MCJROTC road trip, summer learning, coaching award

Posted on 27 July 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Students from Como’s Advanced Choirs traveled to New York City for five days over the Memorial Day weekend and performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a large ensemble group under the direction of Maestro John Rutter. The concert included the accompaniment of a professional orchestra, and was well received with a standing ovation. (Photo submitted)

11-state camping adventure

44 students from the Marine Corps JROTC (MCJROTC) at Como Park, accompanied by three chaperones, underwent Cadet Leadership Orientation Camp from June 15-23. The camping adventure included travel across 11 states, six national parks, and covered over 4,000 miles on a coach bus.
Sergeant Major James Kirkland organized the travel that started with activities at Korkow Ranch Ministries in S.D., including visits to Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and a seven-mile hike to Harney Peak.
From there, camp sites and destinations extended to the Grand Tetons in Wyo., Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful, Utah, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and Garden of the Gods in Colorado.
The cadets took on challenges such as military-style bivouac camping under the stars, often physically exerting themselves in challenging weather, both in the heat and also the cold at high altitude “The misery the cadets endured together increased our JROTC camaraderie, zeal, and teamwork,” Kirkland said.
The opportunity to see and experience the western states and the awe-inspiring geographic features created memories that will last a lifetime, while building character to strengthen their high school experience in their immediate future.

Teacher studies cooking
Como teacher Ms. Courtney Gbolo participated in the 2019 ProStart Summer Institute at Daytona State College in Florida from June 23-28. Topics of the week included food safety, menu costing, preparation of stocks and sauces, and food preparation using dry and moist cooking methods.
The ProStart Institute for Culinary Arts teachers from across the country was made possible by a grant Gbolo received from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Gbolo also earned a scholarship through the St. Paul Fund for Teachers that will sponsor her study at Le Cordon Blue in Paris, France from July 20-Aug. 5!

State Coach of the Year
Girls’ Basketball Head Coach Alexis Gray-Lawson was selected the All-Metro Girls’ Coach of the Year by the Star Tribune in an awards ceremony held at U.S. Bank Stadium on June 25. The newspaper’s prep sports staff chose Gray-Lawson for her leadership of the Cougars both on and off the court.
Gray-Lawson guided Como to a program-best 23-3 record this past season as the team won its fifth consecutive St. Paul City Conference championship. In the classroom, the Cougars have increased their cumulative GPA with the majority of players on the “A” Honor Roll this past academic year.

Brand lab
Eight current Como Park Academy of Finance (AOF) students are busy with paid internships this summer. Abdulaziz Ahmed, Leonce Corder-Campbell, Aleeyar Keh, Lisa Saechao, Shar Too, Ong Vang, Paul Vang, and Pang Dao Xiong all earned placement in their positions through the Brand Lab, which matches promising students in marketing and advertising companies.

Construction update
Como head custodian Adam Szymanski reports that building construction is in full swing this summer with lots of busy workers, walls coming down while others are going up, and flooring being completed or resurfaced. As the contractors build and remodel, the custodial crew is cleaning finished areas and working hard to get rooms ready for students in September.

Sports mentors
Boys and girls from the Cougar soccer teams are facilitating fun on the field for young players in the community. Under the direction of boys’ coach Jonah Fields, Como players lead youth ranging from ages 4-11 on four Tuesday evenings during the summer.

2019 Midway Chamber Directory