Mitchell elementary school newsletter roundup: May’s arrival signals beginning of end for school year

Testing, year-end events all on the agenda for local area elementary students

L.B. Williams Elementary.JPG
L.B. Williams Elementary School

MITCHELL — The arrival of May signals the beginning of the end of the 2022-23 school year in Mitchell, and local elementary schools are gearing up for the final few weeks of classes with a variety of activities.

The Mitchell Republic reached out to the five local elementary schools — Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, L.B. Williams Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, John Paul II Elementary and Mitchell Christian Elementary — in an effort to provide a brief rundown of events, activities and announcements from each school on a monthly basis. The Mitchell Republic will publish this information online as information is made available from the schools.

This month’s roundup includes a recap of videos of students at each school shot monthly by Mitchell Republic photographer Adam Thury. The videos can be found below preceding the May newsletter roundup from each school.

L.B. Williams Elementary

  • Have you registered your students for next year? Each family needs to use the online registration system. Parents can register your incoming students through the parent portal account. All households must have a parent portal account in order to register. If you don't have one, please contact the office if you need assistance. Registration is due by May 5. If you are not planning on returning to LBW, please contact the office as well about your plans for the fall of 2023.
  • Over the past few weeks the 3rd through 5th graders have been working hard to complete the annual Smarter Balance test. This is the state test that is required to be taken by all students each year.The individual assessment data will be given to the school soon once all grade levels are done towards the end of the first week of May.
  • Thank you to the L.B. Williams PTO for hosting the Fine Arts Night the last Thursday in April. It was a time to celebrate the students’ artwork in K-5 throughout the building plus hearing the 5th grade band and show choir perform. An added bonus was learning some folk dances in the gym, plus reading literacy information for the summer.

To read the full L.B. Williams Elementary May newsletter, click here.


Longfellow Elementary

  • May is a month of year-end activities, including field trips and field day. Parents will receive information on these events from their child’s teacher. Just a reminder that these fun activities are privileges. If a learner is not able to follow expectations appropriately at school, they may not be allowed to attend these activities within and outside of our community. If your child has not earned these privileges, their classroom teacher will be informing you.
  • We welcome to the staff, Miss Kaley Withers, who will be teaching kindergarten in the 23-24 school year. The school is excited to have Withers join the Longfellow family. Farewell to Danieka Heckenlaible as she and her family move back to teach in her hometown. The school wishes them all well in their next endeavors and will miss them all tremendously.
  • LEAP during the school year for grades three through five has come to a close, and students spent the afternoon at Mega Gym to celebrate. Summer LEAP is right around the corner, beginning Monday, June 5 and ending Friday, June 30. A group has been set up to stay in communication with parents and teachers throughout the summer. If you have any questions, please reach out to or

To read the full Longfellow Elementary May newsletter, click here.

Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary

  • Congratulations to the Gertie Belle Rogers Scholarship winner, Delana Henkel. Delana attended all of her elementary years at GBR. During Delana's high school years she has been involved in basketball, track, and a member of the National Honor Society both her Junior and Senior year. She has also been involved in HOSA, trap shooting and skeet shooting. She has helped with Little Kernel Basketball, Faith Alive, Church activities, the flu shot clinic, and various other activities. Henkel will be attending SDSU in Brookings to major in exercise science. After that she plans to pursue a career in rehabilitation, helping people recover from major injuries. The school wishes her the best in all of her future endeavors.
  • Gertie Belle Rogers will say farewell to Danielle Schoenefeld, our Begindergarten and Title teacher, and Emily Brunsing, our 3rd grade teacher and ENL teacher, as they both will be getting married this summer and moving to different towns. The school wishes them all the best in their next endeavors and will miss them very much.
  • The school is excited to announce that Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary is offering a summer program that will give children an opportunity to learn and practice ELA, math, science and social studies in a fun and engaging way. The program will focus on teamwork, creativity, problem-solving and leadership skills through the development of a unique and exciting project. Those interested in enrolling their child can fill out the registration form and return it to the office. The form can also be found in the Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary May newsletter.

To read the full Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary May newsletter, click here.

St. John Paul II Elementary School

  • A special congratulations to the students for their selected top entry in the American Legion Auxiliary contest. Winning awards for their poems were: Caroline Axtell, Colton Brott, Nora Hobbs, Shaylee Zens, Charlie Beckstrom, Eva Millan, Will Mullenmeister, Khloe Rockwell, Gabe Axtell, Hadley Bannwarth, Aaron Brott, Ayden Meaney, Carter Bannwarth, Kira DeJong, Hailey Korzan, Caleb Machado and Kennedy Mueller. Students winning top honors for their essays were: Landon Maeschen, Lincoln Maeschen, Layna Rients, Macy Zens and William Hayes.
  • We are excited for the Pre 2 Night on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. Students will show their parents their skills in both music and physical education classes along with receiving a special award as they “graduate” from preschool. Parents – we will ask you to participate so bring your gym shoes.
  • We congratulate our Angel of the Year for 2022-23, first grade teacher, Katie Olson. Olson has a special place in her heart for all students and she is so deserving of this award. She is kind and compassionate and builds foundational math and reading skills for the young students. She instills the love of learning in all children.

Mitchell Christian Elementary School

  • Several students were given shout outs for their work recently. Zane Buche won the 5th grade checker tournament. The 9th Grade did an amazing job typing for the 2nd grade class. And 4th and 9th graders were praised for setting up for the Awards Night.
  • High school graduation will be held Saturday, May 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The last day of school will be Friday, May 19.There will be an 11:30 a.m. dismissal.

All school events, including dates, times and locations, are subject to change. For the latest information, contact your child’s school. The events included in the roundup above do not entail a comprehensive list of all monthly activities.
Some events listed under the three public elementary schools — Longfellow, L.B. Williams and Gertie Belle Rogers — may be open to all public elementary school students. For more information, check with your student's particular elementary school.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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