Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

News from Como Park High School

Posted on 08 January 2018 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• The Como Choirs presented a peppy Pops Concert on Dec. 18 to an appreciative and large audience in the Como Auditorium. They followed up the well-received show by going out in the community and performing at Chelsea Heights, Hamline, and Como elementary schools on Dec. 21.

Enthusiastic young students were entertained, and many of the high school choir kids enjoyed the experience of singing at their former schools. Some were even able to connect with their elementary school teachers. It was a special and festive day of community building in the neighborhood schools.

• Como counselor Molly McCurdy-Yates organized a college panel in the Como Auditorium on Dec. 20 for Como juniors and seniors. The panel consisted of five recent Como graduates who shared insight and advice from their college experiences.

Photo right: Como alumni participated in a college panel in the Como Auditorium on Dec. 20. Como juniors and seniors were able to obtain advice and insight from the panel and ask questions about college life and studies. (Photo by Eric Erickson)

Como students listened to the alumni as they discussed the college landscape and themes of time management, academic rigor, social dynamics, and proper preparation through Como’s college prep course offerings. The panel then fielded questions from the audience.

The event has become a tradition during the final week of school in December, as many college students return to St. Paul and their Como neighborhood homes for their winter break after semester finals.

• State and local elected officials, school board members, and leadership from St. Paul Public Schools gathered at Como Park High School on Dec. 14 to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Hiway Federal Credit Union and its student-run Cougars Branch.

The student branch of the credit union will provide an excellent opportunity for students to learn about financial services and credit responsibility through hands-on experience. Hiway Federal Credit Union has hired Como Park students to run the branch during their lunch hours. The creation of the branch in the school dovetails with goals of financial literacy for all students and supports many of the learning objectives within Como’s Academy of Finance (AOF) program.

“We are very excited to build a life-long partnership with Hiway,” said Como Principal Theresa Neal. “Working together produces results and brings added value to our students, our school, and the community.”

• The National Honor Society (NHS) students at Como are organizing a 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 and staff have begun bringing in books. 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 what they hope will be their stated goal of 1,000 books.

• Construction of the new academic wing continues to move at an impressive pace. The structure’s exterior is in place and sealed to allow indoor work through the cold winter months. The schedule for completion of the addition is the fall of 2018, which would allow Como students and staff to start using the new learning spaces next school year while remodeling work and infrastructure improvements begin on other parts of the building. For more information on the project, readers can visit the Facilities Master Plan website at www.spps.org/Page/22920.

• On Dec. 16 the Cougar boys’ basketball program had a unique opportunity to play a game in the Target Center, home of Minnesota’s NBA and WNBA teams. The Cougars’ faced Abraham Lincoln High School from Council Bluffs, Iowa in the special interstate game.

Lincoln is a quality team that was looking for a competitive opponent in the Twin Cities. The assistant coach at Lincoln is Como alum Andre Smith who starred on the 2003 Como team that took third place in the state tournament. Smith played in college at North Dakota St. and had a 10-year professional career overseas. Smith contacted current Como head coach John Robinson about playing Lincoln at the Target Center, and they were able to create an event that every player from both schools will remember for the rest of their lives.

• Como senior Donny Ventrelli signed his letter of intent to play football at the University of North Dakota. At a ceremony in the school library after school on Dec. 20, Ventrelli officially accepted the offer to play Division I football and study at UND. He was surrounded by family, coaches, and teammates and enjoyed sharing the big moment with the people that helped him achieve his goal. (Photo left by Eric Erickson)

Ventrelli is a good student who had an exceptional senior season for the Cougars as he earned all-state honors and won the district Defensive Player of the Year award. On Dec. 17, Ventrelli was honored on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium at halftime of the Vikings game as a member of the all-state team.

• Prospective students and families for the 2018-2019 school year are invited to Como’s Showcase Night. Showcase is an open house format where students and families have a chance to learn more about academic and extra-curricular activities at Como. Showcase will take place on Thur., Jan. 18 from 5:30-7:30pm.

Shadowing opportunities are also still available for prospective students. Interested students can spend a day in school with a current Como student. Opportunities for shadowing include Jan. 17 and 18, as well as Feb. 7 and 8. Parents of interested prospective students who would like to shadow may register on the Como Park High School website under “Families” and click the “shadowing and tours” link. Any questions can be directed to Dede at patricia.hammond@spps.org or 651-774-6825.

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