August 2018 News and Notes

Music Room Makeover: Bakken Elementary Turns Old Art Rooms in New Music Rooms

With a growing enrollment and no relief in sight, Jeremy Mehlhoff, principal at Bakken Elementary, had to get creative in order to accommodate all of his students.

Because of the added number of students, the general music classes had to be relocated from general classrooms to a different, larger space, both to have enough room for the large music classes and to create additional core classroom space. The problem? The only space left was the old art rooms from WHS. They were designed for art -- concrete floors, giant wooden tables, and unfinished walls.

Over the summer, Mehlhoff and his staff set out to create a suitable environment for music. And the Coyote Foundation was able to help with the project thanks to the Chuck Johnson Fund (pictured below).

If you are interested in helping make further improvements to the Bakken music rooms, please email us. We'd be happy to facilitate a tax-deductible donation!

In Loving Memory:

Gifts to the Foundation:

  • Carol Sandvik, in memory of Erin Brostuen and LeRoy Eide
  • Robert Erdahl
  • Class of 1961, in memory of Diane Pellet, Joyce Martinson, Jim Chapek, and Everett Pierce
  • Triangle Electric, In-Kind donation for STEM room makeover
  • Clyde and Janell Sailer, in memory of Butch Lambert
  • Don and Loree Olson, in memory of Jill Herriod
  • Kim and Patrick Hennessy, in memory of Jill Herriod
  • Darlene Carr, in honor of all past, current, and future military veterans

Mary Persson Pursuit of Excellence Scholarship Created

Mary Persson graduated from WHS, Williston State College (with an Associate’s Degree), UND with an Education Degree for K-8 and Early Childhood, and then she went on to earn an Elementary Master’s in Education Degree (Math Concentration)from Minot State.

Mary caught the “love of learning” bug from her family. Her parents read to her and her siblings every day and education was always valued in her family. Her parents taught her that every day presented another opportunity to learn and explore new things.

Over the past 4 decades, Mary has put her passion for learning to use. She taught 5 years at St. Joseph School before joining the staff at Lewis & Clark Elementary, where she remained a constant figure on the staff. During that time, she held numerous titles and served on a variety of committees – Advanced Ed, Advisory, RTI, and Tech to name a few. She also mentored 8 student teachers, had the privilege of working with 5 former students, and taught under 6 different superintendents. She and Mrs. Sandra Schilke created the Lewis and Clark Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships for the last 18 years to Lewis and Clark students graduating from WHS. Through it all, she says her outlook on life and education is “so what if you didn’t get it right today! Mistakes happen; learn from them and don’t give up. Tomorrow is another day, and you can be the best you if you keep on trying”!

Mary and her husband Preston, have two sons, Preston Earl (PJ) and Tyler, including their daughter-in-law, Marie. Their son PJ passed away a few years ago. Tyler graduated from WHS, Minot State, and The Ohio State with a degree in Optometry.Marie is a ND girl that earned her degree from the Illinois College of Optometry located in Chicago. Mary and Preston are both officially retired, although Mary is continuing to sub in the district this fall.

This scholarship was created by Mary’s son Tyler and his wife Marie, in honor of Mary’s passion for education, her dedication to her students, and her outstanding career with WPSD #1.

School Board Spotlight --
Heather Wheeler

This month's School Board Spotlight showcases a "veteran" member of the Williston Public School District #1 school board --Heather Wheeler. She is currently serving her 3rd year of her first term.

Wheeler is a mother of three girls, one of whom graduated from WHS in 2012 and has a degree in education and works in Minot. Her other two are current high school students. She works for Family Voices of North Dakota as a Parent Consultant and Advocate. She is also the Board President for Family Voices of North Dakota. Since 2017, she has been the community chairperson for CHI St. Alexis Hospital Williston PFAC. On top of all that, she is also on the WilMac Special Education Board this year.

Wheeler has lived and worked with families within Williston for over 8 years and she take great pride in the community and the children of this district. She has a special place in her heart for children and families with special health care needs since one of her own children has significant disabilities. She always strives to make sure the needs of this population is meet along with all families within the community.

For all you do for our school district, thank you!!!

Did you Know??? 

We do so much more than scholarships at the Williston Coyote Foundation. We also look for ways to help the schools through unrestricted funds donated to our Foundation, grants written on behalf of the schools, and donor-specific gifts.
We are thrilled to announce that we have set up two qualified charitable endowments through the Williston Coyote Foundation:  The Nadine Sukut Bloomquist Memorial Endowment and the John and Cathy Schmitz Endowment for the Betterment of WillistonSchools.  The State of North Dakota offers a tax credit for donations of $5000 or more to a qualified endowment, and we would be happy to discuss how your donation can be utilized in the best possible way for both you and the schools, students, and teachers at WPSD #1! 
​If you or your company would like to know more about ways you can help Williston Public Schools, please feel free to contact us at the Williston Coyote Foundation. We would love to visit with you about how your donation can be used for the benefit of the schools, students, and staff of WPSD #1.
As always, your donations are tax-deductible and very much appreciated. You can donate conveniently online or can mail any donations to our address listed below. We could not continue our mission of promoting and supporting Williston Public School District #1 without the help of our generous donors! ​