Cost per student Mercer $26,433,
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

Wednesday, January 13, 2021


The Finale- Part 1


Mercer School Facts occasionally received the criticism that the blog did not tell “the other side of the story.”  But “the other side of the story” was never offered.

Of course, much of what happened is now history and some of those critics have crawled back into their holes.  But it is interesting to know what went on before we arrived at the point where we now have an honest and conscientious school board and administrator.

Back when such criticism was offered, Mercer School Facts always maintained, “Tell us the other side of the story and we will gladly post it.”

For instance, tell us how then Administrator Erik Torkelson managed to take home $168,640 in salary and benefits when his contract was for $98,000 plus about $30,000 in benefits. 

Or tell us “the other side of the story” about why Mercer School under Torkelson had a composite ACT score consistently below the state average of 20, and in one year was an abysmal 16.6.  Or tell us why Mercer ACT scores were at the bottom of list of 21 northern Wisconsin schools and very last in the state with its Department of Public Instruction school report card score.

Or what about the more than $25,000 it cost annually to educate each Mercer student when the state average is less than one-half that amount.

Also, tell us about the 75% of the $200,000 which the DPI found was wasted on phony Fund 80 projects, some of which went into the pockets of Torkelson and a few of his chosen staff members.

And let us not forget to the 50 Shades of Grey scandal which received widespread publicity and was an embarrassment for Mercer.  Tell us the other side of story of why Torkelson’s mother-in-law, Kelly Kohegyi, showed the sexually explicit movie to young Mercer schoolgirls. 

Get the picture?  Every Mercer School Facts blog is backed by documents from the school’s own records, information provided at school board meetings, DPI information or from the public news media.

One person who offered the criticism that Mercer School Facts did not tell the other side of the story, criticized those who submit comments for “hiding behind anonymous.”  And how did that person sign the comment?  You guessed it, “Anonymous.”

Those honest people who submitted comments as “anonymous” did so because they did not want their tires punctured with metal shards, their property name signs and mailboxes smashed, to be threatened with the loss of a job or business, or to be harassed, threatened, and intimidated.  All these things actually happened to conscientious Mercer citizens who dared to criticize the former corrupt school situation and tried to put an end to an unbelievably bad, disgraceful, and costly situation.

Do you see now why the Mercer School Facts blog editors, writers and contributors chose to remain “anonymous”?


  1. Hey MSF, you missed: Tell us the other side of the story of why Torkelson and his SB lackeys continued to violate the law, like being found guilty of public records and open meetings violations. And do not forget the illegal destruction of a public record by then SB president – the October 2017 annual meeting video recording.

  2. When will the taxpayers wake up and see the damage that was done to them financially and to their children's education and futures by Torkelson and his school board enablers of Pierpont, Koheygi, Thompson, Pierce and Brandt?

  3. As one of the targets of the nasty 6 as I call them, there was no low to which they would not stoop. They even attack your kids. Shows the morals they were imparting to the students at the school.

    Time will never undo the damage they have done. And yes, for the sake of my family, I'll still remain anonymous.

  4. I think its time to move on from the previous Board and Administrator and ask why isn't this new Board and Administrator improving academic performance and school safety? Why does it take well over a year and still no repair for an ongoing electrical issue that Joustra and Kussard are supposed to correct? Why does it take Hank Joustra and Adam Kusard so long to get results? Why is Joustra promoting and hosting a Mercer Snowgoers event this weekend at the barn where Covid is peaking, no social distancing and yet he is on the school board where student safety is the number one priority? That is a mixed bag of problems and messages.The past cant be changed but the present sure can. Your community is suffering because of the people you elect into public office. Mercer hold these people accountable!