Submitted by brian on



This week, I would like to look at a few quick topics.  They cover a number of varied issues, but I think they are important ideas to address.



I have shared some of this information already, but by the time I return to writing articles in August, we will already be past some of the deadlines.  As you may be aware, this fall the ROCORI School District will be conducting an election.  We will have an election for positions on the school board.  We have a six-member school board and half the seats (three positions) are open each time we have an election.

The seats open on the school board include those held by Nadine Schnettler, Lynn Schurman, and Mike Austreng.  These are four-year positions on the board.  The terms began on January 1, 2013 and continue through December 31, 2016.

Lisa Demuth and Kara Habben were elected in 2014 and their positions continue through December 31, 2018.  Richard Bohannon was also elected in 2014, but because he moved out of the school district, submitted a letter of resignation from the board.  This open position will be on the ballot in November.

The filing period for board positions is in early August.  The election will fill the one two-year term of Richard Bohannon’s seat and the three four-year terms.  Mike Austreng has explained in his column in the paper that he is not seeking re-election.



Last week I shared information about ROCORI High School being recognized by US News as a top-ranking high school in Minnesota!  Part of this recognition is related to the success and performance of

our senior class.

This year’s graduating class will leave with nearly 2900 college credits in their records! This is due to the fact that we offer concurrent enrollment classes.  In these classes, taught by our teachers on the ROCORI campus, successful completion the requirements provides the students with high school credit as well as earning college credit for their work.  Within the state of Minnesota, the credits are guaranteed to move with the student(s) to their post-secondary work.

This year’s senior class was also successful in other areas.  20% of the graduating class was inducted into the National Honor Society.  23% of the class earned the President’s Education Award (3.5 GPA and 85th percentile in Math or Reading on the ACT). 

54% of the class earned honor cords to wear at graduation.  15% had a GPA between 3.0 and 3.349.  14% had a GPA between 3.35 and 3.65.  25% had a GPA higher that 3.66!

This year’s class had 100% participation in the ACT.  The class average composite score surpassed the state average—which continues to be the highest state average in the nation!

The graduating class received over $475,600 in scholarships as they head to post-secondary schools in the fall.

The senior class rated the highest in Central Minnesota on the state Multiple Measurement Ratings.  ROCORI Senior high ranked at 93.86% MMR with Eden Valley-Watkins next at 82.69%.  Albany was at 76.68%, Sauk Rapids at 75.43% and Sartell at 74.02%.  In “Focused Proficiency”, ROCORI recorded 86.31% compared to Albany and 83.51%, EVW at 81.89%, Sauk Rapids at 76.35%, and Sartell at 73.10%.

The senior class expeerienced many excellent academic accomplishments in addition to their outstanding performances in arts, fine arts, and athletics!  Congratulations to the ROCORI Class of 2016!



At the conclusion of the year, the ROCORI District takes time to recognize employees who have completed 15 or more years of service in the system.  The following staff members were recognized as the year drew to a close.

15 years:  Jana Court (RHS Math teacher), Irene Klein (CSE paraprofessional), Mary Molitor (RHS paraprofessional), Suzanne Schlangen (RMS Intervention teacher), Kim Tadych (CSE custodial staff), and Julie Woods (RHS Social Studies).

20 years:  Cindy Brinker (CSE cook), Julie Froehle (RMS paraprofessional), Barb Omann (RHS Language Arts teacher), Sharon Posch (CSE Second Grade teacher), Greg Spanier (CSE Fourth/Fifth Grade teacher), and Jane Wahlin (RHS Activities).

25 years:  Jan Clements (CSE Media Center), Gary Distel (RHS Social Studies), Correne Keefauver (RMS Language Arts), and Cindy Brinkman (CSE paraprofessional).

30 years:  Shirley Kalthoff (JCE Third Grade teacher)

40 years:  Mary Ann Hennen (CSE Head Cook)


Congratulations to each of these employees for their continued service, dedication and commitment to the ROCORI School District!  Thank you for your service!



As we complete the year, we also recognize the conclusion of educational careers for a number of ROCORI Staff members.  I would like to take a little time to honor our retirees. 

Mary Kofoed was one of our classroom assistants completing her service in the district after serving from 1994 to 2016.  Mary served in many different roles, but was most recently serving as a Media Assistant. 

Scott Wellnitz and Dave Kuel retired from our custodial staff.  Scott had been with the district since 2010 as Head Custodian at John Clark Elementary.  Dave served at Cold Spring Elementary since 2004.

Theresa Nohner (food service staff at the Secondary site), retired after 16 years of service in the district, beginning in 2000.

Teachers who have given notice that they are retiring from the ROCORI School District include Don Eikmeier (RMS Science Teacher), Deb Mahowald (RMS Math Teacher), Sue Utecht (CSE Second Grade), Jerry Goodmanson (RMS Social Studies), and Linda Schwitalla (Speech Clinician). 

Jerry served in the district for 9 years.  Deb was with the district for 21 years beginning in 1995.  Sue has been with the district since 1987—serving for 29 years.  Don came to the district in 1986 and completed his 30th year at ROCORI.  Linda retired with 34 years of service beginning in 1981.


Congratulations to each of these staff members!  There is a great deal of collective experience among this group!  We wish each of them the best as they begin a new phase of life!