Decorah FFA Attends and Competes at Tri-State Dairy and Ag Expo at NICC

On Thursday, September 14th, twenty-one members of the Decorah FFA attended the Tri-State Dairy and Ag Expo at NICC in Calmar. This event attracted over 470 FFA members from 39 chapters across Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Chapter members attended workshops, competed in contests, and enhanced career skills while attending the expo. Members of the Decorah FFA competed in the following contests: dairy cattle evaluation with oral reasons, dairy cattle evaluation with no-reasons, and dairy products evaluation.

Six Decorah FFA members competed in the Tri-State Dairy Expo and Northeast District FFA dairy cattle evaluation with reasons contests: Brinlee Courtney, Brody Courtney, Kiele Eberling, Anders Lovstuen, Mara Lovstuen, and Annika Schmelzer. The team consisting of Brody Courtney, Kiele Eberling, and Anders Lovstuen received 8th place overall in the tri-state dairy cattle evaluation contest and fourth place overall in the Northeast District FFA dairy evaluation contest. Anders Lovstuen and Brody Courtney placed first and tenth respectively in the Northeast District FFA dairy cattle evaluation contest.

The Decorah FFA also had eleven members participate in the dairy cattle evaluation contest with no-reasons. These members include Hadley Alexander, Andy Carolan, Madelynn Dahl, Jerikah Dodd, Karlie Einck, Braden Hemesath, William Kruse, Gabe Monroe, Isabella Schnitzler, Haley Stinson, and Thea Zidlicky. Two Decorah FFA teams placed in the top 10 in the Tri-State Dairy Expo Dairy Cattle Evaluation with no reasons contest. The team of Hadley Alexander, Madelynn Dahl, Gabe Monroe, and Isabella Schnitzler placed third overall, and the team of Jerikah Dodd, Karlie Einck, Thea Zidlicky, and Haley Stinson placed 10th overall. Gabe Monroe placed second as an individual in the Tri-State Dairy Expo cattle evaluation with no reasons contest.

Four members competed in the Tri-State Dairy and Ag Expo and Northeast Iowa FFA Milk Quality and Dairy Products Evaluation contests. Members were asked to evaluate milk quality, identify different types of cheese, and determine real versus imitation dairy products. The Decorah FFA members participating in these contests include Annika Brynsaas, Braunwyn Darrington, Ciara Wedmann, and Mara Wyatt.

9.14.23 Tri State Dairy Decorah FFA 2

The Decorah FFA had twenty-one members participate in Tri-State Dairy and Ag Expo at NICC in Calmar.

Pictured (left to right): Bottom Row: Ciara Wedmann, Madelynn Dahl, Hadley Alexander, Annika Brynsaas, Mara Wyatt, Brinlee Courtney, Kiele Eberling, Andy Carolan, and Anders Lovstuen

Back row: Brody Courtney, Gabe Monroe, Braunwyn Darrington, Mara Lovstuen, Isabella Schnitzler, Braden Hemesath, Karlie Einck, Thea Zidlicky, Annika Schmelzer, Jerikah Dodd, William Kruse, and Haley Stinson.

9.14.23 District FFA Dairy Cattle Brody C 10th ind. and Anders L 1st ind

Anders Lovstuen (right) and Brody Courtney (left) placed first and tenth respectively in the Northeast District FFA dairy cattle evaluation contest.

9.14.23 District FFA Dairy Cattle Eval 4th place team Kiele Brody Anders

The team consisting of Kiele Eberling, Brody Courtney, and Anders Lovstuen received 8 th place overall in the tri-state dairy cattle evaluation contest and fourth place overall in the Northeast District FFA dairy evaluation contest.

DHS Announces 2023 Homecoming Court

Homecoming week at Decorah High School will include the crowning of the 2023 king and queen.

Queen candidates from the senior class include Lydia Frank, daughter of Kyle and Jacki Frank; Sydney Kipp, daughter of Ryan Kipp and Jenny Kleiner; Naomi Simon, daughter of Matt Simon and Melissa Simon; Brynn Storhoff, daughter of Brent and Brigit Storhoff; Hayley Stowe, daughter of Haywood and Erika Stowe; and Yazmeen Whitsitt, daughter of Novian and Katherine Whitsitt.

King candidates from the senior class include Kelley Gates, son of Aaron Pattison and Megan Gates; Simon Kutz, son of Eric Kutz and Miko Kominami; Trey McCain, son of Kevin and Boots McCain; Creed Monroe, son of Darin and Sarah Monroe; Fisher Tweten, son of Jason and Tera Tweten; and Kaiden Youngblood, son of Harold and Dawn Youngblood.

Junior class attendants are McKenzie Riley, daughter of Adam and Jessica Riley, and William Hahn, son of Brent and Amanda Hahn.

Representing the sophomore class as attendants are Drew Zwart, daughter of Robert Zwart and Cheri White, and William Tallier, son of Aleksandra Tallier and the late William Tallier.

Jillian Volz, daughter of Daniel and Bethany Volz, and Carter Riley, son of Adam and Jessica Riley, will represent the class of 2027.

The coronation ceremony will be Friday afternoon with a pep assembly and parade to follow.

IMG 0346

DHS Queen and King Candidates:

Front row (l-r): Kaiden Youngblood, Fisher Tweten, Creed Monroe, Kelley Gates, Simon Kutz and Trey McCain

Back row (l-r): Yazmeen Whitsitt, Sydney Kipp, Lydia Frank, Hayley Stowe, Naomi Simon, and Brynn Storhoff

9th 10th 11th attendants

9th-11th grade DHS Homecoming attendants:

Front row (l-r): Jillian Volz, Drew Zwart, and McKenzie Riley

Back row (l-r): Carter Riley, William Tallier, and William Hahn

Five Decorah High School Students Named Semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of over 16,000 Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Five Decorah High School students–Gabriel Hiner, Simon Kutz, Anders Lovstuen, Aidan Nalean-Carlson, and Henry Weis–are among those honored.  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.  

High school students entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which serves as an initial screen of the program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 94 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and all National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists and will earn the Merit Scholar title.

A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

2024 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists 2

Decorah High School National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists (l-r): Aidan Nalean-Carlson, Simon Kutz, Anders Lovstuen, Gabriel Hiner, and Henry Weis

DHS Announces Plans for Homecoming 2023

Homecoming week activities for Decorah High School students will commence with the Viking Olympics on Sunday, September 17. This event aims to encourage team building among students across all grade levels.

Each of the ten teams competing will consist of students from each grade level. They will apply their skills in trivia, kickball, pickleball, bags, and tug of war. A new feature this year will be a flag decorating contest.  The students will design and decorate a flag that represents their team and school spirit. The flags will be presented during opening ceremonies of Viking Olympics and will then be displayed in school throughout the week. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Decorah Community Food Pantry.

As the week continues, students and staff will have the opportunity to cheer on sports teams and celebrate school spirit. Monday the JV football team will face Independence here at home. On Tuesday the cross country teams and volleyball teams will travel to compete. Thursday the JV football team will play Mason City, again on home turf.

Friday will bring many elements of Homecoming together for a day and evening of fun and camaraderie.  Students will attend the coronation ceremony in the afternoon where the Homecoming king and queen will be crowned.  A pep rally will immediately follow the coronation.

The Homecoming parade will start at 2:30 p.m. at the high school and follow the traditional homecoming parade route down West Water Street and River Street.

It will be a clash on the gridiron as the Decorah Vikings take on the Riverhawks of Mason City High School at 7:30 p.m. The Decorah freshman football team will play at 5 p.m.

The Homecoming queen and king, their court, and their parents will be presented at halftime of the varsity game, along with a performance by the Decorah High School Pride of the Vikings marching band.

Decorah FFA Competes at State Dairy Cattle and Milk Quality Competitions

Six Decorah FFA members traveled to Manchester on Friday, September 8th, for the state FFA dairy cattle evaluation, dairy handling, and milk quality competitions.

In the contest of dairy cattle evaluation, Brody Courtney, Kiele Eberling, Anders Lovstuen, and Creed Monroe placed second overall as a team with a gold rating. They also placed 1st place in the oral reasons class as a team. Lovstuen received first place in the oral reasons class and received second place overall in the individual competition. These students evaluated six classes of dairy cattle, gave a set of oral reasons, and took a test on dairy cattle production and management.

Logan Frye represented the Decorah FFA in the dairy handling competition and received a bronze rating. This contest is a dairy showmanship contest where members are evaluated on how they handle and present the animal for show.

Braunwyn Darrington represented the Decorah FFA in the milk quality and products contest. She placed 14th overall as an individual, evaluating a variety of cheese, milk, and milk product items. She also took a knowledge test and completed a milk pricing problem.

9.8.23 State Dairy Cattle Evaluation Lovstuen Courtney Monroe Eberling 2nd place team 1st place team in oral reasons 2nd place individual Anders

The Decorah FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation team of (left to right) Anders Lovstuen, Brody Courtney, Creed Monroe, and Kiele Eberling placed second overall as a team and 1st place in oral reasons at the Iowa FFA State Dairy Evaluation Contest. 

Lovstuen Anders IMG 8641

Anders Lovstuen of the Decorah FFA received first place for oral reasons and placed second overall in the state FFA dairy cattle evaluation contest.

9.8.23 State Dairy Cattle Handling Frye Logan Bronze rating

Logan Frye represented the Decorah FFA in the dairy handling competition and received a bronze rating.

9.8.23 State Dairy Products Darrington 14th place individual bronze team

Braunwyn Darrington competed in the state FFA milk quality and dairy products evaluation contest and received 14th place as an individual.

Decorah High School Ranked #2 High School in Iowa by U.S. News & World Report

For the third year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Decorah High School as the second-best high school across Iowa. This marks the fifth consecutive year in the top two spots.

Principal Brad Hurst remarked, “This prestigious recognition is not the work of any individual but the result of a collective effort. It honors the achievements and performances of our students, who continually embrace academic challenges and consistently excel. In addition, significant preparation and pride are invested to ensure that each student at Decorah High School maintains access to a rigorous, world-class education. This monumental task is made possible by the dedication, commitment, and hard work of our entire staff—our teachers, counselors, administrators, office staff, para professionals, custodial staff, nutrition service staff, and bus drivers.”

Hurst continued, “We are also immensely grateful to our colleagues across different schools who have been instrumental in establishing and maintaining the foundation of rigorous learning and the high expectations we maintain for our students at Decorah High School.”

More information about the ratings can be found at

DHS 2 US News

DHS students awarded academic honors from the College Board

Seven students from Decorah High School–Lucas Arendt, Aidan Nalean-Carlson, Peter
Essa, Aya Hawthorn, Mason Myers, Alexis Walker, and Henry Weis–have been selected
as a College Board National Recognition Program awardee. Margret Zook, a former DHS
student, also received this honor. All recipients received the National Rural and Small
Town Award (NRSTA).

These students earned this recognition because of their academic achievements in school
and outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT™ 10, and/or AP® Exams.
They’ve accomplished these milestones during a demanding period of their high school
“We’re thrilled that our students have earned this recognition. We are very proud of them
for their achievements in their classrooms and on College Board assessments,” said Pat
Trewin, DHS guidance counselor. “These programs help students from underrepresented
backgrounds stand out to colleges during admissions.”
“We want to honor the hard work of these students through the College Board National
Recognition Programs. This program creates a way for colleges and scholarship programs
to connect directly with underrepresented students who they are hoping to reach,” said
Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture. “We hope the award
winners and their families celebrate this prestigious honor.”


Photo ID

Front row (l-r): Alexis Walker, Aya Hawthorn

Back row (l-r): Aidan Nalean-Carlson, Peter Essa, Lucas Arendt, Henry Weis, Mason Myers

Not pictured: Former DHS student Margret Zook

Decorah Music Boosters to Hold Chili Supper Fundraiser

On Friday, September 1st from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, the Decorah Music Boosters will be hosting their annual Chili Supper in the cafeteria of Decorah High School.  Tickets are available online at or can be purchased at the door.  The cost is $8 for adults and for students K-12. Preschool children may eat for free. 

Proceeds from the chili supper are used to provide scholarships to students and to assist in helping to purchase items beneficial for the music program and its students.

Chili Supper
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