MLHS graduates celebrate success at Senior Night

It was a night for laughter and tears as the Class of 2003 and their families gathered not only to learn the names of scholarship and award winners, but also to celebrate the memories created over their school careers.

Highlights of the evening included a moving presentation by a group of both high school and elementary teachers who gathered to read the book, “The Twelve Gifts of Birth,” to the Class of 2003. Reading as pictures from the book were projected on a screen were elementary teachers Terry Mooney, Mary Lou Nygaard, Diane Hertwig, Vicki Decker, Rhonda Carlson-Puncochar, Kari Barlund, and high school staff members David Hansen, Judy Sloneker, Lisa Elfmann, Mike Hojnacke, Kim Brown, and Kim Fynboh.

The mood quickly shifted when senior members of the mixed choir donned bath robes and sang a favorite childhood tune, “Rubber Ducky,” as senior Jimmy Hartfiel rode a king-size rubber duck across the stage.


Four MLHS seniors selected as Students of Excellence

‘Future focused’ is the term used to describe the honorees at the Students of Excellence Banquet and Recognition Ceremony by Dr. Cheri Pierson-Yecke, Minnesota Commissioner of Education. “In order to reach the level of excellence you have achieved so far, you have had to give up short-term pleasure for long-term results, you have taken the hard courses in order to challenge yourself,” she continued. “This will become a characteristic over time.”

Dr. Yecke was just one of the speakers at the 16th annual event who praised and encouraged the honorees. This event, hosted by Resource Training & Solutions, recognized 155 high school seniors from 40 high schools in the Central Minnesota region. Welcoming over 600 students, parents/ guardians, teachers, administrators and invited guests was Dr. Rob Cavanna, executive director for Resource Training & Solutions.


Engel honored at retirement banquet

As his 40 years of service to the Maple Lake School District draws to a close, retiring school superintendent Ken Engel was honored at a banquet on Friday that featured speakers such as retired superintendent Roger Riesgraf, Elementary Principal Dan Olberg and High School Principal Mary James.

Olberg recalled his first impression of Engel as a soft-spoken administrator changed considerably when he witnessed the superindent’s tough questions to legislators regarding inadequate school funding and graduation standards. And Olberg said that determination to take care of Maple Lake’s children was a defining aspect of the superindent’s tenure at Maple Lake.

“We thank you,” Olberg said, “for your caring personality and the love that you had for kids.”


District 881 menus



Maple Lake Elementary celebrates Grandparent’s Day

Over 270 grandparents attended an afternoon program on Friday at Maple Lake elementary for songs, snacks, door prizes and visits to the rooms of their first, third and fifth graders.

Sixth grade band members, under the direction of Tony Mazzone, serenaded the arriving grandparents before a show in the elementary cafeteria that featured songs by first, third and fifth graders under the direction of Sue Nelson and Pat Johnson.  The show also included a performance by the Golden Aires, an area senior singing group.

Rena Ruckle, at age 88, won a prize as the oldest grandparent attending and winning an award for the most grandchildren were Peter and Mary Lou Matthews with 29 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They are the grandparents of 5th grader Peter Nordlie.


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