• Students of the Week for May 28-31

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 5/30/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Congrats to Justin Orosz and Catherine McComas-Bussa, our S&T students of the week! Read more about what their teachers had to say about them below. 

    Justin Orosz


    Mr. Rutherford:  Justin Orosz is probably the most curious student I’ve encountered in 15 years of teaching. We’ve had conversations ranging from non-euclidean geometry to quantum mechanics, all outside the realm of the defined physics curriculum. On top of that Justin is a fantastic student, working very hard in AP Physics C. He extended the vpython programs we did in class to write simulations I’m not sure I could replicate, and was happy to help the S&T academy by showing them off during an event. Sure, I expect Justin to score well on the AP exam; more important is his incredible intrinsic motivation. I can only hope more students will imitate Justin’s example of learning for learning’s sake.

    Justin: Spending forty minutes learning physics from Mr. Rutherford has changed my greater perspective on teaching the subject matter. He makes it relatable and down right understandable no matter what topic we are covering with him paying close attention to our questions or issues. As someone who would hope to one day teach these and other subjects the image, or light, he gives off in class is something I will seek to illuminate future curious individuals quite unlike myself. Given this experience, I’m saddened that I will be leaving soon and will have to keep some form of his spirit alive within me to educate others.


    Señor Schroepfer:  Forget “Students of the Week” for a hot second, here…  Let’s talk Humans of the Week.  Catherine Fiona is behind in my class (don’t worry, she’ll finish up well), and it’s because she knows how to prioritize the truly important things in life.  She works in local and state offices, helping with things from elections to budgets. She led a youth conference in DC this year. She has more REAL things on her shoulders in a given year than most students will have dealt with before they have kids.  She should be broadcast from the rooftops of our district as a point of pride, but she somehow manages to fly a bit under the radar. Well, NO MORE!!!!!  You, Catherine, are an Academy of Science & Tech Student of the Week somehow (shoutout to the Human Services Academy), and we also shall celebrate your wonderfulness, selflessness, kindness, strength, and candor during your final week here.  Where others may see only trees, you see the forest. Huzzah!!!

    Catherine McComas-Bussa:  It is a joy to be in Mr. Schroepfer’s class as he uplifts and emboldens not only spanish speakers or students, but people, peers, and leaders. He supports the holistic wellbeing of his students while still managing to maintain a strong learning environment that is a high point of each day. I have learned loads from Mr. Schroepfer’s enthusiasm, compassion, and joy for the things he does and the students he works with. Huzzah indeed!!

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  • S&T Biology Students Study Plants for Biofuels

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 5/24/2019

    S&T Academy Biology students are exploring plants to grow for sustainable biofuels.   Students investigated decomposition and measured carbon dioxide levels emitted from soil by microbes and other organisms living in different habitats involved in carbon cycling.  Students designed experiments to explore the relationship between microbial respiration rates and soil variables such as temperature, habitat, soil type, and agricultural management choices.








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  • Students of the Week for May 20-24

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 5/20/2019

    Congrats to Abby Parizek and Ryan O’Connor, our S&T students of the week! See what their teachers had to say about them below. 

    Abby Parizek

    Profe Massard:  Abby is one of those types of students that it is an honor to have in your classroom.  She is a kind and wonderful human being. She approaches all of her work with dedication.  In addition, she sees what needs to be done in a project and she has a special ability to see the needs of fellow students .  Then she is ready to offer support with innovative solutions. Her work is of the highest quality and she is always ready to participate in class activities.  Her creativity, dedication and skill to see the needs of her team will take her wherever she wants to go in the future.

    Abby Parizek: Profe Massard is a wonderful teacher because you can tell she really cares about her work and her students. I am very inspired by her love of Spanish and her love of the Spanish culture. I hope that one day I can be this passionate about something the same way Profe Massard is passionate about Spanish. I have learned so much from her class about Spanish and about being a good person and a good student. I am so incredibly happy that I got to be in Profe Massard’s class for this semester and I feel like I have so many learned things that I will use for the rest of my life.

    Ryan O’Connor

    Profe Pierce:  For this week’s Student of the Week, I’m excited to nominate Ryan O’Connor. For the past two years, I’ve enjoyed the insight, determination, and intentionality that Ryan brings to each and every activity in class. Ryan has the ability to not only work with any student or group in class, but also to make others’ days a little bit better. He approaches every situation with a critical eye and desire to improve himself and those around him. For all of these reasons, I’m honored to nominate Ryan and see what more Ryan accomplishes in his years at SHS!

    Ryan O’Connor:   Pierce has been a really great teacher for the past 2 years.  She cares about her students and gives kids plenty of opportunities to come in for help and makes herself available.  If anyone is confused, she will stop and help them immediately. She doesn't let students take the "easy way"; she helps us to figure it out on our own. The way she interacts with students has made me more interested in the language.  I can tell that she is always trying to find a way to make the course better for students.

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  • Students of the week for May 13-17

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 5/13/2019

    Congratulations to Franklin Segovia Lopez and Abdullahi Hassan, our S&T students of the week for May 13-17! Read more about what their teacher's have to say about them below. 

    Franklin Segovia Lopez

    Ms. Cordes: I am thrilled to nominate Franklin Segovia Lopez as our student of the week!  Franklin has had some challenges in his life.  He was at a turning point earlier this year. It has taken tremendous determination and perseverance to get to where he is at now.  Franklin has worked hard and I am so proud of his accomplishments! He has shown tremendous growth throughout his time at Shakopee High School and I wish him the best as he graduates this spring!

    Franklin Segovia Lopez:  I appreciate her nomination.  I never thought that I could be a student of the week.  Ms. Cordes is very encouraging and never lets me give up.  I appreciate all of her help with classes and everything. Thanks for being so helpful.


    Abdullahi Hassan

    Ms. Drexler:  I am not sure why I am so fortunate, but I have the absolute pleasure of seeing Abdullahi twice a day.  Abdullahi is a quiet presence in the classroom.  He does what more people should; he thinks before he speaks.  He has many wise things to say, but he makes sure he says them in a kind, thoughtful way.  He humors me when he laughs ever so quietly at my corny jokes in class. He approaches everything with a smile and complains about nothing--ever! I think we all could learn a thing or two from him about how to be a better human.  Our classroom, our school, and our community are all better because of Abdullahi.

    Abdullahi Hassan:   I appreciate Ms. Drexler.  When I came to Shakopee I didn’t understand anything and didn’t know what was going on.  I went to get help and my counselor brought me to Ms. Drexler. Ms. Drexler gave me advice that I should not stress.  She said that teachers would help me. She showed me the ARC and connected me to teachers in the study hall. If she wouldn’t be here, I would not be getting student of the week now!


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  • Students of the Week for May 6-10

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 5/6/2019

    Peyton Rodriquez

    Mr. Fish: As the school year comes to a close and the pace quickens and life becomes more and more hectic, having amazing humans in your classes is quite the gift. Peyton is one of these great humans I have the pleasure of interacting with each and every 5th hour. I have had her in my US History class this semester and from day one she has  shown that not only is she a wonderful student but is a great person as well. She works well with all students in class and shows clear leadership abilities in group settings. Peyton never fails to impress me and I am really excited to see what she has in store for the rest of her high school career!

    Peyton Rodriquez: When I started 2nd semester I was super excited to learn that I would be in Mr. Fish’s History class. Everyday I would walk into his classroom he would greet me with a smile and would ask how I am feeling. Mr. Fish cares about all of his students no matter where he is, and he still wants to help them in school and outside of school. He also shows that he wants each of his students to succeed in his class. I don’t know many teachers that will take the time to learn more about their students like Mr. Fish does. He does this by connecting with his students from teaching us how the music was in each time period how music is now, to show us how bad things were in history but they were also improved, and when he is teaching he connects how there are still some issues in the present that could still be fixed. He is so invested in his students that he shows us that our opinions matter on either a political or social point. This is very important for a teacher to show how much he cares for each student, and what each student gets out from learning in his class. Whenever I need help in class, I know I can always go to him. He makes me feel comfortable, to the point that I answer questions other people have in the class, and or questions he asks for the students to answer. He has helped me feel more confident about my opinions on topics in history and also showed me how he is interested in learning how I view things outside of school. He makes history fun in class, and he makes me more interested in learning about history. I am so glad that he was one of my teachers this year and I can say that he was also one of my favorite teachers that I have ever had!

    Ben Lunn

    Mr. Loiselle:  I have had the great pleasure of teaching Ben Lunn both semesters in World History.  Lately(like the last 5 years) students have become much more quiet in my class.  Not Ben; he is the student who is willing to challenge my questions or thoughts, therefore my day is a blast!  I look forward to his hour to see how he will react to the topics and ideas that I can grill him through the lesson.  The outstanding thing is he will not pout or cry if his contributions in the conversation are not seen as a “win”. Ben is willing to compromise,  look at the situation through many differents lenses, and keep the dignity of his opponent on any topic. Looking at our elected officials they should take a lesson from him because he understands and works toward the idea of being a statesman instead of just winning an argument.  He is that rare student who seeks perfection in school and in his athletics with being part of our championship wrestling team. I admire his work ethic and the way he pushes himself in every area of his life.

    Ben Lunn:   Everyday I walk into class, I am challenged with a new way of thinking. I am given a chance to voice my opinions and either solidify or re-consider them with the challenging of Mr. Loiselle. Mr. Loiselle emphasizes the learning and self-thought rather than mindless memorization of historical facts which helps a typically long day go quicker. With his teaching, I think beyond the classroom when considering the news or any media I consume, and I have been more willing to step into (Mr. Loiselle’s favorite term) “the real world.”

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  • Students of the Week for April 29-May 3

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 4/29/2019

    Rachel KC


    Mr. Hoffman: Rachel has been quietly excelling as an AP Biology student.  Her work ethic is second to none, and her understanding of the biological world is growing like a r-selected species without the constraints of competition. Her success is raising her carrying capacity as a student and bringing her out of her shell.  Rachel is no longer a silent leader in the room, but a vocal leader in group discussions and laboratory investigations. Well done Rachel! I have enjoyed watching you discover more about the biological world and yourself this semester!

    Rachel KC:  Mr.Hoffman makes AP Biology a very fun experience. His love and devotion for the class and the subject are shown through his way of teaching. I can tell he loves biology and the class. He is super into the subject and because of that, it makes us students want to learn. Even though zero hour is early in the morning his attitude makes me want to be there. I am very appreciative to have him as a teacher and I hope every student has the opportunity to have him as a teacher because he will for sure inspire you to keep learning!


    Toan Do

    Mr. Johnston: I appreciate having Toan in my Energy Food and the Outdoors class because he has a genuine interest in the topics that we are learning about and he is a great role model for other students in the class. Toan quietly and consistently finds ways to connect the things we are studying in class to the real world. He is an active learner who always gives 100%.

    Toan Do: Since this class is new this year, I walked into the room with a very skeptical mindset. Everything changed when I heard Mr. Johnston speak—there is this hidden passion behind his words. He really thought about what is going around between human and the environment and more importantly is the relationship between the two. I wished I had him before so I can get to know him more since the way he teaches really inspires students to be curious and learn more.


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  • Students of the Week for April 22-26

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 4/22/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Congrats to Adam Bjelland and Salmaan Shire, our S&T students of the week! See what their teachers had to say about them below. 

    Adam Bjelland

    Mr. Paulson: I think many people have heard the phrase “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”  Wikipedia does a great job rephrasing this in layman’s terms where it states “when the situation becomes difficult, the strong will become engaged.”  Since I have known Adam this year, Precalculus has been extremely difficult, but Adam has shown extreme engagement in some really difficult trigonometry, which demonstrates his absolute strength as a student.  He is diligent in completing work, interested in understanding all aspects of what we are studying, and truly humble in all aspects of life. He is the epitome of what any teacher or parent would desire at school!

    Adam Bjelland:  Thank you Mr. Paulson! That means a lot to hear great praise from you. I enjoy your class and the challenge everyday. I’m glad that you have noticed my hard work and my dedication and I really hope for it to pay off. Thank you for nominating me and thank you for being such a great teacher.

    Salmaan Shire

    Ms. Sommer:  There are many things that can make a great student. Perseverance. Dedication. A questioning mind. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. There are many students that have a few of these qualities, but rarely do I meet a student that embodies ALL of these traits. Salmaan has all of these characteristics, plus many more, and I am pleased to nominate him as the Science & Technology student of the week! I have had the honor to have Salmaan in my FST class all year. I have seen him grow as a mathematician and am impressed by his drive to succeed. He asks questions and works hard to understand every aspect of the class. He pays attention in class, helps his fellow classmates, and always comes to class with a smile. He is a joy to be around and makes a difference in our class and at SHS!

    Salmaan Shire: Thank you Ms. Sommer! It really means a lot to me because I try my best to do things and I work hard when there is something that I don’t quite know that much.  I really like having you as one of my teachers because you make math seem both fun and a challenge. Thank you for nominating me and I am always going to be looking forward to your cheesy jokes on Friday.

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  • Students of the Week for April 15-19

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 4/15/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Congrats to Yahayra Rivera and Kidus Tsegaye, our S&T students of the week! Read more about what their teachers say about them below. 

    Yahayra Rivera

    Mr. Laughlin: When you spend most of your day reading Hamlet, you start to think of every teenager as whiny, sulking, and incapable of concrete action. But every morning, Yahayra Rivera renews my faith in high school students. She comes to first hour and makes my day better by doing quality work, relentlessly revising her writing, and participating in every early-morning activity with a shrewd smile on her face (my favorite kind of smile, by the way). She doesn’t waste time fretting or deciding “To be, or not to be”—she controls her destiny! I am so lucky to spend every first hour with her, because she shows that “the native hue of resolution” need not be “sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.” You make teaching easy! Thank you, Yahayra!!

    Yahayra Rivera:  Mr. Laughlin, thank you for making English 11 easy, clear, and interesting. Giving us a chance to talk to our partners and learn in different ways than just explaining makes me kind of look forward to English class. Making the class get up and move or talk to new people helps me get out of my comfort zone and learn to keep conversations going or even start them. English has really helped me learn to be less quiet. Overall, just Thank You.

    Kidus Tsegaye

    Mr. Engdale:  When I realized that no one else had nominated Kidus I was shocked, and thrilled that I could be the one to acknowledge how much I appreciate all his work.  He has all of the traits we might want in our students: an engaged and curious attitude, the desire to do well, and the resiliency to make sure that those first two elements develop into concrete skills, but Kidus has more going for him than that.  Kidus wants the people around him to be as successful as he is. When someone else is struggling, Kidus is the first person to drop what he is doing and try to help them troubleshoot whatever problems they are having. He is someone who approaches every new challenge with a smile, and a chuckle, probably because he knows new challenges won’t be challenges for him for long.  Kidus, thank you for everything you do in, and for, our classes.

    Kidus Tsegaye:  I would like to thank Mr. Engdale for the nomination for student of the week. I am happy that I had Mr. Engdale as my English 10 teacher; not only is he my teacher, but he is my friend, in a way. He will always create room for everyone and make sure that we as a student are set up for success. I truly don't know what else to say besides a big thank you to Mr. Engdale!

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  • Students of the Week for April 8-12

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 4/12/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Congrats to Bridget Carlson and Amy Nguyen, our S&T students of the week! Read more about what their teachers had to say about them below. 

    Bridget Carlson

    Ms. Barbone: Not very often do we have the opportunity to teach a student twice in one semester, but in the case of Bridget Carlson, I am lucky to see her 1st and 5th hours in CIS Public Speaking and in humanities.  From day one, Bridget has impressed me with her desire to do well and create a positive experience for both her classmates and herself.  I appreciate her work ethic and admire that she lives by a mastery philosophy. In addition, Bridget has a way of making class fun. To read a play is one thing, but Bridget encourages others to bring characters to life by adding emphasis to the parts that she plays.  Even in homeroom, she steps up and encourages her classmates to participate! She is interesting. She is curious. She is dedicated. She is someone I appreciate every day! Thank you, Bridget!

    Bridget Carlson:  Having Barbone for two classes this semester- CIS Public Speaking and Humanities English- has been one of the best experiences I have had at Shakopee. She has such an adorable personality that bring joy and light into the room by just walking into it. Whether it’s trying to figure out how the projector works or writing punny names on the board for her, I have been so blessed to work with her and have her as a teacher. This last semester of my senior year truly wouldn’t have been the same if I didn’t get to see her smiling face twice every day. An inspiration to me, someone who always has the back of her students, Barbone is a wonderful and spectacular teacher. So I thank her for all she’s already taught me and inspired me to do, as well as, for what the last quarter of my Shakopee experience with her has to offer.

    Amy Nguyen

    Profe Hurd:  What a pleasure it has been to have Amy Nguyen in class this year!  Her energy and sense of humor are contagious and I am so impressed with her genuine interest in learning.  Amy asks insightful questions to further her understanding of the language. Finding that balance of dedication and enjoyment is rare and Amy models it beautifully.  The smile she brings to class brightens my day! ¡Gracias, Amy!

    Amy Nguyen:  I am very thankful to have Profe Hurd as my Spanish teacher! I started freshman year very nervous about taking my first language class, but Profe makes the class very fun and easy for me. I genuinely love her teaching style and the way she interacts with her students. Not only do I believe she is a good teacher, but she is also a very warm-hearted and kind person. Profe is funny, understanding and is alway considerate about her students. A very passionate woman who I believe will continue to be successful in the future. I am very thankful for you, Profe!

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  • Students of the Week for March 25-29

    Posted by Casey Rutherford on 3/25/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Brandon Gorter and Aditya Prabhu, our S&T students of the week! Read what their teachers said about them below. 

    Brandon Gorter


    Mr. Rutherford: I am pleased to nominate Brandon Gorter for student of the week. Brandon is exceptionally talented in math and physics, and that combined with a strong character means he is a natural leader in AP Physics C. Brandon deeply understands physics and has scored well on every test, all the while helping classmates solve problems and working collaboratively to investigate ideas. Brandon is a solid mix of leadership and analytical ability, and it turns out he can swim pretty fast too. It is clear that the future of STEM is in good hands with students like Brandon.

    Brandon: I am so honored to have been selected for student of the week by Mr. Rutherford. I really could not be the student that I have grown to be without spectacular teachers like Mr. Rutherford who make class fun and interactive, and pushing us to be our best. Thank you so much!

    Aditya Prabhu

    Señor Schroepfer:  I am pleased to nominate Aditya Prabhu: A Dang Incredible, Terrific, Young Awardee…  Probably Rarely Annoying Because He’s Unhinged.  Dare you to do my name (Jk). Each time Aditya shows up in my class for a semester of Spanish, I come to understand and appreciate him more & more.  So much more than a consistent work ethic and a great GPA, Aditya is a kind, helpful, witty, conscientious young man who elevates the class experience and the mood for whomever happens to be around him.  I appreciate him monumentally, and humbly trust the future of the world in his hands.

    Aditya: It’s felt like I have been in Mr. Schroepfer’s class for years now, and that is a great thing! In all seriousness, I’ve been in his class since last year for Spanish 2, and it has been an experience like no other. He makes sure students are able to interact with others, which I think has tremendously helped me to get out of my timid shell. The creative catchy songs, upbeat classmates, and Shroepfer’s life lessons both in and out of the classroom is something I am glad I didn’t miss out on. I hope his love for spreading laughter and creativity in classroom learning continues to inspire others to continue spanish throughout their high school career. Thanks Mr. Schroepfer!

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