DMS 7th and 8th Graders to Present “Night of Plays” March 10

Decorah Middle School 7th and 8th graders will be presenting their “Night of Plays” on Thursday, March 10, at 7:00 pm in the Carrie Lee Auditorium. The students will perform the plays “Discount Phone Line,” “Psycho Psychic Network,” “Baitline News,” and “Beowulf on a Budget.” The public is cordially invited to attend this light-hearted evening of fun.  There is no admission charge for this event.

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Front Row (l-r): Naomi Pedlar, Mikayla Hiner, Kaylie Wemark, June Breitenbach-Dirks, Caleb Johnson, Ezra Harman-Wood
Back Row (l-r): Mary Brown, Olivia Rissman, Evan Madsen, Noah Potvin, Colin Thompson, Jillian Volz

DHS Speech Students Perform Well at District Contest

Decorah High School’s individual speech participants—coached by Molly Holkesvik, Gabriel Twedt, Carrie Kauffman, Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, and Lyra McKnight—competed Saturday, February 26th, at Dysart Middle School. Around 50 students participated in the contest.  Out of Decorah’s 59 performances, 52 received I (excellent) ratings.

The directors shared, “We are excited for our students to keep showing their great performance and speaking skills at State Contest in two weeks. We are proud of everything they are bringing to the table.”

Individual Speech State Contest will be held at Clear Lake High School on Saturday, March 12th.

Results for Decorah Speech Performers Grades 10-12 Receiving a I (excellent) rating:

Original Oratory: Nat Roberts, Evon Leitz, Nadia Johnson

Public Address: Jenna Hartz, Anya Lovstuen, Kathryn Kelly

Expository Address: Ellen Rooney, Annika Franzen, Gabriel Hiner

Storytelling: Hayley Stowe, Nadia Johnson, Ramsey Zilka

Prose: Danielle Rix, Sophia Christman, Wyatt Hackman

Poetry: Jensen Korsness, Kathryn Kelly, Koryn Bakken

Review: Braunwyn Darrington

Literary Program: Alex McGohan, Grace Bachelder

Solo Musical: Dylan Muhlbauer, Ella Grouws, Mikiah Krieg

Acting: Ada Lovelace, Ellen Rooney, Alex Kane

After Dinner Speaking: Joe Stammeyer, Landan Folkedahl

Spontaneous Speaking: Anya Lovstuen, Landan Folkedahl, Michael Njus

Radio News: Simon Kutz, Rebecca Anderson

Individual Improv: Nat Roberts, Jake Magner, Cori Timm

Results for Decorah Speech Performers Grades 10-12 Receiving a II (good) rating:

Literary Program: Samantha Reilly

Review: Lexi Walker

After Dinner: Madi Castro

Radio News: Junior Battle

Results for Decorah Speech Performers Grade 9 Receiving a I (excellent) rating:

Original Oratory: Natalie Goodner, Gwen Thompson

After Dinner: Ezra Vorvick, Davis Coppola

Prose: Evynne Downing, Margret Zook

Literary Program: Alex McGohan

Improvisational Acting: Jack Sovern

Solo Musical: Gwen Thompson

Radio: Karmyn Bakken

Public Address: Grace Blikre, Andy Kruger

Poetry: Elsa Johnson

Expository Address: Elliana Brodbeck

Storytelling: Margret Zook

Review: Grace Blikre

Results for Decorah Speech Performers Grade 9 Receiving a II (good) rating:

Acting: Elliana Brodbeck, Becca Kane

Expository Address: Klaara Short

DCSD Reports Active COVID Cases, Announces Kindergarten Enrollment Meeting and 22-23 Calendar Public Hearing

District COVID-19 Active Positive Cases

  • Total number of students and staff in isolation (currently positive) for COVID-19: five (5)
  • Current district facilities with known positive cases: Carrie Lee Elementary, Decorah Middle School, Decorah High School

DCSD reports COVID-19 data in alignment with the direction of the Iowa Department of Public Health. The full guidance can be found at the link below.

IDPH Information Sharing Guidance for Schools and Local Public Health

Kindergarten Enrollment Meeting

Thursday, March 3, the district will host an informational meeting for parents with children who will be eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year. Children must be 5 years old on or before , to be eligible for kindergarten. The informational meeting will be held in the Carrie Lee Elementary Auditorium beginning at 6:00 pm.

Proposed 2022-2023 Academic Calendar

The Board of Directors set the date of March 14 at 5:30 pm to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed 2022-2023 Academic Calendar. Like the past two years, the proposed calendar is an hours of instruction-based calendar and is similar in structure to the past two years.  The regular board meeting will follow the public hearing where the Board will discuss and/or approve the final calendar. Interested parties can review the draft 2022-2023 academic calendar at the link below.

DRAFT 2022-2023 Academic Calendar

DHS Large Group Speech Students Take Home Two Banners at the All-State Festival

Two Decorah High School groups were selected as banner recipients at this year’s All-State Speech Festival held in Ames over the weekend: a radio broadcasting entitled “KCTS” and a television news broadcast entitled “Iowa Adventures: Haunted Road Trip.”

Approximately 70 Decorah High School students made the trip to Ames over the weekend to perform at the festival at the Iowa State Center on the ISU campus. Eight events were nominated as outstanding performances and joined other elite speech students from across the state to share their performances with a professional critic.

Each critic selects one performance at the end of the day and awards a banner to that entry, signifying them as “best of center” in that category. The banner winner, in the eyes of the critic, represents a “state championship” quality performance that stands out above the rest.

Cast members of the Radio Broadcasting “KCTS,” directed by Gabriel Twedt and Carrie Kauffman, include Drew Berns, Morgan Dhly, Nat Roberts, Sylvia Sandhorst, and August Witt.

The radio broadcasting follows the Johnson family on their trip to the deserts of the American Southwest. However, the cactus-ridden landscape proves to be a little too much for the Minnesotan family. The critic praised “KCTS” for its originality, polished technical aspects, and engaging storyline. The critic explained that once they heard the radio broadcast, “There was no other choice for the critic’s choice.”

Cast members of Television News “Iowa Adventures: Haunted Road Trip,” directed by Molly Holkesvik and Gabriel Twedt, include Annaleissa Arnold, Caden Branum, Bella Bishop, Sophia Christman, Chloe Chyle, Braunwyn Darrington, Simon Kutz, Paige Lange, Easton Luzum, Kailyn O’Gara, Thea Schissel, Brynn Storhoff, and Paige Werner.

The critic praised the “Iowa Adventures: Haunted Road Trip” cast for their professionalism, attention to detail, and captivating writing. The travel style broadcast focuses on the hauntings and tourism opportunities found in the Iowa towns of Van Meter and Villisca. The critic was blown away by the level of quality of this production, as well as the production of the 9th grade televisions news that also performed at All-State. 

“Although the All-State nominations and subsequent banner wins are amazing, the true mark of our success lies in the joy in our students’ faces and hearts as they performed at all levels throughout this season,” large group speech directors Molly Holkesvik, Gabriel Twedt, Carrie Kauffman, Rachel Breitenbach-Dirks, and Lyra McKnight remarked, at the conclusion of the weekend’s events. “A big thank you to all involved in the fire truck parade, the ringing of the victory bell, and for packing the house at all our performances throughout the season. Saturday night was a true celebration of our entire speech team.”

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The Radio Broadcasting “KCTS” was awarded a banner at the IHSSA All-State Festival.  
Photo ID (l-r): Coach Carrie Kauffman, Sylvia Sandhorst, Drew Berns, August Witt, Coach Gabriel Twedt, Nat Roberts, and Morgan Dhly.
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Television News “Iowa Adventures: Haunted Road Trip” was awarded a banner at the IHSSA All-State Festival.  
Photo ID (l-r): Coach Molly Holkesvik, Annaleissa Arnold, Brynn Storhoff, Simon Kutz, Easton Luzum, Bella Bishop, Coach Gabriel Twedt, Caden Branum, Paige Lange, and Sophia Christman. Missing from picture: Chloe Chyle, Braunwyn Darrington, Kailyn O’Gara, Thea Schissel, and Paige Werner


2022 Boys State Basketball Information – Quarterfinals

Decorah High School is extremely excited to have our Boys Basketball team play in the 2022 State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.  We look forward to the continued support of the community and fans for our students just like in all of our activities.  In order to help those planning to attend this great event, we want to provide some information to help everyone prepare for a great experience and support the staff at Wells Fargo Arena with the management of the event. 

  • Decorah vs. Central DeWitt in the State Quarterfinal
    • 5:30 PM on Tuesday, March 8 at Wells Fargo Arena
  • Tickets can be purchased in advance online at the link below or at Wells Fargo Arena.
    • $10.00 – Cost of Ticket – General Admission for All Games on 3/8/22
      • Service Fees will apply for Online Transactions
  • Hawkeye Stages Community Pep Bus Offered through Decorah High School
    • $60 Cost – Includes Game Ticket – Checks can be made out to Decorah High School
      • Call or Visit Decorah High School Office (563-383-3643) between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM to reserve a spot. 
      • Any student K-8 must be accompanied by an adult. 
      • Deadline – 4:00 PM on Monday, March 7. 
    • Bus will load at 12:45 PM and leave at 1:00 PM from Circle Drive at Decorah High School. 
  • Wells Fargo Arena has a Clear Bag Policy
    • Maximum Size of 12” x 6” x 12” is permitted.  Exceptions will be granted for medical, family or child care bags no larger than 4.5”x6.5”
  • All Spectators will enter through the south gates of the arena and exit through the north gates. 
    • Decorah will be the Home Team and spectators will sit directly behind the scorer’s table and team benches. 
    • Decorah Students will sit behind the Decorah Bench immediately to the right of the scorer’s table while facing the floor. 
    • Please follow the directions of Wells Fargo Arena Staff for plans to spectators leaving one game and entering for the next game.  (Enter from the left and leave to the right after awards presentations.) 
  • Please remember to enjoy this experience provided for our school and community. 
    • Express gratitude to the staff of Wells Fargo Arena and the IHSAA for their work to provide a great environment for us to participate in. 
    • Display positive sportsmanship and encouragement for all schools and officials. 
    • Wear Red and Blue!
    • Be Loud and Proud to show others what the Decorah Community is all about!

Decorah FFA Chapter Celebrates National FFA Week

By: Kaia Franzen, Reporter

The Decorah FFA will celebrate National FFA Week from February 19 through . Throughout the week, FFA members, alumni, sponsors, and chapters sraise awareness about the FFA organization and the daily impact it has on its members. Agricultural education allows FFA members to achieve premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.

Decorah chapter members will engage in four dress-up days throughout the week to promote FFA. These days are as follows: Tuesday, Feb. 22 – USA Day, Wednesday, Feb. 23 – FFA Shirt Day, Thursday, Feb. 24 – Hat Day, and Friday, Feb. 25 – Farmer Day. To promote FFA and encourage others to join, the organization is inviting all Decorah High School students to participate. “We’re constantly searching for new members to join our chapter, and we encourage everyone to participate in FFA week and understand that FFA is about more than agriculture and farming,” said chapter sentinel Brendan Hunter.

There are currently sixty-six members in the Decorah FFA. The chapter organizes programs all year to help grow leaders, build communities, and strengthen agriculture. The Decorah FFA will have its annual FFA Awards Program on Thursday, , to honor all the year’s accomplishments. The general public is invited to attend. Tickets and further information can be obtained by contacting any Decorah FFA member or the high school FFA advisor, Joni Bruvold.

The Decorah FFA will also be hosting the Northeast District FFA Convention on Saturday, , at Decorah High School. Forty FFA chapters from Northeast Iowa will be competing in these events as students showcase their agricultural, communication, and leadership skills. FFA contests will begin at 9 am and are open to the general public to attend.

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Decorah FFA Chapter 2021-2022 – Members and Advisor Photo

Row 1: 2021-2022 Decorah FFA Officer Team (l-r): Brendan Hunter, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath (represented by FFA jacket), Karter Einck (represented by FFA jacket), Sage Wedmann, David Kreitzer

Row 2 (l-r): Joni Bruvold (advisor),  Melia Kruse, Annica Hansen, Rashell Lippe, Kallie Mincks, Claire Schutte, Rachel Mikkelson, Austin Helgerson, Dahlyn Headington, Morgan Moen, Elora Schnitzler, Anders Lovstuen

Row 3:(l-r): Chezny Ryant, Brittney Ehrie, Maggie Lovstuen, Braunwyn Darrington, Kiele Eberling, Olivia Wyatt, Addison Wemark, Ciara Wedmann, Alex Irwin, Brooke Anfinson, Mara Wyatt, Grace Stortz, Annika Brynsaas, Kyleigh Batterson

Row 4 (l-r): Jordan Sims, Jeramiah Rediske, Camren Darling, Kolton Werges, Derek Tieskoetter, Lacie Bjergum, Brayden Reiser, Kaid Headington, Cade Averhoff, Brody Courtney, Bryss Ehrie, Logan Frye, Olivia Christopher, Chloe Reiser

Row 5 (l-r): Gavin Sims, Blaine Leidahl, Hannah Schnitzler, Landen Marlow, Justin Nierling, Travis Nordheim, Carter Schmelzer, Carson Wemark, Brody Anfinson, Dalton Zidlicky, Dylan Elsbernd, Kayleigh Smith, Creed Monroe, Ryan Johanningmeier, Caiden Bruns

Absent from photo: Bridget Bentley, Doug Bentley, Karter Einck, Dalton Hemesath, Christopher Larson, Hunter Quandahl, and Emmit Stemper

2021 2022 Officer Team
2021 – 2022 Decorah FFA Officer Team
Front row (l-r): Sage Wedmann, Treasurer; Grace Gerleman, Vice President; Kaia Franzen, Reporter
Back row (l-r): Brendan Hunter, Sentinel; Karter Einck, Secretary; Dalton Hemesath, President; David Krietzer, Chapter Assistant
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Decorah FFA 2021-2022: 11th & 12th graders
Row 1 (l-r): Annica Hansen, Morgan Moen, Dahlyn Headington, Rachel Mikkelson, Brittney Ehrie, Chezny Ryant, Kyleigh Batterson, Kallie Mincks, Melia Kruse
Row 2 (l-r): Alex Irwin, Chloe Reiser, Lacie Bjergum, Brayden Reiser, Hannah Schnitzler, Ryan Johanningmeier, Kaia Franzen, Gavin Sims, Addison Wemark, Maggie Lovstuen
Row 3 (l-r): Landen Marlow, Justin Nierling, Brendan Hunter, Carter Schmelzer, Brody Anfinson, Carson Wemark, Dalton Zidlicky, Dylan Elsbernd, David Kreitzer, Grace Gerleman, Sage Wedmann
Absent from photo: Karter Einck, Dalton Hemesath, Emmit Stemper
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Decorah FFA 2021-2022: 9th & 10th graders

Row 1 (l-r): Rashell Lippe, Claire Schutte, Austin Helgerson, Elora Schnitzler, Mara Wyatt, Grace Stortz, Anders Lovstuen

Row 2 (l-r): Braunwyn Darrington, Brooke Anfinson, Kiele Eberling, Kolton Werges, Derek Tieskoetter, Brody Courtney, Olivia Christopher, Olivia Wyatt, Ciara Wedmann, Annika Brynsaas

Row 3 (l-r): Camren Darling, Cade Averhoff, Jeramiah Rediske, Jordan Sims, Blaine Leidahl, Travis Nordheim, Kayleigh Smith, Creed Monroe, Caiden Bruns, Bryss Ehrie, Logan Frye, Kaid Headington

Absent from photo: Bridget Bentley, Doug Bentley, Christopher Larson, Hunter Quandahl


Fall Sports Academic All-State Honorees Named

Decorah High School is pleased to announce that nine fall sport student-athletes have been recognized by the respective coaches’ associations of their sports for earning academic all-state honors.  Below is information on each of the students recognized. 

Academic All-State for Cross Country

  • Izaak Eichinger – Son of Mark and Michelle Eichinger
  • Larsson Shockey – Son of Ben Shockey and Julie Simiele
  • Requirements
    • Senior Cross Country Athlete
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher
    • Composite Score of 28 or higher on the ACT Exam
    • Outstanding runner who has been a state qualifier or placed in the top 30 at their State Qualifying Meet

Academic All-State for Volleyball

  • Allison Pavlovec – Daughter of Shelley Pavlovec and Curt Jacobs
  • Requirements
    • Senior Volleyball Athlete
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher
    • Composite Score of 27 or higher on the ACT Exam
    • Be involved in other Extra-Curricular Activities

Academic All-State for Football

  • Joe Hjelle – Son of John and Tracy Hjelle
  • David Johanningmeier – Son of Scott and Kerri Johanningmeier
  • Thomas Ostlie – Son of Paul and Lori Ostlie
  • Jacob Pipho – Son of Jon and Amy Pipho
  • Brayden Reiser – Son of Rich and Erica Reiser
  • Brody Young – Son of Jon and Shawn Young
  • Requirements
    • Senior Football Starter
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher
    • Be involved in other extra-curricular activities
Coach Holthaus and Allison Pavloved
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Joe Hjelle, Thomas Ostlie, Brody Young, Ryan Johanningmeier, Brayden Reiser, Jocob Pipho, and Coach Trewin
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Larrson Shockey, Coach Johansen, Izaak Eichinger

Kim Sheppard Recognized by Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association as 2021-2022 Administrator of the Year

The Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association has recognized Decorah High School Principal Kim Sheppard as the 2021-2022 Administrator of the Year. 

During her 21 years in her leadership role with the district, Mrs. Kim Sheppard has helped lead and guide Decorah High School to unprecedented success both academically and in activities.  In 2011, DHS was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education and since 2010, has been ranked in the top five high schools in the state of Iowa by US News and World Report including top rankings in 2013 and 2020. 

In the activities setting, Decorah has achieved great success with Sheppard’s support and guidance to all students, families, and staff.  120 Conference or District titles have been earned in 18 sports, along with 12 State Championships in 6 sports.  This success has come with a constant willingness to help in tasks ranging from general supervision and management of events, to running a basketball score table, to offering mentorship and guidance for coaches and staff members in both victory and moments of defeat.  Additionally, Sheppard has been a passionate supporter of student success and expression in both the performing and visual arts.  She has also has played an active role in work with fellow administrators to work together in finding ways to support and grow program offerings through development of new programs including bowling and robotics.  

Mrs. Sheppard has been an outstanding supporter and administrator for the activities program of the Decorah Community School District and the Northeast Iowa Conference throughout her 21 years as the Principal at Decorah High School.  Her commitment to excellence and service to students, coaches, and their families has been second to none. 

Nolan Jacobson Named Norman C. Bradish Scholarship Recipient for 2021-22 School Year

Decorah High School has named Nolan Jacobsen as the recipient of the Norman C. Bradish Scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year. Norman Bradish created a scholarship to be awarded to a male graduate of Decorah High School who possesses high academic ability and curiosity, is liked by peers and adults, and displays high standards of character. The recipient must agree to attend a non-religious college outside the state of Iowa. In addition, the student must remain unmarried until finishing his studies.

Jacobsen is currently still deciding where he will attend college, but he plans to major in aerospace engineering. He has been very active at Decorah High School and in the Decorah community. He has successfully completed numerous college credit and AP courses. He was selected as a member of the Iowa All-State Honor Choir during his junior and senior years and has contributed to top honors awarded to choir groups. Jacobsen has also participated widely in the DHS speech and drama program, performing for musicals and variety shows as well as participating in the Iowa All-State Large Group Speech contest his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He was a member of the boys’ tennis team his junior year and plans to participate again his senior year. Jacobsen was also a part of the boys’ cross country team his senior year and is a member of the DHS chapter of National Honor Society.

Nolan Jacobsen is the son of Kathleen and the late Kalen Jacobsen.

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Nolan Jacobson, 2021-2022 Bradish Winner

DHS Robotics Team Headed to the State Championship

The Decorah High School junior/senior robotics team, the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men, competed in the Super Qualifier event in Norwalk on Saturday, February 12. The team members­–seniors Kolten Gossman, Tyler Shedinger, Weston Everson, Grant Timm and juniors Aiden Burroughs, Ethan Stravers, Justin Berlage, Nathaniel Myers, Junior Battle–played six qualification matches throughout the morning and afternoon, including posting a team high score of 230 when playing with team Still Under Development from Black Hawk County during one of the matches. They finished the qualification matches in 8th place, securing their spot at the state championship Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19 at the Xtream Arena in Coralville. In the playoff rounds the team was paired with two alliances, CrossFire from Valley Lutheran High School and the Shells Bots from Waverly, but they lost in the first round to the eventual championship team from Waukee, the Enginerds.

Earlier in the season, both the junior/senior and freshmen/sophomore robotics club teams competed in the League Championship competition on Saturday, January 29 in Cedar Falls. The freshmen/sophomore team, the Treads of Terror, climbed from 12th place to 8th place during the competition. A highlight for the team was when an all-freshmen driving team of Jerald Thompson, Kellen Roffman, and Mason Myers won their first match together this year.

The junior/senior team held steady in 2nd place throughout the competition, despite the collapsing of the inspection table with their robot on it, leading to the replacement of many bent parts. This allowed them to continue into the playoff rounds and “draft” their alliance partner, team 9968 Crossfire from Lutheran Valley High School. Together, they defeated the 3rd and 1st ranked alliances, winning their final match 214 to 182. They were awarded the League Champion trophy and the Judges’ Choice Award for being highly rated in all categories of the competition. 

Coach Brett Wilker remarked, “I am extremely proud of both of our teams this year as they have learned and accomplished so much throughout our season. The students have spent over five months designing, building, and programming their robots, and that hard work and dedication paid off by helping them earn high rankings in our league. The students have learned a lot about engineering, coding, and robot design as well as team work and persistence in the face of all of the challenges they’ve faced. We are all excited to be the first robotics team to represent Decorah at the Iowa Championship this weekend, going up against the best teams in the state.”

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Both teams pose for a picture after winning the League Championship in Cedar Falls

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 Both teams preparing to compete in a qualification match as alliance partners

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The Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men get ready on the queuing table at the Super Qualifier competition in Norwalk
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