Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Como Park HIgh School: Debate to State, Cadets in Service, fundraisers and Winter activities

Posted on 06 February 2018 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• For the second consecutive season, Como debate partners Stephen Boler and Jackson Kerr qualified for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) State Debate Tournament. After placing second in the Section 4 meet during the first weekend of January, Boler and Kerr advanced to state competition at the University of Minnesota on Jan. 12 and 13.

The policy issue for debate this season was a resolution about public education and potentially increasing funding and regulation. Students were required to develop affirmative and negative arguments in preparation for 90-minute debates. Which side a team defends is based on a coin flip just before the debate. Presentations are made, cross-examinations occur, and rebuttals are offered. Judges evaluate the cohesiveness and effectiveness of the constructs, and a winner is determined.

Boler and Kerr, both seniors, appreciate the intensity and rigor of the state meet. They finished 18th in the state overall after pulling out a win against a Roseville team. More than their section medals and trophy, the debaters value the critical thinking skills and opportunity to examine public policy from multiple perspectives.

Juniors Henry Hansen and Peter Schik finished 7th in the Section 4 meet, earning honorable mention. They qualified for state as sophomores and are excited for another opportunity in 2018-19, along with five other returners. The Como debate team is coached by teacher Deb Hansmeier and assisted by Como alum Ian Johnson.

• Cadets from the Marine JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) at Como continued their community service projects over winter break and into January. Over the holiday, the cadets coordinated a Toys for Tots campaign that brought joy to hundreds of kids and families in the area.

50 cadets volunteered to help run activities and lend support to students and families at Crossroads Elementary at their school carnival on Jan. 12 (Photo right submitted). The carnival raises a significant amount of funding to support the Crossroads’ 4th-grade summer camping trip. Sergeant Major James Kirkland says that the spirit and service of giving back to the community is a critical element of the JROTC program at Como.

• All community members that enjoy an occasional meal at Chipotle are invited and encouraged to dine-in or take-out from the Rosedale Chipotle on Tues., Feb. 13 between 4 and 8pm. If customers tell the cashier they are supporting the Como Park Close Up Trip, 50% of the order price will go to support Como’s annual field trip to Washington D.C. and help students participate in the national Close Up program!

• Winterfest Spirit Week at Como is scheduled for the week of Feb. 12-16. Thematic dress-up days will be held all week and the coronation of the Winterfest Royalty will take place on Friday at the end of the school day in conjunction with a Pep Fest. Spirit Week concludes with the Winterfest Dance on Saturday evening, Feb. 17.

• Como’s next monthly parent seminar will be “Parenting in the Digital Age” on Tues., Feb. 27 from 5:30-8pm at the school. Parents will have an opportunity to discuss challenges of teens and technology while utilizing resources and developing strategies to help navigate the complexities of modern-day communications.

• Believe it or not, planning for the Class of 2018 graduation party is already underway! On Wed., June 6 after the graduation ceremony downtown at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Como seniors will be invited to attend the annual all-night party to celebrate their accomplishments together as a class in a memorable, fun and safe environment.

If parents or community members are interested in helping, please join the next planning meeting on Feb. 21 at 6:30pm. The Como Park Booster Club that sponsors the event welcomes creative ideas, construction skills, raffle prizes and any help or support that you’re able to provide. Any questions or interest can be directed via email to comoparkboosterclub@gmail.com, or by attending the Grad Party Committee meeting on the 21st.

• With a committed and continual effort to raise money in support of Como student activities, the Como Park Booster Club is once again proud to announce that the annual Urban Growler Fundraiser is set for Sun., Mar. 11 from 4-8pm. The event is an annual, festive get-together for all those that want to help Como and enjoy some time in a renowned St. Paul taproom with good food. For more information, tickets, or volunteering, contact Ann Commers at acommers@msn.com.

• Andrayah Adams, a sophomore studying and playing on a basketball scholarship at St. John’s University in New York, returned to the Como Park Gymnasium on Feb. 5 to have her #15 jersey retired at halftime of the Cougars’ game. Adams scored over 3,000 points in her career at Como while leading the Cougars to their first two city titles. In her senior year, she led the girls’ team to the 2016 state basketball tournament.

Adams is currently a top scorer for the Red Storm, averaging 11 points a game. She is working towards her degree in Sports Management. The jersey retirement was set to include tributes from her coaches, family, and former teammates. Look for photos and a story in the next edition of the Monitor.

• The St. Paul Blades girls’ hockey team (photo left provided), which is the cooperative team for the St. Paul Public Schools, played the evening finale of a four-game series on Jan. 13 outside at the North Dale Rec Center. Teams from across the state descended upon the Como neighborhood for a fun, well-organized, uniquely Minnesotan event hosted by the Friends of Como Area (FOCA) boosters.

The Blades are an extremely young team this season. The girls from different schools have come together to improve and develop their skills while promoting the game of hockey to young girls throughout St. Paul. The Blades volunteer and coach at local rinks with youth teams throughout the season.

The Blades’ new home rink is the Oscar Johnson Arena off Snelling Ave. They are grateful for the space and their own locker room on site. Four of the Blades attend Como including junior captain Gianna Gabrielli, junior Isabelle Hoppe, sophomore Anisa Smith and freshman Emilie Hanson.