Past Feature Pics

Cotter-National Honor Society

The Cotter High School community gathered on May 5th to celebrate 21 newly inducted members of the National Honor Society.

Front Row (L to R): NHS advisor- Mrs. Sally Frisby, Elizabeth Duellman, Olivia Flanagan,
Kylie Modjeski, Ellena Girma, Makenna Kohner-Thesing, Julia Greshik, Jisu Kim,
Ngoc (Gina) Pham, Eric Seo, Yeonguk Shin, Mac Whaley
Back Row (L to R) Ben Windley-Daoust, Connor Walechka, Jacob French,  Ben Herber,
Connor Hagarty, Samuel Graff, Nathan Graff, James Galke, Justin Franz, Miriam Ellis,
and Cotter President- Sr. Judith Schaefer. 

Get Lucky at the Legion-Henley Concert

If you would like to win 4 free tickets to Don Henley at the state fair August 25th, get yourself bad self to the American Legion Thursday (May 26th) 5- 7 p.m. for your chance!!

Get Lucky at the Legion indeed!…/16_gs_shows/don_henley.html

Picture courtesy of MN State Fair

Walz Art

Rep. Tim Walz announced winners in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition. Initiated by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, the event is a nationwide annual art competition that allows high school students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories to showcase their artistic ability. This unique competition provides the opportunity to showcase the artistic talent of southern Minnesota students and acknowledge our nation’s gifted young artists.  Each year, students from all 50 states share their view of the surrounding world, their aspirations, and curiosity through art.  The 3rd place award in the First Congressional District was given to Rachel Renk, 10th grade student at Winona Senior High School's for her acrylic "Flower Landscape" (PICTURED). Renk's teacher is Sherry Dahlen; and her parents are Kim and Steve Renk. Rachel's art work will be on display in Walz's district office until next spring. Winona Senior High School students Nini Dao, Chandler Peterson, and Abbey Kline also had their art entries on display, along with other contestant's art, in the Young Adult Area of the Rochester Public Library.  

WAPS Spring Festival

The Winona Area Public Schools' Orchestra Spring Festival, held on May 17, 2016, included the presentation of awards. The WSHS senior recipient of the prestigious National School Orchestra Award is chosen by fellow students.  This year's voting resulted in a tie for the award,  which went to both Dicey Spring, violin, and Cassidy Cyert, bass.  One senior orchestra member receives the CodaBow Award--a fine bow made and donated by CodaBow International, based in Winona. The winner was Dicey Spring.
Cindy Johnson, director of the Winona Senior High School Orchestra, said,  "Both Dicey and Cassidy are outstanding students and musicians, who have contributed greatly to the orchestra through their playing and through their spirits of enthusiasm and commitment to the orchestra."
Photo left to right:  Dicey Spring and Cassidy Cyert


Kiri Sannerud, daughter of Paul and Peggy Sannerud of Winona and a senior at Winona Senior High Schoo,l has been awarded a full scholarship to live and study in Germany.  Through an application and interview process Kiri was accepted for the prestigious Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) funded by the United States State Department.  
During the 2016-2017 school year Kiri will live with a host family and attend a local college preparatory high school in Germany.   This exchange is for motivated American high school students who want to fully immerse themselves in the German culture.  Kiri is currently completing the College in the Schools German 1003 course offered through the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and taught at Winona Senior High School by world language teacher, Ruthanne Weisfpenning. 

Cotter-U.S. History

11th grade US History students at Cotter High School were tasked with determining the next chapter in US History. Looking at the time period 1990-2016, students were asked to brainstorm what events and ideas define this era--their era (and a little before). After several brainstorming sessions the 3 sections had a long list of topics and themes from the time period. Each student chose a topic that they would be interested in researching and then creating a museum display. Students were given minimal guidelines on what the display should look like, only that it should be suitable for a museum and allow the visitor to spend from 1-6 minutes at their display. In addition to creating a display item, students wrote an essay analyzing their topic and its role in the time period, as well as how it connects to issues or events from the past. Projects included videos, PowerPoints, Prezi’s, posters, replicas, sculptures, board games and much more. There were 10 themes in the museum: Technology, Environment & Disasters, Pop Culture, Sports, Global Events, World Conflict, Politics, Terrorism, Human Rights, and Shooting. Under these topics were a wide range of specific topics including Facebook, Hurricane Katrina, the 1994-95 MLB lockouts, Beijing Olympics, 2000 Election, 9/11, Central American Migrant Children Crisis, and the Aurora, CO shooting.  

Halverson Exhibit

Local artist Barb Halvorson’s wildlife, floral, and landscape paintings will be on display June 1-30 at Galleria Valéncia. The public is invited to view the exhibit and see the artist in action on Wednesday, June 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center. The galleria will also be open during regular office hours: Mondays, and Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.—as well as while evening and Saturday classes are in session. Halvorson has traveled extensively for 30 years and literally taught thousands of people to paint at major art conventions throughout the United States. She has authored five how-to- paint books in a series titled Sharing Gifts of Nature. She is known for painting wildlife, landscapes, and florals and for painting on leaves.  For more information about her art or classes, call 507-454-7617, or email:

Super Gav Scholarship

The Foundation for Winona Area Public School was honored to open a new scholarship fund this year called the “Super Gav Memorial Scholarship Fund”.  It was opened to celebrate the life of a little boy, Gavin Quimby, who touched the lives of thousands of people in the Winona area. Gavin was active, happy, always smiling, and loved Superman.  Gavin’s parents, Shanna and Nick Quimby, wanted to honor Gavin by giving back to the public schools with a scholarship to a senior who plans to go on to college, was active in athletics or extra-curricular activities, community-service minded and liked working with children.  Hayley Gerdes is just that individual. Hayley plans to attend the Southwest MN State University in the fall.  Congratulations Hayley and Fly High, Super Gav, Fly High!!!!

Haake Poetry Awards

“The Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools congratulates the 2016 Annual Haake Poetry Award winners.
        WSHS Winners:
        First Place ($100 Prize): Pippa Armstrong & Muhammad Usman Nawaz
        Second Place ($50 Prize): Nikki Miller, Lucy Nelson, & Ariana Chavez
        WMS Winners:
        First Place ($100 prize):  Tara Ziegeweid & Aaliya Delmore
        Second Place ($50 Prize):  Linda Moua, Julia Kronebusch, & Morgan Walker
Thank you to all student contestants for their participation which generated 124 original poetry compositions this year. The Foundation would like to thank Laura Armstrong and Eileen Dahlin, and all of the language arts teachers at WMS and WSHS, and our esteemed judges’ panel.  

Pictured: WSHS:
Muhammad Usman Nawaz, Nikki Miller, Lucia Nelson, Laura  Armstrong, Pippa Armstrong, Ariana Chavez

Page Series-Shapiro & Smith Dance

The Performance Center at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will offer several opportunities this summer for area dancers to work with 2016-2017 Page Series artists Shapiro & Smith Dance. The Minneapolis-based modern dance company will be in Winona June 24-25 for the first in a series of master classes for dancers ages 9 and older. The company will return Sept. 2 for further classes. In addition, several dancers will have the opportunity to participate in the company’s Sept. 10 performance at the Page Theatre. The Performance Center has partnered with Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, which will host classes and rehearsals at the Valéncia Arts Center (1164 W. Howard St.). Participation is free, but registration is required as space is limited. For more information and to register, visit

Photo credit: V. Paul Virtuccio

All-State Ensembles

Congratulations to Cotter sophomore students Nathan and Samuel Graff for being selected to participate in the Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Ensembles for the 2016-2017 school year. Nathan and Samuel were selected from over 2,400 high school students who auditioned for a position in one of the MMEA All-State organizations. The all-state ensemble camp will be held August 1st through August 6th, 2016 at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. The all-state music students will have the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors and music educators in the country and meet outstanding music students from all across the state of Minnesota. The All-State Ensemble students will gather again in February 2017 in Minneapolis where they will be present a concert at Orchestra Hall during the Minnesota Music Educators Association Mid-Winter State Clinic. The All-State program is an ongoing activity of the Minnesota Music Educators Association which works to promote music education throughout the state at all educational levels.