Past Feature Pics

Geography Bee Champ!

On Tuesday, January 20 the 2015 National Geographic Geography Bee Final was held at Winona Middle School. Eleven finalists competed and the School Champion was 8th grader Will Brand, with 6th grader Keyton Gibbons coming in a very close second. Pending passing written test score, Will will have a chance to compete in the Minnesota State level Geographic Bee. Once there he will have a chance to claim the first place prize of an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Championship. We salute all the finalists. Congratulations Will and best of luck! Each of the finalists received prizes and certificates for competing. The WMS Geography Bee was moderated and coordinated by Gifted and Talented teacher, Kyle Backman.

Early Childhood Screening

Parents with children who will enter kindergarten in September of 2015 and have not attended Early Childhood Screening,  are strongly encouraged to schedule Early Childhood Screening as soon as possible to insure completion of any necessary follow-up prior to the end of the school year. Early Childhood Screening is a quick and simple check of how a child is growing and developing. Its purpose is to detect possible health or learning concerns so that children can get help before they start school. In Minnesota, Early Childhood Screening is required by law for children who will attend a public school kindergarten.  The Winona Area Public Schools’ Early Childhood Screening program has appointment openings available through early May, 2015. Screening children between the ages of 36 and 48 months is ideal. If your child is three to five years old and has not been screened, please call (507)494-0900 to make an appointment or visit the Winona Area Public Schools Community Education web site at to view all screening dates and schedule an appointment on-line.

WMS Honor Band

Five students were selected to represent the Winona Middle School in the Southeast Minnesota Band Directors Association Honor Band on Saturday, January 17, 2015.  Jenny Russell, a clarinet player and Cooper Hancock, a baritone saxophone player are 7th graders. Selected 8th grade students are Parker Hawkinson on percussion, Brittin Winter on clarinet, and  Anne White on flute.  All five student musicians are members of the WMS band program, under the direction of Melody Snyder.  The students spent the day working with guest conductor, Mr. Randy Blaser, former Winona Senior High School and Winona Middle School band director.  The event culminated in a final concert featuring the 6-8th Grade and 9-10th Grade Honor Bands, consisting of 150 band students from Southeast Minnesota.   .
PICTURE L-R: row 1: Cooper Hancock, Parker Hawkinson / row 2: Brittin Winter, Anna White, Jenny Russell

Page Series-Monkey Mind Pirates

The Saint Mary’s University Page Series will present the world’s only puppet, rock, yoga opera for families in search of calm during the Z Puppets Rosenschnoz production of “Monkey Mind Pirates” Thursday, Feb. 5.  The epic tale, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in Page Theatre, details how a sea captain discovers the secrets to navigating the stormy seas of stress. When Captain Fitz sets out for the Legendary Waters of Calm, the unruly Monkey Mind Pirates hijack his ship with anxiety, depression and distraction. The chaos turns his ship upside down and drives the captain overboard where he meets the Wise Sea Monkey. Find out how the captain learns to turn his “Arrghs” into ‘Oms,” regain peace, and tame the Monkey Mind Pirates. Based in Minneapolis, Z Puppets Rosenschnoz tours their family-friendly comedies across the country. Z Puppets artists Shari Aronson and Chris Griffith have earned many awards, including support from the Jim Henson Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Puppeteers of America and the Minnesota State Arts Board. The Monkey Mind Pirates CD is winner of an award of excellence from Creative Child magazine and featured as a top pick by Creative Play Retailer.
Tickets are $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students and are available online at or at the box office, 507-457-1715, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


The state's largest small business group in terms of entities, the National Federation of Independent Business Minnesota, with 13,000 members statewide, has announced that State Senator Jeremy Miller of Winona has been awarded the prestigious NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award. NFIB gives out the award at both the federal and state level to recognize legislators who have been supportive of small business on critical issues. To receive the award legislators had to demonstrate a supportive voting record for small business during the 2013-14 sessions of the Minnesota legislature. Lawmakers in the Senate were scored on seven important votes for small business. Miller is currently in his fifth legislative session at the state capitol.

Children's Museum of La Crosse

The Children’s Museum of La Crosse presents Frozen Fun Saturday, February 14, 8:30-10:00 a.m. For more information contact Christina Knudsen 608-784-2652 x226 or

Concordia Language Village

On Friday, December 5th thirty-six Winona middle school and senior High students journeyed north to outside of Bemidji, Minnesota where they left behind the English-speaking world and were immersed in either  German or Spanish language and culture.  
While at the Concordia Language Village for either German (Waldsee) or Spanish (Lago del bosque) all the Winona students took advantage of this unique opportunity to apply the language they have already learned in the classroom in a real life environment and were able to greatly enhance their ability to understand and speak either German or Spanish.  Both villages are designed to appear as such a village would in Germany or Spain so the immersion experience is complete right down to the details.  The Winona Area Public Schools Foundation generously contributes every year to make this trip affordable for all the students. The theme at Lago del bosque was Spanish in the USA.  Attending from Winona were Yousef Almatrok, Michael Anderson, Lauren Callahan, Hope Feller, Tori Feyen, Melissa Hermann, Haylee Miskowic, Armon Parsi, Eden Simon DeBroux and Griffin Wolner with their teachers Terri Spartz and Anne Simon.  At Waldsee the students learned about fairy tales in the German language.  The following students were at the German village; Brandunn Lorenz, MaKenna Scharmach, Kayla Michaelson, Ana Clara Silva Barbosa, Cameron Hawley, Dicey Spring, Janessa Burch, Tasha Lewis, Nini Dao, Evan Ferstl, Jessica Fliflet, Trinity Hugunin, Zachary Schmit, Jonah Woodward, Pearl Papenfuss, Kiri Sannerud, Lydia Gruhlke, Faith Feller, Brooke Kline, Lilly Beyer, Kristen Carrie, Emily Johnson, Nolan Maxwell, Sylvia Penrod, Tyffanie Denzer and Matthew Grover with their teacher Ruthanne Weispfenning and parent chaperones Mark Schmit and Kim Penrod.

Visual Arts

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Visual Arts Division invites students in grades 4-7 to participate in drawing workshops from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, March 9, and April 13.  Drawing is a great skill for students to learn observation, memory, and dexterity. Young artists will explore still life imaginative works, portraiture, and Japanese brush painting during these once-a-month workshops with local artist Julie Johnston. New students are welcome, and those who have participated previously will be challenged with new themes and works. The price for all three workshops is $35 and includes all supplies. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

UW-L Concert

Kat McDowell will bring her music to UW-La Crosse. She will perform for 1-2-3 Thursdays at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in The Cellar in Cartwright Center. Born in Japan and raised in New Zealand, McDowell headed back to her native country to pursue a passion for music. She became No. 1 on Japan’s vinyl charts and sold out in two days. She is currently touring the U.S.
1-2-3 Thursdays are part of the Campus Activities Board Series. For more information about the program visit or call the Cartwright Information Counter at 608.785.8877.