Tag Archives: Northfield High School

NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA’s new location

I got an email earlier this week from Emily Monaghan, Vice Chair of  the Northfield Area Family YMCA board:

I have a story that might be fun for you to cover for Locally Grown Northfield involving a unique partnership between the Nfld High School DECA group and the Y.  Tomorrow night at 7PM the DECA students will unveil to the Y board of directors the "Future Home of the Nfld Y" sign that they designed/created that will be installed on the new Y property this coming Sunday.  We will meet tomorrow in the high school Woods (shop) room for the unveiling and a pizza party to follow.  Then, we will gather again at 4PM Sunday to install the new sign on the new property.

NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA
Julie Wolner is the business education teacher at Northfield High School (left photo, second from right) and staffs the Northfield High School DECA Club. She was the MC for the evening’s festivities.

NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA

NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA NHS DECA club creates a sign for the Northfield YMCA
The sign was installed this morning on the future site for the Y (east of Target on Honey Locust Drive), but it’ll remain covered until the unveiling ceremony at 4 pm Sunday.

Other links:

Update Nov. 19, 7:30 am:

Emily and Julie sent me these photos of the sign’s construction and installation:

Update Nov. 25, 8 am:

I’ve been sent additional photos of the sign’s dedication ceremony from last Sunday so I’ve put all the photos into an album. See the large slideshow (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Dan Clites organizes a prayer walk at the Northfield High School; it’s a Trojan Horse

Update Sept. 16: See the blog post I was wrong. Prayer walk at the Northfield High School was organized by student Maria Olson.

Last week, Rejoice! pastor Dan Clites posted this on the church’s website (since removed):

THIS FRIDAY! DO YOU CARE ABOUT OUR SCHOOLS? Of course you do! So, let’s pray walk the grounds of Northfield High School and start seeing the spiritual climate change for our students, faculty and administration! THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 26th…meet at 7:00 pm sharp in front of the NHS Auditorium entrance. We will pray walk for 45-minutes. If you feel uncomfortable praying out loud— then just walk along in agreement! It will make a difference because the Bible says God hears our prayers!

I went as an observer and to take photos. Why?

Aug. 26, 2011 prayer walk at the Northfield High School Video on Northfield Patch - Prayer Walk for Northfield High School

In my Feb. 12 blog post, What is Transformation Northfield’s public agenda?, I pointed out the connection between Dan Clites and Ed Silvoso who believes that gay people are possessed by demons. 

For TN [Transformation Northfield] to be connected to Ed Silvoso and his organization is ominous.

Any message, direct or indirect, that homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals are somehow under the influence of demonic forces, is not only hurtful and destructive but dangerous.  It can have a corrosive effect on the morale of LGBT employees who work for the city and school district.

And for any LGBT youth in our schools who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual identity, it can exacerbate their pain, lead to depression, or worse.

It concerns me that some teachers and coaches who are members of TN might convey this belief to the youth they work with. And it concerns me that some of the youth involved with TN, who are urged to live their calling in the marketplace of school, could fall into demonizing other youth.

For Clites and Rejoice! to take a prayer campaign to the steps of Northfield High School is more disturbing than the prayer group in City Administrator Al Roder’s office at Northfield City Hall back in 2007.

I assume the prayers were generic/innocuous, judging from the video they posted on Northfield Patch. But for Clites to say that "We’re here to simply pray blessing and let God’s Holy Spirit move," is more than a little disingenuous. Judging from his writings and those of his mentors , his unstated belief is likely that demonic forces inhabit the building and some of the faculty, staff and students who are LGBT.

Clites’ philosophy appears to be consistent with dominionism, which was the focus of a Fresh Air show last week titled The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare (audio/summary here; full transcript here) .  Researcher Rachel Tabachnick was Terry Gross’ guest. Here’s an exchange about dominionism and ‘demonic principalities:’

racheltabachnickMs. RACHEL TABACHNICK: I would say the basic beliefs began with the idea of dominionism, and dominionism is simply that Christians of this belief system must take control over all the various institutions of society and government. They have some unusual concepts of what they call spiritual warfare that have not been seen before in other groups.

Spiritual warfare is a common term in evangelicalism and in Christianity, but they have some unique approaches and unique spins on this that distinguish them from other groups.

GROSS: And that literally have to do with casting demons out of people and religions and…

Ms. TABACHNICK: They use this in terms of evangelizing. So whereas we might be accustomed with the idea of saving souls, of missionaries or evangelical work to save individual souls; they believe that they can, through this demon warfare, take control over entire communities, or perhaps nations or people groups, an ethnic group, a religious group and so forth, because they believe that they are doing spiritual warfare at this higher level against these demonic principalities, what they call demonic principalities.

See also last Sunday’s NY Times Magazine for a column by Bill Keller, executive editor, titled Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith.

And I care a lot if a candidate is going to be a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed.

So this season I’m paying closer attention to what the candidates say about their faith and what they have said in the past that they may have decided to play down in the quest for mainstream respectability.

Clites and some of his followers have their own Trojan horse saddled up and galloping around Northfield, an unstated plan is to get more people (they already have two, Jeff Quinnell on the Northfield School Board and Rhonda Pownell on the Northfield City Council) elected to public office. The Northfield School Board is where they hope to affect public policy related to LGBT issues and probably others (intelligent design?).

Of course, I’ve got no problem with any group trying to affect public policy by getting elected. But tactics and transparency matter and I object to how Clites demonizes people (‘principalities of opposition’) and how he and some members of TN and Rejoice! aren’t transparent about some aspects of their agenda.

But then, what do I know?  According to Clites (twice in my conversation with him last Friday), I can’t be expected to understand these things because I’m an atheist.

Update 8:39 PM: I’ve amended the 3rd to the last paragraph above to read:

…an unstated plan is to get more people (they already have two, Jeff Quinnell on the Northfield School Board and Rhonda Pownell on the Northfield City Council) elected to public office.

The original version left out Rhonda Pownell, an oversight on my part.

Update Sept. 16: See the blog post I was wrong. Prayer walk at the Northfield High School was organized by student Maria Olson.

High school teacher Doug Bengston ends commencement speech with bible quotes and his beliefs about intelligent design

Doug Bengston (Northfield Patch photo by Angela Lauterbach)At Northfield High School‘s graduation ceremony on Sunday, math department chair and teacher Doug Bengston gave the commencement address. He was selected by the senior class. (Northfield Patch photo by Angela Lauterbach, used with permission.)

At the end of his speech, after citing the wonder of elliptical orbits and how they are used in everyday technologies, he said:

I don’t believe the earth, the planets, and the solar system just happened. I believe there is one overall. As you watch the miracle of a newborn baby, I don’t believe it all just happens.

So I tried to gain that inner contentment that only comes from the one above. He designed me, my brain, my heart, and all that I am. And all he’s looking for is love. I’d like to leave you with some verses from the good book that help explains my thoughts.

Bengston then quoted from the bible, including Psalm 46:10; John 14; and Corinthians 2.

I think Bengston was way out of line for including his beliefs about intelligent design and his supporting quotes from the bible. It seemed totally out of place and ruined an otherwise good commencement address.

I’m guessing most members of the School Board, Supt. Chris Richardson, and High School principal Joel Leer are not happy with Bengston for this but, alas, there’s been no public comment on it that I’m aware of.

KYMN has the full audio of the 2011 Northfield High School Commencement but here’s the 2 minute and 49 second segment of the end of Bengston’s address:


Update 06/08 10 am: Here’s a more complete transcription of Bengston’s remarks at the end of his address:

In that class, we studied topics with a solid mathematical basis. The mathematics are circles, parabolas, and ellipses didn’t just happen. It’s always been there. We just happened to discover the stability of what those elliptical orbits offer.

Consider the satellites and how we use them with our national defense. And, oh no, you wouldn’t be able to use your cellphone to call a friend on the other side of the planet.

I don’t believe the earth, the planets, and the solar system just happened. I believe there is one overall. As you watch the miracle of a newborn baby, I don’t believe it all just happens.

So I tried to gain that inner contentment that only comes from the one above. He designed me, my brain, my heart, and all that I am. And all he’s looking for is love. I’d like to leave you with some verses from the good book that help explains my thoughts.

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” In John 14, “Thomas, a disciple, asked, ‘How do we know the way?’ Jesus says, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” And Paul in writing to the Philippians and to us Minnesotans [ph] in Chapter 2, “That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

Class of 2011, be content with who you are, find the inner peace that will get you through every difficult time and have a joyous life.

In preparing this little message, I came across the quote from Maya Angelou in which she said, “I have learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Live the life you love, love the life you live and may God bless you. Thank you.

Mock crash shows the dangers of drinking and driving to high school students

drunk driving after a prom drunk driving after a prom
This smashed up vehicle is on display in Ames Park. Attached is a plaque describing what happened as a result of drunk driving after a prom. 

Graduation for Northfield High School is next Sunday, June 5, 2 p.m. at the high school’s Memorial Field.

Nfld Patch: PHOTOS: Mock Crash—"One for the Road"

mock crash photo album on Northfield Patch
On Tuesday, Northfield High School hosted a mock crash in which two cars collided. In the scenario, one driver was drinking. The driver made it out of the wreck unscathed, but two were dead and others were severely injured. The driver was later arrested for criminal vehicular homicide.

High school juniors and seniors watched the hour-long event as it went from the initial wreck to one of the passengers being put in a body bag. The event also had speakers discuss the issue of drinking and driving. Speakers included Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster and Kelly and Ron Landsverk of Faribault, whose daughter, Brittney, drowned last year after the car she was in went into the Cannon River.

Nfld Patch: VIDEO: Landsverks Speak About Their Loss to NHS Students

Nfld Patch: VIDEO: Northfield High School Mock Crash

KYMN: Staged crash shows effects of drunk driving

Nfld News: Mock crash shows reality of drinking and driving

Cows, Colleges, and Compost: Northfield’s Earth Day celebration is next Saturday, April 30th

Arlo Cristofaro-Hark and Will Haslett  Arlo Cristofaro-Hark and Will Haslett ARTech greenhouse
I stopped by ARTech last week to visit with two students, Arlo Cristofaro-Hark and Will Haslett. They and other students at the Northfield High School are members of Transition Youth/ Youth Energy Summit (YES) and will have a booth at next Saturday’s Earth Day Celebration in Northfield, 12-4 pm downtown.

I got this info via email but see the Transition Northfield Earth Day page and Earth Day Celebration poster for more:

Earth Day Celebration 2011 posterOther attractions include a rain barrel workshop by Cannon River Watershed Partnership (call 507-786-8400 to register), a dance clinic with the NAG’s Mexican Folkloric dancers, wool spinning demos, a compost exhibit by Prairie Creek Community School, local music and more.

Local exhibitors include Transition Northfield, Just Food Co-op, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Waste Management, The Sustainable Farming Association, Rice County Soil and Water Conservation, Innovative Power Systems, Community Supported Agriculture and many others! If you are interested in being an exhibitor by sharing something sustainable that you are doing- down load the registration form at www.transitionnorthfield.org

Enjoy break dancers, music, and local food.  There’s something for everyone! This is a zero waste and carbon-offset event.  We encourage you to walk, bike, or rollerblade down to the river. Rain Location: First United Church of Christ- 300 Union St.

Sponsored by: Transition Northfield, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Just Food Co-op, Carleton’s ACT Center, Prairie Creek Community School in partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Healthy Community Initiative, First United Church of Christ and the Center for Sustainable Living. ASL interpreter will be present at this event.

And for more about the ARTech greenhouse in the photos above, see:

Northfield wins State Girls Class 2A gymnastics title again

Nfld Patch (story and photos): Northfield Gymnasts Hit 150, Defend State Crown

All season long, the Northfield gymnastics team has been in search of its goal score of 150—on Friday night in the state Class AA championship meet, the Raiders got it when they needed it the most.

In scoring a 150.4 on the floor of the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion, Northfield edged runner-up Roseville by just three-tenths of a point to claim its second-straight state title.

If you want to start practicing at home here are some best gymnastics mats for home.

MSHSL090444GymnasticsNfld News:  State champs, yet again

Nfld News video

Star Tribune

Pioneer Press: Northfield beats Roseville by 0.3

MSHL results PDF:

2011 State Girls Gymnastics results

Update on the Pure Performance program at NHS by Curt Benson

[show_avatar email=cbenson@fablab.net]I’m a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alchohol and Drug Use (MTFYADU). I attended the monthly meeting last Tuesday and heard Tom Graupmann, Northfield High School’s athletic director,  give an update on the implementation of the Pure Performance program–a program aimed a decreasing alcohol/chemical use in students participating in athletic and other activities at NHS.   Please note that this report is my opinion only, and not meant to be any kind of official statement from the MTFYADU.

hs-bannerThe Pure Performance program was introduced to NHS by task force member Kathy Cooper.    Cooper had heard from Lakeville parent/volunteer Patti McDonald that this program had achieved some success in the Lakeville school district.  She arranged to have McDonald present an overview to a group of NHS administrators and coaches.  They choose to implement the program starting with the 2009 fall sports season.

Pure Performance was developed by John Underwood of the American Athletic Institute.    This program differs from other programs aimed at discouraging youth alcohol and drug use by not focusing so much on scare tactics and legalities.   Instead, Underwood focuses on the detrimental effects of alcohol and drug use on athletic performance.  He backs up his concepts with solid scientific research.  For example, he shows slides that clearly show differences in the brain scans of alcohol users as compared to non users.    His background as an NCAA All American and coach of Olympians gives him real credibility.

Underwood did three presentations at NHS on September 1st (that links to my blog post back in Aug.)  The sessions were aimed at the athletes; teachers and coaches; and parents and members of the public.

In previous years, prior to participating in activities, athletes and parents signed a permission slip which included a thick packet of the Minnesota State High School League‘s eligibility rules–including the rules regarding alcohol/chemical use.  This year, in addition to the MSHL rules, the “Pure Performance Pledge” was added.  It says:

To demonstrate my support, I pledge to:

  1. Support my fellow teammates by setting an example and abstaining from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  2. Never enable or lie for my teammates, if any rules are broken.  I will hold my teammates responsible and accountable for their actions.
  3. Seek information and assistance in dealing with my own or my teammates problems.
  4. Be honest and open with my parents about my feelings, needs, and problems.
  5. Be honest and open with my coach and other school personnel when the interests of my teammates are being jeopardized.

This pledge was signed by the athletes, their parent(s), team captains and coaches.  The pledge is intended to create opportunities for conversations about alcohol and drug use.

In his presentation to the MTFYADU, Graupmann said he has increased the amount of training given to team captains this year.  The captains are now receiving a three hour block of leadership training, which includes content about alcohol and drug use.  Additional training for the coaches is being contemplated.

Graupmann said that alcohol and chemical related eligibility incidents are down from previous years, but he was clear to explain that the numbers may not be significant or attributable to the Pure Performance program.

I think implementation of the Pure Performance program is a positive development.  The high school administrators and coaches have been totally supportive, and Graupmann especially should be commended for his energetic leadership.

Few are naive enough to believe that a program or two can change long standing problems overnight.  But I believe the implementation of the Pure Performance program is a step in the right direction.

See the Pure Performance videos on YouTube, for example:

English majors needed to help edit Northfield High School’s sexual misconduct policy

Page 27 of the Northfield High School 2008-2009 Student Handbook and Planner has this sentence on sexual misconduct:

Engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse or sexual contact or indecent exposure with another person, including international touching of clothing covering a person’s intimate parts, or intentional removal or attempted removal of clothing covering a person’s intimate parts or clothing covering a person’s undergarments, if the action is performed with sexual or aggressive intent, is prohibited.

poem Continue reading English majors needed to help edit Northfield High School’s sexual misconduct policy

Photo album: Rock ‘N Roll Revival 2009 dress rehearsal – big hair, backstage

A full dress rehearsal for Northfield High School’s Rock ‘N Roll Revival VIII – Palisades Park,  includes what Director Tom McKown calls ‘big hair.’

I have a few hundred photos from last night’s dress rehearsal performance to sort through and crop but in the meantime, see the album of 7 dozen backstage photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow: