Turkey Shoot Results

156 people participated in the 37th Annual Decorah Park-Rec. Turkey Shoot on Tuesday, November 12.  This parent-child free throw contest was held in the high school gym.  There were 10 age categories (combined ages of parent and child) and a turkey was awarded to the top scoring team in each category.  Turkeys were provided by Decorah Fareway and other prizes by Deco Products Company, The Family Table, and Total Tree Care.  Turkey and drawing winners should pick up their certificate or prize at the Park-Rec. Office by Monday, November 18.

Turkey Winners were Megan & Eli Lyon, Bryan & Beckham Panos, Derek & Elena Thompson, Brian & Grady Huinker, Joe & Maggie Gavle, Mike & Oliver Bollinger, Brent & Claire Storhoff, Matt & Cade Olson, Jon & Jacob Pipho, Larry & Cohen Berland.

Prize Winners were Mitch & Brady Benzing, Jesse & Crosby Butler, Gregg & Kyle Pattison, Lori & Carter Rissman, Kerbie & Tate Dahlen, Megan & Levi Sherman, Mike & Adeline Bollinger, Doug & EmilyGrace Bryce, Sarah & Isaiah Harman, Tadd & Natalie Schutte, Josh & Cora Giddings, Tova Brandt & Emmett Olson, Amanda & Anna Bailey, Matt Kuempel & Kelley Gates, Dan & Tyler Shaw.


Thank You Walking and Biking School Bus Volunteers!

Upper Explorerland’s Safe Routes to School Program recently hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast for their Decorah Walking and Biking School Bus Volunteers. This fall 19 volunteers led 6 Walking and 2 Biking routes, serving OVER 45 kids.  Four Walking School Bus groups are still walking in the colder weather!

Fall 2019 Volunteers in the photo (from left to right): Tristian Round, Michelle Barness, Rowan Collins, Nancy Sojka, Stephanie Garcia-Prats, Heidi Snell-Anderson, Brooke Joyce, Heather Levinson, Lisa Lensing and Julie Fischer.

Missing from the photo: Olivia Christensen, Lisa Lantz, Judy Moen, Rhonda Thompson, Melissa Koch,  High School Volunteer Rorie Wiedow and Green Iowa AmeriCorps members Briana Burke, Troy Downey, and Jessica Hegdahl

Anyone interested in learning more about the Walking and Biking School Bus Program can contact Safe Routes to School Coordinator April Bril at or visit the Decorah Walking and Biking School Bus Facebook Page.

Luther College presents sophomore study away scholarships

DECORAH, Iowa – With more than 2,000 study away programs available, Luther College opens unlimited possibilities and new, rare experiences to students.

To make study away opportunities more feasible, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Luther College Center for Global Learning and Center for Sustainable Communities hosted the Sophomore Study Away Scholarship Giveaway during which three sophomores were chosen at random to receive a $1,000 scholarship to go towards their future study away experience. Those students were Rachelle Sullivan, Rebekah Lazzeroni and Jessi Labenski. It was also a chance for sophomores to hear the stories of their peers who have already had the chance to study away.

“I really liked the story about swimming in Ireland. I thought that was just such a cool moment. I loved that she shared one memory that she had that was really vivid and comes back to her because I think that’s really what leaving campus and seeing new places is all about,” said Labenski.

Students also told stories about their experiences in Tanzania, Nottingham and Malta, to name a few. Other study away veterans were available for small-group discussion at each of the tables. One of last year’s winners, AJ Bierwirth, a junior Nordic studies major, also discussed what her experience abroad was like after spending a semester in Oslo, Norway.

“Anyone who can study away should do it and if you don’t think you can then you should still try!” said Bierwirth.

Sullivan, an elementary education major with an endorsement in special education, has no concrete plans for her scholarship but hopes that it will be used to return to China.

“I’ve been out of the country once with my family, but this would be my first time out of the country without my family, which would be more independent and that is what I am really excited for,” she said.

Similar to Sullivan, Lazzeroni, who is majoring in accounting, doesn’t have any study away plans yet, but would like to return to Europe after her last adventure in Vienna with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra.

“I’m most excited for the chance to have more time to explore and learn new things and meet the people involved,” said Lazzeroni.

Labenski, who is a double major in biology and environmental studies, plans to use her scholarship this January when she travels to Holden Village in Washington for a course on environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. “I’m just super excited to learn about how people live carbon neutral and how we can implement that in different places,” she said.

Luther College is among the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation for the number of students who study abroad prior to graduation, with more than two-thirds of Luther students studying off-campus during their college experience. Luther offers the chance for students to study away over a semester, a J-term or during the summer, in a variety of domestic and international locations. The college awards more than $200,000 in study away scholarships each year in an effort to make the experience as accessible as possible.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at

37th Annual Park-Rec. Turkey Shoot

The “shoot” will be held in the DHS Main Gym on Tuesday, November 12, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  In this fun family event, a parent and child team up, combine their ages to determine their competition bracket, and each shoot 10 free throws in an attempt to win a certificate for a free turkey.   In addition, all teams are eligible for a prize drawing.  Winning teams will be posted on the Park-Rec. website and Facebook by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 13.  This is a free event–just show up! SPONSORS:  Turkeys provided by DECORAH FAREWAY.  Drawing prizes provided by DECO PRODUCTS COMPANY, THE FAMILY TABLE, and TOTAL TREE CARE.

John T. Cord, Luther College associate professor of trumpet, presents album “Beyond Borders”

John T. Cord, associate professor of trumpet, released an impressive, collaborative, album titled “Beyond Borders.” This work represents Cord’s dedication to the diversity and versatility of music representing 300 years of music history.

Each selection found on this album is delivered by a different assembly of outstanding musicians. More than 20 instrumentalists and vocalists contributed to this album including Luther College faculty members and talented students.

“Beyond Borders” was released on the Mark Records Label in Nov. 2018 and is available on iTunes, Amazon, NAXOS Digital Library and the Luther College Bookshop.

Tickets available now for “Christmas at Luther” 2019

In celebration of the holiday season, Luther College will present the 2019 production of “Christmas at Luther” Dec. 5–8 in the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther College campus. Tickets are now available for the 38th season of the Emmy award-winning performances.

The five “Christmas at Luther” performances take place at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5; 6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets are $25-$35 and may be purchased online at Patrons may also purchase tickets through the Luther Ticket Office, telephone (563) 387-1357 or

Luther College opens Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

DECORAH, Iowa — A new resource for faculty is now available at Luther College. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) promotes student success by dedicating space and resources to Luther faculty for the cultivation of teaching practices. Grounded in the latest research on teaching and learning, CELT acts as a place of interdisciplinary collaboration for teachers and a resource for anything from writing rubrics to designing courses for 21st century learners.

“We needed a concentrated place where our excellent teachers can become even more excellent teachers,” said Kate Elliott, director of CELT.

The center offers a variety of programming including book and focus groups, educational resources, collaborative course writing and a Friday social opportunity coined “The triumphs and trials of the week.” CELT is not only an investment in teaching practices and faculty, Physics Professor, Todd Pedlar points out it’s also an investment in students.

“CELT speaks volumes to students as well — we are dedicated as an institution to good sound teaching practice and the center offers us a place to actually spend time talking about pedagogue and spend time talking about better ways of engaging the students,” said Pedlar.

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is located in Valders 240 and is officially ready to serve the Luther community. Faculty members, including Pedlar, say they are excited to have a communal place on campus to gather, something they didn’t previously have.

“It’s a place that gives us the chance to have a common location that fosters more programming that helps us get past the inertia of just living day to day. We are a very devoted faculty and care most about teaching and learning together,” said Pedlar.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at


October 18 Deadline for Sharp Shooters & Hoopsters Leagues

The deadline for two Decorah Park-Rec. youth basketball leagues is Friday, October 18.  You may register online or register in person at the Park-Rec. Office.  Credit and debit cards are only accepted online.

Sharp Shooters is for boys and girls in grades 1st thru 3rd and is held in the Carrie Lee Elementary Gym on Saturday mornings, November 9 thru December 7.  Registration fee is $25 per child and includes a reversible jersey.

Hoopsters is for boys and girls in grades 4th thru 6th and is held in the Middle School Gym on Saturday mornings, November 2 thru December 7.  Registration fee is $30 per child and includes a reversible jersey.

For more information, go to or call (563) 382-4158.

Luther College Alumni awarded Torrison and Williams medical scholarships for 2019-20

Luther College Alumni, Ethan Thonn ’18 and Anneleise Frie ’19, have both been awarded a graduate medical education scholarship through the Torrison and Williams Scholarship Program for the 2019-20 academic year.

The Dr. George and Emma J. Torrison Scholarship fund and Fredrick W. Williams Scholarship fund annually award scholarships to students who intend to pursue careers in medicine. Endowments are managed by the Foundation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Frie studied biology while attending Luther College and is perusing her MD at UW- Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health within the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) program. Frie hopes to work as a physician in rural areas of Wisconsin that are in need of healthcare providers.

“I feel extremely honored to be awarded the scholarship,” said Frie. “This scholarship will not only financially contribute towards my medical school career, but it also represents who I am and what I have overcome to achieve my goals thus far.”

Thonn studied biology and chemistry while at Luther College and now studies in the MD program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. During medical school Thonn hopes to maintain an open mind and explore all medical specialties to decide which path within the field to pursue.

“I feel deeply honored to have been recognized with this scholarship. I recently got married and the Torrison Scholarship has been an enormous help to our financial situation,” said Thonn.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society.

Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at

Anneleise Frie

Luther College announces recipients of annual Music Homecoming awards

Luther College is honored to present the Noble, Sperati, Presser and Hemp awards this 2019 Homecoming season.

Established in 2004, the Noble Award recognizes music educators who honor and continue Weston Noble’s legacy. This year that award goes to alumni Dr. John M. Broman ’69. After graduating from Luther, Dr. Broman went on to receive multiple music degrees from the University of Iowa, including a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, a Master of Arts in choral conducting and a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive the Weston H. Noble Award this year. Weston Noble whole-heartedly believed that music was a gift from God, inspiring all to sing from the heart,” says Dr. Broman. “He is the reason I changed careers to go into music and I will be forever grateful as a result.”

Dr. Broman previously taught at Dakota Wesleyan University and Loras College before arriving at the University of North Georgia in 1992. Since that time Dr. Broman has served as director of choral activities and has taught classes in conducting, choral methods, music appreciation, music history, diction and applied voice. In addition, he has received two Presidential Awards for Service, two service awards from the University’s Student Government Association, among other recognitions.

Timothy Arnold ‘04, is the 2019 recipient of the Dr. Carlo A. Sperati award. Arnold received his Master of Music degree in wind conducting from Ithaca College and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in music education from Boston University.

Carlo Sperati is credited with creating the Luther Concert Band, which he conducted for 38 years until his retirement in 1943. Presented annually to one outstanding music educator, the first Sperati award was presented in 1961 to Weston Noble.

“It is an incredible honor and thrill to receive the Sperati award! I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I have had to this point of my career and thankful to all of my mentors and students,” says Arnold.

Arnold currently teaches at Orono High School in Orono, Minnesota where he is the director of the wind ensemble, concert band, jazz ensemble, chamber winds, music listening team, band leadership team and co-director of the marching and pep bands. Under his direction, the Orono Wind Ensemble has performed twice at the Chicago Symphony Center at the Minnesota Music Educators State conference and made their debut at Carnegie Hall in April of this year.

Luther College senior, Jackson Churchill, of Duluth, Minnesota is the 2019 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award recipient. Churchill will graduate from Luther in the spring of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in music education and plans to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in trombone performance.

“It is an honor to have my name appear alongside the hardworking, dedicated and talented Presser Award recipients from years past,” says Churchill.

The Presser Scholar Award was established in 1939 by the Presser Foundation in honor of Theodore Presser, the publisher of The Etude, a magazine dedicated to music, and founder of the music publishing firm bearing his name. The award, funded by a monetary gift from the Presser Foundation of Haverford, Pennsylvania is presented annually to a current Luther music major chosen by a music faculty vote by consideration of excellence and merit.

A member of the Pi Kappa Lambda honor society, Churchill has also served as a music theory tutor, music department student representative, Dorian Summer Music Camp counselor, summer research fellow and runner on Luther’s cross country and track teams for two seasons.

While at Luther, Churchill has served as principal trombonist and section leader in the Concert Band, Jazz Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Trombone Choir. He was recently honored to play with the Faculty Norse Brass Quintet for its 2019 fall recital and tour. This fall, Churchill will solo with Luther’s Symphony Orchestra as a Luther College Concerto Competition winner. Churchill has also played trombone in on- and off-campus worship services and in freelance ensembles. As a pianist, Churchill has planned and led campus ministry worship services while also accompanying student juries and seminars.

“I am grateful to my instructors at Luther who have guided and cared for me both in and out of the classroom or rehearsal space and I am indebted to the love I receive each day from my family and friends. While this award recognizes my hard work, it would not be possible without the opportunities and support provided by the Luther community,” says Churchill.

Luther College senior, Luke Berkley, of Owatonna, Minnesota is the 2019 recipient of the Hemp Family Prize. Berkley will graduate in the spring of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in music and a management minor. He plans to attend graduate school in pursuit of a Master of Music degree to further his music performance career.

The Richard C. and Joann M. Hemp Family Prize for Orchestra Performance is given annually to a senior member of the Luther College Symphony Orchestra. The $6,000 scholarship is funded through an endowment established from Richard ’64 and Joann (Harr) Hemp ’65. Richard is a regent emeritus, former chair of the Luther Board of Regents and former Interim President of Luther College.

“I am thankful to be recognized with this award and I hope that it allows me to further my music career and promote Luther College in the future,” says Berkley.

Berkley has studied with Dr. Rebecca Boehm Shaffer for the past three years, and says he has grown immensely as a performer under her care. Since arriving at Luther, has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra, Norskkor (Norsemen), Transcendent Brass Quintet, QTC Horn Quartet, Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra. He has been a section leader in Concert Band for three years as well as principal horn of Symphony Orchestra for three years.

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.

Luke Berkley

Dr. John Broman

Jackson Churchill

Timothy Arnold

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