The Newsroom
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Welcome to The Newsroom.

The Houston Public Schools' Newsroom contains newsworthy articles, interesting information and notable events that have occurred at Houston Public Schools. Throughout the months and years, the articles have been published on the front page of our website, and are now archived here.  Did you miss an important news item?  Can't remember when an important event happened?  Click the link(s) on the left to locate the article you are looking for.  Currently, articles are archived by month within year. 

The Newsroom also hosts the Education Matters newsletter.  Houston Public Schools' District Newsletter is the primary source for information about the great things happening in our schools.  Composed primarily for readers in and around Houston, Education Matters aims to highlight how we do our best to "discover, develop, and achieve the potential within all learners."


Newsroom Articles‚Äč

The actors and actresses are gearing up for a fabulous rendition of the Wizard of Oz. You won't want to miss it!

Houston Public School District ranked one of the Best School Districts in America

Houston Public School District has been ranked one of the best school districts in America.  Our district is ranked #362 nationwide and #15 in the state of Minnesota. The article below from explains the factors used in this ranking.

"Ensuring that their children receive a good education is something few American parents are willing to compromise on. Since most cannot afford private schooling, families strive to place their kids in the best public school districts that their financial situation will allow.

While the debate over the importance and degree of funding necessary in delivering an excellent education has gone on for decades, nearly all experts agree that money is important. The schools that perform the best have plenty of it, and those that don’t typically under-perform in key areas. Revenue taken in by school districts is used to keep resources and curriculums up to date and allow schools to hire the best teachers available as faculty. There’s really no substitute for good funding.

Obviously another key factor in judging the value of a school district is the student body’s overall performance in math and reading tests. Enrolling your child in a school where students perform well on tests and get good grades will increase his or her own achievement through osmosis. Children and teenagers are highly influenced by their peer groups and competition between students to achieve top marks can be a very good thing.

Two intertwined criteria that also play an important role in a school district’s overall quality are dropout rate and poverty rate. Nobody wants their child to drop out of high school as it has been demonstrated that high school dropouts earn 200,000 less on average over their lifetimes than those who received a high school diploma. A school with a high dropout rate is not a place parents want to send their children.

Unfortunately, dropout rate is often linked to the level of poverty experienced by students in a given school district. Even if a school receives in a decent amount of funding, students can still struggle with test scores and grades if they experience a significant amount of poverty in their lives. While schools may provide adequate textbooks and other learning materials, poorer students are often deprived of basic needs such as proper nutrition and domestic stability that are essential to fostering positive academic performance. That is why poverty rate is also a determining factor in our ranking." [source:]

Minnesota Paraprofessional Recognition Week

“The support and services provided by paraprofessionals are integral to student achievement, resulting in more effective Minnesota schools.”

We recognize and appreciate your hard work and dedication to our students.
Houston Public Schools would not be the same without you!


Alyssa Joins Girls Basketball 1000-Point Club

Congratulations to Alyssa for earning her 1000th point in Hurricane Girls’ Basketball!

Alyssa went into the January 16th game needing 17 points to enter the Girls Basketball 1000-Point Club. She did that by finishing the game with a game high 18 points as the Hurricanes defeated Schaeffer Academy 57-30.

Alyssa joins Hurricane Girls’ Basketball 1000 Point Club members,
- Kristi Corey (1989)
- Grete Runningen (1998)
- Astri Runningen (2010)
- Abbey Loken (2014)
- Kelly Jerviss (2016) 

Your coaching staff, teammates, school community, and family are so very proud of you!

Winter Concerts at HES and HHS 
Lisa Myran-Schutte Earns Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) Certification

Lisa Myran-Schutte has earned the certification of National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA). This purpose of this certification is to recognize the recipient’s high professional standards and commitment to the profession.

The NIAAA Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) Program was implemented in 1989. Since then, approximately 2000 athletic administrators have received the CAA distinction.

The requirements for CAA certification are rigorous. The NIAAA requires the applicant to exhibit credits in the categories of education, experience, and leadership. If the credits are approved, the CAA applicant’s final step is to correctly answer at least 75 of 100 multiple-choice questions covering a broad spectrum of topics relevant to secondary school athletic administration.  Listed below are some of Lisa’s many qualifications.

EDUCATION - Master's Degree
- Region 1A AD Meeting
- MNIAAA State Conference
- SEC Conference Meetings
- NIAAA course: Guiding Foundations and Philosophies
- NIAAA course: Legal Issues - Liability for Sports Injuries & Risk Management
- NIAAA course:  Legal Issues II - Title IX & Sexual Harassment

EXPERIENCE - Head Coach: volleyball
- Head Coach and Assistant Coach: basketball
- Activities Director
- MSHSL AD Advisory Committee

LEADERSHIP - Region 1A Activities Director Association
- Female Representative: MSHSL AD Advisory
- Secretary/Treasurer: Region 1A Activities Director Association
- Coordinator: Interscholastic Athletic Events

When asked what prompted her to apply for, test and ultimately earn the CAA certification, Lisa replied, “I wanted to become more involved in my association and since I had been taking classes, this was just the natural next step and another way to continue my life-long learning.

As the NIAAA states, “[The CAA] certainly has helped to further recognize and even to elevate the status of the professional interscholastic athletic administrator.”  Houston Public Schools thanks Lisa for her professionalism, her many contributions and achievements on the court, in the district, and in the classroom.

Minnesota Honor Society 2017 Inductees
Congratulations to Houston High School's ten newly inducted members of the
Minnesota Honor Society

Lilli Nick Bree Trenten
Shelby Alyssa
Lisa Myran-Schutte receives WHY WE PLAY Leadership Citation Award

The Minnesota State High School League, in partnership with the Super Bowl 52 Host committee, recognizes Lisa Myran-Schutte with the WHY WE PLAY Leadership Citation Award.  This significant award recognizes school athletic and activity administrators for their leadership and commitment to education-based programs in their school community.

This award recognizes Lisa as an educational leader and expresses thanks and appreciation for

*  the service Lisa has provided/continues to provide to Houston Public Schools
*  Lisa's leadership
*  Lisa's commitment to education-based athletics and activities

The presentation of this award will take place on Saturday, November 25th, as part of the MSHSL Prep Bowl. The award will be presented at a special on-field half-time program during the Class AAAAA Championship Game.

Congratulations Lisa!  Thank you for all you do for our schools, students, and athletes!

What is WHY WE PLAY and Education-Based Sports?
The purpose of interscholastic and youth sports is not to prepare students for a college scholarship or some professional career. It just doesn't happen that often. 78% of youth who play sports will quit by the age of 12 because it just isn’t fun anymore and 97% of the students who go on to play at the high school level will have a terminal experience when they graduate—they will no longer play organized sports as they have throughout their youth experience. So, what’s the point?

Why do we play? We play to develop students into people with sound moral character that will prepare them for a life that recognizes the humanity of others that is rich with empathy and compassion and develops in them the moral courage to stand up for what is right.

When we only focus on physical skills and accomplishments we don’t give students the skills that will help them over the course of their lifetime, skills that will make the world a better place. We give them very little that has any real inherent value. For coaches to be transformational coaches, with a growth mindset that centers on developing the student’s human potential, there must be an understanding of the purpose of education-based athletics and clearly defined expectations.

Additional Resources:

‘Why We Play’ Conferences Provide Opportunities For Coaches
Minnesota’s WHY WE PLAY Initiative Teaches Purpose of Educational Sports

Veteran's Day Program 

The Veterans Day Program is Friday, November 10th at 9:30am in the elementary gym. Everyone is welcome to attend. Any Veterans and active service members are welcome to dress in uniform and sit in the reserved front rows. In addition, Veterans are invited to lunch at the high school starting at 11:20am.

Jr. and Sr. High Students chosen for Southeast Conference Honor Band and Choir

Congratulations to six Jr. High Band members and seven Sr. High Choir members who have been chosen to perform in the Southeast Conference Honor Band and Choir.
Southeast Conference Honor Band Members








alto sax




Southeast Conference Honor Choir Members


Emma Brie Lilli Ethan Connor  

On November 6th, these students will travel to Spring Grove where they will spend the day rehearsing with students from seven other SE Conference schools. A Grand Concert will be performed that same day (November 6) at 5:00pm in the Spring Grove Gym. The performance is open to the public.
HHS Fall Concert and Music Booster Auction - Monday, October 30th

Image - HHS Fall Concert and Music Booster Auction - Tuesday, November 1

The annual Music Booster Auction and Fall Concert is scheduled for Monday, October 30th from 7:00pm - 10:00pm. The performance will be held in the High School Gym and will be followed by the auction.

The Houston Music Boosters are looking for your talents and creations such as baked goods, crafts, services, etc. Donations can be brought to the high school at 306 West Elm Street any time up until the night of the concert.

Not a baker or crafter? Then please attend and bid on some goodies or make a monetary donation. This is the one major fundraiser for the year and the proceeds benefit both elementary and high school music enrichment.

HES Red Ribbon Week October 23 - October 27
Houston Elementary will participate in the National Red Ribbon Campaign next week, October 23 - October 27.  This campaign is designed to show support for a healthy, abuse free lifestyle.

Themes for the week

October 23

BEE a Team Player
Wear the clothes of your favorite team

October 24

Follow Your Dreams - Don't Do Drugs
Wear comfy clothes and crazy hair

October 25

Tell Drugs to Take a Hike
Wear red

October 26

Drugs Can't Find Me
Dress like you are going camping

October 27

Race to a Drug Free Life
Wear career clothes -NO Halloween costumes

Red Ribbon Week is an awareness campaign sponsored by the National Family Partnership (NFP.) "NFP provides drug awareness by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon Campaign™. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America. In 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities." [source]


Mark your calendar and plan to attend the HHS Fall Musical, “Beauty and the Beast” the weekend of October 27-29. The curtain opens on the elementary stage for three performances: Friday, October 27th at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 28th at 3:00pm; and Sunday, October 29th at 2:00pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. Concessions will be available.

Canes Against Cancer - Follow Up

The 2017 Homecoming theme, Canes Against Cancer, was featured in the Minnesota State High School League's blog named John's Journal.  Below is an excerpt of the article.  Please click on the links to see the full article and pictures.

Posted by John Millea(

HOUSTON – Homecoming is always a special week, with events taking place that involve school spirit and community pride. In this small southeast Minnesota town, Homecoming 2017 took on a special significance when students decided to make it about more than the usual topics.

When members of the Houston High School student council began thinking about Homecoming this year, they settled on two themes: Cancer and colors.  

[click here to read the full article]

Fall Carnival Fundraiser

Prizes!  Games!  Fun!

Join us on Thursday, October 12 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Elementary Gym for the

Fall Carnival Fundraiser

Food items for sale include hotdogs, water, candy, and popcorn.  


  • Free Photo Booth
  • Games Galore
Try your luck at Plinko, the cookie walk, spin the wheel, duck pond, mini golf, face painting, and more! Tickets to play games are 5 for $1.00 or $0.25 each with all proceeds going to funding the PBIS program.  

Come and join the fun!
Homecoming 2017

Sunday October 1 Class Window Decorating - meet at the corner lot by the bank @ 1:00 PM
Monday October 2 Class Color Day
Coronation @ 9:18 AM  in the gym

King: Zach Brueggen, Drake Dulek, Trent Edwards, Brady Happel, Zach Schneider
Queen: Sarah Albrecht, Amber Chapel, Jessica Kitching, Becca Lee, Shelby Norlien
Tuesday October 3 Cowboy Day
Wednesday October 4 America Day
Thursday October 5 Pink Day
Friday October 6 School Spirit Day
Homecoming Parade
@ 2:30 PM
Football Game @ 7:00 PM
Saturday October 7 Homecoming Dance for grades 9-12 at the elementary school, 7:00-11:00 PM
$5.00 per person
Semi-formal attire
Bring canned goods for prizes!
Sunday October 8 Class Window Clean Up - meet at the corner lot by the bank @ 1:00 PM
Alyssa - Z93's Athlete of the Week
Congratulations to HHS junior Alyssa for being chosen Z93's Athlete of the Week!  

Below is the article featured on the Z93 website.
Alyssa is a junior at Houston High School. She plays softball, volleyball, and basketball. She holds the school record for the most three pointers made in a game and is almost at her 1,000 career high school points. Alyssa also plays AAU summer/spring basketball for the Rochester Shock. She coaches summer softball for Summer Rec. She is a very good leader and role model. Alyssa is in the weight room or gym every morning and helps with the younger kids anytimethey need it. She is also a very good student. She held a 3.97 GPA last school year and is very active in band, marching band, 7th grade mentoring, and student council. (article source)

Noah - National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Houston High School is proud to recognize Senior Noah as one of the Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year.

Of the 1.6 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores (calculated by doubling the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Test scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists. To ensure that academically talented young people from all parts of the United States are included in this talent pool, Semifinalists are designated on a state-representational basis.  These Semifinalists are the highest scoring entrants in each state!  [article source:]

Congratulations Noah on this great accomplishment!  Way to go!

On September 7, the Houston Public School District's Board of Education voted to accept applications from interested community members to fill the one-year term for the seat vacated by Joe Krage. The application is a letter of interest that can include the candidate's experience and reasons for wanting to fill the position. The letter can be sent electronically via email to or in hard copy by sending it to Houston Public Schools, 306 West Elm Street, Houston, MN 55943.

The letter will need to be submitted by 4:00 PM on September 29. All applicants will be interviewed by the entire board, and the interviews will take place at the regularly scheduled board meeting on October 5. The interviews will be part of the agenda of the meeting and will be streamed and archived, as is the case with all meetings.

The board will make its selection at the October 18 meeting and then must wait 30 days for public comment prior to swearing in the candidate, which means the candidate could not be sworn in until December 7. This term runs through December 31, 2018. Interested individuals would need to be able to attend the board meetings, which are held on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 6:00 PM and would need to attend trainings to understand the role and responsibilities of a member of the board.

Homecoming 2017!  October 2-6

"Canes Against Cancer" is the theme for this year's homecoming.  Home athletic events include:

Monday, October 2:    JV/V Girls' SOC (in Caledonia) and C/B football
Tuesday, October 3:   JV/V Boys' SOC (in Caledonia)
Thursday, October 5: JV/V Boys' SOC (in Caledonia)
Thursday, October 5: C/9/B/A VB on Thursday 10/5
Friday, October 6:      V football on Friday 10/6