Schools & Students published April 20, 2021

News about educational achievements among students from west central Minnesota.

Stock image of math symbols, drawings on a chalkboard

State Honor Band

Willmar Senior High School sophomore Grace Bjur participated in the Minnesota Band Directors Association State Honor Band, held virtually this school year. The 9-10 Band was conducted by Jacquie Dawson, director of bands at the University of Manitoba in Canada.

Bjur, Grace.jpg
Grace Bjur, Willmar Senior High School sophomore and a member of the 2020-21 Minnesota Band Directors Association State Honor Band. (Photo courtesy of Willmar Senior High School)

Students also had virtual sessions with local musicians and composers, including a session with Australian composer Jodie Blackshaw. They recorded their individual performances of the music which was made into a virtual honor band video. Bjur's high school band directors are Todd Blaser and Bryan Mara.

Western Governors University

Graduating at the end of fall semester from the online university was:


Willmar: Colten Klassen, master’s in science education secondary physics

Miami University

Graduating at the end of fall semester from the Oxford, Ohio, school was:

Willmar: Gigi Glinsek, master’s in biology

Bemidji State University

Named to the fall semester dean’s list with a GPA of 3.5 or higher were:

Appleton: Clayton Beck

Blomkest: Andrew Peterson

Glenwood: Natasha Nemmers

Granite Falls: Meeghen Dahlager


Litchfield: Amanda Smith, Melanie Blackstone, Benjamin Nelson

Redwood Falls: Lindsey Stage

Sacred Heart: Cassandra DeKruif

Willmar: Trevor Johnson, Caleb Laurence, Amber Sorenson

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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