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 26, 2020


A Record of Failures


Many people work to leave behind a legacy of good deeds.  This makes you wonder what kind of legacy Deanna Pierpont will leave behind.  Will her staunch support of the failed administration of Erik Torkelson be her legacy and a part of the history of the Mercer School?

Pierpont was a school board member and at times board president during Torkelson’s eight-year reign of mismanagement and misspending.  She did not seek reelection last April but is now trying a comeback in the April 7 school board election so that she can help return Torkelson to his former position. Torkelson has been out on medical leave since last June, but now appears attempting a comeback.  

The dismal record of Torkelson’s administration, which Pierpont supported every step of way, is now a part of her legacy.  It includes:

·        A pathetic academic record which places the Mercer school at the very bottom of a list of the state’s 421 school districts with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s School Report Card.  Mercer was the only school with a Report Card score of 66.8, “meets no expectations”.  Also, the Mercer school’s composite ACT score has consistently been well below both the state averages and the averages of all 20 northern Wisconsin school districts. 

·        The misspending of thousands of taxpayer dollars as documented by the    DPI.  The DPI cited the school district for misusing $185,465 of Community Service Fund 80 during two school years.  It probably would have found much greater amounts had it audited other years.  This cost the Mercer School District about $125,000, including legal fees, to settle the DPI claim. 

·        A test cheating scandal which resulted in two teachers surrendering their licenses.  Again, the DPI failed to complete its investigation which might have indicated if any other parties were involved. 

·        A failure to discipline a teacher and school board member for showing the sexually explicit movie Fifty Shades of Grey to young Mercer schoolgirls.  The shocking incident received statewide –in fact, nationwide – notoriety.  Print, broadcast and social media were saturated with telling how the decadent incident unfolded. 

·        Allowing Torkelson to pay himself thousands of dollars in excess of his contractual amounts. One calculation estimated that he paid himself at least $160,000 more than he should have received during his eight-year reign.  In most years his take-home pay package was in excess of $150,000 while his contract was for a base salary of $98,000 plus about $30,000 in benefits.  

·        Taking no disciplinary action when Torkelson was found guilty in a faked hacking scheme and ordered to pay $5,340 in penalties, attorney fees and court costs.  The judge ruled that Torkelson had violated the law by not producing a public record, which was part of the faked hacking scheme.  

·        Pierpont was criminally charged by the Iron County district attorney with   destroying a public record, a video recording of the infamous October 2017 annual school district meeting.  She was also criminally charged, along with two then present and two former school board members, with sending a letter with false information to the DPI.  The charges were mysterious dismissed by former Judge Patrick Madden without the normally required judicial proceedings.

·        Bullying and intimidation of school board members, candidates for the school board and citizens critical of the administration. 

·        Being part of the February 2013 tax issue referendum fraud when voters were lied to and told that their school taxes would increase $11 per $100,000 assessed property valuation but actually resulted in a $137 increase.  

These issues are a part of the Pierpont legacy. They are all good reasons not to help her add to this legacy by voting her back on the school board on April 7. 

Its purpose is to report news and information – facts – about Mercer School Board and Administration issues and overall school academic performance.  It is intended to keep Mercer citizens aware of the management and inner workings of the school.  It is not a school newspaper; therefore, it will not report school sports events or individual student or teacher activities/accomplishments.  MSF pledges that all news reports will be thoroughly researched and supported by school, state and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction documentation.


  1. Candidate statements were in today’s issue of the Iron County Miner.

  2. How in the world can one for for a person that is so irresponsible like Pierpont? She just doesn't have a trusting bone in her body!
    If your district plans on moving ahead don't vote for Pierpont! She muust have gotten some kind of kick back from Torkelson. Come on Mercer you are the talk of the town in surrounding communities!!

  3. Mercer School facts, can you give a post on who to vote for on the other elections please so we can spread the word.

    1. Mercer School Facts concentrates its research and reporting on school issues. It does not have means of extending into other political areas while providing the same level of thorough research and accurate reporting -- as much as it would like to.

    2. I can help you. If you have been to town board meetings, as I have, you will quickly realize that Lambert doesn't belong on the board. He's an embarrassment. Kussard and Kohegyi are equally very bad choices. Vic Ouimette is a clear choice for election to the board.

  4. Newsflash. Mercer School's website is redone. That will help the kids now, won't it?

  5. Pierpont’s election statement and ad in the Miner are a joke. She takes credit for a lot of meaningless things at the school while as president of the school board the school failed academically and our tax money was squandered. Under Pierpont the school’s ACT and DPI school report card scores have placed the Mercer school as one of the worst in the state. Surprisingly she mentioned her term on the Nicolet College board from which she had to resign because of her incompetency. Read the above blog and you will get the true picture about Pierpont.

  6. PLEASE!!! Don't vote for Pierpont. She got the school into the mess the current school board is trying to work us out of.

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  10. Mercer School FactsMarch 30, 2020 at 1:25 PM

    Mercer School Facts has removed comments from the blog which it has learned are totally untrue and were intended to hurt the candidacy of Sue Loth. The comments alleged that Sue supported Deanna Pierpont in Pierpont’s campaign for election to the school board. Sue is conducting her own honest campaign and does not support Pierpont. Those comments were WRONG and another dirty trick that Pierpont and the Torkelson supporters have used before in attempting to smear honest candidates, such as Christa Reinert. Sue Loth has done an outstanding job on the school board and deserves everyone’s support in helping to get her reelected. MSF apologizes for not being more alert and for allowing those false comments to be posted.