Past Feature Pics

BK5K Grants

Recipients of BK5K grants met at Fastenal recently to receive their grant awards. Teachers and administrators in the Winona Area Public Schools wrote several successful grant applications.  Their effort will benefit WAPS students throughout the WAPS Pre-K to Grade 12 continuum of learning. Angela Hefel, preschool teacher, was awarded $650 to create a hands-on 21st Century block area at he Community KIDS Preschool. Byron Gilliland, teacher, will purchase Sphero & Kibo robots to help encourage coding and programming at Jefferson Elementary STEM School. Ken Mann will purchase additional equipment for DNA technology as well as skeletons and bones for forensic anthropology for the CSI Winona course at WSHS with the $5000 grant monies. Stephanie Gilliland, ECFE teacher and Community Preschools coordinator will implement STEM hands-on exploration materials and experiences for early learners through her $5000 grant. Bill Braun teaches science at WSHS and is the Robotics team advisor.  With his $3500 grant, robotic kits, such as First Tech Challenge and First Lego League, will be purchased for after school offerings for younger students; and to have monies to purchase new supplies for future robots for the WSHS Robotics class and the WSHS Robotics team.
Tanya Grabinski, a WAPS physical therapist for WAPS, will purchase and adapt 2-3 motorized ride-on toy cars with the $1200 awarded monies in order to provide affordable early mobility experiences by lending these cars to families with young kids enrolled in the Early Childhood Special Education Birth to Age 5 program who are delayed or unable to walk independently.
Stephanie Gilliland & Ann Riebel, ECFE teachers, received $3600 to purchase Incredible Years child-sized puppets to teach and model social and emotional skills to early learners.
Mark Winter, Winona Area Learning Center principal, will use the $5000 awarded to his school to purchase tools and equipment for project-based learning projects. The Winona Area Public Schools is grateful to all who participate in the BK5K fundraising event and to Fastenal for this tremendous opportunity to enhance student-learning.
Photo:  WAPS staff were presented awarded BK5K grants at Fastenal offices
Front: Angela Hefel 
Middle row: Mark Winter, Stephanie Gilliland, Bill Braun, Ann Riebel
Back row: Byron Gilliland, Ken Mann, Molli Kook (ECSE program accepting for Tanya Grabinski)

WNB-Pool Party

Winona National Bank and the City of Winona Parks & Recreation held a Pool Party Concert on July 15 at the Bob Welch Aquatic Center, featuring Rip Roaring Entertainment as well as the famous $1 hot dog lunch. Sales totaled $800.01 which was donated to Ready Set School.
The Aquatic Center was open with free admission until 6:00 p.m. Throughout the day, 1,045 people visited the facility. Ready Set School works to ensure that all Winona County children, grades K-12, have the basic and necessary school supplies and clothing for school. 100% of the money raised by Ready Set School goes directly to the qualifying students in the form of vouchers, which can be used at area stores for school supplies. For more information, please visit

Photo caption: Ben Knuesel of Winona National Bank (left) presents Blake Koebke, Ready Set School Board Member, with a check for $800.01. The donation was made possible by sales from the July 15 Pool Party Concert sponsored by Winona National Bank and Winona Parks & Recreation.

Ranger Ed-Paddle

You are invited to join a team of experts for a fun-filled and informative day of prairies and paddling. David Schmidt, Southeast Minnesota Conservation Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy and Joel Dunnette, instructor for the MN Master Naturalist program, will lead a prairie walk at Weaver Dunes Scientific and Natural Area, a Nature Conservancy property, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Ranger Ed Lagace will then lead a paddling tour of Weaver Bottoms beginning at 12:30 p.m.  Both family-friendly events are free and open to the public. You can participate in either or both events but registration is required for the paddling tour. To participate in the prairie walk, meet at the Weaver Dunes office located at 60042 County Road 84, Kellogg, MN.  The GPS coordinates for Weaver Dunes are 44°15`04.06"N 91°56`28.43"W. A brief introduction will be provided followed by a leisurely walk through the prairie learning about the unique plants and animals that call Weaver Dunes home. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather, bring water, insect repellant, and have footwear appropriate for hiking on sandy soils. The walk will conclude by 11:30 a.m. The paddle through the backwaters of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will launch from the Halfmoon Boat Landing located at 12067 622nd Street which is off from County Road 84 just north of Weaver Dunes. The GPS coordinates for the Halfmoon Landing are 44°15`53.03"N 91°54`28.83"W. Participants should dress for the weather, bring water and snacks, and prepare for up to two hours on the water. Those who participate in both events should also bring a lunch. Pre-registration for the paddle is required by 4:00 p.m. Thursday, July 28 by calling or emailing Ranger Ed Lagace at 507-494-6236 or  The Refuge will provide canoes, paddles and PFDs for your use, or you can bring your own equipment. 


After an extensive search and interview process, Winona Area Public Schools welcomes Mrs. Darcy Lindquist as the new Assistant Principal of Winona Middle School. She replaces Anne Graner, who left her position in June. Darcy started her career in education at Arcadia Public Schools as a high school social studies teacher and has most recently been working in the Stewartville Public Schools as the Associate Principal at Stewartville High School. Darcy graduated with both a Masters in Educational Leadership as well as a Masters in K-12 School Counseling from Winona State University.  She is currently finishing up her Educational Specialist Licensure in Leadership from Winona State University.  Darcy and her family currently live in Stockton, and she is eager to start in her new position.
She will be recommended for hire at the school board meeting on August 4.


St. Stans-Social Justice

WACS Principal Pat Bowlin is a believer in offering summer classes to area students, which can prevent the “summer brain drain.”  Teachers at St. Stan’s Elementary School are teaching a wide-array of classes this summer, such as science, math, art and reading.  There are classes to help kindergarteners gear up for first grade. Principal Bowlin is teaching a few classes himself. This week students have the opportunity to learn about social justice-  being the feet and hands of Christ- and then go into the community to see how they may make a difference. Mrs. Sandra Burke visited with the students and talked about the Winona Volunteer Food Shelf and its services offered to nearly 800 local families each year. The students visited the food shelf, and clothing store, learning which type of food and clothing is accepted and how it is sorted and processed. The group will be also learning about Habitat for Humanity and Catholic Charities with guest speakers offering insight into these programs. Though they are too young to be able to perform construction work, they will be offering some student-made baked goods to habitat volunteers. Many in the group have expressed how eager they are to get out and make a difference. 


4-H Foods Revue

The Buffalo County 4-H Foods Revue was held on July 11, 2016 at the Waumandee State Bank in Waumandee.  The 4-H Foods Revue’s theme was Fireworks of Flavor and there was certainly many healthy edibles that caused mini explosions in your mouth! The 4-H Foods Revue is an opportunity for 4-H youth to practice skills related to foods and nutrition, exhibit their food products and displays, and receive feedback from qualified judges. The event included two classes and thirty-three lot divisions based on grade and skill level. Throughout the 4-H Foods Revue, participants were able to share “tasty tidbits” of their award-winning dishes with fellow exhibitors and spectators. Julia Moats of Hilltop Climbers 4-H received the junior champion trophy for her gluten-free slow cooker burrito bowl. Alison George of Hilltop Climbers 4-H took the junior reserve champion with her taco bake. In the junior class (exhibitors in grades 3-6) merit awards were awarded to: Alison George, Josh Linse, Julia Moats, Finley Noll and Hannah Noll. In the senior class (exhibitors in grades 10 and over) best of show and reserve champion both went to Abby George of Hilltop Climbers 4-H. In the Decorated Cakes, Cupcakes, and Candy category, the champion trophy was awarded to Abby George of Hilltop Climbers 4-H.  Alison George, Hilltop Climbers 4-H, took home the reserve champion ribbon for her cupcakes. Abby George also received a merit for her cupcakes. The Best of Class Wilton Award was awarded to Alison George of Hilltop Climbers 4-H. First Place Wilton Award was awarded to Josh Linse. These award winners will receive special cake decorating prizes courtesy of Wilton. 

PICTURED: 4-H Foods Revue Award Winners: Josh Linse, Finley Noll, Hannah Noll, Julia Moats, Nessa Noll, Alison George and Abby George.


Winona National Bank is pleased to announce that Jenny Baertsch was recently awarded the Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB), a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association. “Earning the CFMP designation validates Jenny’s experience and depth of education in the bank marketing area,” Jack Richter, Winona National Bank President & CEO, said. “We are very proud of her accomplishment and look forward to the role she will play in the Bank’s future.” Baertsch has been with the WNB Marketing Department for seven years, currently serving as Marketing Communications Officer. She is responsible for the Bank’s public relations efforts, including sponsorship and donation requests, community events, financial education efforts, and employee volunteering. Additionally, Baertsch oversees the marketing budget, advertising and media partnerships, and marketing campaigns and promotions.

Tractor Safety

Sixteen students and two adults from Buffalo County attended the 2016 Farm Tractor and Machinery Safety Certification Class.  The class was offered by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Buffalo County Office, and taught by Carl Duley, Buffalo County Extension Agricultural Agent.  The class is designed to enhance the safety, knowledge and skills of youth operating farm tractors and other farm machinery.  The class is not intended to teach students to be expert tractor drivers.  It gives them a basic knowledge of safe operation of farm tractors and machinery. Youth are required to attend 24 hours of instruction, pass a basic skills driving test and successfully complete a written exam.  The 2016 class was held at the Modena Town Hall with the driving test being held at Lindstrom Equipment, Inc. in Modena.  Youth that participated in the Tractor Safety class are: Ethan Risler, John Schmidtknecht, Axel Noll, Raith Bauer, Kolten Kent, Hailey Johnson, Roman Engstrand, Sam Stuber, Drew Everson, Conner Brunner, Kurtis Johnston, Tanner Marsh, Owen Schultz, Bradley Severson, Mason Johnson and Austin Sobottka.
PICTURED: Brent Lindstrom of Lindstrom Equipment, Inc. with students after their basic skills driving test.

Herron-Miller Golf Classic

Professional golfer Tim “Lumpy” Herron will give a free public demonstration Monday, August 8 at 10 a.m. at Cedar Valley Golf Course, 25019 Country Road 9 in Winona. The exhibition is part of the Winona Health Foundation’s Ben & Adith Miller Golf Classic, now in its 26th year.
Herron has one of the longest and most consistent tenures on the PGA Tour and currently ranks 64th in career earnings. He has played in more than 450 events and boasts four career victories on the PGA Tour: the 1996 Honda Classic, the 1997 LaCantera Texas Open, the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational and the 2006 Bank of America Colonial. Herron’s outstanding amateur career at the University of New Mexico included membership on the 1993 U.S. Walker Cup championship team, where he was undefeated in three matches. The Ben & Adith Miller Golf Classic raises money for the Ben & Adith Miller Patient Care Fund, a fund within the Winona Health Foundation, which helps people who need medical care but may not have the resources to pay for it. For more information about the Ben & Adith Miller Classic or the Patient Care Fund, contact the Winona Health Foundation at 507.457.4116 or email Betsy Midthun at

4-H Trip to Iowa

Eight 4-H members from Buffalo, Pepin and Pierce Counties spent three days in Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa discovering diversity and learning more about themselves as part of the Finding Interesting Varieties in Everyone (FIVE) trip for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The purpose of the program is to enable youth to recognize and discuss how individuals are ethically, racially and culturally different than themselves and to provide youth the opportunity to develop critical life skills including communication, independence, empathy and decision making. The youth gained practice in accepting differences, worked in groups contributing to their cooperation skills, and, through discussion, built critical thinking skills in multicultural awareness. 4-H members who participated from the three counties were: Austin George, Morgan Guenther, Morgan Moline, Hunter Hass, Ally Arens, Riley Schumaker and Hannah Noll. While on the travel experience, youth visited the Fenelon Elevator and Shot Towed and stayed downtown Dubuque on the Historic Riverwalk. Youth also identified elements of diversity in both humans and animals at the National Mississippi River Museum, learned how individuals are genetically and culturally similar and different at the Putnam Science Museum while viewing the King Tut exhibit, enjoyed a citywide jazz festival, which allowed members the opportunity to step out of the comfort zone and try dancing in the street, and learned about how culture has shaped river history on a swat rubber river boat tour.