Contact Me

Vern Capelle
320-573-2174 ext. 105

Superintendent's Admin. Asst.

Sherry Soltis
320-573-2175 ext. 103

Hello, and Welcome to Upsala Area Schools

My name is Vern Capelle, and I am honored to serve the Upsala Area Schools – ISD 487 as the Superintendent, and in turn serve the communities of Upsala, Bowlus, Grey Eagle, and more. I am endlessly proud of our Districts' academic growth and our community's continuous, outstanding support. At UAS we operate with a passionate, skilled staff dedicated to unlocking the full-potential of each of our students.

Upsala Area Schools has a long, rich history that dates back to 1920, when four separate elementary schools consolidated under one new brick building. Today we continue to seek out technology advancements, programming enhancements, and innovative teaching techniques to not only honor our original graduates, but also to inspire and mold our future generations.

Background Credentials

  • (Graduate) Educational Specialist – Educational Leadership –– Concordia University; St. Paul

  • (Graduate) Master of Arts – Educational Leadership –– Concordia University; St. Paul

  • (Undergraduate) Bachelor of Science – Biology/Secondary Education –– University of Wisconsin; River Falls

From the Superintendent's Desk

Thoughts of Spring

A little over 3 weeks ago, Punxsutawney Phil predicted another 6 weeks of winter after seeing his shadow. I’m typically not one to adhere to superstitions, however, after the last couple of weeks of snowfalls and arctic temps I may be becoming a believer. Regardless of the weather conditions, our late winter and spring programs and activities remain the same. Here are a few things I’d like to update you about.

Congratulations to the Section 7A Champion Royalton/Upsala Wrestling Team

The wrestling team has once again won the section championship and will be competing in the State tournament. Details on the schedule and tickets can be found on the school website and social media pages. I’d like to congratulate the wrestlers on a fantastic season and wish them the best of luck in the State tournament. 

First Grade Time Capsules - 2-22-22

On Tuesday, 2-22-22, we unfortunately were not in session to experience a unique occurrence of a date that represents a palindrome. To commemorate this date, our first grade classes led by Ms. Bengston and Ms. Sales, developed a project with the students to create a time capsule. What is unique about this? The first grade students are members of the class of 2033, which will see another palindrome date on 3-3-33, which also is the year these students will graduate from UAS. The students will open the time capsule on this date  in 2033 and reflect on their experiences as first graders at UAS. Thanks to Ms. Bengston, Ms. Sales, and the families of the first grade students for their assistance in developing this unique project experience.

Playground Project

Over the past couple of years, our playground committee has worked tirelessly to develop the playground project and raise funds to purchase new playground equipment. With the wonderful support of the Upsala Lions Club and many local businesses and individuals who donated to the project, we are finally able to visualize the new playground. Our goal is to complete construction and installation over the summer and be ready to launch the opening at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. There is still much to accomplish, but it’s very exciting to see the plans come together. The new playground will provide play-based learning experiences for all of our students and truly exemplifies our commitment to Every Student…Every Day.

Activities Director Position

At the end of this school year, current AD Mr. Mark Herbes will officially be retiring. Mr. Herbes has served the Upsala District for many years in the roles of teacher, coach, and AD. He has touched the lives of many generations of students and his contributions to UAS are immeasurable. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Herbes for his commitment to ensuring that our students received the best education and co-curricular experiences possible. His impact will last for many years to come.

I would also like to announce that we have hired Mr. Herbes’ replacement as AD. Mr. Dylan Zimmerman will be joining our UAS team beginning July 1st. Mr. Zimmerman is a 2014 graduate of UAS and comes to us with a multitude of experiences in the administration of co-curricular activities and recreation programs ranging from youth recreation to collegiate level athletics. We are excited to add Mr. Zimmerman to our school community and I am confident that he will continue to lead our programs with excellence to provide well-rounded experiences and opportunities for the students of UAS.

Make-Up Weather Day

I am hopeful that Mother Nature will ease up a bit going into the Spring months and we will not have any future weather-related delays and/or closings. Due to the snow day on February 22nd, school will now be in session for students and staff on Monday, March 21st. This was previously scheduled as mid-semester break day, however, in accordance with the school calendar adopted by the UAS School Board, we will now be in session. Notifications and reminders will be sent out as we get closer to this date.

In addition, Spring activities will be starting soon and with this typically comes the potential for many scheduling changes due to weather-related postponements. We will notify you of schedule changes as we make them through our website, mobile app, and social media accounts. 

In closing, I would like to take a moment to recognize our incredible staff here at UAS. They work extremely hard every day to ensure that we provide the best educational experience for our students. This year hasn’t been easy, but their commitment to excellence allows our school to persevere and provide the best for our students. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Cardinal Pride!!

Vern Capelle, Superintendent