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WALC Student

The Student of the Month for November at the Winona Area Learning Center is Krystal Klinnert. Krystal is an 11th grader at the Winona Area Learning Center. Krystal has excellent attendance and is a positive, helpful influence on others. She appreciates that the ALC staff are “very nice and helpful and keep you safe.”  She is a dedicated student and her favorite classes are Math and Science. Her teachers say she is always willing to help others. Krystal sets goals in her classes and works hard to meet them. Krystal enjoys playing basketball and volleyball and running. After she graduates, she plans to go to college to become an EMT/Paramedic or Police Officer. Krystal’s family members include Kara, Kaden, Emma, and Bob Klinnert, Cambria Hanson, and Mark Lydon. She also plans to see her other family members in Wabasha in the future.


Krystal’s pleasant, outgoing nature is a great addition to the ALC. Her school counselor appreciates her daily morning greetings and positive attitude. Krystal’s advice to other students is to “stay strong and try hard,” something she models herself. Krystal says, “School is very important to me. I love school!”

WAPS-Washington D.C.

From November 8-10, 2015 district representatives traveled to Washington DC to learn from renowned educators and to connect with fellow National Blue Ribbon award winners. Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School teachers Luke Merchlewitz and Emily Cassellius, Title I Coordinator Karla Winter, W-K Principal Brad Berzinski, and Superintendent Dr. West were honored to represent Washington-Kosciusko Elementary and Winona Area Public Schools as they officially received the designation as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School. W-K was presented with a plaque and flag to denote this designation. These items will be presented to the staff, students, and families of W-K Elementary at a date and time yet to be scheduled. 



Winona National Bank is pleased to announce that Cheri Rothering was recently awarded the Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) designation from the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). Ms. Rothering has worked in the Winona National Bank Operations Department for 28 years, spending the last seven years focusing closely on ACH origination.
AAPs are an elite group of highly-skilled payments professionals nationally recognized for their electronic payments expertise, particularly within the field of ACH payments. AAPs are especially versed in managing ACH operations, interpreting ACH rules and regulations, developing ACH products, and selling ACH products and services. Financial institution examiners and other users of the ACH Network accept the AAP certification as a mark identifying individuals who are dedicated to and serious about their profession. To obtain her AAP designation, Ms. Rothering passed the Accredited ACH Professional Exam administered by NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association.

MMAM Exhibit

Winona’s Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) has unveiled several of the region’s most historically significant works of art which have found a home at the Museum. In its history, the Museum has also expanded three times to best exhibit its growing collections. Despite this growth, the Museum has several significant artworks in its care that are not on permanent display –some of which are visitor favorites. Because of this, the MMAM is excited to announce a special temporary exhibition, Additions and Old Favorites, on display from November 8, 2015 to March 17, 2016. Some of the works in the exhibition include the recently acquired A Thrilling Moment by John George Brown from 1880 (pictured) and Summer Leisure by Edward Cucuel, circa 1920’s. The exhibition will also bring out significant works by great American painters Thomas and Edward Moran, Childe Hassam, and popular Canadian artist Jack Lorimer Gray. This exhibition is brought to MMAM audiences thanks to support from Winona National Bank. 


The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees has named Bobbie Gostout, M.D., vice president, Mayo Clinic. The announcement was made at the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees quarterly meeting. Dr. Gostout will be the physician leader for Mayo’s community practice in the Midwest, including Mayo Clinic Health System in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin and Mayo Clinic’s Minnesota-based community care locations. She succeeds Rob Nesse, M.D., who, in July, became Mayo’s first senior medical director of Payment Reform, and Brian Whited, M.D., who has served since that time as interim physician leader. In her new role, Dr. Gostout, along with her administrative partner, Mark Koch, will lead the integration of Mayo’s specialty and community care practices in the Midwest, and guide the implementation of all aspects of Mayo’s strategic and operating plans. Dr. Gostout will transition into her new role through the end of 2015. This will ensure a smooth leadership transition for Mayo’s community practice in the Midwest and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Rochester, Minnesota, where she has been department chair since 2007.

4-H Volunteer of the Year

Cara Lee Wiersgalla of Golden Hornets 4-H in Waumandee was awarded the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award by her daughter, Deanna Wiersgalla, on November 15, 2015 at the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders Association meeting in Alma, Wisconsin. The Volunteer of the Year Award typically recognizes one 4-H Leader who has gone “above and beyond” their 4-H responsibilities, has performed an excellent job as a 4-H leader on the club or county level, and provides outstanding support, guidance, and leadership to 4-H members. This truly embodies Cara Lee Wiersgalla. She is the current President of the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders Association, the organizational leader for the Golden Hornets 4-H Club, the liaison between the 4-H Program and the Buffalo County Agricultural Fair Association, and is a frequent adult volunteer at 4-H Clover Colleges. Wiersgalla was nominated for the award for her dedication to positive youth development for youth in Golden Hornets 4-H as well as across the whole county. As a result of her leadership her club has seen an increase in 4-H membership, has participated in countywide events and encouraged members to learn through multiple service opportunities that meet the local need of the community, especially those living in poverty. The Buffalo County 4-H Leaders’ Association is proud to honor Cara Lee Wiersgalla as 2015 honoree of the Volunteer of the Year Award. 

WACS Student Art

Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, 10th and Vila streets, is filled with 50 unique pieces of artwork created by Jody Berhow’s art students from Winona Area Catholic Schools (WACS). The exhibit features a selection of children’s artwork in grades 1-5. The art on display shows how these young artists express their ideas by trying new things and experimenting with changing materials each year in the art room. As they draw, paint, and make collages, they are learning about the world (color, shape and size of objects). This gallery exhibit is free and open to the public through Dec. 15 during office hours and while classes are in session. Visitors are encouraged to sign the guestbook, so that the young artists know who attended the show. The next exhibit in Galleria Valéncia will feature artwork of the Winona Area Homeschoolers.

SMU Jazz Performance

Start your holiday season with big band favorites, combo carols, and a quartet of crooners at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in Page Theatre. Saint Mary’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo 1 will be joined by vocalists Shauna Frahm, Liam Hahn, Darvell Jones, and Kelsey Thurston to celebrate the season in swingin’ style. From the music of “Peanuts” to “Jingle Bells” on the tuba, it’s an evening of music you won’t want to miss! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at
For more information, contact A. Eric Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or

MCA Dance

Experience the talents of emerging Dance Repertory Company II (DRC II) members as they perform in the dance genres of ballet, jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and hip hop Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. DRC II is the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts’ junior performance company, featuring beginning and intermediate students ages 6-13. Audience members will enjoy a trip down memory lane as tap dancers place money in a jukebox and experience the passion power of dance to express a message through the modern piece “Fight Song” by popular artist Rachel Platten. This showcase will also feature original choreographic works of advanced students who are learning the fundamentals through a choreography class. 
The concert will feature: Kathleen Bowey, Carter Briggs, Lilia Civettini, Megan Costello, Lilianna Herber, Jolie Hill, Zoe Hill, Elizbeth Hinz, Mattie Kreisel, Heidi Langowski, Ryann Leibfried, Rachel Lepper, Isabell Livingston, Nolan Livingston, Isaac Meinke, Preston Meinke, Carmelle Meyer, Keeli Meyer, Carol Miller, Olivia Nelson, Makarah Olcott, Amy Remoticado, Elina Skranka, Ella Skranka, Isa Uribe, and Max Uribe. The Dec. 4 performance will be held at 6 p.m. and the Dec. 5 performance is at 3 p.m. in the Academy Theatre of the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th St. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults (cash or check only) and will be available at the door one hour prior to the performance. 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. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, a nonprofit organization, offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre.  Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center. For more information, go online to, email, or call 507-453-5500.

Lessons and Carols

The joyous and uplifting Christmas service of “Lessons and Carols” will be presented by the Saint Mary’s University Department of Music at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. The beautiful service, held in the majestic Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, features the Saint Mary’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Patrick O’Shea.  “Lessons and Carols” reflects on the Christmas story through several short readings, hymns and Christmas carols sung by the choirs and audience. Music includes familiar carols and selections by composers from the Renaissance to the present. The Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels is located at Wabasha and Vila streets in Winona. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only

SMU Concert Band

The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band will unveil a new composition for concert band and baritone voice on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the Page Theatre. “Ayshet Chayil” (A Woman of Valor), composed this year by Steven Rosenhaus, was inspired by the text from Proverbs 31. It will be the centerpiece of the concert, complemented by seasonal music from around the world. The work—expressive and lyrical, sung in Hebrew—is composed for baritone voice and concert band; the featured vocal soloist is Alan Dunbar. The composer wrote in his preface to the composition: “Proverb 31 praises ‘the good wife’—the ‘ideal woman’—in Judaism. Many Jewish (and Christian) scholars believe that Proverb 31 was written by King Solomon. Unlike the ‘Song of Songs,’ the focus is on a woman’s intelligence, wisdom, work ethic, and more; it is these attributes, not those of grace or beauty that last and are deserving of praise. In many Jewish homes husbands recite this proverb to their wives before the Sabbath dinner, in acknowledgement and praise of all their spouses do.”  Rosenhaus will be in residency at Saint Mary’s beginning Dec. 2, and he will conduct the premiere performance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the box office, 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only.

American Education Week

Many gathered at Signatures/Visions Event Center to celebrate public education and American Education Week on Tuesday, November 17 from 4:00-6:00 pm.  Great opportunities to visit took place over refreshments, appetizers and cake offered at the free and open to the public event sponsored by the Winona Education Association, Signatures/Visions Event Center, and Merchants Bank. There was a program at 5:00 pm.  All were welcomed by WEA President, Janet Luttmers.  Awards were presented to Business Partner,  Winona National BankEducation AdvocateLezlea Dahlke, Childrens Librarian at Winona Public Library; and Community Partner, Winona Eagles Club  for everything they all do to support students and public education. Luttmers then introduced 2015-2016 WEA Teacher of the Year, Mary Cappel.  Mary is a PE teacher and Jefferson Elementary STEM School.  She spoke about her call to be a PE teacher and her efforts to educate the whole child. Her words were met with a standing ovation. 

Photo left to right:
Janet Luttmers, WEA President; Gabe Jorganson, Eagles Club President, Lezlea Dahlke, Education Advocate, and Mary Cappel, Teacher of the Year.  Not pictured: Jack Richter, Winona National Bank.

STEM Program

Byron Gilliland, first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary STEM School, wrote and received a BK5K grant this summer to purchase a Rigamajig set for his classroom. Rigamajigs allow students to construct in 3D and his students have been super engaged in their work.  Rigamajig set up a national contest and it spoke directly to the engineering challenges Gilliland's  students are working to solve. The Rigamajig challenge is as follows: Build a Rigamajig to improve your school. His students came up with ideas on their own based on what we want them to do at school. All of their ideas were based on 2 themes they came up with: Helping and Learning. Then they came up with the idea of a "Little Free Library.' Their families have donated books they no longer use to give away to students in our school who need books.We are extremely proud of their idea and hard work! Their creation will sit in the entrance and the students at Jefferson can feel free to take or give a book if they like. The purpose of their creation is to ensure that EVERY child has books to read even if they don't have the money to buy them. Winona Area Public Schools has a great group of giving students who enjoy their time at school and Jefferson Elementary STEM School is no exception. Mr. Gilliland's class is asking that folks take a moment to LIKE their project photos between now and Monday, November 30 on their class Facebook page-Mr. Gilliland's Engineers- to help them win prizes for their school.