Weather Forecast




Starts: Sept. 6 for all students except Brainerd High School juniors and seniors, who start Sept. 7. 

Open houses: 4-6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at Garfield and Nisswa Elementary schools and Forestview Middle School; 5-6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at Nisswa Elementary School; 5-7 p.m. Aug. 31 at Lincoln Education Center; and 6-8 p.m. Aug. 31 at Brainerd High School and BHS South Campus; 4:30-6 p.m. Sept. 1 at Riverside and Lowell Elementary schools; and 4-6 p.m. Sept. 1 at Harrison Elementary School; and 5-6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Baxter Elementary School family picnic. 

Enrollment: Estimated 6,367 students, excluding alternative education programs. 

New teachers: David Baloga, fourth-grade teacher; Kristine Booth, birth-3 ECSE teacher; Charlie Campbell, activities director; Daniel Fischer, counselor; Tahnee Flowers, ECFE coordinator; Brianna Grutsch, DCD teacher; Dylan Knipple, eighth-grade geography teacher; Amy LaBarre, Paul Bunyan Coop continuous improvement and assessment; JoDee Moen, EBD teacher; Anna Ohlsen, speech-language pathologist; Rachel Rennicke, B-3 ECSE teacher; Kati Reynolds, transition plus teacher; Kayla Richter, school psychologist; Todd Sanford, eighth grade science teacher; Karla Skwira, school psychologist; Kristine Sorenson, chemistry and physics teacher; and Martha Smithson, B-3 ECSE teacher. 

New administrators: Jessica Haapajoki, ISD181 Learning Center principal. 


Starts: Sept. 6 for all except Rippleside Elementary School students, who start Sept. 8, and Palisade Elementary School students, who start Sept. 7. 

Open house: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the high school. Elementary open house times and dates were unavailable. 

Enrollment: 1,276 students.

New administrators: Jesse Peterson, elementary principal; Cathy Hughes, dean of students/activities director.

New teachers: Sandra Radtke, high school special education; and Marie Zettel, high school chemistry and physical science teacher.


Starts: Sept. 6.

Open houses: 4:45-8 p.m. Aug. 31 at C-I High School and 4:45-8 p.m. Sept. 1 at Cuyuna Range Elementary School.

Enrollment: 1,151 students.

New teachers: Jennie Planer, instrumental music; Michelle Wolter, family and consumer science; Jennifer Kannel and Allison Clausen, elementary; Kari Springer, school nurse. 

Crosslake Community School

Starts: Aug. 30. 

Open houses: 3:30 p.m. Aug. 25 for the kindergarten gathering and from 5:30-7 p.m. Aug. 25 for all other grades. 

Enrollment: 150 students. 

Lake Region Christian School

Starts: Sept. 6

Parent orientation: 6 p.m. Sept. 1.

Enrollment: 230 students.

New teacher: Phyllis Richards, first grade.

Discovery Woods Montessori School

Starts: Sept. 6.

Open house: 6 p.m. Aug. 18 grand opening. The public is invited to attend.

Enrollment: 100 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

New teachers: Nicole Johnson, fourth-fifth grade; Joan Ingebrigtson and Barbara Foss, first-third grade; and Lisa Traenkle and Amy Kidrowski, kindergarten/preschool. 

New programs: The Montessori-based charter school opens this fall. 

Little Falls

Starts: Sept. 6 for sixth- through ninth-grade only, Sept. 7 for all students.  

Open houses: Sept. 6, high school, in the morning in conjunction with the ninth-grade first day of school; 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 30, middle school; 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6, Lindbergh Elementary; 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a general session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lincoln Elementary; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with sessions at noon and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Dr. S. G. Knight Elementary.

Enrollment: 2,343 students. 

New administrators: Kimberly Hergott, director of human services; and Barbara Muckenhirn, director of 21st Century teaching and learning. 

New teachers: Rachel Solarz, middle school DCD teacher; Laura Yorek, high school special education teacher; Paula Marozas, high school math teacher; Tara Jordan, high school physical education/health teacher; Nicky Depute, Lincoln LD teacher; Tanya Bergman, DCD teacher; Lisa Smith, part-time middle school counselor; Annalee VanDenheuvel, Lincoln and Dr. S.G. Knight social worker; Joel Youngberg, part-time high school physical education teacher; Brody Johnson, high school visual arts teacher; Heather Juelke, Lindbergh ECSE teacher; Amanda Skuza, Lincoln second-grade teacher; Mindy Radziej, Lincoln third-grade teacher; Amanda Dirksen, behavioral analyst; and Steven Hoff, middle school dean of students. 

New programs: Project REAL has been approved and on track for kickoff on Sept. 12; implementation of a new K-12 science curriculum; the Lincoln Elementary HVAC, lighting and basic room renovation project completed; new roofs on Lincoln and Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary schools completed; the Technology Institute is planned Aug. 22-25. Other ongoing programs implemented in the past two years include LINK Crew and WEB student orientation programs at the middle and high schools, training and support for the K-5 reading curriculum and RtI, and the Olweus bullying prevention program and phase-in of the positive behavior intervention system in 2012-13. 

Pequot Lakes

Starts: Sept. 6 at middle school/high school and Sept. 8 at Eagle View Elementary School. 

Open Houses: Parent-teacher-student conferences are scheduled for Sept. 6-7 at Eagle View. Open house for middle and high school students and their parents is 4:30-8 p.m. Aug. 31. Meetings are planned in the auditorium as follows: 4:30 p.m. for ninth grade, 5:30 p.m. for sixth grade and 6 p.m. for seventh grade and any new eighth graders. Early Childhood programs will host an open house from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 31. 

Enrollment: 1,634 students. 

New administrators: David Endicott, Eagle View Elementary School principal; and Susan Sergent, middle level administrator.

New teachers: Cassandra Amsden, first-grade teacher; Kristen Harsha, high school physical education/health teacher; Matthew Ingman, middle level science teacher; Kelly Jackson, kindergarten teacher; Laurie Wig, director of curriculum, assessment and instructional technology; Kenna Grater and Jon Kotaska, high school science teachers; and Jennifer Virnig, third-fourth-grade multiage teacher. 

New programs: Online payments may now be made into food service accounts through the familiar Skyward family access portal or through a web store payment. Also, ongoing construction/renovation project updates are available on the school website, 


Starts: Sept. 6

Open House: 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31 for Early Childhood through 12-grade students. Supper will be served starting at 6 p.m. behind the school. Cost is $2 per person, $10 family maximum. 

Enrollment: 805 students.

New teachers: Kate Belgum, first grade; Sarah Borchert, fifth grade; Jason Borgstrom, elementary and high school physical education; Brent Clemenson, high school social studies substitute; Kori Longanecker, third grade; Andrew Petersen, first grade; Adam Tervola Hultberg, music; and James (Rausch) Zauhar, special education. 

New programs: Kindergarten and first grade will be increased to four sections and a much expanded College in School program at the high school. The district will continue to maintain strong programs in the midst of construction of the new sixth-12th grade addition to be completed for the 2012-13 school year. 

Central Lakes College

Starts: Aug. 22.

Enrollment: About 3,600 students. 

New instructors: Beth Adams, dean of enrollment and student services; Rebekah Gammon, Pierz, and Laura Schoonover, Brainerd, nursing instructors, one more nursing instructor will be hired; Kristina Ehnert, New York Mills, full-time accounting instructor; Susan Bremer, Brainerd, full-time medical secretary instructor; Susan Reid, Golden Valley, full-time chemistry instructor; Curtis Pribnow, Mankato, full-time criminal justice instructor; Troy Salzer, Barnum, farm business management instructor; William Brekken, Brainerd, part-time customized training representative at the Business and Industry Center; Cindy Hase, Browerville, Staples campus receptionist; Ann Chouinard, Aitkin, Check and Connect coach in the occupational skills program and disability services. 

New programs: A redesigned administrative assistant program is now offered as a 60-credit associate in applied science degree and a 33-credit diploma program and an office assistant certificate now may be earned in 18 credits at the Brainerd campus. Sustainable greenhouse production is a 32-credit diploma program now offered in Brainerd. 

Pine River-Backus

Starts: Sept. 6 for grades seventh through 12th and Sept. 8 for elementary students. 

Open Houses: 4-8 p.m. Aug. 31 at high school and individual orientation meetings scheduled Sept. 6-7 for elementary students. 

Enrollment: 820 students. 

New administrator: Trent Langemo, high school principal. 

New teachers: Kate Rennicke, special education; Stephanie Nelson, special education; Amy Martinson, special education; and Julie Markwardt, youth and family services worker. 

New programs: New Central Lakes College Community Outreach site located in Pine River for fall 2011 and Project: Pride in Progress — In November the Pine River-Backus School Board will hold a special election in order to get public support for three large facility projects: An Early Childhood Center, athletic space expansion (weight room, wrestling and dance practice areas) and a bus storage garage. 

St. Francis of the Lakes School

Starts: Sept. 6.

Open house: 5-7 p.m. Sept. 1.

Enrollment: 230 students. 

New teachers: Shannon Trout, kindergarten; and Jacob Rath, fourth grade.


Starts: Sept. 6 for first-ninth-grades, Sept. 7 for 10th-12th-grades and Sept. 8 for kindergarten.

Open houses: 5-7:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at Motley Elementary and Motley Staples Middle School, 4-5:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Staples Elementary and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Staples Motley High School. 

Enrollment: 1,264 students.

New teachers: Lorna Bendson, high school science teacher; and Kelly Anttilla, middle school special education teacher. 

New administrators: Justin Sperling, principal at Motley Elementary and Motley Staples Middle School; Mike Schmidt, dean of students/activities director, Staples Motley High School. Wadena-Deer Creek

Wadena-Deer Creek

Starts: Sept. 6. 

Open Houses: 6-8 p.m. Aug. 29 for seventh-eighth-graders at Deer Creek School, 4-6 p.m. Aug. 31 for preschool through sixth-grade and ninth-through 12th-grade at Wadena-Deer Creek School. 

Enrollment: 1,035 students.

New teachers: Bethany Danielson, elementary art/technology teacher; Kali Mattiesen, second-grade teacher; Nicole Schumacher, third-grade teacher; Andrew Waldbillig, fourth-grade teacher; Chelsey Weiss, fourth-grade teacher; Zachary Martin, fifth-grade teacher; Jason Mielke, sixth-grade teacher; Cami Oakes, high school special education teacher; and Michael Shrode, STEM teacher. 

New programs: Olweus bullying prevention program for K-12, with a focus on K-8; advisory time for junior high students; a new I-tech teacher at the high school with a push toward engineering/robotics; and the new grades fifth-12th school taking shape and on schedule to open Fall of 2012. 


Starts: Sept. 6.

Open house: 5-7 p.m. Aug. 31 with a free meal of hot dogs, chips and juice.

Enrollment: 775 students.

New administrator: Superintendent Mary Donohue Stetz.

New teachers: Tanya Rensvold, math; Alyssa Lissick, DCD/Special education; Tyna Richter, fourth-grade; Danielle Tesmer, sixth-grade.

New change: School starts at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday through Friday but will have a later start of 8:45 a.m. Mondays so teachers can be involved in professional development throughout the year.

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.