Cost per student Mercer $25,097,
Wis. $13,505, Nation $11,762
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. districts

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Step in the Right Direction


Progress was made at Monday night’s Mercer School Board meeting toward allowing Mercer residents greater access to information about how the school is being managed.  The school board agreed to vote at its March meeting whether to restore the video recording of its monthly meetings and placing them on the school’s website.  

Mercer residents have been deprived of viewing board meetings since October 2017 when then board President Deanna Pierpont ruled that she would no longer allow the public to view video recordings of the meetings.  Until then videos of the meetings were routinely posted on the school’s website.

In fact, Pierpont was criminally charged in Iron County Circuit Court with destroying the video recording of the infamous October 2017 annual school district meeting.  The charges were subsequently dismissed under strange circumstances by then Circuit Court Judge Patrick Madden.

Even before Pierpont denied the peoples’ right to view the meetings, the public was allowed very little information about how the school was being mismanaged by former Administrator Erik Torkelson.  When Pierpont decided not to seek reelection last April and Torkelson was placed on medical leave in June, things began to improve substantially – and the public was allowed greater access to information.

The change has been was brought about by an almost entirely new school board headed by President Bob Davis and new Administrator Sheri Kopka.  “Almost entirely new school board”, that is, except from one holdover from the former Torkelson/Pierpont clique, Micki Holmstrom. Holmstrom wisely decided not to seek re-election in the coming April school board election.  Much to the public’s chagrin, Pierpont wants to be elected back on the board in the April election. 

Discussion at the February meeting about the video recording seemed to favor allowing Mercer residents more access to school information.  All eyes will be on the March 23 meeting to see if it really happens.


  1. And Pierpont has the nerve to expect us to put her back on the school board. This is just one of her many transgressions. She was Torkelson’s Number 1 assistant in screwing up the school – depriving the kids of an education, mis-spending our tax dollars, keeping things from the public, etc., etc.

  2. They moved on this with the speed of molasses in January. How about something more important like recovering the stolen funds or better yet, the education of the students?

    1. They need something other than the latest in Adirondack chair construction or let's go look for pine marten. It needs to be more than what's the new buzzword this year.

      The school will continue to remain at the bottom of the barrel until they can establish a comprehensive curriculum that builds from year to year. Since this seems unlikely to not happen in Mercer, do the merciful thing and close this money pit already.

      Do what is right for the student's futures.

  3. For those uninformed Mercer citizens who have the mistaken thought of voting for Pierpont in the April SB election, they need to look at the DPI school report card score. Under Pierpont – and her boss Torkelson – the Mercer school district was ranked as the WORST of the state’s 421 school districts. Check it out.

    1. Thanks largely in part to Pierpont,for the third consecutive year the Mercer School District’s DPI Report Card score hit rock bottom. And for the most recent 2018-19 school year the Mercer School District stands all alone at the VERY BOTTOM of the state’s 421 school districts with a score of 50.4 -- fails to meet expectations. No other school district is listed in the last place category of fails to meet expectations.

    2. Let's not forget her partners, Kelly "50 Shades"Koheygi and Denise Thompson.

  4. If they are really concerned about transparency they should have the meetings at a time when more people would have the opportunity to attend.

    How many people can't attend because they have to work? Torkelson switched to an earlier time so that he made it difficult for working adults to attend.