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A Message from the Superintendent

Superintendent Rensch

My name is Dr. Teresa Rensch, and I am eager to meet you.

I have spent my whole career pursuing and supporting education. I have been a teacher, an elementary and secondary principal, and a director of curriculum and instruction—and I am really pleased to join your district as the superintendent. I believe education is the best gift we can give students, families, the community, and even society. 

As superintendent, my goal is to be a resource for the staff, parents, and students of St. Maries School District. I support St. Maries’ current aims of improving students' academic levels, supporting vocational programs, and hiring/retaining qualified people in all necessary positions, including transportation, teaching, and food service. These are all familiar challenges that I care a lot about.

I look forward to working with board members, staff members, and community members to make sure our families and students have what they need to thrive. 

Dr. Teresa Rensch, Superintendent
Phone: 208-245-2579
Fax: 208-245-3970
Email: Teresa Rensch
Dr. Rensch's video introduction:


The November Superintendent eNewsletter. Click on the link, eNewsletter to open and read November's news. 


St. Maries Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan.

The vision and mission of St. Maries is to be committed to quality instruction, providing students with knowledge and skills to become successful adults.

From the state exams, about 50% of our students in K -3 show grade level reading readiness. About 43% of our students, grades 4 -12 show grade level or above reading performance. One of our goals will continue to see that students grow and move into grade level readiness.

Important Values in the Strategic Plan

Some values that surface in conversation with staff and the community and some values that exist within the District Strategic Plan: (not in any specific order).

1. Quality instruction of skills and knowledge in the content areas

2. Quality staff

3. Community engagement

4. Collaboration and teamwork

5. Trust

6. A safe place for students

7. Extra curricular activities like athletics

**The Strategic plan with goals, actions, and values will be revisited and updated in January. The process will include staff, students, and families input.

Highlights at the Schools.

  • Our students continue to be the focus. We are all here working hard on behalf of the students!
  • Character traits and Civic-mindedness. Students at the elementary schools were recognized for demonstrating monthly character traits, patience, and friendly. You can find their pictures on the school’s Facebook pages. (I attached a picture as well.) The staff and principals do a great job of recognizing students for displaying respectful, responsible, and safe behaviors! Such efforts help us keep a safe and welcoming school Such efforts also let us nurture the civic-minded and responsible citizens.
  • Red Ribbon Week. The high school leadership students coordinated the Red Ribbon week. The school spirit days supported the theme, “Be Kind to the Mind. Say no to drugs.” They also planned a food drive as a way to give back to the community. (see pictures attached)
  • Business Association Club and CTE Classes. Recently the students in the Business management CTE pathway tackled three real-life projects: 1) local special, stand 2) career and college exploration, and, 3) leadership resume. Each of these projects have played a significant role in preparing our students for the challenges and opportunities they will encounter in the real world.

A Call of Action.

I make a plea and a pledge to work together. I continue to notice that we have more in common ground than not. We heard the commonalities at the candidate forum. People want an education where kids are safe, where students are taught the content knowledge and graduate with knowledge, skill, and critical thinking to enter the workforce or higher education and be successful adults.

When we look at districts that are succeeding and where students are achieving, we will find trust and teamwork at the base of their organization. We can have the best strategic plan, and we can have hard work, yet in the absence of trust and teamwork, St. Maries growth and achievement will have its limits. Trust and teamwork will equal results and success; achievement and joy.





The October Superintendent eNewsletter. Click on the link,  eNewsletter to open and read this month's news.

 The vision and mission of St. Maries is to be committed to quality instruction, providing students with knowledge and skills to become successful adults.

From the state exams, about 50% of our students in K -3 show grade level reading readiness. About 43% of our students, grades 4 -12 show grade level or above reading performance. One of our goals will continue to see that students grow and move into grade level readiness. 

St. Maries SD 41
Our very own board member, Beth Halvorsen, jump roping with the students at Heyburn Elementary


A proud group of staff in St. Maries 

School spirit and camaraderie. Go Lumberjacks! 

  • Leading 2.0 Grant. The welding class was awarded $120,000 to purchase updated and industrial standard equipment and tools.
  • The RAS Grant. Each school building will benefit from new HVAC systems, upgrades to heating and cooling systems, and other weather/energy fixes like drainage and windows. Phase One of the project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023-24.
  • Student Enrollment. Student enrollment is slightly higher than last year at this time. Over 950 students are currently enrolled in St. Maries School District.

The superintendents reviewing the District Goals. 

The state superintendent and the shop teacher. 

The state superintendent, the HS principal, and the Welding teacher. 

The table shows how the Renewal America School's (RAS) grant monies are spent. The table, furthermore, shows how the levy monies supplement the state monies to fund the current operations, staffing, and programs at St. Maries SD 41.

Regular Board Meeting Schedule
You can click on the title above to see the Regularly Scheduled Board Meetings.

Regular Board Meetings Broadcasted

The Regular Board Meetings are now being broadcasted through
this link

The Math Curriculum Committee

The committee has been formed. It a committee of nineteen members. There are ten parents and nine staff. The first meeting was Thursday September 28th, starting at 4:00 p.m. in the boardroom. The meeting is a business meeting open to the public. Such a high interest shows true dedication of the staff and the parents in finding superior instructional math materials that support our children’s quality education. People can follow the meetings minutes by visiting the School Website, scrolling their cursor over “departments,” and then clicking on the department titled “teaching and learning.”

The Continuous Improvement Plan 2023-24

While the plan is required by the state, the continuous improvement plan (CIP) is a valued part of the 5-year District Strategic Plan. St. Maries SD 41 has submitted a CIP each year for the last three years. The Continuous Improvement Plan includes two goals; an early literacy goal and a college-career ready goal. These two goals represent two of the five district-wide strategic goals, achieve academically for all students, and expand the college and career readiness of all students. You can click on the link to read part I. of the CIP for 2023-24 You can click on the link to read part II of the CIP plan for 2023-24.

Idaho Launch Program for Seniors

Governor Brad Little's new LAUNCH grants will provide graduating high school seniors a one-time opportunity to have 80% of their tuition and fees paid for after high school, up to $8,000. Students must enroll in apprenticeships, job training, community college and university programs that lead to in-demand careers. There are hundreds of programs and careers to choose from. The application window opens October 3.. For questions and more information, contact the high school counselor, Mrs. Bobbie Peet at 208-245-2142 or

Superintendent Open Door Policy

Meet and Greet

I am the new superintendent for St. Maries  who remains open to phone calls, emails, and meetings. You are welcome to stop by the office or make an appointment. It has been a pleasure to meet the people that I have been fortunate to meet. And I look forward to meeting more residents and community members of St. Maries.

The September Superintendent eNewlsetter.  Click on the link,  eNewsletter to open and read this month's newsletter.

August 28th. The first day back to school for the staff! Look at the large number of alumni returning as teachers and support staff for St. Maries Joint School District!  

Open Houses: Last week at the Open Houses, the school staff and families engaged in an informative and social setting, and with a good turnout.   SMHS is looking to scheduling their Back to School Open House for the week of September 25. Stay tuned!  

September 5. The First Day back to school for students!

September 5: The First Day of School

September 13. Family Input regarding the Continuous Improvement Plan. The meeting will be held at 4:00 pm in the District Office.

September 18. The next regularly scheduled board meeting. The monthly Board Meetings will continue to be held on the second Monday of each month, starting at 6:30 pm in the District Office.

September 25 - 29. Homecoming week at the High School. "Survivor" is the theme. 

September 28. The first Curriculum and Instruction Committee Meeting. The meeting will be open to the public, starting at 4:00 pm in the District Office.

Important Information.

All school buildings are ready, open, and welcoming for students. While the high school shop is in its final stage of repair, the students will be in a classroom with their teacher, learning and practicing the safety measures required for a CTE class.

Grants update. The Renew America Energy Grant is still in the planning stages between McKinstry, DOE, and St. Maries. An Idaho Career Ready Student Grant (ICRS) application was submitted to their ICRS council to review in September. Another Idaho Career Ready Student Grant application is being worked on in hopes of submitting it to the ICRS council for review in December.    

Happenings around the School District  

  • Free and Reduced Lunch Applications. All families are welcome to complete your applications for the 2023-24 School Year. It may be completed and submitted online at our confidential & secure website or by paper application (forms provided at school offices). Free and reduced meal eligibility is determined by household size and income.
  • Back to School Supplies. Your child's school can share the back-to-school supply list with you. The school can help direct a family to services for support with certain back-to-school supplies and materials. See your child's teacher or the school counselor!
  • After-School Enrichment Programs. Heyburn Elementary offers an after-school program five days a week. There is a waiting list. UpRiver School is looking for grants so they can have an after-school program as well. SMMS students can attend the after-school STEM held at the Cormana Building on Fridays. SMHS students can attend tutoring after school, band/music class, or the sports program.

Regularly Scheduled Board Meetings:

September 18                  Executive session at 5:30 pm and regular session at 6:30 pm

October 9                        Executive session at 5:30 pm and regular session at 6:30 pm  

November 13                 Executive session at 5:30 pm and regular session at 6:30 pm  

December 11                 Executive session at 5:30 pm and regular session at 6:30 pm  

Safe Bus Riding Tips

1. Wait patiently for the bus. Be at least six feet from the road while waiting,

2. Listen to all directions that come from your bus driver.

3. Sit with a friend or classmate.

3. Use your inside voice while traveling on the bus.

4. Clean up any trash around you.

5. Keep hands and feet to oneself.

6. Remain sitting and facing forward while the bus is moving.

7. Use school and age appropriate language.

8. If you are changing bus stops, notify the school office and bus barn at least one day in advance. There must be prior approval for any bus stop changes.

9. Be safe, responsible, and respectful.

Upcoming School and Family Engagement Opportunities.

  1. September 18. A regular board meeting.
  2. September 27. Continuous Improvement Plan Input and Information Meeting.
  3. September 28. The first Math Curriculum Committee meeting.

Out and About in the Community.

I thoroughly enjoyed Paul Bunyan Days. I shared a few pictures to give you a glimpse into the weekend of festivities. I started Friday with the Pet and Doll Parade. There, I was able to see a few teachers on the sidelines as they, with great pride and joy, watched their children march in the parade. Saturday was filled with the water events. Some of our high school students showed talent and stamina as they dredged through the different water competitions. I enjoyed Bingo with a few teachers. None of us won, though. It was still a lot of fun. I had some luck at the carnival games, shooting the basket into the hoop and popping balloons with a dart. On Sunday, I enjoyed the logging events. People are strong and calculated with axe throwing, chainsaw exhibition, and true cross-cutting competition. Then, there was the St. Maries Firework Show. Wow. The Fireworks display was spectacular. Sitting on the field and being underneath a fireworks show was amazing. Thank you!

I rounded out Paul Bunyan Days by participating in the Parade on Monday. The District secretarial staff was so kind to join the parade with me. We wore our Lumberjack shirts and hats, decorated the car, carried an axe, and passed out candy. It was truly a delight to see families and students, wishing them a happy first day of school on Tuesday.

Open Door Policy: Teresa Rensch, as the new superintendent, continues to be open to phone calls, emails, face-to-face meetings. You can drop into the office or make an appointment.
Send us your questions, concerns, highlights and ideas!

July 7th Friday Update 
June 29th is a day to remember. It was my first day - a day of newness and “firsts"; a day of change and transition; a day of excitement and challenges; a day of support and reservation.

I will be in the office most of July and all of August.  Anyone is welcome to call, email or visit! We have a Board Meeting at 6:30 pm on July 10th. People are welcome. We will also hold a “meet and greet” on Thursday July 13th from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the District Office. People are welcome to stop by anytime within that hour to visit.

You may also see me out and about at different places or events this summer in St. Maries or in Harrison. This past Friday, I visited the local Farmer’s Market. What a great spread of locally grown foods and locally made products! I listened to some music at the Music in the Park on Saturday July 2nd in Harrison. So far, I have Fernwood Days, Paul Bunyan Days and Fourth of July events on my calendar.

I am here to be a resource for you and your children. I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board, the staff, the families, and students as we uphold the strengths of the school district and as we continue to move toward the goals, mission and vision set for all students at St Maries!

Strengths of the School District

What have I noticed so far? People hold a deep concern and care for the students and children. Academic growth and achievement continue to be a focus for people. Staff provide quality instruction and monitor student growth closely. Student learning and quality instruction takes programs and people, equipment and supplies. The district monies are spent wisely and in alignment with the district vision and goals. The district also remains fiscally solvent. I also recognized the programs, particularly at the secondary level, that develop knowledge and relevant skills for readying kids to successfully pursue college or enter the workforce upon graduation. The students of St. Maries School District are amazing!

The First Day in the Office and in the Community

I was greeted by the district office staff upon my arrival. The office was my first stop when entering St. Maries. The staff were also kind to greet and accept my little Jack Russell, Chloe Rensch. The staff and I enjoyed lunch together at the office (yes Chloe was under the table, ever hopeful for some crumbs). Throughout the day, the staff were very cordial and shared a lot of information with me as I learnt the ins and outs of the new job.  I received keys to St Maries School District and discovered the code for the copy machine. I met some students who were working at the local bistro and coffee shop. I ran into the high school principal while running along St. Joe River. Joe Gilmore, the director of maintenance, gave me some pointers when fishing the St. Joe River.

In Conclusion

News and firsts can cause reservations: they can also generate excitement. A new job or a new boss can offer challenges and opportunities. With a mix of different emotions, I notice that we all have more in common than not. We all want our children to be safe and healthy, we want our students to get an excellent education, we want our young people to be successful, productive, and confident after they graduate from St Maries School District!

I look forward to working together! Sincerely, Teresa Rensch

July 13 Monthly Superintendent eNewletter

Events on the Horizon at St. Maries School District

  1. The first day of school for students is September 5, 2023.
  2. The school registration dates are August 23 and August 24 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You will find more specifics by visiting each school’s website.
  3. The School District was one of twenty-four recipients to be awarded over 14 million dollars from the América Renew Energy Grant. 
  4. The next Regular monthly Board Meeting is scheduled for August 14, starting at 6:30 pm for open session to the public.


On June 29th, St Maries School District was announced as a Selectee for the Renew America’s Schools grant, a funding opportunity from the Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). St. Maries School District, along with 23 other Selectees, will share $178 million in awards to support the implementation of energy improvements in our schools. St Maries will get about 14 million in funding. We are thrilled to have been selected!

The Renew America’s Schools grant is a first-of-its-kind competitive award that garnered unprecedented interest and engagement from schools across the country. DOE received 236 full applications from Local Education Agencies (LEAs) across 44 states. Thanks to your prior Superintendent, Alica Holthaus, St. Maries was awarded the Renew America Grant and will be receiving over $14 million to help improve the school buildings. 

For the next steps, the senior executive accountant presented information at the July 10th School Board meeting. From there, a timeline for the project will be established. Once the timeline is set, a task force can begin to outline the projects based on need and in line with the grant requirements.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the grant by clicking on their website at

Questions and Updates from the last Board Meeting:

  1. There were questions about the rules of a Board Meeting. A Board meeting is a business meeting that is open to the public. St. Maries can allow and does allow an opportunity for public comments. St. Maries follows Robert’s Rules of Order, Title 33, Chapter 5, Board Policy 100 series, and ISBA guidelines for the structure and operations of a Board meeting. A patron can refer to Board Policy 204.03 and 204.04 regarding the process and procedure for patron comment.
  1. The Direction of the District: The vision and mission, along with the goals and actions stated in the District's Continuous Improvement Plan, guide the direction of the School District. You can find the mission statement and the Plan posted on the District website. The board agendas and minutes are also posted on the District website, as another way to follow the direction of the district.
  2. Transparency and Communication: The School District will continue to improve its communication with staff and the community. Below you will see some of the improved communication venues: 
  • Superintendent Monthly eNewsletter
  • Record the patron comment and send the patron comment to the appropriate staff member for follow-up
  • Post the Regular Meetings at the District Office, each school site, and on the District website calendar.
  • St. Maries is looking to broadcast the Regular Board Meetings starting in September, if not sooner. 

I truly look forward to working with the staff, the students, and the community. The turnout for the July 13th Open House was generous. Thank you to all who could attend. It was a pleasure to meet and visit the residents of St. Maries. Thank you again for your confidence and support in my skill and knowledge to lead well, upholding St. Maries current strengths and being a resource to grow and advance St Maries School District.


I extend myself to all as I am available by phone, email, or available for an in-person visit. We can meet over a cup of coffee. We can meet in the district office.

With the utmost regard,
Superintendent Teresa Rensch

August eNewsletter

It has been four weeks since moving here and starting my new position. I absolutely love my new job and my surroundings. The wildlife, mountains, trails, and waterways are unquestionably magnificently beautiful. Jobwise, I am drawn to and see how I can be an asset to St. Maries School District because of its focus on providing quality instruction and giving students the knowledge and skills to be productive and successful adults. In the town of St. Maries, I continue to sit in admiration of the people who repeatedly present kindness and care. As one resident shared, people step forward no matter what the need and no matter what the connection.

Events on the Horizon at St. Maries School District

  • September 5. The first day of school for students 
  • August 23 and August 34. The school registration dates are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You will find more specifics by visiting each school’s website.
  • August 14. The next Regular monthly Board Meeting is scheduled for August 14, starting at 6:30 pm for an open session to the public.
  • August 28 – August 30. Staff Professional Development Days start at 7:30 am at St. Maries High School. There will be an email from the superintendent with the scheduled details. Stay tuned.


  • Students are always our number one highlight. The first day back to school for students is September 5. 
  • The District continues to uphold its mission to work in a way that provides quality instruction, giving students the knowledge and skills to be productive and successful adults.
  • St Maries was one of 24 recipients granted over $14 million for The Renewal America Energy Grant awarded by St. Maries. The improved ventilation systems, heating and cooling systems, and envelope fixes will increase the air quality and regulate temperatures for staff and students.
  • Heyburn Elementary. A parent group reached its first goal, fundraising enough money to purchase the first or several apparatuses and swings for the elementary playground.
  • Food Service. Food service was awarded a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant for the two elementary schools, Upriver and Heyburn! Food Service was awarded over $30,000 to purchase fresh produce for students at UpRiver and Heyburn.

Happenings Around in the School District.

  • The Board and I participated in the board development workshop last Wednesday, July 27. The training session allowed the Board and the superintendent to calibrate the strengths of the school district, gain clarity on our roles and responsibilities, and deepen our understanding of processes and procedures.
  • Several new state grants seem like a good fit for St. Maries and are on the horizon for St. Maries. Stay tuned.
      1. The Leading Idaho 2.0 Grant. The grant is designed to fund industrial equipment for CTE programs. 
      2. The SDE Career Ready grant is designed for rural schools with infrastructure, materials, supplies, and curriculum for existing and new CTE programs. 
      3. The Securing Future Grant is designed to appropriate school safety and security money.
  • In the Fall of 2023. Look for upcoming community input meetings at the school and district levels. First, St. Maries will seek community input on the annual Continuous Improvement Plan due in October. 

Open Door Policy: Teresa Rensch, as the new superintendent, continues to be open to phone calls, emails, and face-to-face meetings in town or at the District Office. You can drop in or make an appointment.