Archive | February, 2019

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Elementary School News Feb. 2019

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

Hamline Elementary School

One of the very best things about Hamline Elementary is its educators—their experience, talent, and whole-hearted love for their school keep the students learning and growing as human beings, scholars, and future leaders in our community.

Photo right: Hamline Elementary kindergarten teachers Kathleen Walsh (left), and Carol Schjei have a combined 40 years of teaching experience. (Photo submitted)

Meet Hamline’s dynamic kindergarten duo—teachers with a combined 40 years of teaching experience and amazing hearts to match.

Kathleen Walsh
In her over two decades at Hamline Elementary School, Kathleen Walsh has taught every grade except 3rd (including sixth when Hamline had a sixth grade). This year you’ll find her in kindergarten, likely doing one of her very favorite things to do with kindergarten students—singing songs about math, reading, butterflies, and making maple syrup. She says there really is a song for everything and enjoys incorporating music and movement into all areas of study.

When asked what makes Hamline special, Walsh describes the professionalism of her colleagues and how seriously they take their work with children, how well they support one another, and how much fun they have as a team. They are friends as well as co-workers.

Walsh also loves how much she learns from the students and families in the Hamline community saying, “Every day I’m learning something about the world from the kids.”

In addition to being a teacher at Hamline Elementary, Walsh knows what it’s like to be a Hamline parent. Her children made the journey from Minneapolis with their mom to enjoy the benefits of this amazing place. It was a decision that created long-lasting friendships and a solid foundation for future learning.

Outside of school, Walsh enjoys the great outdoors and spends time with her family at their cabin in Wisconsin tending to their big garden/small farm where they have beehives, bunches of berry bushes, maple trees to tap for syrup, and heirloom tomatoes, all of which they sell to local restaurants and farmer’s markets.

Carol Schjei
“I have been teaching Kindergarten at Hamline Elementary since 1998. I LOVE spending my day with five and six-year-olds, and I LOVE Hamline Elementary!” exclaims Carol Schjei.

“Hamline Elementary is set apart from other schools because of our collaboration with Hamline University,” Schjei said. “Every day we have 70+ university students in our school tutoring elementary students. Hamline tutors work under a teacher’s direction tutoring those students who need extra challenge and those that need extra practice to master skills. They also work with small groups to ensure that all learners are held accountable.

At Hamline Elementary, we can meet learners where they are and make great progress with them. Our learners also benefit from going to the University for connections with athletic teams and academic departments, swimming lessons, musical performances, and more.”

Schjei concludes “I love Hamline Elementary so much that I hope to teach here until I retire from SPPS.”


News from Galtier Community School

The weather has been unforgiving, but it’s been warm and busy inside Galtier Community School this winter.

Feb. 11 was National African American Parent Involvement Day. All parents were invited to spend part of or the entire day with their students at Galtier, including an all-school assembly. Lunch was provided from local restaurants.

Midway resident Anne Reid is a teaching artist for COMPAS. She will be at Galtier for a couple of weeks in February. K-3 students will be doing seed art including self-portraits, landscapes, or portraits of their heroes. Fourth and fifth graders will be making night lights where they build all the circuitry from scratch and then design and create custom shades for the night lights.

Winter field trips will include pre-K and Kindergarten students heading to the Children’s Theater for either “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” or “The Biggest Little House In The Forest.” Third graders will head to the Minnesota Zoo for a day of animal adventures.

On Feb. 28, Galtier will host its Winter Wonderland event where families and students will enjoy food, activities, and being together in community.

For neighbors interested in supporting Galtier Community school, they can check out donorschoose.org and search “Galtier” for projects seeking funding. Alternately, Galtier has a wish list of books for its library that anyone can purchase via Amazon and donate directly to the school: http://a.co/0lYsKhX.

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Minnesota State Fair_rendering_2

State Fair approves $16.3 million for new exhibit complex

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

Nearly $20 million in improvements and maintenance projects for the Minnesota State Fairgrounds were approved by the Fair’s board of managers during meetings in January. The board approved $16.3 million in capital work—$16 million of which is earmarked for a major new exhibit complex on the North End of the fairgrounds, as well as $3.4 million in maintenance projects.

During the meeting, State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer previewed the North End development, which is currently under construction on the fairgrounds. The centerpiece of the State Fair’s newest neighborhood is a major new exhibit facility with a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall that will be the fair-time home to annually changing museum-quality exhibits. The North End will also have features that recognize Minnesota innovations in agriculture, industry and the arts, along with uniquely Minnesota attractions, food, and commercial exhibits.

Photo right: $16.3 million was allocated for a major new exhibit facility, with a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall, on the North End of the Fairgrounds. (Photo provided)

Improvements and maintenance projects approved for the coming year include:
—upgrades to the stalling and technology equipment in the Swine Barn
—installation of a new overhead cover for the Exercise Ring in the livestock area
—improvements to the restrooms in Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum
—upgrades to the lighting and fire suppression system in the DNR Building
—dozens of paint, sewer, street and sidewalk, and landscape projects throughout the 322-acre State Fairgrounds.

All projects will be funded through State Fair operating revenue and grants from the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. The fair is financially self-supporting and receives no government aid of any kind.

The Fair’s board of managers also approved admission price increases of an additional dollar in all categories for the 2019 fair over 2018 prices. Admission prices were last adjusted two years ago.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors annually. The 2019 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 22-Labor Day, Sept. 2.


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Three HU faculty win book awards at ALA Midwinter Conference

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

Three Hamline University Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults (MFAC) faculty members won national book awards for their works of fiction at the recent American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Seattle.

Meg Medina won the 2019 John Newbery Medal for her novel “Merci Suárez Changes Gears.” The John Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association to the “most distinguished children’s book” published every year.

Elana K. Arnold’s novel “Damsel” was selected as a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. The Michael L. Printz Award and Honor Books are ALA honors given for the best books written for teens each year.

Emily Jenkins won the Sydney Taylor Book Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries for her picture book, “All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah,” illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. The award recognizes a work of literature for children and teens that authentically portrays the Jewish experience.

“This continues an impressive run for our MFAC faculty,” said Mary Rockcastle, who directs The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University.

“Nina LaCour won the Printz Award last year, and Kelly Barnhill won the Newbery Award two years ago. Several faculty have also been National Book Award finalists.”

Hamline’s MFAC faculty are award-winning authors, experienced teachers, and committed faculty mentors. The program is focused on helping students develop the process and craft of writing in a rigorous, engaged, and supportive environment.

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Hamline Midway Coalition News Feb. 2019

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

By MELISSA CORTES, Community Organizer

We win an award!
Hamline Midway Coalition is proud to be awarded the Watershed Project Award from Capitol Region Watershed District!

This award recognizes an organization, group or individual for a project that demonstrates an innovative and effective solution for protecting, managing and improving water resources of the CRWD. Hamline Midway Coalition received this award in recognition of Pierce Butler Meadows, a project that was a culmination of more than a decade of community interest for ecological and aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Pierce Butler Rte. and Snelling Ave.

The Hamline Midway Coalition’s Environment Committee developed partnerships with numerous community, educational and environmental groups who came together for a week-long series of planting events.

The project concluded with a Plantón Móvil event for people to “lend mobility” to plants, and for plants to “borrow their slowness” to people lead by artist Lucia Monge.

Special thanks to:
• Steve Mitrione. Mitrione was the idea-generator for the meadows. Without his leadership, passion for the project, and extensive work (for years!) the Pierce Butler Meadows may never have been a reality.
• Valentine Cadieux is a Professor and Director of Sustainability and Environmental Studies at Hamline University and another leader for the Meadows project. She has worked with students from Hamline on the site and is an ongoing force to further this project, lending her expertise to beautify and develop signage and conduct ongoing studies at the Meadows.
• Hamline University Students also deserve recognition for their time and energy, particularly Hannah Hoeger and Maren Grunnet. Specifically, they led the Plantón Móvil procession with Peruvian artist Lucia Monge. A collaboration between Hamline University, Hamline Midway Environment Group, and the Capital Region Watershed District led to a walking forest becoming a walking prairie through a several week art-based process of building relationships with the native plants and land. With the help of neighbors and teachers and students from Hamline University, Hamline Elementary, and Hmong College Preparatory Academy, more than 1500 native plants were planted in the Basin. This project grew partnerships we will continue to connect young people to the site.
• Hamline Midway Environment Committee has played a large part in this project, bringing together neighbors to do the hard planting work and exploring the relationship between prairie land and what it means to build a relationship with the land that is designated as “native planting.”
• Hamline Midway Coalition’s community organizer, Melissa Cortes, is continuing her work into the new year and leading efforts to maintain, beautify, and promote the Pierce Butler Meadows to the Midway community, and beyond.

As an action-oriented, neighborhood community organization, we look forward to hosting community engagement events at the Piece Butler Meadows, which will focus on educational seminars (such as habitat improvement and plant identification) and will be woven into discussions with multi-generational, diverse communities to connect new audiences to the developing site. This may include seminars on bird migration, how to build a habitat in native prairies, and involve students from the Monarch Lab at Hamline University.

Residents will be offered the opportunity to engage in ongoing maintenance at the site, including litter removal, mulching, watering, and fostering plant health. As the site develops, HMC will draw on the energies of residents to bring visibility, awareness, and ongoing learning opportunities to the Pierce Butler Meadows so residents are invested in, and aware of, this incredible resource in our neighborhood.

Neighborhood Honor Roll
Each year, District Councils gather to celebrate the outstanding volunteers that go above and beyond to make our city a better place to live, work, learn, and play. This year, the Hamline Midway Coalition was honored to recognize a group of outstanding individuals.

The first honoree was Holy Trinity Church’s Racial & Ethnic Reconciliation Team. This team of dedicated individuals launched “Community Conversations for Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation and Understanding” in December of 2017 to initiative four honest conversations between residents on often difficult topics. This team invited engaging speakers and facilitators to help the audience navigate the conversations. More the 400 attendees participated in the conversations demonstrating the team’s work and dedications.

Also, honored were Karen McCauley and Jessica Kopp. They formed a coalition to overcome challenges that help prevent the closing of Hamline Elementary in 2014. They created a working group between the school and neighborhood and build a family resource room open to all families and organizations in the Hamline Midway Neighborhood. They’ve also facilitated discussions to create the first Lab School in Minnesota. You’ll see them both at committee meetings and gatherings as they work toward building a vital bridge between school, parent and the residents of Hamline Midway.

Lastly but certainly not least, Hamline Midway coalition honored Anne Hendrickson. Hendrickson is an entrepreneur and owner of Work it, a co-working space dedicated to movement, innovations, and activity. She formed a group in the Midway called the Midway Economic Community composed of small businesses, neighbors, and stakeholders. This group meets monthly to create, connect, and tackle challenges of owning independent businesses in St. Paul, and offers a place where all are welcome. Her impact in the neighbor is vital and brings renewed energy to the Hamline Midway.

These honorees were recognized at an award ceremony held at the University of St. Thomas, Woulfe Hall in January.

New board members
Hamline Midway Coalition is excited to share with our community our elected Board Members for 2019! We had a fantastic turnout for voting and ten candidates in total! Three board members were re-elected, and we welcomed three new members to the Board. Thank you to everyone who ran for a seat, voted, and lent their voice. Bios can be found on our website at www. hamlinemidway.org/about/board :
• Mike Reynolds: Subdistrict B1
• Greg Anderson: Subdistrict A
• Erin Pavlica: Subdistrict C1
• Thom Foss: Subdistrict A2
• Dan Buck: Subdistrict B2
• Tachianna Charpenter: Appointed at-large

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Como High CPAAC Multicultural Fair

Como High School News Feb. 2019

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

Booster Club fundraiser, community events, field experiences

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• The Como Park Booster Club is hosting its 5th annual fundraiser at the Urban Growler on Sun., Mar. 3, from 4-8pm. Como parents, alumni and community members are all invited to be part of the fun at a great event with fantastic food, music, and entertainment.

All proceeds from the event benefit Como students. The Booster Club is committed to enhancing educational opportunities and all extracurricular programs, clubs, activities, and athletics that need financial support. Information about ordering tickets is available in the Booster Club advertisement in this edition of the Monitor. Any questions can also be emailed to comoparkboosterclub@gmail.com.

• The Como Park Asian American Club (CPAAC) sponsored the CPAAC Multicultural Fair on Jan. 11 in the Como Auditorium. Members of the community joined Como Park student performers to provide a variety of performances for a packed house. The celebration concluded in the cafeteria with a delicious spread of ethnically diverse and delicious food offerings. (Photo right by Eric Erickson)

• After final exams for the first semester concluded on Jan. 24, a talent show featuring Como students was held in the auditorium. A dozen musical and dancing acts were selected to perform after open auditions were held the previous week. It was a fun stress reliever for the supportive audience and a showcase of creative and talented Como students. The talent show was sponsored by Como’s Link Crew (student leadership team) and Tri-M (music honor society).

• Faith Jackson, a St. Paul attorney and creator of the scholarship and recognition program called “Minnesota Black Girl Magic Showcase” visited Como to speak with students who are interested in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Two representatives from the STEM community and the National Society of Black Engineers also shared their stories with students and gave suggestions for successful preparation in STEM careers.

• As part of their studies about art and social movements, students in Mademoiselle Teefy’s level 2 French classes took a field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center. Museum docents provided tours of French art and provided information about Francophone artists. Students engaged in a discussion about the pieces and made connections to their classwork preparation. (Photo left by Patricia Teefy)

• Fifteen Como students participated in the Youth in Government Model Assembly program at the state capitol from Jan. 10-13. The program gives high school students from across the state opportunities to serve as legislators, judges, attorneys, lobbyists, government officials, and media representatives in the sessions that are conducted by the youth themselves. Como seniors Asha Hassan and Pa Nhia Vang have enjoyed the assembly so much that they’ve participated in multiple years. It was an impactful and inspiring experience for all of Como’s participants, organized by Ms. Liz Paone, who teaches in the social studies department and the Academy of Finance.

• Cadets from the Marine Corps JROTC spent a couple of cold January days at the Minnesota National Guard training facility at Camp Ripley near Little Falls. The bitterly cold temperatures did not deter the determined cadets from adventure. Activities included winter skills training, ice fishing, nighttime cross-country skiing, and fat tire biking.

• The public is invited to attend and participate in the Como Community Input Meeting on Mon., Feb. 25 at 6pm at Como Park High School. The purpose of the meeting is to gather information and feedback about potential enhancements to Como Park’s athletic facilities.

A brief overview of current resources will be provided by both Como staff and district leadership. The presentation will be followed by a discussion related to what neighbors and stakeholders envision and desire for athletic facilities at Como Park High School to serve the best interests of the community.

• The National Honor Society (NHS) at Como is continuing its book drive to support students at Como Park Elementary School. Como’s NHS is coordinating with the Children’s Book Express, which is an organization that collects picture and chapter books and donates them to young, beginning readers.

Students have brought in over 100 books thus far, but the stated goal is 500. The community is invited to support as well, so if you have any old children’s books that you are no longer using, please consider donating them to the cause! There is a big box in the main office where donations are being collected. NHS students will organize all deposits, and deliver the books to the elementary students at the end of April.

• The Como Park Cougars’ wrestling team clinched the St. Paul City Conference championship on Feb. 4 at Como with a 56-20 victory over Humboldt. The Cougars’ regular season conference record of 5-1 secured the title for the first time since 2004. Senior Alonte Johnson placed second in the individual tournament for his weight class. Three Cougars became city champions by winning their respective weight categories including senior Mu Ku Shi, sophomore Stone Frasl and sophomore Sully Lucy.


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