May 3, 2024 - Issue #127

Students making life-changing connections at Pierz Schools

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children realize their potential and build their futures.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota is a mentoring organization that pairs volunteer mentors with kids around Central Minnesota who need an extra support system in their lives. The mission: to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Since 1969, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Central Minnesota has believed that in every child is the potential to succeed and thrive. Students at Pierz Schools are matched together to make meaningful, positive connections. BBBS of Central MN serves youth between the ages of 5 and 21 across a five-county service area: Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Morrison, and northern Wright County.

This is such an important program because sometimes kids need an extra friend or support system in their lives to boost their self-esteem and give them the confidence they need to succeed in school or in sports, to build better communication with their family and friends, or just to develop into the person they want to be.

Pierz currently has 47 matches (mentor/mentee pairs). Of those 47 Bigs (mentors), 45 are students at Healy High School, and two are adults from around the Pierz community. Littles in the program range in age from 5-14, and high school Bigs are freshmen through seniors.


And the benefits behoove both the Bigs and the Littles. Ninety-one percent of mentees improved their social competence and 84 percent improved their grades and academic performance. Of our high school Bigs surveyed, 100 percent improved their communication skills, and 96 percent improved their sense of responsibility.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota are looking for Littles and Bigs (high school and adult) in Pierz, with the greatest need for the 2024-25 school year being male Bigs.

No special skills are needed to be a mentor – just a desire to help others and spend a few hours each month with a new friend. Our matches do all sorts of activities. When matches hang out during the school day at Pierz Schools, they play games, do arts and crafts, read books, go outside or to the gym to play sports, or just hang out and talk.

Additionally, high school Bigs and Littles in our program are eligible for scholarships, and three Pierz students have been the recipients of those scholarships in the past few years.


Have questions? Want to become a Big? Or have a Little in need of extra support that a Big can offer? Contact Raquel Minkel, Program Coordinator in charge of the Pierz program at or 320-241-7996.

Happenings at Healy

Students visit Paisley Park

Last week, Mr. Mathwig and the CIS (College in the Schools) Music Appreciation class embarked on a journey to Chanhassen, MN. Their destination? The iconic Paisley Park recording studio and mansion which was built by the legendary artist Prince. Enthusiastic students delved into Prince's legacy, exploring his profound influence on both the music industry and his home state of Minnesota.

What are the seventh graders up to? Exploration

Students explored the Engineering career field to see if a life of testing and modding makes them come alive.

Students were given a goal of flying their paper airplane the farthest down the hallway. After they tested their paper airplane they asked themselves, "How can I modify it to make it better?" Some students tried different colored paper, different sized paper, folding techniques, paper clips, staples, tape, etc. 

Students in Mr. Teske and Mrs. Welle's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) classes were tasked with engineering a bridge using only popsicle sticks, glue, and tape.

Through many beta designs, trial, and error, the winning team was able to construct a bridge strong enough to hold an impressive load of eight textbooks (over 40 lbs!) of weight on their bridge before it collapsed.

DNR Conservation Officer Stephen Westby stopped by the seventh grade Metier class to be interviewed and talk about animal and nature stewardship. Students are exploring the Natural Resources career field to see if a life of stewardship makes them come alive.

Interestingly, on his way to Pierz, Officer Westby received a call about an injured bird on the side of the road which he then brought to show the class—a real-life example of stewardship. After class, the rescued sharp-shinned hawk was brought to the animal hospital for medical care. 

Principal is just hanging around

Always up for interacting with the students (and a challenge), senior high principal Ms. Beth Cooper was challenged by one of her students to a pull-up contest while the Marines recruiter was on site a few weeks ago. The students and the recruiter were impressed with Ms. Cooper's six pull-ups (she was challenged to do three)!

Happenings at Pioneer Elementary

Sixth grade pottery, getting ready for the Fine Arts Festival

Sixth graders finished their pottery projects with a day of glazing under the skylights at Pioneer last week. This annual project works with the Healy High School art class as students learn the fine art of hand-building pottery and glazing. Healy art teacher Ms. Jayne will then put all of the creations into the kiln at Healy, ready to be displayed during the Fine Arts Festival on Tuesday, May 14 in the Middle School Gym.

Glow Day earned for first graders

Mrs. Amberly Hoheisel's first graders earned a special reward: Glow Day. They spent part of their day glowing in the dark and learning about fireflies and other insects that glow. The class worked as a team to earn the reward by working hard and following directions.

Royalty visits preschoolers

Preschoolers met a real, live princess! Josi Smude, the Morrison County Dairy Princess, visited Pioneer Preschool this week. She read a book about cows while they donned the cow hats that she brought and taught preschoolers about all the products we get from the dairy industry.  

Pioneer PRIDE Students: April

PRIDE Students of the Month are recognized for their character actions reflecting Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, (Self) Discipline, and EmpathyTeachers are encouraged to nominate students each month that they feel are strong leaders among their peers using these character traits. A committee of teachers, counselors, and administrators then chooses two students from each grade as recipients of the PRIDE award each month. Earners of the award get their choice of Subway or Red's for lunch. Congratulations to ALL the nominees!

Looking Ahead

May 4: Prom "Starry Night": MAC, Grand March starts at 5pm

May 5: Music in the Park, Band Fundraiser, 2pm - Come one, come all

May 6: Band/Choir Concert, PAC & Middle School Gym: 6:30pm Choir, 7:30pm Band

May 6: Healy Greenhouse Plant Sale: Open to the public, after school or by appt.

May 17: Mark your's Drive Your Tractor to School Day! Parade will be on Main Street after school and end at Litke's Vet.

May 24: Class of 2024 Graduation

Community Education

Registration is open for all activities including the new track camp, archery, Rapunzel theater production and Kidspace Child Care.

Pierz Public Schools #484

District Office: 320.468.6458

112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364