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

Thursday, March 12, 2020


Beware, Mercer Citizens


Just when Mercer residents were beginning think that many of the Mercer School problems were behind them, an ugly conspiracy seems to be in the offing.  It involves an attempt to return Administrator Erik Torkelson to power.

Who appears to be heading the conspiracy?  None other than the person who must share responsibility for Mercer School’s failures – Deanna Pierpont.  Pierpont was part of the clique responsible for hiring Torkelson although he had absolutely no experience or qualifications as an administrator.  And during his eight-year reign of mismanagement, she supported him every step of the way.  All that time she was on the Mercer School Board and served part of the time as board president. 

Pierpont did not seek re-election to the school board when her term expired last April – something for which Mercer residents were thankful.  It appears that now she has teamed up with Brian Baltz to return Torkelson to power, and both are running for the school board in the April 7 election.  

Baltz is a known Torkelson friend and ally.  He was the best man at Torkelson’s marriage to Joy Kohegyi, daughter of former board member Kelly Kohegyi.   Torkelson removed a longtime loyal office staff member and made her a janitor in order to give the office position to Baltz’s wife, Jennifer.  

An almost new school board – four of the five members are new since last Spring – and an interim administrator have been cleaning up the mess left behind by Torkelson – and Pierpont.  Torkelson reportedly had a stroke last June.  He has been out on medical leave since but is now trying to return to his former position as the Mercer School administrator.

Pierpont appears to have recruited the same cronies who supported Torkelson while he mismanaged the school.  They have been circulating falsehoods such as, “Kopka (Interim Administrator Sheri Kopka) is doing a horrible job.  Discipline is non-existent, students are controlling the school, and teachers are unable to teach.”  

Of course, none of this is true -- just the opposite.  Parents and teachers are praising Kopka for developing a positive culture which is the opposite of the Torkelson culture of intimidation and bullying.

False attacks also have been made against the new school board which, for the first time in eight years, is discussing school finances, academic performance, futures plans, etc. in the open.  

(Next: a look at the failures Pierpont is responsible for by supporting Torkelson.)


  1. We were beginning to wonder when Mercer School Facts would be coming out and tell us the real reason why Pierpont and Baltz are running for the school board. Pierpont has told friends that putting Torkelson back in as administrator is her reason for trying to get back on the board.
    She has done so much damage to the school, the kids and the community that no sane person should vote for her.

  2. "Discipline is non-existent, students are controlling the school, and teachers are unable to teach.”

    This sounds exactly like the Mercer School at which I worked, back when Torkelson was in charge of it.

    1. I have to agree with you on this. I can't even call it education there. If you really tried to teach and expect results from the students, Torkelson would come and belittle you and then claim the students don't like you. The old familiar I was talking to people and they said...but you could never find out who "they" were.

      You could never really plan anything, because at the spur of the moment he would pull students out of class for his "special" projects.

  3. If you want Mercer’s kids to get a real education and you don’t want our tax dollars p----d away, then Pierpont is someone you don’t want to vote for.

  4. Why would anyone with a brain vote for Pierpont??? Why would anyone want Torkelson back??? Let's vote responsibly this time people!!
    Wake up!

  5. Pierpont is the last of the Torkelson gang members to depart the Mercer school board. Now she has the nerve to ask voters to put her back on the board. Torkelson stooges Micki Pierce has decided to seek reelection and Noel Brandt moved away. Torkelson’s mother-in-law Kelly Kohegyi and crony Denise Thompson were wisely voted off the board. Let’s not make the mistake by allowing Torkelson’s last “survivor”, Pierpont, back on the board.

  6. Who should we vote for for town and county board?

  7. What’s this doing on MSF?

    1. Why did Mercerschoolfacts get this question? Probably because there is no other place to ask such a question and expect an honest answer. But here goes my answer. If you’ve ever been to a town board meeting you’ll realize that Lambert doesn’t belong on the board. He’s an embarrassment. Vic Ouimette is extremely well qualified and should be elected to the board as a write-in. As for the other three write-in candidates, Kussard and Kohegyi definitely should not be elected. That leaves McNutt, who I guess is OK but is certainly better than the other two. So it’s write-ins for Ouimette and McNutt. For the county board the only contest in our area is between Jim Kichak and Tanner Hiller. Jim has done an outstanding job, but maybe it’s time for him to retire. If you can stand a radical fanatical right wing candidate, then Hiller could be your choice.

  8. I agree with Vic and McNutt for town board, but is there any write ins for the other county board seats? I don’t think Tanner would be bad, he has definitely grown over the years. I personally don’t believe he is as radical as you think.

  9. I’m voting for Joustra, Nehring, Loth, McNutt, Vic, and Tanner. Time for some change!

  10. Mercerschoolfacts should change to Mercerfacts, you guys are awesome for getting good true information. We don’t get this anywhere else!