Decorah CSD Board of Education to Receive Update from Facility Committee July 8

The Decorah Community School District Board of Education will receive a recommendation from the district’s Facility Committee at its regular meeting on July 8. The Facility Committee consists of community leaders who have met multiple times over several months to consider the future of the district’s elementary facilities, which currently include John Cline Elementary School and West Side Early Childhood Center.

Reviewing Decorah CSD’s facility needs at the early childhood and elementary level is a process that dates back to 2008. Past and current members of the Board of Education and administration have examined John Cline and West Side and discussed potential replacement options for both schools.

This process, spanning more than 15 years, has included engagement with residents about the district’s needs, multiple building assessments by architects and engineers, and the formation of committees tasked with exploring possible solutions. The district is currently partnered with Emergent Architecture as part of its ongoing planning effort.

Last fall, the district purchased from the City of Decorah land adjacent to John Cline Elementary on what has been referred to as the “Heivly Island.” This purchase also included the acquisition of the varsity softball field and a portion of the varsity baseball diamond, land which the school district has long occupied but did not own. 

“Many years have been invested by many people in the pursuit of providing our youngest students with the type of environment needed for 21st century learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Tim Cronin. “We want to thank everyone for their dedication to this shared mission, and we will continue to provide updates for the community as this process moves forward.”

West Side was constructed in 1939, and John Cline opened in 1964. Today, students and staff face numerous deficiencies, including outdated structural, mechanical, and electrical systems; aged HVAC systems lacking air conditioning and proper ventilation; a sewer system in need of replacement; playground drainage problems; and roofs in poor condition that require replacement. Additionally, building configurations hinder effective security measures, and there is a shortage of both classrooms and adequate space within existing classrooms.

In April, Decorah CSD hosted a survey and asked residents for input about the potential construction of a new school to replace John Cline and West Side. More than 76 percent of the 1,151 respondents said they would support the construction of a new school, while 15.4 percent said they would not support such a project. Another 8.1 percent said they were unsure.

An election on , will ask voters to approve the renewal of the district’s Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) through 2051. The RPS specifies the uses for which income generated through the existing Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund can be utilized. Renewal requires 50 percent approval from voters.

If the school board accepts the recommendation of the Facility Committee, a second election would be held on November 5, asking voters to approve the issuance of general obligation bonds for the construction of a new elementary school. Bond issues need 60% approval by voters in order to pass.

Project updates and details will be released as available at

John Cline Elementary - Grades K-2

John Cline School

Decorah Elementary Schools Host Viking Pride Family Event

Decorah Elementary Schools recently hosted a Viking Pride Family event.  Families enjoyed a complimentary dinner followed by a fun playdate for students and shared learning opportunities for the adults. 

Elementary school counselors, Positive Behavior Teachers, and staff from Keystone AEA led sessions on anxiety, emotional regulation, healthy habits, growth mindset, belonging, and social emotional skills. 

This event was funded by the Therapeutic Classroom Grant to support family and community members in raising awareness and understanding of mental health concerns, social emotional learning, and how to support children and youth. Event organizer Shanna Putnam Dibble shared, “Our therapeutic classrooms, supports, and events such as these assist our students and families in navigating the complexities of not only school–but life in general–as we foster the well-being of our students. And that is what Viking Pride is all about.”

Mrs. Hahn

Elementary Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Hahn, leads a session on Emotional Regulation: Connections from School to Home

Decorah High School Concert Band to Perform Patriotic Concert on Thursday, May 16

Calling all patriots and music enthusiasts! Get ready for an unforgettable celebration of our nation’s heritage at the DHS Patriotic Band Concert, taking place on May 16th, starting at noon. Hosted at the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street, this event promises to be a stirring tribute to our country’s rich history and enduring spirit.

Led by band directors Dustin Bliven and Matt Cody, this special concert will feature an exhilarating lineup of patriotic melodies guaranteed to inspire and uplift audiences of all ages. From the stirring strains of the Armed Forces Salute to the majestic sounds of Semper Fidelis, the repertoire will showcase the finest in patriotic music, highlighting the courage, sacrifice, and unity that define the American experience.

Bliven remarked, “Join us for an afternoon of music and camaraderie as we come together to honor our nation and those who serve it. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets, and settle in for a stirring performance that will leave you feeling proud and inspired.”

In case of rain, please check the band’s social media and the school website for further details.

For more information, please contact Dustin Bliven at

2024 DHS Concert Band

DHS Concert Band

Decorah High School Celebrates the Achievements of the Class of 2024 at 143rd Commencement Ceremony

Decorah High School is proud to announce its 143rd commencement ceremony, which will take place in the main gym on Sunday, May 19th. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 PM, with doors opening at 12:30 PM. A total of 134 students will receive their diplomas in recognition of their hard work and commitment.

The members of the DHS Class of 2024 class have distinguished themselves with remarkable academic and extracurricular achievements. The class boasts ten valedictorians and three salutatorians, reflecting their exceptional dedication to academic excellence. The valedictorians include Lucas Arendt, Annika Brynsaas, Peter Essa, Gabriel Hiner, Simon Kutz, Anders Lovstuen, Alexander McGohan, Aidan Nalean-Carlson, Brynn Storhoff, and Henry Weis. The salutatorians are Brady Bohner, Brenna Parker, and Spencer Rix.

Additionally, 15 graduates will be honored as Silver Cord recipients for their significant volunteer contributions, while 53 members will be recognized for their involvement in the National Honor Society (NHS). The ceremony will include performances by the Decorah High School Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Choir, along with speeches by three seniors.  

The ceremony will also highlight the accomplishments of 29 Career and Technical Education (CTE) completers, who have successfully finished rigorous programs that provide practical, hands-on skills in various trades and technologies. Further demonstrating the breadth of commitment to service and leadership, one graduate will enter the military, proudly representing Decorah High School as they prepare to serve our country.

Decorah High School invites family, friends, and community members to join in celebrating these young adults’ achievements. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure seating. The Decorah community is incredibly proud of its graduates for their achievements and contributions during their time at high school and looks forward to their future successes.

Decorah High School

Decorah High School

 4th Graders Excel at Noetic Learning Math Contest

On April 8th, fifteen 4th grade students from Carrie Lee Elementary Extended Learning Program led by Mrs. Kari O’Hara competed in the Noetic Learning Math Contest.  Cassius Sadler and Sam Bills were the team winners and also won the National Honor Roll title.

Noetic Learning Math Contest is a national mathematics contest for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students’ interest in math, to develop their problem-solving skills, and to inspire them to excel in math. This spring, a total of 39,078 students participated in the contest, where 4,355 students earned the prestigious National Honor Roll title, and 16,069 students earned the Honorable Mention title.

The following students from Carrie Lee received National Honorable Mention, awarded to approximately the top 50% of participating Mathletes:  Brandon Bailey, McCoy Bonnet, Hunter Goedken, Elle Hanson, Eli Lyon, Ida Sauer, Ellery Schwickerath, Quinn Soland, and Ivan Maki.   All other students received a participation certificate for their great effort.

O’Hara remarked, “Congratulations to all the winners! The contest results demonstrate the students’ excellent problem-solving skills and math talents. They also show that the students can rise to the occasion and can meet the challenge.”

More detailed information about the Noetic Learning Math Contest can be found at


NC Team Winners Honor Roll

Noetic Challenge Team Winner and National Honor Roll title holders: Cassius Sadler and Sam Bills

NC Full Group

All Noetic Participants

Front row: Frances Zielinski, Sally Scott, Charlotte Yu, Ivan Maki, Ellery Schwickerath

Middle Row: Quinn Soland, Elle Hanson, Cassius Sadler, Sam Bills, Eli Lyon

Back Row: Ida Sauer, Cora Giddings, Hunter Goedken, McCoy Bonnet, Brandon Bailey

Decorah FEC Spell-a-thon a Success

The Decorah Elementary Family, Educator, and Community Organization (FEC) recently hosted a Spell-a-thon fundraiser that raised over $36,000 for Decorah early childhood and elementary buildings.  This money will go towards funding classroom materials, field trips, guest visitors, classroom and library books, family events, and teacher appreciation festivities.

The FEC runs the Scholastic Book Fair, creates the Elementary yearbook, and hosts additional family events including the Back-to-School Pool Party, Winter Dance Party, Playdate in the Park, and end of year ice cream party at Sugar Bowl.

FEC President Shanna Putnam Dibble stated, “We are extremely grateful for the FEC volunteers who made this fundraiser possible and to all of our families and community members who made it a success.  These funds play a crucial role in supporting our efforts to increase student engagement while providing access to high quality learning experiences.”

The FEC is looking for new members to serve on the committee or to volunteer at events throughout the 2024-2025 school year.  Follow the FEC on Facebook or contact Shanna Putnam Dibble at to learn more.

Winter FEC Dance Party

FEC Winter Dance Party

FEC Funded Decorah Apparel

The FEC funds Decorah Apparel for all kindergarten and third grade students to ensure all students can show their Viking Pride!

Pizza Party Friendsgiving

The FEC funded a pizza party during the Kindergarten “Friendsgiving”

Decorah Music Students Excel at Large Group Speech Contest

The Decorah High School Music Department participated in the annual State Large Group Music Festival on Friday, May 3 at Decorah High School. This is an adjudicated festival at which music ensembles perform for a panel of three judges and receive one of five divisional ratings for their performance: Division I “Superior” rating, Division II “Excellent” rating, Division III “Good” rating, Division IV “Fair” rating, Division V “Poor” rating. The ratings are based on a point scale. The DHS Concert Band, Concert Choir, Orchestra, and Viking Chorus all received division “I” ratings from the three judges, and the Ninth Grade Choir received a “II” rating.

“We are impressed with the growth our students made over the year, and this culminating performance was an acknowledgment of their dedication to high-level music making,” said the DHS music faculty.

The band is conducted by Dustin Bliven and Matt Cody, the choirs by Jason Rausch, and the orchestra by Nicole Cody.

Concert Band

DHS Concert Band


DHS Orchestra

Ninth Grade Choir

Ninth Grade Choir

Viking Chorus

Viking Chorus

Concert Choir

DHS Concert Choir

DHS earns top honors for The SpongeBob Musical

Decorah High School’s Fall 2023 production of The SpongeBob Musical received Outstanding Musical Production, Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Student Orchestra honors from the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards (IHSMTA). A group of cast members will perform an excerpt from the show at the 2024 IHSMTA Showcase on Thursday, May 30, at the Des Moines Civic Center. The Awards Showcase will be live streamed at

SpongeBob was an amazing experience for all of us, and we’re so proud that our company was recognized for their contributions,” says Karen Trewin, producer, co-director, and choreographer. “Being selected among the top high school musicals in the state is a tremendous honor for our cast, crew, orchestra, and director team.”

Cast members Libby Phillips (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Gabriel Hiner (Squidward Q. Tentacles) were recognized for Outstanding Performance in a Principal Role. Both auditioned and qualified for IHSMTA’s “Triple Threat” Award, which recognizes outstanding work in singing, acting, and dancing. They will receive individual coaching on solo pieces, work with a New York City-based choreographer and music director, and collaborate with other high achieving students from other schools during the showcase. They will also audition to represent Iowa at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City.

Four cast members received Special Recognition for Performance in a Principal Role: June Breitenbach-Dirks as Sandy Cheeks; Oliver Brummel as Patrick Star; Davis Coppola as Patchy the Pirate; and Ezra Vorvick as Sheldon J. Plankton.

“Our students consistently astound us with their dedication to delivering exceptional performances,” says Jason Rausch, music director. “We emphasize the power of storytelling–weaving together music, character, and technical precision to create memorable experiences for our audiences. Seeing our students’ efforts acknowledged is truly gratifying.”

DHS also received Special Recognition for Community Engagement for the Krusty Krab lunch event sponsored by the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society.

The production staff for The SpongeBob Musical also includes Karmyn Bakken, stage manager; Chris Hadley, technical director; Jensen Korsness, choreographer; and Kristen Underwood, co-director/costume designer. 

The SpongeBob Musical is the fourth production honored by IHSMTA since DHS started participating in the adjudicated program in 2017. The program was canceled in 2020. Decorah High School produces fall musicals every two years with a student variety show offered during alternate years.

Libby Phillips

Libby Phillips as SpongeBob SquarePants
Photo by William Connor

Gabriel Hiner

Gabriel Hiner as Squidward Q. Tentacles
Photo by William Connor

June Breitenbach Dirks

June Breitenbach-Dirks as Sandy Cheeks
Photo by William Connor

Oliver Brummel

Oliver Brummel as Patrick
Photo by William Connor

Davis Coppola

Davis Coppola as Patchy the Pirate
Photo by William Connor

Ezra Vorvick

Ezra Vorvick as Sheldon J. Plankton 

Photo by William Connor

Pit Orchestra

Pit Orchestra for SpongeBob Squarepants
Photo by William Connor

The 22Whole Town22

The “Whole Town” Outstanding Ensemble
Photo by William Connor

The SpongeBob Musical Full Company

The SpongeBob Musical – full company
Photo by William Connor

Decorah FFA Presents Awards

The 87th annual Decorah FFA Awards Program was held at the Decorah High School auditorium on Thursday, at 7:00 p.m. About 200 guests were in attendance, including parents, family members, community sponsors, business leaders, and members. The Conduct of Meetings Team consisting of President Gabe Monroe, Vice-President Braden Hemesath, Secretary Madelynn Dahl, Treasurer Andrew Carolan, Reporter Mara Lovstuen, Sentinel Hadley Alexander, and Advisor Aiden Helgerson officially opened the awards program.

Chapter President Creed Monroe welcomed everyone in attendance. The 2023-2024 officer team then presented Greenhand FFA Degrees and Chapter FFA degrees to the recipients, and Jackson Irwin presented the FFA Creed. This year’s twenty-one Greenhand FFA Degree recipients include Hadley Alexander, Andrew Carolan, Kale Christopher, Michael Clement, Brinlee Courtney, Madelynn Dahl, Dominick Duffield, William Hahn, Noah Heiselman, Aiden Helgerson, Braden Hemesath, Tristan Hunter, Jackson Irwin, William Kruse, Mara Lovstuen, Gabe Monroe, Karter Orris, Ryan Rocksvold, John Toby Schnitzler, Isabella Schnitzler, and Peyton Schultz. 

The 2023-2024 Chapter FFA Degree recipients include Rylee Averhoff, Ryan Bigler, Mason Brumm, Henry Brynsaas, Karlee Bullerman, Jerikah Dodd, Karlie Einck, Nick Farley, Ayden Guevara, Jacob Hageman, Lauren Holthaus, Kaylee Larson, Raleigh Lensing, Lyla Lovstuen, Eden Scheidel, Annika Schmelzer, Jake Teslow, Gracie Thompson, Kamryn Werges, and Thea Zidlicky.

Brody Courtney and Travis Nordheim then awarded the leadership awards to members who successfully served as leaders within our chapter by serving as an officer and/or a committee chairperson. Members receiving leadership pins for completing their first year of service include Kiele Eberling, Rashell Lippe, Lyla Lovstuen, Eden Scheidel, Kamryn Werges, Kolton Werges, and Thea Zidlicky.

Members recognized for more than two years of leadership service to the chapter include Brooke Anfinson, Cade Averhoff, Annika Brynsaas, Brody Courtney, Braunwyn Darrington, Anders Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Derek Tieskoetter, Ciara Wedmann, Mara Wyatt, and Olivia Wyatt. 

Annika Brynsaas and Derek Tieskoetter introduced the members who had perfect meeting attendance this past year. These members include Hadley Alexander, Henry Brynsaas, Annika Brynsaas, Karlee Bullerman, Brody Courtney, Brinlee Courtney, Karlie Einck, Nick Farley, Aiden Helgerson, Braden Hemesath, Tristan Hunter, William Kruse, Anders Lovstuen, Lyla Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Gabe Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Eden Scheidel, Derek Tieskoetter, and Thea Zidlicky.

Anders Lovstuen and Lyla Lovstuen presented scholarship pins and certificates to all of the Decorah FFA members who made the honor roll this past year. Members receiving this honor and a pin include Hadley Alexander, Rylee Averhoff, Andrew Carolan, Kale Christopher, Brinlee Courtney, Madelynn Dahl, Camren Darling, William Hahn, Lauren Holthaus, Tristan Hunter, Jackson Irwin, William Kruse, Gabe Monroe, Karter Orris, Peyton Schultz, and Haley Stinson.

Members receiving a scholarship certificate for being on the honor roll multiple years include Brooke Anfinson, Cade Averhoff, Ryan Bigler, Henry Brynsaas, Annika Brynsaas, Karlee Bullerman, Brody Courtney, Braunwyn Darrington, Jerikah Dodd, Kiele Eberling, Nick Farley, Austin Helgerson, Raleigh Lensing, Anders Lovstuen, Lyla Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Eden Scheidel, Annika Schmelzer, Jordan Sims, Kayleigh Smith, Jake Teslow, Ciara Wedmann, and Mara Wyatt.

Kamryn Werges presented the Academic Achievement Awards. The senior academic awards are awarded from the Iowa FFA Association and are presented to the seniors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5. Recipients who received a certificate and a medal include Brooke Anfinson, Annika Brynsaas, Anders Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, and Ciara Wedmann.

Kiele Eberling and Eden Scheidel recognized this year’s members of the month. Members selected to be honored for their FFA accomplishments include Anders Lovstuen, Brooke Anfinson, Karlie Einck, Travis Nordheim, Kamryn Werges, Jeramiah Rediske, Derek Tieskoetter, and Creed Monroe.

Creed Monroe and Jeramiah Rediske presented the top five fruit sales awards after announcing the chapter had sold a total fruit sales amount of $55,435. Members receiving fruit sales awards include 1st– Jordan Sims, 2nd – Karlie Einck, 3rd – Karlee Bullerman, 4th – Rylee Averhoff, 5th Aiden Helgerson, 6th – Dominick Duffield, 7th – Derek Tieskoetter, 8th – Lauren Holthaus, 9th – Kaylee Larson, and 10th – Elora Schnitzler.

The Decorah FFA Letter was presented by Gabe Monroe. In order to letter, members must be an active member in FFA and the community. This year twenty-three members lettered in FFA. These members include Brooke Anfinson, Cade Averhoff, Annika Brynsaas, Brody Courtney, Camren Darling, Braunwyn Darrington, Kiele Eberling, Karlie Einck, Christopher Larson, Anders Lovstuen, Lyla Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Eden Scheidel, Kayleigh Smith, Derek Tieskoetter, Ciara Wedmann, Kamryn Werges, Kolton Werges, Mara Wyatt, Olivia Wyatt, and Thea Zidlicky.

Each FFA member has a requirement to keep records on either a job placement, agribusiness ownership, or a livestock or crop project. Members then submit their record books for evaluation. Karlie Einck announced the top record books for each class. They were senior Jeramiah Rediske, junior Kiele Eberling, sophomore Eden Scheidel, and freshman Hadley Alexander.

Braunwyn Darrington and Travis Nordheim presented the Star Greenhand award to Brinlee Courtney and Gabe Monroe. They also presented the Star Chapter Farmer award to Anders Lovstuen, and the Star Chapter Placement award to Creed Monroe.

Kolton Werges congratulated this year’s proficiency award winners. This year’s chapter proficiency winners include the following: Annika Brynsaas (Agriculture Sales Placement), Creed Monroe (Agriculture Services), Jeramiah Rediske (Beef Production-Entrepreneurship), Brody Courtney (Dairy Production Entrepreneurship), Kayleigh Smith (Dairy Production-Placement), Eden Scheidel (Equine Science), Karlee Bullerman (Goat Production), Ciara Wedmann (Landscape Management), and Jordan Sims (Swine Production-Entrepreneurship).

Derek Tieskoetter and Kamryn Werges thanked the senior class for all their leadership over the years and congratulated them on all their accomplishments. This year’s 2024 Decorah FFA seniors who were recognized include Brooke Anfinson, Cade Averhoff, Annika Brynsaas, Brody Courtney, Camren Darling, Braunwyn Darrington, Christopher Larson, Anders Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Kayleigh Smith, Ciara Wedmann, Kolton Werges, Mara Wyatt, and Olivia Wyatt.

Annika Brynsaas presented the Star FFA Alumni and Supporters award to Cole and Ashley Horgen. Brody Courtney and Creed Monroe then recognized our 2024 Friends of Agriculture Award Recipients Mr. Brian Waskow and Mr. Dave Waskow.

The 2023-2024 Chapter officers then presented the Honorary FFA Degree. The Honorary membership is for any farmers, school superintendents, principals, members of boards of education, chapter advisors, teachers, staff members in agricultural education, business people, and others who are helping to advance agricultural education and the FFA and who have rendered outstanding service. They may be elected to honorary membership by a majority vote of the members present at any regular meeting or convention. This year’s recipients were Hubka Construction and Paul and Sue Bruvold.

Chapter Advisor Joni Bruvold thanked all the volunteers and individuals who have supported the chapter throughout the last year. Following Ms. Bruvold’s speech, the Decorah FFA Alumni and Supporters came to the stage to provide an update. There also was a live auction to raise money for Decorah FFA Senior Scholarships through the Decorah FFA Alumni and Supporters.  After watching the year in review video, the new officer installation took place before the banquet was adjourned. The 2023-2024 officers installed the following 2024-25 officers: President – Creed Monroe to Kamryn Werges, Vice President – Brody Courtney to Eden Scheidel, Secretary – Annika Brynsaas to Karlie Einck, Treasurer – Anders Lovstuen to Gabe Monroe, Reporter – Jeramiah Rediske to Brinlee Courtney, Sentinel – Travis Nordheim to Derek Tieskoetter, and Assistant Officer – Derek Tieskoetter to Lyla Lovstuen. The officer team performed the closing ceremonies and concluded the banquet with the Pledge of Allegiance.

3.21.24 Awards Program Friends of Ag Brian Waskow and Dave Waskow

2024 Decorah FFA Friends of FFA Award Recipients: Mr. Brian Waskow and Mr. Dave Waskow

3.21.24 Awards Program Best Record Book

2024 Decorah FFA Best Record Book Winners: 

Hadley Alexander, Eden Scheidel, Kiele Eberling, and Jeramiah Rediske received best record book awards.

3.21.24 Awards Program Honorary FFA Degree Sue and Paul Bruvold

2024 Decorah FFA Honorary FFA Degree Recipients: 

Sue and Paul Bruvold received the Honorary FFA Degree. Hubka Construction was absent from the photo but also received the Honorary FFA Degree.

3.21.24 Awards Program FFA Letter

2024 Decorah FFA Letter Recipients:
Row 1: Kamryn Werges, Ciara Wedmann, Anders Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Kolton Werges

Row 2: Eden Scheidel, Derek Tieskoetter, Mara Wyatt, Olivia Wyatt

Row 3: Cade Averhoff, Lyla Lovstuen, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Kayleigh Smith

Row 4: Brooke Anfinson, Annika Brynsaas, Brody Courtney, Braunwyn Darrington, Kiele Eberling, Karlie Einck

3.21.24 Awards Program Senior Academic Achievement

2024 FFA Academic Achievement Recipients:

Row 1: Ciara Wedmann, Anders Lovstuen, Creed Monroe

Row 2: Annika Brynsaas, Brooke Anfinson, Travis Nordheim

3.21.24 Awards Program Star Alumni and Supporters Ashley and Cole Horgen

Ashley and Cole Horgen received the 2024 Decorah FFA Star FFA Alumni and Supporters Award

3.21.24 Awards Program Fruit Sales Top 5

2023-2024 Decorah FFA Top 5 Fruit Sales:5th – Aiden Helgerson, 4th – Rylee Averhoff, 3rd – Karlee Bullerman, 2nd – Karlie Einck, and 1st – Jordan Sims

3.21.24 Awards Program Stars Awards missing BC

2024 Decorah FFA Star Award Recipients: 

Gabe Monroe, Anders Lovstuen, and Creed Monroe received a 2024 Decorah FFA Star Award. Brinlee Courtney also received a FFA Star Award but was absent for the photo.

2.2024 Decorah FFA Chapter Officer Team

The 2023-2024 Decorah FFA Officer Team:

Row 1: Travis Nordheim, Sentinel; Anders Lovstuen, Treasurer; Jeramiah Rediske, Reporter; Derek Tieskoetter, Assistant

Row 2: Brody Courtney, Vice President; Creed Monroe, President; Annika Brynsaas, Secretary

3.21.24 Awards Program Proficiency Awards

2023-2024 Decorah FFA Proficiency Award Winners
Row 1: Annika Brynsaas, Creed Monroe, Jeramiah Rediske, Brody Courtney, Kayleigh Smith
Row 2: Eden Scheidel, Karlee Bullerman, Ciara Wedmann, Jordan Sims

3.21.24 Awards Program Chapter Degree

Decorah FFA members receiving the Chapter FFA Degree 
Row 1: Lyla Lovstuen, Raleigh Lensing, Karlie Einck, Nick Farley
Row 2: Karlee Bullerman, Lauren Holthaus, Jerikah Dodd, Rylee Averhoff, Annika Schmelzer
Row 3: Ryan Bigler, Henry Brynsaas, Kamryn Werges, Eden Scheidel
Absent from photo: Mason Brumm, Ayden Guevara, Jacob Hageman, Kaylee Larson, Jake
Teslow, Gracie Thompson, and Thea Zidlicky

3.21.24 Awards Program Greenhand Degree

Decorah FFA members receiving the Greenhand FFA Degree 
Row 1: Hadley Alexander, Madelynn Dahl, Andrew Carolan, Michael Clement, Aiden Helgerson
Row 2: Jackson Irwin, Tristan Hunter, Mara Lovstuen, Isabella Schnitzler, Peyton Schultz
Row 3: Dominick Duffield, Braden Hemesath, Karter Orris, William Kruse, Gabe Monroe, John Toby Schnitzler
Absent from photo: Kale Christopher, Brinlee Courtney, William Hahn, Noah Heiselman, Ryan Rocksvold

DHS Envirothon Team Again First at State: Headed to New York for International Competition

Two Decorah Envirothon teams recently competed in the state contest held at Jester State Park near Saylorville, Iowa. Both teams had qualified for the state competition by achieving very high scores at regional competition. They, along with 13 other teams from across the state, vied for the state title and a trip to the international Envirothon contest to be held in Geneva, New York this year.

For the second year in a row, team DNR finished first at the state competition. Team members are Lucas Arendt, Connor Evelsizer, Gabriel Hiner, Anders Lovstuen, and Aiden Nalean-Carlson. By finishing first at the state contest, they have earned an expense-paid trip to New York to represent Iowa in international competition July 28th-August 3rd. The DNR team had the outright high score in the Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, and Oral Speech categories.

For the second year in a row, team Skabush also qualified to compete in state competition and finished in an impressive second place. Team members include Henry Weis, Nathan Swarbrick, Alex McGohan, Riley Berns and Carson Bohner, who won the current Issue category and finished with high scores in each of the other categories. This is the first year that Decorah teams, competing at the state level, have taken home the first and second place awards.

The Envirothon is a team competition for high school students, testing their knowledge of the natural world around them. In the field and classroom, teams of five students are challenged to use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to conduct hands-on investigations, solve real-life scenarios, and answer questions covering five categories: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, and a current topic. This year’s current topic, “Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future,” required each five-member team to also prepare and present a speech outlining a designed plan with recommendations and possible solutions to meet the current topic challenges.    

Advisor Larry Berland shared, “I am very proud to say that 60 awesome Decorah high school students participated in the Envirothon program this year. They offer hope for the Earth’s environment.”  He continued, “A very special thank you goes out to Barb Schroeder and the Winneshiek County Conservation Board along with Conservation Districts of Iowa for their generous donations to our cause. I also want to thank parents, school administration, teachers, and a community that cares: you make our success possible.” 

Envirothon State First Place Winner 24

Envirothon State First Place Winner 24: Lucas Arendt, Aiden Nalean-Carlson, Gabriel Hiner, Connor Evelsizer, and Anders Lovstuen

Skabush at State Second Place

Skabush at State – Second Place: Henry Weis, Carson Bohner, Alex McGohan, Nathan Swarbrick, and Riley Berns

Envirothon State Winners 24

Envirothon State Winners 24: Front row–first place team:  Connor Evelsizer, Anders Lovstuen, Gabriel Hiner, Aiden Nalean-Carlson, and Lucas Arendt

Back row–second place team: Chaperone Nick Lovstuen, Carson Bohner, Nathan Swarbrick, Riley Berns, Alex McGohan, Henry Weis, and Advisor Larry Berland

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