Tiger Team Update

1.14.19 Tiger Team Update

NEW! District Grant Procedure

District admin and our grant writer have worked together to design a new application procedure for grants. Please review the Grant Application Request Guidelines and follow this procedure for all grant applications going forward. Please share this information with your colleagues and click here for trivia!

NEW! Staff Classifieds Page

Back by popular demand, you can now post ads for your items for sale, services provided, items wanted, or good news pieces. Click here for details and instructions.

MN Timberwolves Educator Appreciation

The Minnesota Timberwolves are proud to offer an Educator Appreciation Program. Employees will have access to a complimentary ticket offer all season long as a thank you for all you do. Click here for more information!

Use Promo Code PRINCETON19 for your discount!

Tiger Trivia Winner

Congrats to Linda Alexander at PHS, the winner of the Turkey Trivia $10 gift card! According to Google, there are various opinions as to who the first president was to pardon a Thanksgiving turkey. Look for Trivia #5 in this edition of the Tiger Team Update!


It's Contest Time! Sign-Up Begins January 1st!

Join the Benovate sponsored contest, starting January 14th through February 1st! Members will be able to decided if they would prefer a a Step or Engagement Score Contest. Those who choose to participate in "We'll be Well in 2019", must sign up in Benovate BEFORE Sunday, January 13th.

Whole Life Challenge

What is the whole life challenge?

The Whole Life Challenge is a 6-week lifestyle journey, dedicated to improving your health, fitness, and overall well-being - one habit at a time. Please check your email for info on how to sign-up.

The Power of Positive Leadership

No matter what anyone says, just show up and do the work.
If they praise you, show up and do the work.
If they criticize you, show up and do the work.
If no one even notices you, just show up and do the work.
Just keep showing up, doing the work, and leading the way.
Lead with passion.
Fuel up with optimism.
Have faith.
Power up with love.
Maintain hope.
Be stubborn.
Fight the good fight.
Refuse to give up.
Ignore the critics.
Believe in the impossible.
Show up.
Do the work.
You'll be glad you did.
True grit leads to true success.

Tiger Team Update Archive


10.11.18 Tiger Team Update


One of my mentors once shared with me that a Superintendent has 3 main jobs. They are: communicate, communicate, communicate! To further reinforce this, one of our district's strategic plan goals is communication. Although we have been increasing our efforts to connect with stakeholders using multiple modes, it occurred to me that I have done little to communicate with our team since opening remarks in August. Therefore, starting with this communication there will be regular correspondence in this format coming out of the Superintendent's office. It will be called Tiger Team Update. Just for fun I will be randomly embedding trivia questions in my communications for chances to win a prize. Although the following isn’t all inclusive I wanted you to know what we are attempting as it relates to communication:

Picture of Tigger and Eeyore
Crisis Team

We have developed a new team called our Crisis Team to create plans to prevent, mitigate, and respond to potential crisis. This team meets monthly and consists of school administration, police chief, fire chief, nurses, and mental health professionals. We plan around active shooter response, evacuations related to fires, bomb threats and gas leaks, tornado, pandemics, death or serious accident of a staff member or student. None of this is fun to think about, but we need to be prepared. Our focus this year will be to continue to evolve in the area of soft and hard lockdowns. Our goal by the end of the year is to have conducted table top exercises with staff running-through options on what to do in certain situations. If this goes well we may even be able to conduct simulations with staff. The theme of these trainings will be to empower staff to make decisions that will save your life and others based on the situation.

Organization Structure

As I learn the lay of the land and talk to many people it has occured to me that there is a strong desire by many on our team to better organize our structure as a district and in our schools. Our administrative team has an upcoming date to focus on all of the work happening in the district and look at areas we can eliminate, consolidate, and streamline. We’ve been referring to this work as identifying our “Big Rocks”. Once we define our “Big Rocks” we will use this to restructure our leadership district and school leadership teams to be more aligned. As I’ve mentioned to you several times, WE ARE A TEAM! For us to best function as a team we need to organize ourselves to best work efficiently and effectively as a team.

Eye of the Tiger

I hope that you have been reading Barton’s Tiger Times. The intended audience for this communication is both parents and staff. I want to “up our game” in Tiger Times and add a spotlight video feature each week to showcase the “awesome” happening in our schools, called Eye of the Tiger (queue music). This will simply be me coming around to interview a team member or student to showcase the awesome things they are doing. These will be short and sweet and will only be about a minute long. Please send me ideas of people or great things to showcase in our “Eye of the Tiger”.

Telling our story

During my opening remarks in August I suggested that we want to have a culture where every team member feels like they are an owner. As owners of our great school district it is important that we tell our story to celebrate the incredible work happening in the district. Princeton Public Schools is trending upward and need to capitalize on the opportunity to positively tell our story. Therefore I wanted you to be aware that over the next few months we be working (Click Here for Trivia Question) to create a series of videos to showcase the work happening in our district. I will keep you posted as to when we will be out and about getting video footage to begin the production process.


10.25.18 Tiger Team Update

Long Range Facility Planning

One of the four committees that the school board oversees is the Long Range Planning Committee. The major focus of this group is on our facility needs now and into the future. We are researching the best process to use to collect data to assist us in making decisions. This will likely include surveys to our internal team and to the public, focus groups, study of data collected from our last building project, census studies, current assessment of our existing buildings, etc.
I wanted you to be aware of this because you will likely start hearing things about it and we will also be asking you for input. Please start thinking about what facility needs you feel should be addressed.

SEL School Management Strategies Survey

We are requesting that all staff members take a short survey in response to the Top 10 School Management Strategies that were presented at our Back to School kickoff assembly in August. This survey was distributed via email, but click here to take the survey if you haven't already done so. Please submit your response by Monday, October 29th.

You can view the Top 10 School Management Strategies here.

Trivia Winner!

Congrats to Shirley Tonn at the Primary School, the winner of Tiger Trivia #1. Rocky Balboa's nemesis in Rocky 4 was Ivan Drago.
Look for Trivia #2 in this edition of the Tiger Team Update!

Coffee & Conversation

I held our second Coffee & Conversation October 24. The topics discussed were:

  • Chain of Communication
  • College & Career Readiness
  • High School Redesign
  • SEL and PBIS
  • Stellar music program in our schools
  • Title I and similar programming in each building
  • How to proactively help older students who may be struggling with curriculum.
  • Early entrance into Kindergarten
  • Spanish Immersion program

You can read more about this and past meetings on my Coffee & Conversation page.

Congrats to our LEEA Honorees!

On Oct 24, I attended the Leadership in Educational Excellence Awards banquet that honored some of the outstanding teachers in the district. This year's honorees included:

  • Michelle Hallbeck - primary school
  • Jodi Gatewood - middle school
  • Dianne Greenwood - intermediate school
  • Scott Walquist - high school

Join me in congratulating these teachers!

Teachers receiving LEEA award

United Way Campaign

The Sherburne County Area United Way is launching their annual campaign in early November--look for more information to come! This brochure explains many of the ways that the United Way has helped our community.

MN Timberwolves Educator Appreciation

The Minnesota Timberwolves are proud to offer an Educator Appreciation Program. Employees will have access to a complimentary ticket offer all season long as a thank you for all you do. Click here for more information!

Eye of the Tiger

In case you missed it in my last Tiger Times, here is our latest Eye of the Tiger! Also, take a moment to read this important message.

Let it go


American Education Week

This week is NEA American Education Week and it is intended to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are working to make a difference to ensure that all of our children receives a quality education. A very sincere and heartfelt thank you for all you do!

In appreciation for everyone's hard work, there will be a snack delivered to each school's staff lounge on Friday, November 16. Enjoy and thank you for all you do!

Trivia Winner!

Congrats to Gwen Rapp at the High School, the winner of Tiger Trivia #2. Pictures of Supt. Barton covering the guidance office will be posted in the next Tiger Team Update!

Darius Rucker was the lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish in the 90's. The original artist of Wagon Wheel was Old Crow Medicine Show (which included Bob Dylan). The bonus answer was Jessica Lupkes and the FFA. Look for Trivia #3 in this edition of the Tiger Team Update!

Changes to Staff Newsletter

Thank you to everyone who recently submitted content for the quarterly staff newsletter. We have determined that since we already have regular communications coming to staff in the form of The Tiger Times and the Tiger Team Update, we will be discontinuing the quarterly newsletter.

With this change, we are excited to announce that we will soon be sharing a live Staff Classifieds webpage. All staff will have the opportunity to share their news, services and items for sale with other staff members. Be on the lookout for this information coming soon, and click here!

United Way Campaign

As mentioned in our last Tiger Team Update, the Sherburne County Area United Way is kicking off its 2019 campaign. View a video here, highlighting what the United Way is doing right here in our communities! Click here to download a pledge form if you would like to contribute.

Board News

Back by popular demand, the Bi-Weekly Board News and Updates is making its return! Look for this in the next edition of the Tiger Team Update!

Eye of the Tiger

In case you missed it in my last Tiger Times, here is our latest Eye of the Tiger!

Congrats to our Support Staff Honorees!

On Nov 15, I attended the Educational Support Staff Awards banquet that recognizes and celebrate the accomplishments of the outstanding support staff in our schools.
This year's honorees included:

  • Lisa Bekius - Primary School
  • Paula Green - High School
  • Aaron Kisch - District
  • Becky Servaty - Intermediate
  • Jake Tou - District

Join me in congratulating these amazing individuals!

Support Staff Honorees

Paula, Aaron, Becky, Jake (Lisa not pictured).


Toilet Paper Bowl

It's bigger than the Superbowl! The Princeton Schools Staff will once again participate in the Toilet Paper Bowl and collect paper products to distribute to families in need. All buildings are encouraged to participate, and whomever collects the most rolls will win a treat and a shiny new traveling trophy! This is a staff only collection. We will collect paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, tissues) December 3-14. We ask that each building designated spot to store the paper products. Good luck everyone!

Tiger Trivia

The answer to last week's question was The Odd Couple. Congrats to Jill Sikkink at the IS who won a $20 gift card to Coborn's.

We're making today's trivia easy...click here for the question and Happy Thanksgiving!