ZMHS Thunder
  • April 2021


                                                        book fair 2021

    The Media Center will be having a book fair this year!  

                               April 13th-22nd for students in person                                            April 8th-21st for the online fair

    Based on popular vote, the Book Fair will be OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Included will be some really cool online options.  Media Specialist Mrs. Yanke shares that she is super excited that Scholastic is providing a pre-pay card for students. Students will be able to bring the card home and parents can then put some money on it that can only be spent at the book fair.  Let's all make this book fair "out of this world" successful despite this different kind of school year. 

  • Minnesota Zoo Enrichment Design Challenge Winner!!!
    as shared by grade 6 Science teacher Mrs. Houle on March 18...
    The Minnesota Zoo just announced winners for their Enrichment Design Challenge!  Out of thousands of students, one of our 6th grade projects was selected for 2nd place.  Congrats to Lily Johnson for winning 2nd place in the Minnesota Zoo Enrichment Design Challenge!  This was not a small contest!  There were 3,133 students across Minnesota that participated.  All 6th grade students in Zimmerman designed two enrichments, and the Minnesota Zoo selected 15 finalists from Zimmerman Middle School to present last week.  You can check out the list of award winners by visiting the Minnesota Zoo website HERE.  
    A look at Lily's project... Jellycombs & Jelly shared on the MN Zoo site

                  Lily 2021   jellycombs Lily 2021   jelly log Lily 2021

    Congratulations to all ZOOMS Design Challenge Participants and Award Winners!

  •     BURCH is SECTION COACH OF THE YEAR!                       3 Wrestlers to State Preliminaries

    ZHS Wrestling Coach Pat Burch has been named the Section 6AA Coach of the Year!  What an honor...for a most deserving coach/teacher/person!!!  Bravo, Burch!  We are THUNDERIFICALLY proud of, and for, you!!

    Congrats to wrestlers Joe Gardas and Jon Weiser, both juniors, and to senior Stephen Weiser! A day after Coach Burch was named Section Coach of the Year, it was shared that all 3 of these wrestlers advanced to the State Preliminaries held on Saturday, March 20th.  Way to go, Thunder wrestlers!!



    1st on the calendar came the ERZ Girls Nordic skiing their way to a Section victory that qualified the team to compete at State!

    Section Meet: Even considering it was held close to a month later than would be the case in a non-Covid kind of year, the weather proved VERY mild for skiers during the Nordic Section 5 meet.  In fact, because the weather became so warm (relatively speaking) for the girls since they skied in the afternoon, officials for the races allowed skiers to compete in a T-shirt rather than their long-sleeved competition uniform top (shown is skier Hailee Zimpel).  When all was said and done, 2 races per skier, the Elk River/Zimmerman girls came away as the top team for the Section.  Zimmerman's Hailee Zimpel finished 1st of all competitors in both races.  She had great support from her teammates, including Elk River skiers Katelyn Gramstad, Claire Swanson, Audrey Neuerburg-Chapman, and Mallory Williams; and ZHS teammates Emily Baker and Ilie Gallay

                   ERZ ski team 2021   HZimpel 2021 ski

    State: With separate competition dates for boys and girls this year due to Covid, the girls competed at State on March 11th at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.  The sunny, warmer conditions made for a little slower skiing, but the competition proved strong regardless.  The Elk River/Zimmerman girls finished in 13th place as a team!  Hailee Zimpel, the first ERZ skier across the finish line after the double-race event, ended in 37th place out of 158 skiers, putting her in the top 1/4 of all girls who raced.  Congrats to all ERZ skiers on a great year...and THUNDERous applause for Zimmerman's own Ilie Gallay (gr 12), Peyton Opsahl (gr 11), Hailee Zimpel (gr 10), and Emily Baker (gr 9).   


                                                      Dance 2021

    2nd on the calendar was the ZHS Dance Team making another trip to State!  The High Kick dance they performed Saturday, March 13th, took them to a 10th place finish in the Class AA State competition!  Congratulations dancers and coaches!!


    ZHS senior and gymnastics captain Miranda Schwieger qualified for the State Gymnastics meet again!!!!  Miranda qualified individually in Vault and the team is the 5AA Section Champion.  Miranda is pictured second from the right, next to Coach Bartlett.

                                                      ERZ gymnastics 2021

    3rd on the calendar was the Elk River/Zimmerman Gymnastics Team who competed in the Section 5AA Gymnastics Championship and State Meet Qualifier on Thursday, 3/18, and became Back-to-Back SECTION CHAMPIONS. The next stop for them was the State Team Championship on Saturday, March 27th, with some gymnasts also competing in the State Individual Championship that same day.
    Elk River-Zimmerman Section Roster:
    Captain Lexi Milless (12-ER), Captain Miranda Schwieger (12-ZHS), Ava Cole (11-ER), Zoey Johnson (11-ER), Abby Rekstad (11-ER), Gracie Jensen (10-ER) Jaelyn Sorenson (10-ER), Sydney Martin (9-ER), Kendall Cole (8-ER), Ally Rekstad (8-ER)
    Student-Manager: Asst. Captain Anne Overton (12-ER)
    Student-Coach: Cadence Martie (11-ER)
    Coaches: Jenn Bartlett, Tobby Stroud, Cassi Ross & Margaret Schwieger
    The following individuals represented Elk River-Zimmerman in the State Individual Championship meet: Abby Rekstad (11-ER) - Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor & All Around; Zoey Johnson (11-ER) - Beam; Miranda Schwieger (12-ZHS) - Vault; Jaelyn Sorenson (10-ER) - Beam.

    Congratulations, gymnasts...most especially our own ZHS senior/athlete/captain/Athena award recipient Miranda Schwieger!!  We are Thunder Proud of, and for, you!!

  •                 "PROM IS ON!!!" 2021!!                                                 Saturday, April 24th

    Venue: Northern Lights Ballroom in Pease, MN
    Grand March will start at 4:00 pm at Northern Lights (Participants may need to be staggered so groups may have different start times, but the live feed will start at 4:00 p.m. sharp.)
    Cost is $50.00 per ticket  (Ticket sales will close when 245 tickets have been sold per MN Department of Health orders.) 
    Information shared by the school district: We are excited to be able to provide a formal event for our students, even though it may look different than those in previous years. ISD 728 will be able to host prom in a modified fashion and remain compliant with Minnesota Department of Health guidance.  More specifically, ISD 728 will be able to offer a scheduled, masked Grand March for students as well as a dinner experience. The Grand March will be live streamed for parents and guests. Unfortunately, we are not able to allow parents and guests to participate in the Grand March, as capacity restrictions will not allow it.  After the Grand March, students will also be able to attend dinner at their building’s designated venue. 


    At this time no official decisions have been made for graduation ceremonies at each high school, including ZHS on June 9th.  All graduation sets have already been ordered for all ZHS seniors.  Please be sure to make your payment of $25 in RevTrak by end of the day April 5th. 

    Seniors can plan to pick up their graduation sets Tuesday, May 11th, during high school lunches in the front atrium area near the attendance window. If unable to be here that day, seniors can stop to see Lori Olson at the front entry window for pick-up any time after May 11th.  The $25 payment in RevTrak is required before the graduation set can be picked up.

    Also after May 11th, seniors can stop by Lori Olson’s front entry window to pick up any of the following items after paying through RevTrak ($8 each):

    NOTE: In late April or early May, payment in Portal will be available for those who qualify for honor tassels and/or honor and/or military cords ($8/item).   Parents will be emailed ahead of time regarding GPA and any other information pertaining to what their student is qualified for/offered.

    Gold Tassel if cumulative GPA is 3.51 and above

    White Tassel if cumulative GPA is 3.0 to 3.5

    Columbia Blue Honors Cord for students with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and above

    Red/White/Blue Cord for students planning to join the military.

    Feel free to contact the high school counselors with any questions or concerns: Jackie Brenny or Brandon Stoermann

  •  ISD 728 CTE MARCH NEWSLETTER  CTE newsletter

    Shared by District CTE...Career & Technical Education...Coordinator Amy Lord

    ISD 728 has done it again! Last month, ISD 728 was notified that they were awarded their 3rd Youth Skills Training Grant for $100,000 from the Department of Labor and Industry to build partnerships with local healthcare businesses to create opportunities for students to gain industry recognized credentials and paid internships. 

    This grant will allow ISD 728 to double the number of students in the Nursing Assistant Class which is a partnership between Guardian Angels, ISD 728 and Anoka Ramsey Community College for the next two years. Students that complete the class and clinicals take the state exam to be certified and added to the MN Nursing Assistant Registry.  Students can then start a paid internship at Guardian Angels or other long term care facilities to gain valuable experience. The grant is not specific to nursing assistants and students will be encouraged to participate in other healthcare internships. It will also focus on recruiting underrepresented students and bring back HOSA, the healthcare career and technical student organization to the district. ISD 728 is excited about this opportunity as they have had great success with the Manufacturing and Transportation Youth Skills Training Grant that will be ending June 30, 2021.

    Student Success Story...Clay Sandy, 2019 ZHS Graduate      

                                                    Clay Sandy

    Clay was one of the first students to participate in the CTE Internship Class. He was an intern at Metal Craft, running CNC Swiss Machines. He shared that he has always liked learning about how things work, how they are made and is very hands on. His plan was to use this experience to help him pursue a mechanical engineering degree. 

    Two years later, Clay sent this email to Mr. Stueber, his ISD 728 Work Coordinator… “This is Clay Sandy. I was a senior at Zimmerman High School in 2019 when I joined ISD728's internship program because of your help. Since then, I have been going to school at UMD for mechanical engineering and I'm now in my sophomore year. I'm hoping to get an engineering internship this summer and in order to do that, I need some references. I was thinking you would be a good reference for me since you received reports of how I was doing at my internship. Would you be willing to be a reference? I would highly appreciate it. “

    Future and Ongoing Events & Requests    

    Are you hiring? - We are looking for internship opportunities for students for next year. Please work with us NOW before students leave the buildings for summer vacation.   It has been extremely successful to have students work a part time job over the summer and transition into an internship in the fall. Please email me at if you are interested in CTE Internships - paid, unpaid or project based. Also visit

    Check out the Trade Show and Tell at ERX in Elk River on April 24, 2021. Local Employers in the trades can attend to attract students, parents and job seekers to their industry and company. See the flyer for more information.

    CTE Advisory Meetings (Manufacturing, Business and Marketing, Communications, Hospitality, Health Services, Construction) will meet Friday, April 16, 2021 virtually from 7:30 -9:00AM to continue alignment with curriculum and industry. Auto will meet April 23, 2021 8:00 - 9:00AM. 

    Recognition & Thank You!

    District Wide Work Based Learning Coordinator

    Great news! The district just added a full time position for a CTE Work Coordinator to continue to facilitate the internship program. The last several years this position has been funded by grants which were ending this year. Kids Win!

    Reallocated Grant Dollars

    CTE Programs were grateful that YST and Perkins V funding could be reallocated from field trips (buses and substitute’s expenses) to needed equipment in the classrooms. Students will now have access to Canon EOS R6 Cameras, Laser Engraver for multiple classes, industry recommended Tire Balancer, several software licenses for student curriculum and much more.

    Creative Partnerships

    I appreciate employer partners that are excited to work together and explore new opportunities that are beneficial for ISD 728 students and our local communities. This month, I met with Morrell Companies; Trent Morrell, John Goslinga and Quinton Gessner to learn more about their Roadmap to Professional Driving Careers. They plan to provide mentorship and training to students interested in being a CDL Driver, where the average wage at Morrell is around $75,000 a year. 


                                   March 15, 2021

    Teacher Mrs. Firkus caught this beautiful view of the morning sky on March 15!  What a way to start a day!!  Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Firkus!

  • Congratulations to the following HS Student of the Week honorees:

      3/1: Joe Montplaisir-gr 12-AP English Lit & Comp-Mrs. Janu

              Peyton Giffen-gr 11-Algebra 2-Mr. Lloyd

              Tuc Roman-gr 9-Human Geography-Mrs. Olson

     3/8: Chase Skramstad-gr 10-Woods I-Mr. Ostercamp

              Sully Jeffers-gr 10-AVID-Ms. McAlpine

              Adria Jenson-gr 9-Spanish I-Mr. Palashewski

    3/15: Grace Ecklund-gr 9-AVID-Mr. Kish

              Mishima Padilla-gr 10-AP Biology-Mrs. Plude

              Abby Hanson-gr 9-English-Mrs. Driessen

    3/22: Haley Johnson-gr 11-AP Human Geography-Mr. Hamlin

              Jermaine Vickstrom-gr 10-English-Mrs. Pintok

              Tyler Aderman-gr 11-Exponential Algebra-Mrs. Beaver

  • Congratulations to the following MS Student of the Week honorees:


    Grade 6: Virginia Buck-Mrs. Cooley

    Grade 7: Drake Carlson-Ms. Garcia

    Grade 8: Hannah Bulera-Mr. Curtis


    Grade 6: Ava Linn-Mrs. Nelson

    Grade 7: Eva DuPont-Mr. Wihlm

    Grade 8: Abby Boucher-Mr. Waznik


    Grade 6: Evelyn Fedie-Mrs. Thomas

    Grade 7: Elijah Wilson-Mr. Krumbach

    Grade 8: Rhya Rost-Mrs. Burda


    Grade 6: Julianna McChesney-Mr. Pouliot/Mrs. Haukos

    Grade 7: Illiana Rosario-Mrs. Fisher

    Grade 8: Hadley Hupalo-Ms. Zahn

Contact Us!

Upcoming Events


    4/1-4/2 -Spring break (continued from 3/29)

    4/5-Payment deadline for graduation cap/gown/ZHS tassel sets (RevTrak)

    4/9-End of 3rd quarter

    4/12-No school-teacher workshop day

    4/13-Gr 11 ONLY ACT Testing                                                       Gr 9-10-12 virtual learning day                                           MS regular school day

    4/16-Deadline for AP students to decide which test they will take

    4/24-PROM *see details in article at left

    4/27-Parent Ed Series presentation 3-4pm  Top Ten Screen Time Tips for Digital Wellness - April 27, 2021

    5/11-Cap/Gown distribution during HS lunches

    5/31-No school-holiday



    Middle School:

    Reading (gr 6-8) April 6,7,8  Make-up April 13,14,15

    Math (gr 6-8) April 19,20,21 Make-up April 22,26,27

    Science (gr 8) May 4,5 Make-up 6,10,11

    High School:

    Reading MCA (gr 10) April 19-22

    Math MCA (gr 11) April 26-29

    Science MCA (Biology students) May 4-5

    **There will be no district calendar for the 2020-21 school year, so, as much as possible, events throughout the year will be posted in this newsletter and on our website calendar.   

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    No volunteer opportunities will be available until further notice.