• Leadership

    The 728 Leadership Academy provides the Leadership Training required to be eligible for captainship on an Athletic team or Fine Arts team.  



    Students must be registered (or registering) for a Minnesota State High School League Athletics or Fine Arts program to be eligible for training.  Students must also be making progress towards graduation according to the student handbook.


    To develop student leaders who positively influence the school environment and demonstrate integrity and respect while building positive traditions as life-long learners.


    Students are generally identified in their 9th grade year by school staff or coaches as “students of influence”, however, all 10-12th grade students registered/registering for an extracurricular activity are eligible to apply.  Captains will still be named by the coaches.


    ISD 728 Leadership Academy starts each year with an annual kickoff ceremony held by Craig Hiller, a national renowned motivational speaker. Through a series of fun activities, discussions, and stories the students will be inspired to make a difference in their school and organizations. This year’s kick off will be October 12, 2017 in the new Zimmerman Auditorium.

    Additional training sessions (listed below) and volunteer opportunities will be held throughout the upcoming school year.  It is mandatory to complete all training sessions to qualify for captainship.

    ·         Communication

    ·         Conflict Management

    ·         Leadership

    ·         Sportsmanship

    ·         Character

    ·         Goal Setting

    Please contact Mike Cunningham, ERHS Activities Director, michael.cunningham@isd728.org with questions. 


     Communications: Tom Kish

    • Graduated with honors from Bemidji State in 2004 and was a member of the football team.
    • Social Studies teacher at Zimmerman since 2004.
    • Assistant football coach from 2004-2007 and became head coach in 2008.
    • Live in Zimmerman with my wife Jessie and two sons, Gabe and Owen.

    Communication Goals:
    For students to gain a greater understanding of how leaders use communication to positively impact their teammates and peers. Students should be able to take what they learned and immediately apply communication skills into their daily life. 

    Conflict Management: Dr. Tom Sterneman

    • Graduated from St Paul Bible College (Crown College) Bachelors of Art.
    • Played 4 years on the basketball team.
    • Bethel University with both Master of Arts and Doctor Ministry.
    • Pastored churches in Minnesota, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
    • Pastor at Refuge an Evangeical Free Church in Zimmerman since 2009.
    • Chaplain for Sherburne County Sheriffs Office since 2010.
    • Father of two Graduates of Zimmerman High School.
    • Live in Zimmerman with my wife Charlotte who is a Graduate of Elk River High School.

    Conflict Management Goals
    For student leaders to gain a greater understanding of how their choices can lead to conflict resolution and greater unity in school their activity & sports teams as well as in their personal lives. Participants will be provided an overview of conflict, myths around handling conflict, styles of conflict and an opportunity to consider their own mode of conflict. These insights will be followed by new skills students can use for managing conflict as the leaders.

    Leadership: TBD
    Coming Soon! 

    Sportsmanship: Jenn Bartlett

    • Graduated from Princeton High School
    • 5 time varsity letter winner and two time state qualifier on floor with the Princeton High School Gymnastics team. 
    • Began coaching gymnastics at the early age of 12 with the the Princeton Community Education program. 
    • Coached students from St. Michael Comm Ed, Elk River Community Ed, Twistmasters Gymnastics and Mid-Minnesota Gymnastics Academy which she co-founded in 2005 (sold in 2011).
    • ISD 728 High school coach of over 19 years.
    • The Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman team earned 2 trips to the State Tournament, 2 Section Champions, 4 Section Runner-ups, State Tournament trips by 16 individuals and crowned 7 State Champions, 1 State Runner-up, as well as earning 7 Conference Championships. 
    • Section Coach of the Year 3 times, as well as MN State Coach of the Year in 2009 & 2012. 
    • Minnesota State High School League official of gymnastics.
    • Currently the Elk River-Zimmerman Diving Coach.
    • Volunteer coach with the Princeton Swim/Dive Team right after high school and when time allowed, during 2003-2011. 
    • Diving students have earned trips to the State Tournament, All-Conference Awards, Section Diver of the Year awards and were recruited to dive at the collegiate level. 
    • Many divers are currently diving for the University of MN-Morris and Moorhead State.

    Sportsmanship Goals
    Coming Soon!

    Character: Bob Freeh

    • President and CEO, Freeh Enterprises, LLC
    • Coach
    • Consultant
    • Entrepreneur
    • Motivational Speaker
    • Over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, business, organizational and community development.
    • While working for Proctor & Gamble and Baxter International earned numerous sales and marketing awards. 
    • Was responsible for starting the Corporate Accounts Group at Great Plains Software, now Microsoft Business Solutions
    • Executive in charge of the sales and marketing efforts at Mirror Technologies, Artist Graphics and 3D Isis.  
    • Co-chair of three successful Bond and Levy Referendums in ISD 728 which built two middle schools and two high schools. 
    • Received the National School Public Relations Association’s “Outstanding Communicator Award” which is given for exemplary contributions for building support for education through communications.
    • Served on the Board of Directors for numerous nonprofit organizations and has been actively involved in asset-based community development efforts based on programs initiated by the Initiative Fund (formerly the Central Minnesota Initiative Foundation) and Blandin Foundation.
    • Attended North Dakota State University 
    • Earned his B.S. in Business Administration with a Minor in Economics. 
    • Member of the NDSU football team,
    • President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity
    • Member of the Blue Key Honorary Service Fraternity.
    • Currently serves as President and CEO of Freeh Enterprises 
    • An assistant football and basketball coach at Zimmerman High School

    Character Goals
    Coming Soon!

    Goal Setting: Randy Klasen

    • Graduate of Bemidji State University
    • Teaching/Coaching in District for 32 years
    • Head Boys Basketball coach at Elk River High School

    Goal Setting Goals:
    To understand the importance of goal setting and to learn how to create SMART goals.