New Ulm's ISD 88 Foundation Newsletter 
January 2016
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Mission: to enhance the quality of education in District 88
while creating partnerships between our schools, our communities, and alumni. 

 * * *  Stay Connected . . . Stay Informed  * *  *

Our first Employee: Foundation Director, 
Marka Stocker
Introducing the New Director:
Hello, my name is Marka Stocker and I am the new part-time Director for the ISD 88 Foundation.  I have a BS in Accounting from the University of Colorado, 7 years of Fortune 500 general accounting and planning, and 10 years as a volunteer treasurer/consultant for various nonprofits in town.

I moved to New Ulm in 2002 from Colorado and immediately felt like this community was something special. I first realized that when I found myself raising money to save the Lincoln Park Wading Pool.  The city said they were going to close the pool unless someone raised $10,000.  I am not one to sit around and complain about something, I needed to "do" something. Having just moved here, I only knew a few people from my ECFE class and MOPS group. In less than a week, the community of New Ulm turned out in force and we raised $14,000.  The pool stayed open that year and has been open ever since.  Way to go New Ulm!  

Fast forward 10 years, and I found myself in a similar situation when the school's 2011 operating referendum failed. I was talking with a friend of mine, and we could not stand around and complain. We needed to "do" something.  So, we gathered parents and community members together, and out of that first meeting the Friends of ISD 88 and the ISD 88 Foundation were born.

I have served the ISD 88 Foundation as one of the founding members and Treasurer since its inception. Establishing the Foundation has been a lot of work, but again the "Spirit of New Ulm" has been evident.  In a short amount of time, we have raised over $263,000 for our permanent endowment.  This is what motivates me! Annual fundraisers take a lot of work. By establishing a permanent investment, one that will be used to grant funds to the district on an ongoing basis, the community of New Ulm can "count on" funds to enhance education ...continuing the legacy of a bright future for our students.

Marka Stocker
Director, ISD 88 Foundation
A Legacy for Learning

Building Progress Update
Superintendent Bertrang's goal was to have the main building enclosed by Thanksgiving and it is!  Things are really starting to take shape with the new NUHS and remodeling projects.

The playground at Jefferson has been moved to the green space between Jefferson and the existing high school. This will accommodate grades 1st - 4th at Jefferson and 5th - 8th at the existing high school next fall. The district parent group, Friends of ISD 88, is currently fundraising to add to the playground equipment between the two buildings.  

District staff are putting in extra hours planning a new delivery system of education based on the reconfiguration of the buildings.  

We appreciate all the work they do for our students and the district to make this a regional hub for education. Go Team!
2015 Hall of Fame Inductees
Second Annual Hall of Fame held in September:
This year's Hall of Fame was held at the New Ulm Country Club with over 100 in attendance, and guests traveled from as far away as Hawaii. Our Inductees' biographies speak for themselves and are posted on line. Click the photo above to read the full biographies. A few inspiring quotes from the evening:

Ray Bentdahl '55 deceased - taken from his speech at his 40th Reunion and read by his widow, Shirley - "As a freshman in Ed Fier's class I was in awe, never had I imagined one teacher could know and understand so much about things that are growing."
John Heymann '53 - " I had an advantage over other kids in college and I attribute that to New Ulm High School."
Kent Knutson '70 - "I can't think of a better place to have grown up."
Curt Lambrecht '70- "It was teachers like Mrs. Green who taught me how to do photo shoots and page layouts and cover designs and lead meetings of a staff of 30 people when I never imagined I could be a leader of any kind." 
Ted Marti '68 -  "Memory of senior class picture where the whole class practically piled onto our old jeep...we had at least 20 people on it." "Prost!"
Ann Vogel '60 - "This is not just about one person, it's about a team and being a member of a team. And I really like teamwork."
Nomination for 2016 are due by April 1st!


Dr. Amy (Malecki) Rogers
Class of 1987

After graduation I matriculated at Harvard.  I earned a bachelor's degree in biochemical sciences and graduated magna cum laude in 1991. Married my college sweetheart later that same year and moved to St. Louis, MO.  Spent the next 8 years at Washington University School of Medicine working on my MD and PhD in immunology, as a scholarship recipient in their Medical Scientist Training Program.  Started my family and moved to Sacramento, CA.  For 5 years I taught microbiology at California State University-Sacramento.  Meanwhile, I'd gotten serious about writing fiction with a scientific flair.  My first novel, PETROPLAQUE, is a science-themed thriller in the style of Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK.  In 2013 I started my own publishing company, ScienceThrillers Media, to specialize in stories with real science or medicine in the plot.  My former teacher and Academic Decathlon coach from New Ulm High School, Richard Meyer, gave me the privilege of publishing his wonderful poetry collection ORBITAL PATHS in 2015.

"Exciting to see things come full circle with a teacher helping his student and then eventually the student helping the teacher."  Marka Stocker, Foundation Director

To connect with Amy:
Email:  Websites, and 

Share your story with us and be featured in our "Alumni Spotlight" - a way to connect with other alumni and inspire students!

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Foundation Dollars at Work
Encouraging future readers:
With a generous donation by Alliance Bank, we funded Listening Centers in all of the kindergarten classrooms. The centers help the students grow independently as learners, track print from left to right, recognize high frequency words, and they have fun relaxing in the child sized recliners during quiet time.

"I love the new listening center sets!  The kids LOVE them too!"
"Such a valuable learning tool!"

Amy Maudal - Kindergarten Teacher 

Inspiring creative problem solving:
With funds raised from this year's Eagles Extravaganza, the Foundation funded STEAM based curriculum for 5th and 6th graders called "Destination Imagination." Students are working towards a competition in February that includes a variety of challenges.  Examples of the challenges the students face are:
Fine Arts Challenge - Present a mystery on stage set on Earth in a chosen time period before 1990. Teams must use a "TechniClue" such as fingerprints, carbon dating, surveillance footage to solve the mystery.
Structural Challenge - Design and build a musical instrument from a given material list with certain specifications and in incorporate into a story.
Scientific Challenge - Research the art of deception in nature, camouflage, and incorporate it into the the plot twist in their play.
Improvisational Challenge - Teams will be given 3 minutes to prepare for a 4 minute skit. They must incorporate into their skit a confined space, a mysterious stranger, a prop and a newsflash.

"It is a great idea and a much needed approach to science. Pros - team building, problem solving, creativity, connecting science to their projects, generation of ideas, and classroom engagement."
Dan Horsmon - 6th grade Teacher

"We all have a chance to affect young people's lives... and whatever we can do to make things positive for that kid can change their life." Curt Lambrecht, 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee

Join us!  Together we can "affect young people's lives" at New Ulm Public. 

Save the date! Eagles Extravaganza - April 1, 2016
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Visit our Website for more on the Foundation
Our information:
ISD 88 Foundation
PO Box 572
New Ulm, MN 56073

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