Minnehaha Academy Blog

Rebekah Peterson

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The Great Gingerbread House Project

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Dec 5, 2019

IMG_82522-1Fourth grade students recently were assigned a challenge - use the skills they had learned in math and group work to meet a real need in the local community. Students were asked by the Becketwood Holiday Decorations Committee to provide decorations for the cooperative living community.

The students began with a brainstorming and research session. They participated in a gallery walk of pictures of Christmas decorations where students noticed and wondered what they had in common. Students shared their ideas and collectively decided to design and build gingerbread houses for the Decorations Committee.

IMG_8255-1The Great Gingerbread House Project began!

The students' work integrated many math standards. Students made drafts and final copies of everything needed to design the gingerbread houses: floor plans, calculations of the area and perimeter, and front and side views of their houses.

Then, they built the houses out of traditional gingerbread materials - graham crackers, marshmallows, frosting, and lots of different types of candy!


The students installed their houses on December 4th, and met several people who live at Becketwood. Students talked to them and explained the entire process.

Congratulations, students, on work well done!


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Topics: Lower School

Minnehaha Receives AIA Honor Award

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Dec 4, 2019

190919CG_Cunningham_MinnehahaUpperSchool_017 copy

Minnehaha Academy recently received the 2019 American Institute of Architects - Minnesota Honor Award for the rebuilt Upper School. 

"The Honor Awards recognize outstanding architecture and urban design by AIA Minnesota members and Minnesota member firms.

 69 projects were submitted in 2019 and were evaluated in five categories: architecture; interiors; renovation and restoration; and urban design and master planning. Entries were evaluated by three internationally-renowned architects for their degree of design invention, attention to detail, advancement of sustainable design, and other factors." AIA-MN.org

View photos of the Upper School.

Thank you!

Many thanks to our community who helped to make this rebuild possible with financial support and prayers. Your support has helped launch Minnehaha's next 100 years.

Thanks also to our partners who brought the project from concept to completion: Cuningham Group Architecture; M.A. Mortenson Construction (Construction Manager); Palanisami & Associates, Inc. (Structural Engineer); Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors (Mechanical Engineer Design/Build Partner); Obermiller Nelson Engineering (Mechanical/Electrical Consulting Engineer); Gephart Electric (Electrical Engineer Design/Build Partner); Loucks (Civil Engineer Design/Build Partner); PritchardPeck Lighting (Lighting Consultant); Rippe Associates (Food Service); Manage.net LLC (Technology Consultant); Augeo (Visible Mission Integration); Kvernstoen, Rönnholm & Associates, Inc. (Acoustical Consultant)
Photo credit: Corey Gaffer

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Topics: Upper School, 3100 Campus

Preschoolers Deep Dive Into Ocean Unit [Photos]

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Nov 22, 2019

"It's time for science!" exclaimed one preschooler excitedly as teacher Ms. Van Gordon lifted up an octopus in front of the young children.

The preschoolers had spent a month learning scientific facts about ocean creatures, singing songs about the sea, and reading stories about fish.

Beach Day was a celebration of all they had learned. 

They created shell necklaces, made a fish print on a shirt using a real fish, and then got to get hands on with an octopus. 

  • "Where is the beak?"
  • "What is inside of its head?"
  • "How do the suction cups on its tentacles actually feel?"
  • "Did you know octopus can get into tiny spaces because they don't have any bones?"
  • "I know that an octopus is really smart."

The astute observations and questions from these students made clear all that they had learned about the mollusk. 

The day was a joyful celebration of the excitement that learning new things can inspire.

Topics: Lower School, Preschool

Lower School Book Parade: Celebrating Stories!

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Nov 8, 2019

The annual Lower School Book Parade is so much fun! Each student and teacher dressed as a character from a favorite book, and the creativity with the costumes was wonderful to see. The parade started at the Lower School, went down to Becketwood Cooperative, through the halls of the senior housing, and back to Minnehaha Academy.



Topics: Lower School

Upper School at Minnehaha [Video]

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Nov 6, 2019
Do you want to know what it is like to be a student at Minnehaha's Upper School? Follow along with these students and find out! 

Topics: Upper School, 3100 Campus

Upper School Campus [Photos]

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Nov 5, 2019

If you haven't had a chance to tour our rebuilt Upper School at Minnehaha Academy, check out this photo gallery of the campus. Then, be sure to schedule your visit in person!

If you are considering sending your child to Minnehaha, schedule a personal tour with our Admission Team. 

If you are an alum, we'd love to give you a tour as well! Contact Nicole Sheldon at sheldonnicole@minnehahaacademy.net to schedule your visit.

Topics: Upper School, 3100 Campus

Building Dedication: A Service of Remembrance and Hope

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Oct 8, 2019


On September 29, 2019, the Minnehaha Community - alumni, current families, current and former faculty and staff, and current and former Trustees - gathered for a service of remembrance and hope at the Building Dedication. Together, we remembered the tragic events of August 2, 2017, and God's faithfulness through the days, months, and years that followed as we rebuilt the Upper School.

Holding the tension of tragedy and hope can be a challenge at times. We mourn the loss of two dear friends and colleagues, but also look to God’s faithfulness and His promise to His people in Isaiah 43:19:

See, I am doing a new thing!

    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

    and streams in the wasteland.

This promise has been imprinted on many of our hearts and is what we look to as we dedicate the rebuilt Upper School to God for His glory. Composer Daniel Kallman of Northfield, MN, wrote a beautiful composition to mark this new chapter in our school’s history. The piece was performed at the Building Dedication by the Minnehaha Academy Singers, Orchestra, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. This commissioned piece is based on Isaiah 43:19, Lamentations 3:22-24, and Hebrews 10:23.

Our community appreciated the special remarks by President Rev. Dr. Donna Harris, NWC Superintendent Rev. Mark Stromberg (‘74), former faculty member Rev. Paul Swanson (‘51), Chair of the Board of Trustees David Anderson (‘67), and Chair of the Together We Rise Campaign Marc and Alicia Belton.

Together We Rise Video and Program

Watch the video that was created for the service to mark the events that happened from the explosion on August 2, 2017, to the opening of the new building. 

View the Building Dedication Program.

Thank You

Thanks to all who worked to make the Building Dedication Service a beautiful and meaningful event. Thanks to all who attended the service and to those who have offered their support over the past two years as Together We Rise!


Topics: 3100 Campus

Together We Rise: Building Dedication Video

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Oct 4, 2019

On September 29, 2019, we remembered the tragedy of August 2, 2017, and God's faithfulness through the days, months, and years that followed as we rebuilt the Upper School. We look to the future as Together We Rise!

Topics: 3100 Campus

Upper School Pep Fest [Photos]

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Oct 2, 2019

Upper School students had fun with the pep band, games led by the Homecoming Court, and school cheers. Check out the photos from the afternoon fun in the photo gallery!

Topics: Upper School

Lower and Middle School Homecoming Pep Fest [Photos]

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Sep 29, 2019

Homecoming Pep Fest at the Lower and Middle School was so much fun! The Homecoming Court led the students in fun games and friendly competitions. Photo Gallery.

Topics: Middle School, Upper School, Lower School

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