Tricounty News

Kimball math classes make national news

A week ago, Jeffrey DeMars from KARE-11 TV showed up at Kimball Area High School. Apparently, the station got wind of something different going on.

Katie Pettit is the new math teacher this year. She arrived after Bill Liedman retired last year. 

The story was about math students who willingly gave up their cell phones for a week. w-IMG 9141

The reward? No math final. 

The hitch? Ninety percent of her classes had to participate or everyone would have to take the final.

As it turns out, all but two (from among 70-some students) happily turned in their phones Monday, May 19. The phones went into a plastic bin for storage.

Apparently, teenagers willingly giving up their phones for a week is news.

“I got the idea after my class watched a YouTube video called ‘Look Up,’” Ms. Pettit says. The short video showed how important it is to put your phone down, look up, and experience life.

While watching the video, Pettit observed many of the students using their phones. She says most of them couldn’t put their phones down for a five-minute video.

“The next day I came to class and asked who would like to not have a math final. Of course the whole class raised their hands. Some of those hands dropped when I told them what they would have to do in order for this to happen, though: Turn in phones Monday morning, and get them back Friday after school.”


KAHS Awards Day Friday, May 23

Kimball Area High School celebrated Awards Day beginning at
10 a.m. Friday, May 23.

The following awards were announced

The presenters names are in parenthesis

Louis Roberg Trust Scholarship (Mark Wood) Austin Schiefelbein

Royale B. and Eleanor M. Arvig Memorial Scholarship (John Wallach, Arvig) Cameron Hunt

Dennis Serbus Scholarship (Dorothy Serbus) Ben Serbus

Kimball Legion Auxiliary Citizenship Pin (Dorothy Serbus) Erin Diffley


KAHS Junior High Awards Program May 23


Awards presented 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 23

Band Awards (Mr. Haake)

Outstanding Band Members

Grade 8 Trinity Erickson

Grade 7 Rachel Merten

Most Improved Junior High Band Member Brendan Maurer

Visual Arts (Mr. Linn)


Pelzer to retire after 38 years in Kimball

After 38 years of teaching, all of them at Kimball, daily plans will help structure her days in retirement

Kim Cunningham came to Kimball to teach in 1976. She had received her degree from Augsburg College. She was hired to teach P.E. and health, and maybe one sectionw-Pelzer of science. Today she teaches Life Science, Biology, Medical Terminology (a college-level course), and Human Anatomy/Physiology. She was a volleyball coach in Kimball for more than 25 years, and also coached gymnastics and track (until the budget cuts).

She earned her Master’s degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona in 2001.

“Miss Cunningham” became “Mrs. Pelzer” when she married Dean Pelzer. They now live on the Pelzer farmstead near St. Augusta.


She’s been called to teach in Africa

Teaching in Kimball for 25 years has been wonderful, but her heart is being pulled elsewherew-DebSchmidt1

Deb Schmidt started teaching at Kimball in 1989, after teaching in two private schools in Fairmont. That first day, the new elementary school building wasn’t finished yet. For instance, three classes of third grade met in the media center, with packing boxes serving as wall dividers.

In these 25 years in Kimball, she has taught Title I for three years, and second, third, fourth, and sixth grades as well as multi-age for six years. She loved teaching the multi-age class. She has been a fourth-grade teacher for several years now.