St. Thomas Academy

Longtime St. Thomas athletic director dies

Jack Zahr, 58, who served as the athletic director at St. Thomas Academy for 24 years, died on Tuesday after suffering a stroke a week and a half earlier.

Zahr spent his entire career at STA, starting out as a health and gym teacher in 1977. He was also a hockey, cross country, soccer and track coach over the years.

The school won nearly 40 state championships while Zahr was athletic director.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan

Teachers, nurses get raise in new contract

The District 196 school board has approved a new two-year contract with members of Dakota County United Educators (DCUE), the union that represents nearly 2,000 teachers and school nurses in the district. The union members ratified the agreement Sept. 4.

The contract provides a 2 percent raise to the salary schedule each year, with an additional 0.71 percent increase for teachers at the top step of the pay schedule in year one and 0.6 percent for the top step in year two. It is retroactive to July 1.

A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will earn $37,324 this year, while a teacher with a master’s degree at the top of the schedule will earn $68,194 in base salary and up to $7,183 in longevity pay.

Two schools dedicate community garden

Highland Elementary and Scott Highlands Middle School will celebrate the completion of a new community garden and outdoor classroom with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday at 9 a.m.

The ceremony will take place in the garden, which is located behind the two schools, between 14001 and 14011 Pilot Knob Road in Apple Valley.

The garden has already generated more than 200 pounds of produce, which was donated to 360 Communities’ food shelf. Students from both schools will get to taste the produce they grow together as part of the school lunch program.

Two parents and many community organizations have helped design, build and fund the project, including the schools’ site councils, District 196 Food and Nutrition Services Department and the Eastview Community Foundation.

Foundation board has three new members

The Eastview Community Foundation, a nonprofit that supports scholarships and grants for students and schools in the Eastview High School attendance area, has added three new members to its board of directors.

Denise Bergevin, Steven Lewandowski and Linda Krummel will join a dozen other members on the all-volunteer board.


District gets grant to document its history

Northfield Public Schools received a $9,000 grant last week from the Minnesota Historical Society to document the district’s history.

Given as part of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program, the money will be used to hire a consultant to research and write District 659’s story.

More than 50 other grants were also awarded last week as part of the program.


Openings for kids at Preschool Lab

The Preschool Lab nursery school at Burnsville High School has openings for this school year for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.

The program is run by a head teacher, with high school students teaching and working with kids during the school day.

The class follows the school calendar and is held from 8:25 to 9:55 a.m. Monday-Friday, beginning the first week in October. Spring session begins the first week in March.

Cost is $65, plus donations of snacks and beverages to be used during the sessions. For more information, contact teacher Marlys Thom at or 952-707-2332.

Erin Adler