helicopter battalion headquartered in St. Paul that supports the 34th Infantry Division and the State of Minnesota by providing air lift, scouting, mobility and support of civil authorities. The aviators of the 2-147 AHB fly the UH60 Black Hawk helicopter.

The Courier |

November 2017


Chaos Family Fun Run a success Jackie Giese

Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

On October 14, Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

It is surely a great time for family and friends to gather in support of a well deserving organization.

The team at Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc. would like to thank all the sponsors, vendors, participants, volunteers and the

Submitted Photo

hosted the fourth annual Chaos Family Fun 5K walk/run in honor of physical therapy month. The event was a huge success. Over 75 participated in the event in support of physical therapy month and Citizen’s Supporting Our Armed Forces (CSOAF). CSOAF is a 100 percent volunteer organization. The organization helps to gather and ship items to our troops as well as provide aid and support to our deployed troops and their families. Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc. and the surrounding communities were able to raise $4,641 to benefit CSOAF as well as gather over 1,400 items for donation to the deployed troops. During the race, participants were surprised with a little bit of chaos including silly string, confetti and other fun surprises. The event had multiple vendors as well as an obstacle course for the kids organized by Jam Hops. KBEK 95.5 was also present providing entertainment for all the volunteers and participants.

Helping customers identify insurance coverage that best fits their needs. Straight forward and personalized to help make you smarter about insurance. VANN ROGERS AGENCY, LLC

St. Francis police reserves for their help and support. Visit for information on the next Chaos Family Fun 5K walk/run of 2018. Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc. provides expert treatment for orthopedic conditions, neurologic disorders, sports

and occupational injuries as well as strives to promote health and wellness to the surrounding clinics of all seven locations. The current locations under the umbrella of Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc. include Andover, Ham Lake, Ramsey, St. Francis, Isanti, North Branch and Zimmerman.

Make a Difference Vote Tuesday, November 7. Independent School District 15 Bond Referendum Visit for up-to-date, accurate and factual information. Be an informed voter.

763-753-4233 Office 23212 St. Francis Boulevard NW, Suite 500 St. Francis, MN

Auto | Home | Life | Renters | Business | Motorcycle | Recreational | Umbrella Restrictions apply. Discounts may vary. Not available in all states. See your agent for details. Insurance is underwritten by Farmers Insurance Exchange and other affiliated insurance companies. Visit for a complete listing of companies. Not all insurers are authorized to provide insurance in all states. Coverage is not available in all states.

Celebrating Those Who Served

Please join us in honoring the men and women of our Armed Forces!

Veterans Appreciation Program Monday, November 13 8:49-9:37 a.m.

St. Francis High School Gymnasium 3325 Bridge Street NW St. Francis, MN 55070

All are welcome to attend! Program will include guest speaker John Kriesel, Anoka County Veterans Service Officer and choir and band performances. Presented by St. Francis High School

St. Francis Lions Club will be hosting its

7th Annual


For Veterans Friday, November 10 0800-1030 Buffet Breakfast 0910-1030 Veterans Day Program St. Francis American Legion Post #622 3073 Bridge Street St. Francis

All are welcome! Breakfast for non-veterans is $5


November 2017

The Courier |

Business Spotlight

Katrinna Dodge Staff Writer

Rum River Tree Farm & Nursery Nestled between Lake George and the Rum River is a 235-acre plantation. Rum River Tree Farm & Nursery has been a community partner since the mid-1970s and is associated with Premium Quality Trees (PQT) Co., which evolved from

Willy’s Wonderland founded in 1964. PQT and Rum River Tree Farm have an American-dream success story. “My dad died when I was young, so my brothers and I worked our way through college by selling

Breakfast with

Christmas trees,” stated Willis Almendinger, owner. “I graduated with a degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota, where I specialized in food processing.” Almendinger originally started working at a food processing plant where he progressed over 21 years

and was able to purchase the company by partnering with his brother, Russ Almendinger, and brother-in-law, Charles Edling. During this time, Almendinger and his family had expanded Willy’s Wonderland, which now had been changed to PQT, with lots across the northern Twin Cities area. They purchased

Willis Almendinger

Ryan Bartz


Saturday, December 2 • 8:30-11:30 a.m. Cedar Creek Community School Cost: $2 for children (ages 3-12); No ns Children 2 and under free; $4 for adults reservatiod neede Pancakes, sausage, milk, juice, coffee

Photographer will be available to take pictures with Santa for $1. The Girl Scouts will have a Santa Shop! For a minimal charge children can shop for parents and grandparents, etc. Children will be assisted with shopping. Sponsored by Cedar/East Bethel Lions and Lioness Donations of used eyeglasses and hearing aids and food items for the local foodshelf will be accepted. Your holiday spirit is appreciated.

Holiday MoMs Craft & Gift Show Saturday, November 4 • 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Raffle drawing for prizes!


Photos BY Katrinna Dodge

FREE event! Multiple vendors of crafts and gifts. Get a jump start on holiday shopping. Fun for all ages at this family friendly event.

Whispering Aspen Community Center BDM Construction

24225 Pierce Path NE • East Bethel

Open House November 3, 4 & 5 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Beautiful holiday decorations and gifts for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Don’t forget Fall Harvest of Fresh Vegetables

presented by the St. Francis Lioness & Lions Club

Sign up now for

Evergreen Patio Planter Workshops in November details in store and online.

Green Barn Garden Center

& Farm Market

3 miles south of Isanti on Hwy. 65 & 265th OPEN 7 Days A Week Call for current hours


Saturday, December 9

9:00-11:30 a.m. St. Francis American Legion Hall County Road 24 (Bridge Street) & County Road 9

Tickets sold at the door: $3.00 for age 10 and under; $4.00 adults Bring your camera to take pictures with Santa.

Fun, Food and Door Prizes Proceeds for community projects.

their 300-acre farm in Stacy, which continued their Christmas tree business. “I had heard there was a farm for sale in Stacy and my business partners and I were looking to purchase the trees,” reminisced Almendinger. “The owner wanted so much money I said, for that much let’s buy the whole farm!’” After their purchase of the 300-acre farm in Stacy, Rum River Tree Farm expanded their business by selling to retail lots in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Due to the ten-year growing period to profit from retailing Christmas trees, Almendinger and his business partners decided to incorporate a nursery with flowers, shade and evergreen trees. The nursery trees are sold at wholesale to local landscapers, lawn care companies and developers. “Rum River Tree Farm is a farm-based operation and grow the majority of the products we sell, from retail, wholesale nursery to Christmas trees,” said Almendinger. Rum River Tree Farm provides full-time and part-time employment opportunities for residents within Oak Grove and surrounding communities. They have eight full-time and up to 22 additional parttime year-round employees. During the holiday season, Rum River Tree Farm employs between 80 and 100 seasonal workers. This is because Rum River Tree Farm ships more Christmas trees within the regional Midwest than any other Christmas tree farm in Minnesota. Almendinger and Ryan Bartz, general manager, highlighted that there is a finite amount of time to ship their product to private parties, commercial retailers and wholesalers. High school students have the opportunity for hands-on learning about agriculture and business management through part-time seasonal employment at Rum River Tree Farm. Part-time seasonal help is available for loading and unloading commercial vehicles this holiday season. Rum River Tree Farm is looking for enthusiastic workers who enjoy the outdoors. To apply, visit Continued On Page 21

The Courier |

November 2017


Community comes together for Dash for Dreams Michelle Anderson

St. Francis Community For Drug Awareness

On October 7, the St. Francis Community For Drug Awareness (SFCDA) and Vision Quest hosted the Dash For Dreams Warrior Course. It was a great day as participants took on the challenge of 10 obstacles. Some participants raced to the finish line, while others took their time and enjoyed the beautiful views of Vision Quest. All 80 participants between the adult and children courses had a great time. This was a wonderful community event that was fun for the entire family. Thank you to all the sponsors and community members who helped make this event successful; Advanced Automotive Care, For Jake’s Sake, Get Fit By Lori, Hooze 4X4, Nystrom, Opp Family Chiropractic, PA, Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc., Re/Max Results – Michelle Anderson, St. Francis Lions, St. Francis True Value Hardware and Travel Experts of Ham Lake. Thank you goes to N or G Entertainment for providing music, TC Net-Works, Inc. for providing online registration, Minnesota Fresh Farms for donating pumpkins, St. Francis True Value for many of the props used and Wyatt Farms for donating the Straw Bales and all the SFCDA volunteers! If you would like to be a part of the SFCDA, or to volunteer for next year’s event, please contact Michelle at Continued From Page 20

Rum River Tree Farm the main office at 21050 Lake George Boulevard in Oak Grove. PQT and Rum River Tree Farm have been integral in community engagement over the years. They have donated the Christmas tree for Woodbury Park in St. Francis for the past 30 years. Back in the mid-2000s, they won first place for their float in the St. Francis Pioneer Days parade. Rum River Tree Farm sells Christmas trees and wreaths to the charities for fundraisers, such as the Isanti Boy Scouts. They are a big supporter of Trees for Troops, sending 150-200 Christmas trees to military families with loved ones serving overseas. Stop in and ask how you can donate to this worthy cause. This year, Rum River Tree Farm won grand champion with their Fraser Fir at the Minnesota State Fair. This is the first time in the 40 years Rum River Tree Farm has participated that they have won grand champion. “Our winning

tree was just one of the crop,” said Almendinger. “Our competition normally cultivates show trees,” added Bartz, who selected the grand champion Fraser Fir this year to submit to the Minnesota State Fair. The day after Thanksgiving begins the three-week period for purchasing Christmas trees. Friday, November 24, has free hay rides with the Grinch, Santa, petting zoo and horse carousel with Christmas trees, roping, wreaths and greenery available for purchase. Rum River Tree Farm provides the cheapest cut-your-owns and has a range of prices for everybody. “We have everything from Christmas roping, planter boxes, outside greenery to inside with the Christmas tree,” smiled Almendinger.



Youth Development Team This team is for girls grades 2-6. Go to website to register. Teams fill fast, so don’t wait! This is a great introduction to the game. Practice starts on Monday, January 8, 2018. Monday practice and three local weekend events. Chance to play at a lower time commitment. Fee includes jersey, gym time, tournaments and two coaches. Cost $295 Check website for information on: open gym times, pre-registration forms, coaches, contact information, fees and fundraising opportunities. Email with questions.

Open daily after Thanksgiving

This holiday season, rinse your Christmas tree before placing in your house. This removes dust, dirt and pollen that has settled on the tree and lessens chance for allergies.

Eagle Garage Door Co.

Dave Feders

Tryouts at Andover Community Center Sunday, November 5 Age Grade Registration Time Tryout Time 11:00 am-1:00 pm 14 8th 10:30 am 13 7th 1:30 pm 2:00-4:00 pm Sunday, November 12 Age Grade Registration Time Tryout Time 11:00 am-1:00 pm 17 11th 10:30 am 16 10th 1:00 pm 1:30-3:30 pm 15 9th 3:30 pm 4:00-6:00 pm No tryout’s for girls age 12/6th grade or younger Just sign up and play!

Pro tip from Rum River Tree Farm:

Home Improvement & Services

New Construction • Remodel Commercial • Residential Service

Submitted Photo

St. Francis Family Owned & Operated Serving the area since 1989

Any Garage Door/Opener Service Call

Fall Special

10 OFF


Offer expires 11/30/17. Some restriction apply. Call for details.


At Rum River Tree Farm


Saws and ropes provided, field roads open for easy viewing from car.

Hayrides, pony rides, animals to pet and visit with Santa. November 24, 25 & 26; December 2 & 3.



Huge Display of Pre-Cut Trees


Any Scotch, White Pine, Spruce, Balsam or Fraser Fir Daily Hours Tree Lot 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Cut Your Own 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Not valid with any other offers. Coupon expires 12/18/17. 


2½ miles south of St. Francis on Lake George Boulevard NW




November 2017

The Courier |

A very special thank you to all who participated in the Buzz Cuts for #TeamBonte. We would like to especially thank the generous donations from St. Francis Subway for the great cookies and St. Francis McDonald's for the drinks. The greatest support and donation came from the owners of Flo’s Hair Stylist, Melissa Schrunk and Christen Hawkins, who, with the help of the Flo’s gals, did more than 100 buzzings and waxings of #TeamBonte family, friends and the St. Francis High School Fighting Saints football team and their coaches. Flo’s continued to complete Buzz Cut donations until the #TeamBonte Benefit on October 21. Feel free to follow and support Luke on his CaringBridge site, #TeamBonte.  Submitted by Lori Jensen

Letter to the Editor

November & December Events November 3

Girls Night Out - Sexy Male Dancers

November 4

November 22

Thanksgiving Eve — LIVE MUSIC Rebel Queens 1980s Bash, 8 pm

November 25

Male & Female Impersonators 8 pm-Close

LIVE MUSIC - Honey Badgers 8:30 pm-12:30 am

November 5

Wedding Expo 11 am-3 pm

December 8

November 10

LIVE MUSIC - Leadfoot Larry 8 pm-Midnight

LIVE MUSIC - Candy Shop 8:30 pm-12:30 am

November 11

Bob Balaban Fundraiser, 11 am-6 pm LIVE MUSIC - Ferris Brothers 8 pm-Midnight

November 18

LIVE MUSIC, 2 Bands, 7 pm-1 am

December 15

LIVE MUSIC - Swing Country Band 8 pm-Midnight

December 16

Bingo Mania

Monday Night Bingo Starts at 6:30 p.m. Five Guaranteed $99 pots Plus chance at $1,000 coverall Triple Threat Thursday BUY 2–GET ONE FREE Bingo Packets & Beverages starts at 6:30 p.m. Five Guaranteed $99 pots Plus chance at $1,000 coverall

Christmas Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, 6:30 pm

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Hello. I have lived in Oak Grove, in Independent School District 15, for 40 years. I never had any children but I have always voted in support of every school bond referendum for those four decades. I will vote in favor of this one and every future one for the rest of my life. Here’s why: #1. Public education should be the great equalizer across America. I am so tired of hearing about how great the school systems are in affluent neighborhoods for privileged kids. In reality, a good local school system in every community--rich, poor or somewhere in between--is the best way we all can keep America strong in a changing world. What each of us does to support local education, right here, today, in our own hometown, will impact our kids for the rest of their lives. #2. My home in Oak Grove is my biggest investment. Like you, I want to protect this investment and enhance my property value. The best and cheapest way to do that is for us all, as neighbors, to stick together, chip in our fair share and support a strong local school system. It’s one of the biggest factors that determine the value of our homes. According to the ISD 15 tax levy calculator, my fair share for this referendum is about $4 a year. That’s about what I would pay for one beverage a year at the Rum River Inn. Together, but only together, we can support our schools and protect our property values at a cost that is incidental. What else can we do together to accomplish so much for so little? I ask everyone to do the right thing... vote yes and chip in your fair share. It’s not just about ISD 15, it’s also about keeping America strong and competitive. Mark Laub

Oak Grove Resident

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The Courier |

November 2017


East Bethel News

Steven Voss Mayor, City of East Bethel

The fall season is about changes; leaves are down, the nights get crisper and the days get shorter. It is a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors in East Bethel. Road Safety Improvements The new service road between the East Bethel Theater area and Viking Boulevard to the north is now open for traffic. Discussions to provide safety improvements for access to and exit from this area began in earnest three years ago. After years of discussion, planning and construction, we now have a safer access point for the visiting public, businesses and employees working in this area, which avoids direct access to Highway 65. Project Updates Following several discussions with business owners along the east side of Highway 65 (across from the theater), the city is proceeding with design for reconstruction of Central Avenue in front of these businesses that will also include the extension of water and sewer services to the existing businesses in this area. This project will provide new and reliable city services to the businesses, allowing expansion and new development, and a new road with stormwater drainage improvements,

concrete curbing and streetlights. The city council recently approved two residential housing projects, which will be supported, in part, through tax increment financing (TIF) financing from the city. Phase one of a new apartment complex in the area south of the theater along Highway 65 is scheduled to begin construction in late 2017. The 67-unit, three-story apartment building will provide several amenities, including indoor garage parking. Future planned phases of this development include a second 67-unit apartment building, an assisted living facility and a medical clinic. The city also recently approved a TIF financing plan for construction of a 48-home single-family development on the north side of Viking Boulevard, west of Highway 65. Both of these residential developments will be served by city water and sewer. Dog Issues The city council has had to deal with numerous dog bite issues in 2017, more than we ever have in the past. Fortunately, most of these matters have been minor in terms of personal injury, but every dog bite incident is taken seriously by the city council. As owner of your pet, you have the complete responsibility for your dog’s behavior –

you must always be in control of your animal. This means in a fenced yard, in a kennel, tied up or on a leash. Pet owners should recognize that not all people are comfortable around animals and they can be very intimidated by them. Having your dog under control is the best way to avoid these conflicts. Town Hall Meeting Our semi-annual East Bethel Town Hall Meeting will be held at city hall on Thursday, November 30, 6:00 p.m. This is the public’s opportunity to chat with our city staff, our contracted vendors and the city council in an informal setting. The city will provide an update of municipal and community happenings, but more importantly, it will give the city council a chance to hear questions and concerns directly from our residents. We hope to see

everyone there. Final Budget An annual ritual of every city council is to develop a city budget for the following year. Our city budgeting process starts in the spring with initial scoping and discussions with department leaders, presentation of an initial budget in June, establishment of a preliminary levy in September, and the ratification of the final budget and levy by the end of December. An important aspect of this process is the final budget hearing prior to the city council passing the budget and levy. This hearing will be conducted at the December 6 city council meeting. We invite the public to ask any questions they may have regarding the budget. We cannot increase the levy at this point, but it can be reduced if the city council sees that need. On behalf of the East Bethel City Council, I wish you a wonderful and safe fall season. Pictured (L-R) Bill and Jodie Norling pose with Sherry and Randy Gerdin in front of Gerdin Auto & Tire. The Norlings, new owners of Gerdin Auto & Tire, bring 36 years of experience from PTL Tire & Auto in Ham Lake and plan to remodel the building’s interior on Bridge Street NW in St. Francis.

Anoka County honors volunteer drivers Erik Thorson

Anoka County Communications Director

The 53 volunteer drivers for Anoka County’s MedLink Transportation Program were recognized recently at a luncheon held in their honor in Oak Grove. Volunteer drivers provide transportation for more than 3,200 passengers, most of whom are seniors and veterans. Volunteer drivers logged a total of 148,344 miles this year on 6,638 trips, most of which were to veterans’ medical facilities in Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Ramsey and Maplewood, as well as other clinics and medical facilities. “When people speak about the quality of life of a community, they’re really talking about the people,” said Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah, chairwoman, Anoka County Board. “They are talking about people like our volunteer drivers, who provide such a vital service and willingly give of

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themselves to make our community a better place to live.” Several drivers were specially honored for their long years of volunteer service with the MedLink Transportation Program: Erwin Dargis, Anoka, (20 years); Mae Singer, Coon Rapids, (15 years); Scott Berndt, Andover, (10 years); Donald Nordine, Coon Rapids, (10 years); Robert Graham, Coon Rapids, (10 years); Harry Sundeen, Ramsey, (10 years); Kenneth Berghorst, Champlin, (10 years); Marie Putnam, Blaine, (10 years); Norman Berg, Ham Lake, (10 years); and Daniel Vietzke, Blaine, (10 years). In addition, several volunteers were recognized for driving the most miles in the last year: David Adrian, Coon Rapids (14,277 miles); Mike Reider, Blaine, (11,231 miles); and Eugene Auge, Coon Rapids (8,532 miles). If you are in need of driving services or would like to join the corps of volunteer drivers, call 763-324-3255.

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November 2017

The Courier |

Financial Focus

Blake Cheeley Edward Jones Financial Advisor

Consider multiple factors when creating retirement plans When you create your financial and investment strategies for retirement, what will you need to know? In other words, what factors should you consider, and how will these factors affect your investment-related decisions, before and during your retirement? Consider the following: Age at retirement Not surprisingly, your retirement date likely will be heavily influenced by your financial situation—so, if you have to keep working, that’s what you’ll do. But if you have a choice in the matter, your decision could have a big impact on your investment strategy. For example, if you want to retire early, you may need to save and invest more aggressively than you would if you plan to work well past typical retirement age. Also, your retirement date may well affect when you start accepting Social Security payments; if you retire early, you might have to start taking your benefits at age 62, even though your monthly checks will be considerably smaller than if you waited until your “full” retirement age, which is likely to be 66 or 67.

Retirement lifestyle Some people want to spend their retirement years traveling from Athens to Zanzibar, while others simply want to stay close to home and family, pursuing quiet, inexpensive hobbies. Clearly, the lifestyle you choose will affect how much you need to accumulate before you retire and how much you will need to withdraw from your various investment accounts once you do. Second career Some people retire from one career only to begin another. If you think you’d like to have a “second act” in your working life, you might need some additional training, or you might just put your existing expertise to work as a consultant. If you do launch a new career, it could clearly affect your financial picture. For one thing, if you add a new source of earned income, you might be able to withdraw less from your retirement accounts each year. (Keep in mind, though, that once you reach 70½, you will have to take at least some withdrawals from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.) On the other hand, if you keep earning income, you can continue putting money into a traditional

IRA (until you’re 70½) or a Roth IRA (indefinitely) and possibly contribute to a retirement plan for the self-employed, such as a SEP-IRA or an “owner-only” 401(k). Philanthropy During your working years, you may have consistently donated money to charitable organizations. And once you retire, you may want to do even more. For one thing, of course, you can volunteer more of your time. But you also might want to set up some more permanent method of financial support. Consequently, you might want to work with your legal advisor and financial professional to incorporate elements of your investment portfolio into your estate plans to provide more support for charitable groups. As you can see, your retirement goals can affect your investment strategy and vice versa. So, think carefully about what you want to accomplish, plan ahead and get the help you need. It takes time and effort to achieve a successful retirement, but it’s worth it. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Become a 4-H mentor Jy Xiong

University of Minnesota Extension, Anoka County

4-H Tech Wizards is a small group mentoring program that uses access to technology and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts to teach young people life skills. Groups of one mentor and four youth will meet weekly. Groups will engage with technology, provide service to the community, and experience handson learning. Mentors will utilize the innovative curriculum provided to guide young people to build social, emotional, and STEM skills. As a mentor, you will gain hands-on experience helping youth with STEM activities. In the process, you can better understand and

improve your knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). By mentoring, you will be one of the leading guides in improving and growing this program for other 4-H youth to come. This experience is also a great opportunity to give back and help a youth develop essential life skills for college and/or achieve career goals. You do not need a background in STEM to serve as a mentor. Must be 21 years of age and older, commit to weekly meetings, be available program days after school and attend orientation. The locations are Fridley Community Center, Mondays after school; Columbia Heights Library, Tuesdays after school. If you are interested please contact Jy Xiong at 763-3243495 or or go online and submit an interest form: anokatechwizards.

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Hundreds of Vista Outdoor employees attended a two-day Wellness Fair in Anoka. Good health includes financial fitness. Staff at Anoka Hennepin Credit Union (AHCU) shared tips for healthy saving and spending habits while having fun and raising awareness of AHCU’s success at giving back to the community through the SPIRIT Debit Card Program. Pictured (L-R) Carla Bebeau, Doug Clinton and Nancy Workman at Vista Outdoor Health and Wellness Fair Event. Anoka Hennepin Credit Union is a state-chartered credit union originally formed in 1963. We serve more than 17,000 members from six locations; Anoka, Champlin, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Forest Lake and St. Francis. Toni Gerard, AHCU Vice President of Marketing

The Courier |

November 2017


Business Spotlight

Katrinna Dodge Staff Writer

Flo’s Hair Stylist The smell of shampoo and the sound of snipping scissors are the first things you notice walking into the welcoming, shabby chic atmosphere at Flo’s Hair Stylist on Ambassador Boulevard in St. Francis. Since the early 1980s, Flo’s has evolved from a barbershop to a hair stylist destination. “We are a place for the whole family,” said Christen Hawkins, co-owner of Flo’s Hair Stylist. “Flo’s is a fun and trendy hometown salon.” Flo’s Hair Stylist provides cuts for men and women of all ages, waxing, extensions, color, deep conditioning treatments, Malibu’s (clarifying treatments) and style services. Both Hawkins and Melissa Schrunk, co-owner, bring 20 years of combined

professional experience with them. Rounding out the staff is Andi, hair stylist at Flo’s for 37 years, who is an expert at styling perms and continues to serve many of her original clients. “We are a full service, hometown salon,” smiled Schrunk. “People don’t have to drive 20 minutes to have their hair colored or styled.” “From talking to people and seeing comments on Facebook, we saw a need in this community for a one-stopshop,” stated Hawkins. “Which made us think, we really should do this.” Residents of the St. Francis area can look forward to potential massage options, full body waxing, eyelash extensions and other esthetician services at Flo’s in the future. People can also purchase product for their

hair. Flo’s offers a variety of shampoos, conditioners, sprays and gels in a price range so that there are options for everyone. “We have so many different products for colored, straight, thin or thick hair,” said Schrunk. “We can order a specific product for customers so they don’t have to drive far to get it.” In their fourth month of business, Hawkins and Schrunk have been active in the St. Francis community. In August, Hawkins and Schrunk were sponsors in the St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce (SFACC) golf tournament. They have also been active in supporting the Luke Bonte Benefit by offering free haircuts with a donation during the month of October. In November, Flo’s is participating in St. Francis Lions’ Turkey

Learning about local Native American culture Nicole Mold

SFES Community Relations Coordinator

Second grade students at St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) had the opportunity to attend a field trip at Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes. Students traveled to various stations with their class learning about Native Americans and voyagers. Students learned about trade, furs, popular games like Cat and Mouse, music, weaving and more. Students will now have a better understanding of local Native American culture when they learn about Native Americans as part of their second grade curriculum. This was a great experience for the second graders at SFES.

Contact Sarah (763-753-7032) today to see greetings that are available or create your own, to wish The Courier readers all the best for the coming holiday season.

Bingo. “The more active we are in the community, the more we can connect to our small town,” said Schrunk. Stay updated on promotions

and specials at Flo’s Hair Stylist by following their Facebook page, Flo’s Hair Salon. Make an appointment by calling 763-753-2720.

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Students in Shelly Score’s second grade classroom feeling the fur of a beaver during their field trip to Wargo Nature Center. 

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The Courier |

Anoka Technical College offers direct path to bachelor’s degrees at Bemidji State University Melissa Priebe

Anoka Technical College

Anoka Technical College and Bemidji State University entered into a new articulation agreement on October 10 to offer a path in 15 associate degree programs to a four-year degree. Students at Anoka Tech who complete an associate of science degree may now transfer into one of three related four-year degree programs offered through Bemidji State University, with options online and on campus. President of Bemidji State University Faith Hensrud, doctor of education (Ed. D.), and President of Anoka Technical College Kent Hanson, doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), signed the articulation during a ceremony held Tuesday afternoon on Anoka Tech’s campus. Administrators, faculty and staff from both colleges were in attendance. “This is tremendous,” said Hensrud. “It is really exciting for us to share some of these highly technical degrees with students of highly technical programs.” The new agreement allows

students to complete the first two years of an associate of science degree program at Anoka Technical College, and complete the second two years through a bachelor of science or bachelor of applied science degree program at Bemidji State in order to be granted a four-year degree. The programs are offered either online or on campus. “I’m really excited to see our technical students have a chance to expand their skills into a baccalaureate degree program,” said Hanson. “We can better serve our communities by training students in our programs who want to advance to a bachelor’s degree and achieve higher earning potential.” Students may complete a bachelor of applied science degree in applied engineering, after completing two years in the following associate of applied science (AAS) degree programs: ■ Mechanical drafting and design technology ■ Landscape technology ■ Architectural technology ■ Biomedical equipment technician

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Instructor publishes book #ALLDONE others to attain their goals, Robbins is a therapist by trade. She teaches people how to identify and resolve the specific behavioral and A new book by Dr. Zakia task management barriers Robbins, an instructor of that prevent them from being community social services successful. at Anoka Technical College, “To be successful, you have to entitled #ALLDONE: A R.E.A.L. organize your life,” said Robbins. Practical Guide To Go From “We have a lot of students College Student To Graduate was who work multiple jobs, they released in September. Dr. Zakia Robbins have parents they are caring Designed to help college Submitted Photo for, or they have children in students achieve graduation school. When you’re that busy, while staying on top of their professional something is going to fall by the wayside.” work and social commitments, the book offers #ALLDONE is written in a conversational students a guide to daily life. tone and the pages are interactive. It’s designed To write the book, Robbins drew from her to help readers stay on track in every aspect of own experience studying for several advanced their life, while maintaining a work-life balance. degrees, as well as her research in community The acronym in the title stands for realistic, easy, social services. She has earned a bachelor’s attainable and livable. Inside, Robbins offers sage degree in dance education, a master’s degree in advice, like writing tasks down and allocating human services administration, a doctorate in time for everything—even the daily commute. organizational leadership and, most recently, a After growing up in north Philadelphia, in master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. “I actually wrote the book while I was studying a family where neither her parents nor her grandparents had a college education, Robbins for my master of science,” said Robbins. “I knows it takes determination for students to wanted to help everyone with everything. My finish a college degree. goal was to share simple techniques to manage For more information about #ALLDONE, visit tasks, inside and outside of school.” Known for her ability to inspire and motivate Melissa Priebe

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The Courier |

November 2017


Homecoming Week Inaugural Saints Night

SFES has spirit

Katrinna Dodge

Students at St. Francis Elementary School (SFES) participated in spirit week activities during homecoming week, October 2-6. The Spirit Days were I Woke up like This Monday, Crazy Tuesday (backwards, mismatch), Sports Wednesday, Superhero Thursday and School Spirit for Homecoming Friday. SFES students always look forward to dressing their best during spirit week.

Nicole Mold

SFES Community Relations Coordinator

Staff Writer

St. Francis High School (SFHS) homecoming had a plethora of exciting themes and events October 2-6. SFHS student council and National Honor Society (NHS) planned theme days and events for homecoming week, including powerbuff, homies day, footballs (female students give male students a football and the male student with the most footballs wins a prize, such as a gas card) home away from home (tourist) day and new this year Saints Night. Sarah Provost and Mikayla Lindquist, SFHS students, started planning homecoming and Saints Night in August. With help from faculty advisors, Sharon Bergman, NHS advisor, and Samantha Schmidt and Kimberly Nickel, SFHS student council advisors, they evaluated positives of past homecomings and explored possible changes. “This year we streamlined the pep fest and replaced the relay races with a potato sack race,” said Lindquist. “We looked at what has been popular in past years for our dress-up days. This year we included the word home everyday in homecoming week.” “Our biggest change was replacing the homecoming dance with Saints Night,” stated Provost. “Last year the homecoming dance wasn’t as popular as previous years, so we decided to take a different route.” “This was a student-led event and they did a nice job,” commented Jeff Fink, SFHS activities director. “Saints Night is new and different. I thought it was a good change that would be more community oriented.” Saints Night was a success before the football game on October 6. The community oriented event had two food trucks, Blue Star Kettle Corn, soccer bingo, face painting from SFHS gymnastics team, baked goods from SFHS choir boosters, quasi-tattoos from Miss St. Francis Ambassadors and more. Students and community members had the chance to dunk Independent School District 15 staff during Saints Night, including Superintendent Troy Ferguson, SFHS Principal Doug Austin and SFHS head football coach Brent Swaggert. The rainy day did not deter students and community members from attending Saints Night. Lindquist, Provost, SFHS student council and NHS coordinated a successful event that cultivated school and community spirit.

Annie Brisson (R) from Kate Hermann’s third grade class sporting a fashionable hairstyle for Crazy Tuesday. Andrea Klinsing’s fourth grade class (below) showing off their purple pride on Sports Wednesday.  Submitted Photos

Brent Swaggert, head football coach at St. Francis High School, takes a break from the chilly weather and the dunk tank with his family. Photo by Katrinna Dodge

During pep fest on October 6, Jaren Ingberg and Kylie Bergman were crowned homecoming king and queen.

Submitted Photo

Educational assistant Linda Polis and student Leah Hutar display their best attire during Pajama Day at St. Francis High School. The day kicked-off homecoming festivities. Photo by Steven Fetzik, SFHS Community Relations Coordinator

October 3 was Twin Day for St. Francis High School students to celebrate homecoming week. Students and staff were asked to pair up with others and share the same clothing style. Pictured (L-R) are Zach Zylka, Isaac Steeber, Madison Nelmane and Amelia Engman.

Photo by Steven Fetzik, SFHS Community Relations Coordinator

Saturday, November 4 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Craft Fair • Bake Sale • Lunch

St. Francis United Methodist Church

A Community Dedicated to Seeking Christ and Serving Others Pastor Kevin Coder 3914 - 229th Avenue • St. Francis • 763-753-2273


November 2017

The Courier |

Sports & Outdoors Fighting Saints prepare for the wrestling season Kurt Werk

SFHS head wrestling coach

Redshirt Freshman Hunter Trautman, SFHS 2016 alumna, lead the Northern State Wolves to victory on Saturday, September 30, over the Minnesota State University-Moorhead State Dragons 28-21. Trautman completed ten passes for 129 yards including a 39 yard pass to teammate Nick Kayl for the go-ahead touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter. With the win the Wolves improve to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NCIS) north division.

Photo credit Kory Burdick. Brent Swaggert, SFHS Head Football Coach

Have a safe and successful hunting season! Call me about insuring your recreational vehicle, trailer, ATV, side-by-side or boat.

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Gary Zimmerman • 763-753-3595 Across from St. Francis High School

Junior Olympic V lleyball Tryouts St. Francis High School Gym

Monday, December 4 & Monday, December 11 7:30-9:00 p.m.

must attend both nights

For grades 5-11 girls. Cost is $280.


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Coaches needed!

Contact Tracey at 763-213-1551

The 2017-18 St. Francis High School wrestling season is right around the corner with practice starting November 20. The Fighting Saints are coming off a record season by winning the Mississippi 8 Conference and sending eight individuals to the Minnesota State Tournament. The Fighting Saints have a very strong tradition with 13 conference titles, five section titles and have placed in the top six in Minnesota five times. They have also won 13 individual state champions. This year the wrestlers will focus on becoming a team by participating in multiple tournaments to prepare to make another attempt for a section title. Several wrestlers with varsity experience and senior captains, Mitchell Wilson and Tanner Kunshier, are ready for the challenge. The team has three home duals in the month of December so mark your calendar now (see schedule, right).










12/15/17 12/20/17

Invitational Dual



12/28-29/17 1/6/18 1/11/18 1/13/18 1/18/18 1/20/18

Invitational Invitational Dual Invitational Dual Invitational Conference Tourney Dual JV Conference Meet Invitational Team Sections Team/Ind State Tourney

1/26/18 2/2/18 2/10/18 2/10/18 2/16/18 2/23-24/18 3/1-3/18

Away vs. Hastings Home vs. Chisago Lakes Youth Night Away vs. Coon Rapids Home vs. Cambridge-Isanti Alumni Night Away vs. Rochester Away vs. Anoka Home vs. Coon Rapids Senior/Parent Night Rumble on the Red, Fargo Away vs. Cambridge-Isanti Away vs. North Branch Away vs. Centennial Away vs. Princeton Away vs. Champlin Park

9:30 am

Away vs. Buffalo

3:00 pm


6:00 pm

Away vs. Monticello

9:30 am

Away vs. Morris Away vs. Cambridge-Isanti Away vs. Anoka TBD

10:00 am TBD TBD TBD

6:00 pm 9:00 am 6:00 pm 12:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:15 pm TBD 9:00 am 6:00 pm 9:30 am 6:00 pm 9:00 am

Injured hockey player to drop the puck at college game in Isanti U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic is November 6 Doug Johnson

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum

Matt Olson, who suffered a spinal cord injury last year while playing junior hockey, is scheduled to drop the puck at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic on Monday, November 6, at Isanti County Arena. Game time is 6:00 p.m. The contest between Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota-Duluth will be played in the same arena Olson skated in while growing up. “I spent a lot of hours there,” he said. “I’m a little anxious about going back, but I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces.” The Cambridge-Isanti hockey community has rallied behind putting on this benefit game to raise money for Olson, who is rehabilitating at his parents’ home, just a short distance from the arena. “It means a lot to me to have my hometown community supporting me,” Olson said. “I know it takes a lot of hard work to plan and organize an event like this. I appreciate everyone who is making it possible. I’m also excited for the community to come together and see a college game and a junior game in our rink.” Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be available at the arena beginning at 5:00 p.m. on November 6. A specially designed T-shirt will be sold at the event, with all proceeds going to Olson. There will also be a silent auction and a chance

A benefit for Matt Olson is planned for November 6. Olson suffered a spinal cord injury while playing junior hockey. Submitted Photo

to have a picture taken with Herb Brooks’ 1980 Olympic Gold Medal. After the college game featuring two of the top teams from the Women’s League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), there will be a junior game with teams from the league Olson played in when he was injured.

The Courier |


November 2017

Saints dance struggles with small practice spaces

Gymnasts look strong for 2017-18 season

Megan Tabako

Coming off a winning season last year, the St. Francis High School gymnastics team is looking to keep its momentum for the 2017-18 season. The Saints finished last season strong in third place (5-4). their highest place since St. Francis High School joined the Mississippi 8 conference in 2013. However, with only five returning gymnasts this year, this will be a very different and far younger team. Last winter the team had three seniors who have since graduated and two more experienced gymnasts who decided not to return this year. This has left a big hole in an already small program. Fortunately, they have been able to fill the gap and grow the team by recruiting some very strong club gymnasts from the community. Many of the new gymnasts are younger, in grades 7-8, but come with years of club gymnastics experience in the USA Gymnastics (USAG) Junior Olympic and Xcel programs. Coach Candi Johnson said, “We are looking forward to a good season. This

SFHS dance team coach

The St. Francis High School (SFHS) dance team held tryouts in late October. We are anticipating having around 35 athletes on our team this year. Varsity Jazz is looking to have a lot of returning members, while Varsity Kick will be a mixture of veterans and rookies. We have a small but strong group of upperclassmen ready to lead the team. One of our biggest struggles is practice space. We have two kick teams and three jazz teams. On jazz practice days, our varsity team practices in the cafeteria on a concrete floor, often with spectators and the band practicing behind us. Junior varsity jazz and B squad jazz have to split their time between a hallway with a tile floor, or the carpeted entrance to the Performing Arts Center. These spaces are much smaller than our competition space, so we spend a lot of practice time running choreography in groups. One of my goals this year is to reduce injuries, and since we practice in the cafeteria and hallways, effective and safe practice plans are a key component in achieving that goal. We are preparing to fight hard to defend our Mississippi 8 Conference Jazz Championship from last year and to improve in our High Kick M8 Conference standings. We pride ourselves on being hard working, accountable and respectful athletes.

Anoka County Parks and Recreation Programs and Activities for November Andy Soltvet

Anoka County Parks and Recreation Visitor Services Manager

Check out Anoka County Parks and Recreation for fun seasonal programs and activities. To register or for more information, call 763-324-3350 or visit Lunch with a Naturalist Bring your lunch and join a naturalist for our Lunch with a Naturalist series. This month’s presentation, Bird Language, may include local natural history information and possibly a relaxing stroll on the trails at Wargo. Any equipment Kelly McGinnis Minnesota Association of that may be needed will be Dance Teams director of public provided. Pre-registration is relations not required. Ages 50+. FREE! Allison Bridges November 8 Minnesota Association of Dance Teams president 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Wargo Nature Center Every other year, the 7701 Main St., Lino Lakes Minnesota Association of Family Wilderness Survival Dance Teams (MADT) hosts a Basics Coaches Continuing Education What would you do if you got event. This event is designed lost in the woods? Do your kids to help dance coaches prepare know what to do to stay safe? If for the upcoming season and you’re not sure how to answer network with each other. these questions, this program Part of MADT’s mission is to might be for you! We’ll learn educate and train its members about safety in the outdoors, and coaches throughout discuss myths and facts about Minnesota, and this event dangers in the backcountry, and helps create excitement among get some hands-on experience colleagues to learn new with building shelters. Pretraining methods, organization, registration is required. All planning, and leadership skills, ages. COST is $5/person (+tax) among other things. November 4 This year’s event took place 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 30 at Wargo Nature Center Eastview High School in Apple 7701 Main St., Lino Lakes Valley. Over 120 Minnesota dance team coaches attended. Continued On Page 30 MADT hosted Rob Miller from

Rob Mehregan

SFHS gymnastics Booster Club

Current and future members of the St. Francis High School gymnastics team doing face-painting at Saints Night on October 6. Pictured (L-R) Felicia Bartell, Summer Helland, Riley Lawin, Taylor Wilson, Lia Mehregan. Photo by Rob Mehregan

is a young team with only one senior and one junior, but there is a lot of new talent with great potential that we can build upon.” The team’s only senior, Jessi Mehregan, stated, “I am looking forward to my last year with a strong conference finish. I can’t wait to help mentor the younger gymnasts, including my sister Lia, and watch them improve on their skills. It will be a fun season for all of us.” Keep your eyes on returning

Minnesota Association of Dance Teams hosts coaches continuing education Proactive Coaching, Simon Almaer from Premier Sports Psychology and Jenny Eustace from the University of Iowa Dance Team as key speakers at the event. The day also includes two special breakout sessions, all led by Minnesota coaches. The Coaches Continuing Education event occurred before the winter competitive dance season began, which allows coaches to utilize and implement the information learned into their new season. With so many new coaches this year, having the event preseason gave rookie and veteran coaches an opportunity to meet, collaborate, and support each other setting up for what everyone hopes to be a season of high competition with sportsmanship abound. For more information on Coaches Continuing Education or MADT, please visit

junior Felicia Bartell who competed at state last year with difficult skills and delivered strong scores. Team veterans Summer Helland and Allie Frank are also returning and bring home consistent high scores that help drive wins. The season kicks off with their first home meet against Rogers on December 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Francis Middle School gym. Come out and cheer on your Fighting Saints gymnasts. Go Saints! 3220 Bridge Street, Suite 107 in the St. Francis Mall


763-753-1277 for an Appointment

Kendall W. Goodian, D.C. Chiropractic Orthopedist

Specializing in Sports, Industrial and Auto Accident Injuries


St. Francis SnoGhosts YOUTH SAFETY SNOWMOBILE TRAINING Saturday, December 9 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Pre-Registration Contact Al LaTour before November 4 at 763-350-8990 to reserve your spot. Registration fee $5 Participants must be 11 years old or older. Certification becomes valid at age 12. Sponsored by

Students must complete the online class through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources before attending. Please visit minnesota. Participants must present Certificate of Completion in order to attend.


November 2017

The Courier |

East Bethel Community School students are JAM’in Jamie Studnicka

EBCS Community Relations Coordinator

Just a Minute (JAM) is a morning exercise routine East Bethel Community School students have been participating in for five years. Fifth grade classes alternate the role of JAM leaders each week. Every morning a fifth grade JAM leader goes to a classroom to help start the day. They lead the students and adults through a series of short exercises that are done at the students’ desks. Activities can be traditional jumping jacks or cherry pickers. The activities also include using your imagination, like casting a fishing pole ten times or starting a lawn mower. The benefits of JAM are widespread. The activities are designed so everyone can participate, allowing them to be done as a class. JAM helps get students ready to learn through physical activity. It can provide much needed brain breaks to improve concentration throughout the day. JAM provides students with a leadership opportunity that fosters growth in confidence and self-esteem. JAM is successful because it is fun, quick and effective.

Saints alumni ski for Cardinals Mark Aho


St. Francis High School (SFHS) alumni Amber Aho, Maki Koep, and Tiera Salitros are the top three women water skiers for Iowa State University Cardinals. In mid-October, their team ranked fourth nationwide in water ski jumping. Aho, Koep and Salitros also compete in water slalom skiing. They traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 21-22 to compete with the top 24 colleges in the nation in the collegiate nationals.

Pictured (L-R) Amber Aho, SFHS 2015 alumna, Maki Koep, SFHS 2016 alumna, and Tiera Salitros, SFHS 2015 alumna, are all competitive water skiers at Iowa State University. Submitted Photo

Callie (center), a fifth-grade JAM leader, leads a kindergarten class at EBCS in morning JAM. Submitted Photo

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve activity schedule Caitlin Potter

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve education and outreach coordinator

Red-headed Woodpecker Hike November 4, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Cost: free, adults recommended Come watch the red-headed woodpeckers get ready for winter! As the leaves fall, these charismatic birds and their preparatory behavior become easier to spot. Join birding expert and long-time Cedar Creek scientist Jim Howitz for the weekend version of his well-loved bird walk. Meet in the Fish Lake Nature Trail parking lot Audubon Photo where Jim will give you further parking directions. RSVP to Caitlin ( Red-headed Woodpecker Hike November 14, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Cost: free, adults recommended

Can’t get enough of the red-headed woodpeckers? Join bird expert Jim Howitz for this fall’s final bird walk. Meet in the Fish Lake Nature Trail parking lot as usual. RSVP to Caitlin at Minnesota Ornithological Union (MOU) Paper Session December 2 Cost: fee-based, adults recommended Interested in learning more about bird work taking place across Minnesota? Have you been wondering what the woodpecker citizen scientists really do? Attend this annual event at the Landscape Arboretum for talks, poster sessions and lots and lots of fellow bird nerds! More information and registration details on the MOU facebook page. Annual Christmas Bird Count December 17 Cost: free, adults recommended 2017 is Audubon’s 118th Christmas Bird Count, and we’re excited to have Cedar Creek involved once again! Join fellow birders to count birds on designated routes across the property. Space is limited; please RSVP to Steve at

Continued From Page 29

Anoka County Parks November Schedule

St. Francis

Auto Parts Local one stop auto parts store with over 100,000 in stock parts and nationwide parts locating. Family Run Business Open 5 Days A Week — Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 763-753-4698 4140 St. Francis Blvd., just south of town on Hwy 47

Fall Night Hike Explore the nighttime world and some of the Minnesota animals that frequent it. We’ll take a nighttime trek around Wargo Nature Center’s Heritage Lab property to listen for owls and look at the stars. Bring a flashlight and bundle up! Pre-registration is required. Ages 8+. COST is $5 per person (+tax) November 18 6:30-7:30 p.m. YMCA Camp Heritage 7732 Main St., Lino Lakes

Fresh Cheese Making Do you love fresh cheese? If so, learn how to make fresh mozzarella! It is easier than you think and you’ll come away with some tasty, fresh cheese. We’ll take you through the whole cheese-making process and introduce you to the ingredients and skills you need to make fresh cheese at home. Pre-registration is required. Minors must be accompanied by a registered adult. Ages 12+. COST is $25 per person (+tax) November 4 1:30-3:00 p.m. Wargo Nature Center 7701 Main St., Lino Lakes

DIY Natural Body Products Come discover the power of plants! We’ll spend the class discussing useful properties of common plants and the basics of how to incorporate them into homemade body products. We will use our newly-made body lotion, headache salve, and lip balm. Participants will take home a gift set of all three products perfect for the holidays! Pre-registration is required. Ages 15+. COST is $20 per person (+tax) November 11 1:00-2:30 p.m. Wargo Nature Center 7701 Main St., Lino Lakes

The Courier |

November 2017


Meetings, Benefits & Events Red Cross Bloodmobile Health & Fitness Diane Grise

American Red Cross volunteer

The Red Cross is hosting a blood drive open to the public on Tuesday, December 5, 1:30-7:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 19921 Nightingale Street in Oak Grove. Register online at American Red CrossGive Blood or stop by the information station after all masses at St. Patrick’s two weeks prior. To avoid wait times, appointments are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins will be accepted if the schedule allows. Every effort will be made to stay on schedule!

East Bethel Seniors Krazy Krafters Karen White

City of East Bethel Receptionist

The Krazy Krafters, East Bethel seniors, are hosting a holiday craft and bake sale on Saturday, November 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the East Bethel Senior & Community Center. Coffee, treats, cookbooks and gently used items are available for purchase.

ISD 15 School Board ISD 15 SCHOOL Board Meetings: November 13 & 27 Dialogue with the School Board 6:30 p.m., Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m., December 11 Dialogue with the School Board 6:30 p.m., Regular Meeting 7:00 p.m. at Central Services Center, Community Room, 4115 Ambassador Boulevard NW, St. Francis.

City & Township Meetings Andover City Council Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., 1685 Crosstown Boulevard NW, Andover 763-755-5100 Bethel City Council Meets 1st & 3rd Thursday, 7:00 p.m. 23820 Dewey Street, Bethel, 763-434-4366 Nowthen City Council Meets 2nd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. 19800 Nowthen Boulevard NW, Nowthen 763-441-1347 East Bethel City Council Meets 1st & 3rd Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. 2241 221st Avenue NE, East Bethel 763-367-7840 Oak Grove City Council Meets 2nd & last Monday, 7:00 p.m. 19900 Nightingale Street NW, Oak Grove 763-404-7000 St. Francis City Council Meets 1st & 3rd Monday, 6:00 p.m. ISD 15 Central Services Center, St. Francis 763-753-2630 Stanford Township Board Meets 1st Monday, 7:00 p.m. 5050 261st Avenue NW, Isanti, 763-444-6370

New East Bethel TOPS weight loss support group meeting. Meeting held at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1450 237th Avenue NE, East Bethel, Mondays at 5:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to their first meeting free of charge with no obligation. Tops Chapter MN #1774 Meets every Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. at the St. Francis Community Center, 23340 Cree Street N. TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly and is a weight loss support group. Check out a meeting or visit

American Legion American Legion Auxiliary Unit 622 – St. Francis General membership meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. All members of the auxiliary are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 763-753-4234. American Legion Post 622 – St. Francis General membership meets the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. All members of the post are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 763-753-4234.

Community Service North Anoka County Foodshelf (NACE) – Provides food and clothing for people in need through the generosity of our community. Hours of operation are: Monday 9:00 a.m.-Noon, Tuesday 5:00-8:00 p.m., Wednesday 1:00-4:00 p.m., Thursday 8:00-11:00 a.m. NACE is located at 18511 Hwy 65 NE, Suites 100, 200 in East Bethel. For more information, to donate or volunteer, please call 763-434-7685 or visit Long Lake Lutheran Church Invites you to join us for GriefShare Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Free. We are located five miles north of St. Francis on Hwy. 47. For more information please contact Sharon Sudeith at 763-444-4483 or visit www. For general information on the GriefShare program, visit www. GriefShare grief recovery support group: Meets at First Baptist Church in St. Francis each Wednesday beginning October 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Child care is provided through 6th grade. The church is located 22940 St. Francis Blvd. NW. GriefShare is a 14-week program to provide help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend. For more information, call Mike or Sharon at 763-4420401 or visit

AA/NA AA/NA Meeting at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in East Bethel. NA on Mondays at 7:00 p.m., AA on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., NA on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. AA Meets at Long Lake Lutheran Church, 5 miles north of St. Francis on Hwy. 47, Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Business Edward Jones Coffee Club meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 8:00 a.m. at Bridge Street Coffee, 3122 Viking Blvd., Oak Grove.

Area Chamber of Commerce


St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast is the second Wednesday of each month, 8:00 a.m. at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in St. Francis Cost is $3. The Networking Breakfast usually has a featured speaker. The Board meeting is the third Wednesday of each month, 11:00 a.m. at the St. Francis Community Center, 23340 Cree Street, St. Francis. Meetings are open to the public. Visit our www.stfrancischamber. org or call 763-438-5163 for more details. North 65 Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the North 65 Chamber visit East Bethel Chamber of Commerce Sign Ordinance meeting November 9 at Hidden Haven Golf Course, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Board meeting is November 28, 8:00-9:00 a.m. at Aggressive Hydraulics, 18800 Ulysses Street NE, Cedar. Visit www. for more info. Ham Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting is November 15, 9:00 a.m. at 21st Century Bank, 17635 Central Avenue NE, Ham Lake. Visit www.hamlakechamber for location and more information.

Oak Grove Seniors Meet at noon the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, Oak Grove City Hall for a potluck and short business meeting, bingo follows. For information about the club and events, call Marion Schulz at 763-444-5652. St. Francis Seniors Life is good when you can make new friends, get out and enjoy the multitude of activities that our community has to offer. We meet the first and third Thursday of each month at St. Francis City Hall Meeting Room, 23340 Cree Street NW, St. Francis. Social time and lunch begins at noon, with the meeting beginning at 1:00 p.m. and games until 3:00 p.m. We play cards, bingo, scrabble, cribbage, go on trips, lunch outings, have picnics and stay active as we get older. Come and see what we are about. Call President Ray Steinke at 763-753-1871. East Bethel Seniors Dances are held 1:00-4:00 p.m. Cost is $6, lunch included. The Friday, November 3 dance will have old time music played by Jim Armstrong. Entertainment for December 1 will be by Wes Miller. Are you 55 or older? Come and enjoy some companionship. All are welcome. Seniors meet the third Thursday of each month for a business meeting and catered noon lunch, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; second Wednesday of each month is crafts, 9:00 a.m.-noon with potluck at noon; fourth Wednesday is crafts only, 9:00 a.m.-noon. Cribbage once a month, call Barb for date/ time at 763-434-6179. We also go on tours, etc. Rent the Senior Center, call Dennis at 763-434-9244. Join East Bethel Seniors for $10 a year and receive a monthly newsletter. The East Bethel Senior Center is located one mile east of Highway 65 on 221st Avenue in East Bethel.

Lions/Lioness CEDAR/EAST BETHEL LIONS CLUB Meets bimonthly, first and third Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., at Maxx’s Restaurant & Bar on Hwy. 65. Call Judy Ricke at 763-226-4893. Oak Grove Lions club Meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Oak Grove City Hall, 7:00 p.m., adjourning at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call Lion Mark Silvernagel at 763-753-2215. NOWTHEN LIONS CLUB Are you looking to serve in your community of Nowthen? Meet new friends? Have a lot of fun? Come join the Nowthen Lions Club! The Nowthen Lions meet at Nowthen City Hall on the first Thursday of the month for the board meeting and on the third Thursday of the month for the membership meeting. Please email St. Francis Lioness Club Meets monthly. First Wednesday, administrative board and third Wednesday, general membership meeting at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at St. Francis City Hall, 23340 Cree Street. For more information, call Mary Madden at 763-444-5020 or Cheryl Eldstrom at 763-753-4602 or email bluesage51@ St. Francis Lions Club Meets three times during the month at the St. Francis American Legion. First Wednesday board meeting; second Wednesday regular business meeting; fourth Wednesday social and program. All meetings start at 7:00 p.m. and adjourn at 8:15 p.m. Call Lion Kevin Schuldt for more information at 763-7531205 or visit CEDAR/EAST BETHEL LIONESS CLUB Meets the first Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Maxx’s Restaurant & Bar on Hwy. 65. For membership information call Yvonne Johnson, 763-434-6985. We Serve!

Jobs! Independent School District 15 is looking for the following: Custodians, Educational Assistants, Nutrition Services, Bus Drivers and Substitutes. Please visit and click on employment. Find your next job with! We’ve been helping connect employers and job seekers for over 20 years. Visit our site to find your next job. We have employers with immediate openings for Direct Support Professionals, CDL Drivers, Machinists/ Tool Designers and much, much more. No registration necessary! Simply search and apply. Go to to get started today!

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November 2017

The Courier |

Life Supporting community literacy College production of Good ‘N’ Plenty hits stage Gerald Golden

Fia Prpic

Friends of the Isanti Area Library

The Friends of the Isanti Area Library (FIAL) promote the East Central Regional Library Isanti Outreach site, as well as support literacy in the community. Donations are accepted and very much appreciated. Online donations can be conveniently made in a variety of ways. Our website accepts monetary donations at When Amazon orders are placed at smile. a percentage is donated by Amazon to Friends at no cost to you. Simply log in to and specify Friends of the Isanti Area Library as the charity you wish to support. On Thursday, November 16, donations can be made to Give to the Max Day at We are also in need of book donations for our annual book sale to be held in February, 2018. If you have any used or new books, DVD’s, or audiobooks you wish to donate, please contact us at 763-444-4585 to arrange a drop off. The Isanti Outreach Library is located in Isanti City Hall and is open Wednesdays from 12:00 until 4:00 p.m. Tim, the librarian, is happy to help patrons find items they want. In addition to books, DVD movies, and audiobooks, there is a computer for public use with a volunteer available to offer assistance. FIAL also has used books on sale for just 25 cents each. Everyone is welcome to join FIAL at their fun planning meetings on the third Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in Isanti. For more information, or to be included on our mailing list contact Susi@ or 763-444-4585. Joseph Wangen visits the East Central Regional Isanti Outreach Library at Isanti City Hall.  Submitted Photo

Anoka-Ramsey Community College media relations

Anoka-Ramsey Community College invites the public to experience its fall production of Good ‘N’ Plenty at the Coon Rapids Campus Performing Arts Center on November 2-4, 7:30 p.m. Good “N’ Plenty is a comedy by Jeffrey Hatcher set in fictional Wintersville High School in 1976 when Richard Miller arrives as the new, very

hip social studies instructor set to teach problems of democracy to seniors. Miller decides his students can learn about the U.S. criminal justice system by playing pushers, buyers, narcs, cops, judges and lawyers while using Good ‘N’ Plenty candies as the contraband. Laughter, political satire and slapstick ensues as the system crumbles under all of the betrayals, duplicities and collapsing authority, with almost everyone ending up in jail.

Tickets are $8 in advance and available at the college bookstore, online www. departments-faculty/theatre and at the door one hour prior to the performance. For more information about the production or the Theatre Department at AnokaRamsey Community College, visit academics/departmentsfaculty/theatre.

When the grandchildren Project Bookshelf at Anoka County Library come to visit… Mary Oliver

Anoka County Library

This holiday season give the gift of reading by donating new children’s books for Project Bookshelf, Anoka County Library’s holiday book drive. The donated books are distributed to children and families through Anoka County food shelves, including ACBC, CEAP, Centennial Community Food Shelf, NACE and SACA. “Having access to books and reading together help kids become more confident readers,” said Maggie Snow, Anoka County Library Director. “Project Bookshelf gives families the opportunity to grow their home libraries and share the joy of reading throughout the new year.” To participate, simply bring new, unwrapped books for children and young adults to any branch of Anoka County Library or Columbia Heights Public Library during the month of November. For a full calendar of library events visit our website

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Neighborhood Safety Network

When your grandchildren are on their way to visit, be sure to have a safe home for them to stay. ■ Make sure your crib and play yard meet current safety standards ■ Don’t give kids under three-years old toys or items with small parts ■ Be sure your grandchildren wear helmets when they ride bikes, scooters or skateboards ■ Make sure medicines, cleaning products and other household chemicals are out of reach and locked away ■ Never leave your grandchildren alone for a moment near water or in the bathtub ■ Make sure window blind cords are inaccessible or use cordless window coverings to prevent strangulation

Our Saviour’s


Faith Listings

Lutheran Church & Preschool “Reaching Out With A Voice Of Hope” Sunday Worship Services 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. Wednesday Ignite Service at 6:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve Worship Wednesday, November 22 at 6:30 p.m. Pie served after.

19001 Jackson Street NE • East Bethel West County Road 22 and south on Jackson Street For information call 763-434-6117 or visit email to: Pastors Dan Nordin, Maria Pederson, Deacon Glenndy Ose

Abundant Life Alliance Church 3840 197th Avenue NW Oak Grove • 763-753-0284 Bethel Community Church 23860 Dewey Street NW Bethel • 763-434-9834 Cedar United Methodist Church 17541 Jefferson Street NE Ham Lake • 763-434-7463 Cross of Hope Lutheran Church 5730-179th Lane NW Ramsey • 763-753-2057 Elim Baptist Church 114 Dahlin Street SE Isanti • 763-444-9221 Immanuel Church (OPC) 15036 Round Lake Boulevard NW Andover • 763-210-5846

Living Hope Evangelical Free Church 23038 Rum River Boulevard NW St. Francis • 763-753-1718

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church 207 Whiskey Road NW Isanti • 763-444-4035

Long Lake Lutheran Church 3921 277th Avenue NW Isanti • 763-444-5315

St. Andrew Lutheran Church 1450 237th Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-7146

New Life Church - Oak Grove 18975 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove • 763-753-5717

The Bridge Church 6443 Norris Lake Road Nowthen • 763-753-2134 Services 10:30 a.m.

New Life Church 17261 St. Francis Boulevard NW Ramsey • 763-421-0166

Trinity Lutheran Church, School and Childcare 3812 229th Avenue NW St. Francis • 763-753-1234

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church 19001 Jackson Street NE East Bethel • 763-434-6117

West Bethel United Methodist Church 1233 221st Avenue NE East Bethel • 763-434-6451

The Courier |

November 2017


Minnesota resident, takes home national title with American Beauties Plus Pageant Wendy Lindberg

Mrs. American Beauties Plus

The American Beauties Plus National Pageant, in association with Royal Productions, is pleased to introduce you to Wendy Lindberg of Oak Grove. Lindberg represented Minnesota in the national pageant October 11-15 against 23 other competitors in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was awarded the title of Mrs. American Beauties Plus 2017.

In addition to her national title, Lindberg took home the Pajama Party Modeling, Spokesmodel, Social Media Award, Door Décor and Director’s awards in the final night. As a part of the American Beauties Plus Pageant, delegates and titleholders are asked to perform community service with at least one event related to the pageant’s national platform: domestic violence. Though domestic

violence is the national platform, many delegates have their own personal passions which they commit their time and energy to. Titleholders provide support to a number with varied activities and events such as the Susan G. Komen three day, Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Cancer Research Foundation, Feed My Starving Children, Ronald McDonald House and many others. Proceeds from portions of the pageant and events are

donated to domestic violence advocacy groups locally and nationally.

Lindberg’s platform, Community Service with a HEART, focuses on the ways you can become involved in your communities and approach activities with HEART to give and receive the best benefits of the community service you are involved with. Already participating in over 15 activities since the month of April, Lindberg has made it her personal goal to show how simple giving back can be. She is planning on participating in one community service activity per week for a year and one per day in the month of December.

Early Literacy Experiences at Anoka County Library Patrick Jones

Anoka County Library

as well,” stated Maggie Snow, ACL director. The ACL conducts storytimes aimed at specific audiences: babies, toddlers and families. Baby storytimes require registration, most toddler storytimes are drop-in, and family storytimes require no registration. To register, please visit For more information on Every Child Ready to Read, please visit http://everychildreadytoread. org. For more information on ACL early literacy experiences, please contact Patrick Jones at 763324-1398 or

Each week, Anoka County Library (ACL) conducts 30 storytimes across the system’s eight branches. These storytimes are not simply a librarian reading a few books to preschoolers, but rather an intentional early literacy and school readiness experience. The fall season for storytimes at ACL runs until Saturday, November 18. Using the research-based Every Child Ready to Read model, ACL storytimes demonstrate the five successful practices of early literacy: play, sing, talk, write, and read.  astrology Every Child Ready to Read  yoga therapy is an initiative of the Public Library Association and the  healing journey Association for Library Service sessions to Children. For each storytime  yoga nidra CDs in ACL, the librarian carefully plans a series of songs, rhymes, fingerplays, books and other activities to enhance the early literacy experience. “Our librarians model best practices for parents and caregivers, and we want , LLC them to think of storytimes at the library not only as a fun Phone 763-232-8004 WillowBridge Center  Suite 7 activity, but an educational one 4 Enterprise Ave NE, Isanti, MN

2017 Goal 727

79 Tons

transform your inner

story Amy Jensen

Healing Arts


Recycled in September St. Francis has recycled 623 tons in 2017 so far. Recycling is now easier with simple sort recycling. You no longer need to sort items. Just place them all in the large roll-off container provided by your hauler.

St. Francis Recycle Fall Event Hosted by LePage and Sons

Saturday, November 18 9:00 a.m.-Noon 23602 University Ave NW Bethel, MN 55005 763-757-7100

Wednesday, November 22 • 6:00 p.m. Pie Social and Silent Auction after the service.

You’re invited to Trinity’s special Thanksgiving Day Worship Service Thursday, November 23 at 9:00 a.m.

Proceeds of auction to benefit LLLC 2018 Youth Gathering.

22nd Annual Live Nativity Saturday, December 9 4:30-7:30 p.m. Chili and Soup Supper

Join us each Week

8:00 & 9:30 a.m. – Sunday Worship 9:30 a.m. – Education and Sunday School 6:00 p.m. – Wednesday Education 6:00 p.m. – Wednesday Worship

Long Lake Lutheran Church 3921 277th Avenue NW, Isanti, MN, about 5 miles north of St. Francis 763-444-5315 •

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”

Psalm 95:2 ESV

Regular Sunday Services 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Bible Study for Adults and Sunday School 9:15 a.m.

Trinity Lutheran Church and School 3812 229th Avenue NW • St. Francis, Minnesota 763-753-1234 • Rev. Timothy Vaughan Rev. Keaton Christiansen


November 2017

The Courier |

Opp Family Chiropractic – Dr. Katie Hofkes celebrates five years Dr. Katie Hofkes

Opp Family Chiropractic

Why did I choose to be a chiropractor? This is usually one of the questions patients love to ask me. Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be active in helping people and a positive influence in their lives; I just did not know how or what that would entail. While attending college,

I began experiencing severe low back pain that would not go away. I could not sit or stand for more than five minutes, was unable to be active in any sports or activities and I could not sleep. I knew there was something more going on than just a sore back and my body was yelling at me to do something about it. During that time of pain, seeing a chiropractor was recommended. I was

y r a s r e v i Ann Dr. Katie Hofkes is celebrating five years with Opp Family Chiropractic! 23671 St. Francis Blvd. NW, St. Francis

763-213-0615 Expires 11/30/17

hesitant at first, not knowing how this would even help or what to expect. After my first adjustment—a large tall man landing on me and squishing me—I remember thinking, “What in the world just happened!” I was completely surprised at the amount of relief I experienced after each adjustment. I could finally sit through a lecture and become active in sports. That is how my passion for understanding chiropractic began. After graduating from chiropractic school, I began to grow a true passion for helping the prenatal and pediatric population. I have always enjoyed spending time with and taking care of babies and kids, but I was really compelled to learn more about helping mothers during their pregnancy, whether that be providing emotional support, guidance, pain relief and encouraging mothers to trust their own body’s ability to function naturally. After labor and delivery it is always a privilege to finally meet the little one when they make their grand entrance into this world. I love being a part of the baby’s first adjustment and adjusting them during their developmental milestones such as learning to hold up their head, sitting upright, crawling and walking. Over the past five years, I have been able to witness the miracle of the chiropractic adjustment work and expand my knowledge and expertise through multiple seminars and handson experiences. I have worked with a great supportive group of co-workers at Opp Family Chiropractic during this journey. Our growing team has shaped and changed many people’s lives for the better, including my own. I have been blessed with the opportunity to live out my passion by helping people live a healthy lifestyle through chiropractic care. Do what you love and you will end each day with a full heart.


Everything you need for Thanksgiving

Express Gasolines

Per Gallon All Grades of Gas

Expires 11/30/17

Fresh Meat Department

Valid on cash transactions only, must pay inside St. Francis County Market. Not good with other offers. Limit one per visit. Expires 11/30/17

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables


Express Gasolines

Per Gallon All Grades of Gas

Specialty Deli Salads

Valid on cash transactions only, must pay inside St. Francis County Market. Not good with other offers. Limit one per visit. Expires 11/30/17 23122 St. Francis Boulevard NW St. Francis 763-753-3334 Open Seven Days A Week Monday-Saturday 5:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Sunday 6:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.

Beverages Bakery Floral Paper Products Snacks

Isanti professional organizer earns 2017 Golden Shoe Award Susi McCune

Specialized Organization Services LLC

Members of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing ProfessionalsMinnesota (NAPO-MN) collected 1,350 pairs of shoes to donate to Arc’s Value Village this year. Sales of the shoes at the thrift stores are expected to generate at least $6,700 according to Michelle Raven, Arc’s Value Village personal shopper and lead stylist. She said, “We are grateful for NAPO-MN’s efforts.” The store revenues fund The Arc Greater Twin Cities’ programs serving families and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This year’s results bring the total number of shoes collected over the past seven years of the annual drive to 15,092 valued at $75,000 in the resale market. “This shoe drive is a perfect fit for our group,” said Christine Daves, professional development director of NAPO-MN. “As pro organizers we are on the front line of helping people declutter their lives, so we had an excellent opportunity to gather the shoes while assisting clients.” Chapter member, Susi McCune of Isanti, had the highest number of shoes collected, earning her the coveted Golden Shoe Award for the fourth time. With the help of many community members, friends, family and coworkers, McCune gathered 412 pairs of shoes. She is excited about the award and especially appreciates everyone who donated shoes for such a great cause. NAPO-MN teamed with Arc’s Value Village in particular because their mission is in accord with the recycle/reuse value held by professional organizers. Find more information about NAPO-MN at www.

The Courier |

November 2017


Shhhh... top secret tips for parents Fighting back against heroin in our communities Last year, 34 people died of heroin/opioid-related overdose in Anoka County. Victims ranged in age from 18 to 61. In one particularly grim 12-hour period, six unrelated heroin/ opioid overdose cases were reported. Two of those victims, young men in their early 20s, died; a third was taken to the hospital in critical condition Nationally, drug overdoses kill more people each year than gun homicides and car crashes, according to a report by the federal Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Last year in Minnesota, 637 people died from drug overdose, compared to 583 deaths in 2015. Addiction experts point to increasingly widespread use of prescription opioids for pain management as a contributing factor in the drug overdose crisis. In Minnesota, prescribed opioids, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, account for the greatest number of opioidinvolved deaths—186 in 2016. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. Too often, people can easily find

pills in the homes of friends or family members who may have leftover painkillers in their medicine cabinet. That’s why it is so important to properly dispose of prescription drugs you no longer want or need at a local drug take-back site. Watch for #LastTag public service announcements in area movie theaters this November and December. For more information and a list of resources, including how to get help, go to anokacounty. us/heroinkills.

Dose of Reality program targets prescription drug abuse Tony Palumbo

Anoka County Attorney

Between 2000 and 2016, opioid-related fatalities in Minnesota jumped nearly 700 percent. Nationally, the numbers have quadrupled; in fact, 91 Americans die every day from drug overdoses, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Public safety agencies are working hard to find solutions. But citizens also have a role to play. The Anoka County

Dracula The Musical? Book, Music & Lyrics by

Rick Abbot

Presented by St. Francis High School Theatre

November 9-11 7:00 p.m. November 12 2:00 p.m. St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center 3325 Bridge Street NW, St. Francis, MN

$8 Adults, $6 Senior Citizens/Students/Children Visit to order tickets or for more information, call 763-213-1527. Produced by arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., 235 Park Avenue South, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10003

Attorney’s Office believes it starts with education. Our office has partnered with Attorney General Lori Swanson on a public awareness campaign called Dose of Reality. The campaign provides information about how to safely use, store, and dispose of drugs; facts about the risks of addiction; and resources for getting help. Key elements of Dose of Reality ■ Storage/disposal: More than four million Americans misuse prescription painkillers; about 70 percent of them get the drugs from a

family member. ■ Who’s at risk?: People who abuse prescription painkillers have a greater risk of addiction than people who take them as prescribed, but it’s important to remember that the medication itself is addictive. ■ Danger: Taking just one dose too large, or combining prescription painkillers with alcohol or other drugs, can cause serious health problems or death. ■ Getting help: Recognizing that you have a drug problem is the first step in getting better. Asking for help is the second step.

The Dose of Reality message is being shared by local law enforcement. Other public safety agencies also have their own public awareness campaigns. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together and we share the same goal: to save lives. For more information, go to Read more about steps Anoka County is taking address adolescent drug addiction and safely disposing of prescription jobs by reading Anoka County News Volume 3 by signing up to receive the Anoka County Newsletter at

Remember—chew bones are a treat, turkey bones are not!

Happy Thanksgiving 763-753-6336

19035 Lake George Boulevard NW Oak Grove, MN 55303 Amy Morgan, D.V.M. Kaija Youngner, D.V.M. Shantel Julius, D.V.M.

Lisa Johnson, D.V.M. Dawn Price, D.V.M. Melissa Powers, D.V.M.


November 2017

The Courier |

Be aware! Get the facts. Offering a variety of services and products to meet your wellness needs: • • • • • • • • •

Massage Salon Skin Care Acupuncture Chiropractic Boutique Yoga Natural Pharmacy

A common tactic for groups opposing a school referendum is to send inaccurate or false information right before Election Day. This happened in our school district during our last bond vote.

Cajima St NE

8th Av e NE

E Dual Blvd

Heritage Blvd NE

Golden Way NE


Heritage Blvd NE


Main St E 65

8th Ave S E

Main St W

Enterprise Ave


Railroad Ave

Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. • Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. • Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Independent School District 15 Bond Referendum

Visit for up-to-date, accurate and factual information. Be an informed voter.

Cajima St

763.552.6161 • 4 Enterprise Avenue NE • Isanti

Vote Tuesday, November 7.


The Courier - November 2017  
The Courier - November 2017  

Publication of Independent School District 15, St. Francis, Minnesota