Submitted by brian on



As you read this, the ROCORI School District will be just returning from the Thanksgiving break!  The pace of the school year has been quite rapid and it is amazing to think that we have completed more than a third of the year already.  There are a lot of things happening across the district and at all levels of our system.  I thought I would take a few moments to highlight some of the issues.



The American Legion Auxiliary Teacher Tea conducted during American Education Week is always a very positive experience!  The ladies of the Auxiliary work so hard to prepare a nice reception for the ROCORI Staff! They truly want to honor the work that is done with the students of the district.  The opportunity to engage in a positive event like this, in a great setting, is always very meaningful! 

Also during the week, the Richmond Legion Auxiliary hosts an afternoon reception for the staff at Richmond Elementary School and St. Peter and Paul Elementary School.  This is also a very nice event.

Thank you, Auxiliary members, for the nice receptions and the wonderful support of the schools in our district!



The presentation of the Friend of Education recognition at the Auxiliary Tea was a very nice event.  Tom Hanson from Jimmy’s Pizza was honored by Brenda Vierzba and Kara Linz at the event with the award.  Tom was named the Friend of Education for the many different ways he offers support for programs and school staff.  

Education Minnesota—ROCORI has recognized volunteers within the schools and supporters of the ROCORI School District for a long time with the Friend of Education award.  The recognition is traditionally offered during the Tea as a part of American Education Week.

Congratulations, Tom and Jimmy’s Pizza, for this honor!



Several representatives from the United Way of Central Minnesota visited Cold Spring Elementary on Tuesday, November 25, to recognize several fifth grade students for essays they submitted in the Live United Essay Contest.  The contest was open to students across the St. Cloud, central Minnesota region.  Ten students were recognized as prize winners of the contest—and four of the recipients were from Cold Spring Elementary.

Betty Schnettler of United Way notified Eric Skanson about the awards with the following note.  “Four of the ten LIVE UNITED essay award recipients are from Rocori! They were great essays. . .The top winner was Kendra Orbeck.   Logan Richter, Marciela Vega, and Carmen Robak (were other recipients).”  Kendra received a gift card prize valued at $300 and the others all were awarded $100 gift cards!   Congratulations to the students on their individual honors as well as the fifth grade teachers, Jim Meyer and Tom Petroski for encouraging student participation!



At the end of September, the Minnesota Department of Education released its annual information about academic progress in schools across the state.  John Clark Elementary School (Rockville) and Richmond Elementary School were both recognized by Commissioner Brenda Cassellius as Reward Schools!

Reward School status is the highest honor or recognition that the Department offers.  The status is based on the MMR (Multiple Measurements Ratings) which includes information about attendance, student proficiency, and student progress or growth.  The ratings are given to schools that participate in the federal Title programs—which often are elementary level schools.

John Clark Elementary School has earned Reward School status for three consecutive years—one of a small number of schools to do so!  Richmond earned Reward status a few years ago and was Celebration eligible last year.  The student progress last year put Richmond back to Reward status.



As a district, we had the privilege of recognizing four ROCORI staff members in the teacher recognition program(Leadership in Educational Excellence Awards through Resource Training and Solutions.  This award is intended to be a celebration of the successes of our district teaching, administrative, and other professional staff who meet the criteria.  As outlined in the criteria for the award, the ROCORI School District seeks to recognize exemplary performance and leadership qualities in the award nominees.

The honoree should:

*serve as an example to inspire fellow colleagues, students, and their communities  through positive leadership and attitude toward the educational field;

*possess a thorough knowledge of subject matter;

*demonstrate a leadership in curriculum development;

*provide a positive role model for students and staff;

*be an exemplary instructor who recognizes students as individuals and motivates them to reach their maximum potential;

*show genuine respect and concern for others;

*seek to improve personal and instructional effectiveness through continuing education and staff development activities; and

*contribute to the implementation of the district mission.

On the last Wednesday night of October, we recognized Dean Kron, Sharon Posch, Lisa Swan Anderson, and Pam Teal at the Resource Training and Solutions Leaders in Educational Excellence Awards (LEEA) banquet.  Congratulations to each of these teachers for the recognition!



Congratulations to the Girls Swimming/Diving team from the Section competition on Thursday and Saturday.  Congratulations to Isabelle Schneider for returning to the state competition in the 100 Breaststroke and 200 Freestyle events!

Congratulations to the Volleyball team and coaches for their performance at the State Tournament.  The volleyball team claimed the consolation championship!  Congratulations are extended to Eleanor Holthaus for being named to the State Volleyball All-Tournament Team!  

Congratulations to the Football team following the state quarterfinal game.  The Spartans fell to Becker, but showed ROCORI Pride in playing a very tough, and eventual state champion Bulldog team all the way to the end of the game!

The ROCORI football team was honored for the third consecutive year with the sportsmanship recognition given by the Central Lakes Conference.

Congratulations to the ROCORI students and fans who supported teams in a very positive manner!  ROCORI sportsmanship, enthusiasm and energy was very evident as teams and individuals competed throughout the region and the fall season!  We had many different reports of great sportsmanship throughout the activities of the fall!



Congratulations are extended to Coach Chuck Griffith for being voted Section 8AA Cross Country Head Coach of the year.  Brad Bauer was selected as Section 8AA Cross Country Assistant Coach of the year! 

Coach Mike Rowe was recognized as the 2014 CLC football Coach of the Year and the Section Football Coach of the Year.  Ted Faber was named the Section Volleyball Coach of the Year!

The success of each of these teams was reflected in the recognition extended to the coaches!  It was a great fall activity season with much success on and off the fields and courts!



Congratulations to Mike Rowe and the football team on the release of the National Football League (NFL) video on domestic violence.  I was able to preview the clip at the end of the week prior to its release and found it to be a very powerful presentation on this important issue. 

The video includes comments from several leaders in the NFL including Joe Ehrmann and coaches Mike Tomlin and Pete Carroll.  A section highlights training at Texas A&M University and violence prevention efforts at that level.

Coach Mike Rowe and the ROCORI football team make a very strong impression and represent the district well in the video!  Congratulations on the excellent work!



Congratulations are extended to Tom Siekkinen and the students involved in the play, The Miracle Worker.  The performances were conducted this past weekend.  The play is focused on the life of Helen Keller and the efforts of Anne Sullivan to teach Helen. 

The student performances, in a very demanding play, were done well!  Adam Astrup, Tanisha Topinka, Bailey Jones, Lily Brutger, Ashlee Gibson, Robert Glisky, Kaleb Conrad, Emily Wenner, Katarina Wilke, Patrick Hoffmann, Megan Schlangen, Vicotria Evens, Salena Salazar, Areajean Moscho, Megan Gavin, Josh Gavin, Camille Massmann, Sawyer Binsfield, Zoe Peterson, and Jessica Stuber were the students listed in the program as cast and crew.  Congratulations to everyone involved in the production!