Welcome to Owatonna Middle School! We are a 6-8 middle school with over 1,100 students. Our story is an interesting one. In 2017, after a massive 60,000 square foot addition, we transitioned from a 7-8 junior high to a true middle school. In addition to the addition and facelift the building received, we implemented a completely new program. Using an A/B day rotation, we run a four-period block schedule with 82-minute classes. For the most part, our classes run every other day with a few exceptions (6th grade Language Arts meets every day and 7th grade Math/English receive 1 ½ blocks). We would put our elective (essentials) offerings up against any middle school in the state. With over 70 different classes outside the core classes, Owatonna Middle School really does have something for everyone. From Videography to Theater to Biking to Forensics to 3-D Printing, our offerings run the gamut.
Our programming is based on two foundations: STEM and Relationships. With years of STEM training for staff and nearly twenty staff members who completed a STEM certification program, many of our classes incorporate inquiry-based learning. Our outdoor learning classroom is growing and developing each year, offering a unique outside space to build on curriculum. Relationships are the other key component to our programming. Because of this, we incorporated Husky Connections, a daily, 15-minute advisory program that is a mix of students in grades 6-8 who stay with their advisor for their three years at OMS. The bulk of the time spent in this program is focused on creating a family through activities and games that allow a down time during the day where students can be middle school kids, laughing and getting to know one another.
A little about your administration:
Principal Julie Sullivan--The 2020-2021 school year will be my thirtieth year in education. I taught English for one year in Jackson, MN before moving to Owatonna with my husband, Greg, a Chemistry teacher at OHS. After fifteen years in the classroom and coaching, I transitioned to an assistant principal role at Owatonna High School. After four years in that role, I moved to Wilson Elementary as principal. What a blessing both of those experiences were for me! In 2016, I had the opportunity to get involved in the development of the new middle school. I truly love my job “in the middle” and feel blessed to be a part of this school and this district. I have three children: Ty (24), Jay (21), and Josie (18). Ty is a Chemical Engineer in White Bear Lake. Jay will be a senior at the U of M in the Carlson School of Management. He will graduate in December of 2020. Josie will be a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, hoping to major in Physical Therapy.
Assistant Principal: Erin Halverson has been at Owatonna Middle School for four years. Prior to this role, Erin was a Social Studies teacher at Owatonna High School, where she also coached Mock Trial. Erin works primarily with the seventh grade teams and one eighth grade team. In addition, she works as the district’s AVID Coordinator and manages all testing at OMS. Erin’s husband Mike is the Director of Technology Innovation for ISD 761. Her two boys, Will and Owen, are in 7th and 5th grades respectively. Erin stays busy following her boys’ sporting activities and spending time at their cabin in the summer.
Assistant Principal: Matt Zurbriggen joined OMS the first year it became a middle school. After spending eight years in the classroom in Osceola, WI as a Spanish teacher, Matt spent one year as an instructional coach in Rocori, MN. Matt works primarily with sixth grade and one eighth grade team in addition to his work with WEB and our PBIS program called Husky Pride. Matt and his wife Ashlan have three beautiful children: Autumn (3rd grade), Sienna (K), and Isaiah (1 ½).