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Oak Grove News

Dear Friends of Oak Grove,

It is with mixed feelings that I inform you that I have resigned my position at Oak Grove effective December 31st. A series of circumstances have brought to me a new opportunity to be the new Chief Development Officer at the Anne Carlsen Center. Although I'm excited about this new opportunity for me and my family, I can't help but feel sad about leaving Oak Grove.

There’s a saying that you hear if you stick around this school for a little while.  It goes, “Once a Grover, always a Grover.” It’s an oversimplified comment on what happens to folks who spend any time with Oak Grove. What it really means is that this amazing school gets under your skin and becomes a part of you. That’s been my experience here since I arrived in 2013. Mike Slette, the board, my colleagues and the teachers who I’ve had the privilege to work for and with over these few years have become friends. I want to say thank you to all of the staff and board members here at Oak Grove, especially the teachers and principals. As an employee whose job it was to raise money for this place, it was an honor to do so for such amazing and dedicated staff.  As a parent of children here, I feel blessed that they are and will be surrounded by such caring, knowledgeable, and passionate professionals. To the donors, alumni, past parents, current and past grandparents, and fellow parents thank you for always making me feel welcome in your presence and for your faithful support to this school, its students, and its mission. I will always be in the school’s corner, supporting it in ways that I’m able. I'm happy and feel blessed that my four children will continue their education at Oak Grove and I will be able to continue to be a Grover dad. What a privilege.

Thank you for allowing me the chance to work here.  I pray that whoever comes here in this role, is welcomed by you as warmly as you did me. Shellie Simonson-Ulven, my friend and colleague in fundraising, will be the interim Chief Advancement Officer until the position is filled. She is very capable and equally passionate about this school’s future success. Oak Grove is in good hands.   

I have so enjoyed serving this school and hope I have done so faithfully.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

With gratitude, 

Eric Wilkie

Free 10 Year Smoke Alarms From The American Red Cross

(Free installation included) 

We have been asked to distribute this to all Oak Grove parents by our very own Jeff Klonowski (maintenance staff).  Please consider the opportunity for a way to safeguard your home by having new 10 year smoke alarms throughout your residence as a program through the American Red Cross at NO COST. 


Please see the attachment for details.

Disaster Action Team Captain Jeff Klonowski will lead the smoke alarm installations.  For any questions or to set up an appointment by phone: 


Commemorating Reformation
In a celebration of Christian unity, concert choirs from Oak Grove and JPII Catholic Schools joined their voices to observe the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

Concert Choir Visits ND State Capitol
Spring 2017
Met with Governor Doug Burgum for photo.
Choir Visits State Capitol1 webOur Concert Choir was invited by Governor Burgum to sing in the Memorial Hall at the Capitol building on Monday, May 1st. Some seniors from government classes and one of our social studies teachers, Mr. Wright, joined us for this special trip. We were able to take a tour of the Heritage Center and took a behind the scenes look at the Senate, House, and Supreme Courtroom. We ended by going up to the 18th floor to have a look at all of Bismarck and the surrounding area.

Grovers travel to D.C. this week to participate in Close Up

A group of Grovers along with teacher Marc DeLorme left for an incrediable D.C. experience! They have visited museum’s and went on a night tour of D.C.'s notable land marks. On Easter Sunday, they visited Georgetown and went to the National Cathedral for an awesome service and experience. Sunday night the kids officially got “on program” and got to meet students from the other schools. Through Close-Up they’ve been doing mock Congress’, writing legislation, and have met with staffers from all three of North Dakota’s Congress members on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, the group was treated to an exclusive tour of the Pentagon with Oak Grove graduate, Brigadier General Chaplain Soljhem. They also visited Arlington cemetery, and the White House. 

Slider Basketball 2017

Middle School Geography Bee!


Left to right: Griffin Alvarez, Carlin Schoenfish and Grant Tharaldson

Congratulations to the following students for being a top 10 finalist, earning the right to compete
during the Geography Bee held on Friday, January 20:

Carlin Schoenfish - 8th Grade GeoBee Champion
Grant Tharaldson - 8th Grade Runner Up
Griffin Alvarez - 8th Grade Third Place 
Cole Pfund
Jeffrey Porter
Jordan Peterson
Lindsey Simonson
Mason Martinson
Sam Garrity
Siri Froiland

The school Bee, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee.


Interested in Norway 2018?

Experience Norway (tentatively Trondheim, Lillehammer, Bergen, Oslo)– 10 days

Deadline to enroll on the Norway 2018 tour is February 28.  While you have missed the December discount, you can still enroll on tour.  We have approximately 15 spots remaining. 


Michelle Forness
English Department | Oak Grove Lutheran School
Inspiring Students to Impact God’s World
Office: 701.373.7112 | michelle.forness@oakgrovelutheran.com

norwegian_people7Oslo, Norway_3


Time Lapse of Oak Grove Lutheran School's Blanket Day. Middle School students make 100+ blankets to give to the Ronald McDonald House in Fargo, ND.

State of the Elementary School Address
October 27, 2016

International Day_4017_webOak Grove Lutheran School Observes International Peace Day!
Wednesday September 21: Oak Grove Student Body and Staff participated in International Peace Day. This day was established in 1981 by the United Nations resolution 36/37. The general assembly has declared this day as a day devoted to, "Commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples." Peace day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

A moving chapel conducted by Jessica McEvers, Campus Ministry director, recognized our 31 international students from 12 countries. A student from each country brought his or her own candle to the unity candle to unite as one! We as a school came together  to pray for each other and for peace worldwide. Each country shared their words of peace in their native language.

FREE My School Spirit Card
Show Your Oak Grove Pride!

Show your school spirit with a My School Spirit ATM and Check Card from Gate City Bank. Students can receive an Oak Grove Lutheran School ATM and Check Card FREE when you open a new checking account from August 29th to September 10th 2016. Gate City Bank will donate $5 to Oak Grove Lutheran School for every card ordered.

We’re ready to make your life better. Stop by a Gate City Bank location, call us, or visit www.gatecitybank.com for more information.

Oak Grove Student Creates Mural For Grover Grounds!

Oak Grove 7th grader Rania Leslie was asked to create a new mural above Grover Grounds. Watch the high speed creation! Thank you Rania and Alesha Leslie for the time and talent you put into this project!

Avery Zasada PaY_webPhilanthropy and Youth Internship Senior Avery Zasada completes summer internship program.

Oak Grove senior, Avery Zasada joined Philanthropy and Youth (PaY) in the fall of 2015 and took full advantage of her first year of membership. PaY is a student organization sponsored by The Barry Foundation at 22 different schools in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, and Detroit Lakes communities. Each school’s PaY committee is given $5,000 each year to grant to non-profit organizations within their community. Throughout the year, students learn about their leadership strengths, research and tour different non-profit organizations, and go through the granting process to decide which organizations they want to grant their $5000 to.

The Barry Foundation has also recently begun the Philanthropy and Youth Summer Internship program. Through this new program, students who are involved in PaY are able to apply for a summer internship. The 16 students who are selected for an internship are placed with a non-profit in the community, given a special project to accomplish for that organization and get the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the non-profit working world. Over the last two and a half months, Avery spent her days working at The Gifted Learning Project with her mentor, Noreen. It was evident based on Avery’s presentation at the Internship Celebration that the summer had transformed her. She spent each day learning and growing into her role, she said “Noreen has taught me how to analyze plant samples, to crowd source and market effectively, and to always view people through a lens of compassion and empathy.”

Avery consistently expresses her gratitude for the opportunities that have been presented to her through PaY and The Barry Foundation and is hopeful that through her experiences she is able to encourage others to join the PaY organization and apply for a summer internship.


Grover Students in Summer Theatre Productions at Trollwood and Gooseberry!

THE LITTLE MERMAID - Trollwood Performing Arts
Grace Grettum 
is on the Technology Crew
Madison Uecker is on the Technology Crew

Spencer Green
plays Conrad Birdie
Celia Bauer is a Sweet Apple Teen and Featured Dancer
Christopher Parks is the NYC and Ed Sullivan Ensembles
Bye Bye Birdie Photos

Gooseberry  Gooseberry2

Gooseberry3 Gooseberry4


SLIDER_Europe Trip
Oak Grove English Students Travel to Ireland, Scotland and England.
We began our trip in Ireland staying in Tralee and Dublin. We have driven the Ring of Kerry, took a jaunty cart (horse cart) through Killarney National Park, and kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. We also toured the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, toured St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Trinity College to look at the Book of Kells. 
We then traveled to Wales and Wordsworth's Lake District in England before heading to Edinburgh, Scotland. After Scotland, we took a train to London to see all of the sites like Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and The Globe Theater. Our last three days will be in Cheddar (the cheese's namesake) Glastonbury where King Arthur may be buried, Salisbury, Oxford, and The Royal Crescent in Bath. 
This tour was chosen for its deep connections to history and English literature.
See Photos Below...

2016 Oak Grove Graduation Day
For more photos on Oak Grove Shutterfly click https://oakgrovestuff.shutterfly.com/ and scroll down the Oak Grove Shutterfly Home page.

Graduation Cap Throw IMG_5876 web
Photo above taken by Cheryl Muir, Oak Grove parent

Oak Grove Graduation 2016 FORMAL_5x7_00001 web

DSC09721 copyOak Grove Students Day of Service
Oak Grove Students Organize Citywide "Day Of Service".
KVRR covered the story following the students 

May, 20, 2016
Oak Grove Lutheran School students organized a special city-wide "Day of Service" with 15 organizations in need of volunteer services. Students volunteered at the Great Plains Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Dakota Boys Ranch, The Arc, Imagine Thriving, homeless shelters, nursing homes and other sites around the area.  

While the high school students worked off campus with these organizations, the middle school students were on campus baking cookies and creating special cards for U.S soldiers and the homeless in our community. In addition, Middle School students planted flowers to improve the north campus school grounds.

Student Body President Elected

Tom burgumThis year’s run for the office of Student Body President had seven candidates in contention. During Thursday's chapel juniors Mari Aaker, Jackson Adams, Thomas Burgum, Emily Card, Taranvir Johal, Isaac Noel, and Alexander Rothfusz each gave a 5 minute speech outlining their campaign for progress and growth in the 2016-17 school year.

The students sequestered themselves for voting shortly after chapel. A second runoff vote was needed between the two top candidates in order to get a majority vote. When the votes were tallied, Tom Burgum was elected as the 2016-17 Student Body President. Mr. Burgum accepted the position and remarked, “I am looking forward to working together with the students and faculty next year, thank you.”  

Photo left to right: Alexander Rothfusz, Taranvir Johal, Thomas Burgum, Mari Aaker, Emily Card, Jackson Adams, Isaac Noel


Accreditation And Why It's Important to Oak Grove

If you scroll down to the bottom of the Oak Grove webpage, there is a statement tat reads in part: "Oak Grove Lutheran School is a private school offering grades pre-K to 12. The school's rich Lutheran heritage dates back to 196. NCA/AdvancED accreditation since 1926 reflects the school's long history of high academic standards." Education accreditation is a process in which the quality of the institution is evaluated by not only the stakeholders of the institution, but also a group of people put together by an accrediting agency. 

Together, the evaluators determine if a set of standards are met, and if so, the institution is accredited. There are several accrediting agencies in the U.S., and the agency that accredits Oak Grove Lutheran School is now called AdvancED. AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world, conducting rigorous on-site external reviews of preK-12 schools to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. Their goal is to help schools improve.

Why all the information on AdvancED and accreditation?  Well, Oak Grove’s accreditation is coming due next year. That means that we will get a chance to conduct some research on what is going right in our school, what are areas of growth for us as a school, and what our future may hold. Next fall, we will be conducting in-depth internal reviews into all aspects of our school. We will be formulating a plan based on our findings, and moving forward with excitement to our external review date. 

During our external review, a little over a year from now, a group of educators from around the state will come into our school and conduct the same review over the course of 2 days. They will talk to many people, sit in on several classes, and make suggestions for improvement within our school. Armed with this information, we will go into our future with strong ideas for our continued excellence.

Over the course of this spring, we will be discussing each section of the AdvancED accreditation tool and what you can expect from the process. Then, next fall, you all will be asked to take a survey online to give your input as to our strengths as well as our areas of needed growth. We are excited to begin this process, and we look forward to working with you over the course of the next year. 

The Oak Grove Hall of Fame committee is asking for your input.

hall fame

Help Nominate Deserving Hall of Fame Inductees

The Oak Grove Hall of Fame committee is asking for your input. The committee is asking for your help in nominating  deserving individuals you feel worthy of being selected into the school’s hall of fame. Selected individuals are inducted at Homecoming and receive a plaque that hangs on the Oak Grove Wall of Distinction with past Hall of Fame and Living the Mission recipients.

The Oak Grove Hall of Fame recognizes alumni, faculty, staff and coaches who exemplify the spirit, integrity and mission of Oak Grove Lutheran School. Those who have made significant contributions and have brought honor to Oak Grove Lutheran School are eligible for selection.  Please email Carrie Pierce at carrie.pierce@oakgrovelutheran.com with your nomination and supporting statement. We greatly appreciate your help!

Visit the Alumni page!

The Oak Grove Experience

Shared values, much like a mission statement, are meant to be timeless in their reflection of the organization’s character and culture. When Oak Grove is shining brightest, when we are at our best, the atmosphere and culture that carries us to those heights should be most clearly seen through the shared values.

                                                            – Mike Slette, President, Oak Grove