Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

News from Como Park High School

Posted on 06 August 2018 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

Photo right: Como MCJROTC cadets Philip Chervenak, Charvaye’ Williams, Joseph Newman, Millet Mendoza, Liam Driscoll, Jenna Clayton, Natalie Swenson, and Kao Zong Yang attended a leadership retreat this summer. (Photo submitted)

• Cadets from the Como Marine Corps JROTC have been active during the summer. Several seniors gathered for a two-day retreat at the end of June at the Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area in Dresser, Wisconsin. Their objective was to plan the upcoming academic year from the perspective of their leadership positions in Como’s JROTC. The time away allowed for discussion and bonding over adventurous activities such as zip-lining, navigating a ropes course, swimming, and camping. The experience challenged the cadets and prepared them to inspire and lead younger cadets in the program.

Como cadets conducted a Color Guard and volunteered at Road Guard Positions during the Patriot Guard Ride on June 30. In a joint effort with students from Harding High School’s Naval JROTC program, the cadets supported more than 5,000 motorcyclists who were participating in the ride that was established to honor wounded warriors and veterans in Minnesota. An extra, unique opportunity was earned by cadet Liam Driscoll, who was able to enjoy a free flight over the entire event for more than one hour in a military helicopter. It was an unforgettable experience for Driscoll and an impactful event for all of Como’s participants.

Photo left: Como’s MCJROTC Color Guard members Philip Chervenak, Rosemary Moran-Osorio, Ever Bless, and Anderson Xiong at the St. Anthony Park 4th of July Parade. (Photo submitted)

The Como MCJROTC Color Guard was also in action on the 4th of July in the annual St. Anthony Park Parade. They volunteered their expertise and proudly marched the mile-long parade route for hundreds of smiling community members. The cadets were also able to visit the St. Anthony Park Senior Citizen Center and take several photos with residents just before the start of the parade.

• The Como’s Robotics Team is scheduled to make its annual presentation at the 3M campus on Fri., Aug. 17 for the “Robots on the Plaza” celebration. The Como “BEASTBot” will be on parade and showcase its stuff for 3M employees and families. 3M is a generous sponsor of Como Robotics.
The final summer activity for the robotics team will be demonstrating BEASTBot at the State Fair on Aug. 29. Como’s successful robotics program involves approximately 25-30 students each academic year and is led by Como teachers Donna Norberg and Michael Fisher.

• A St. Paul Pioneer Press story this summer brought to light the work of Toy Vixayvong, Como’s school resource officer. Vixayvong secured the use of a St. Paul Police Department van to provide transportation for fifteen Como students working paid internships through the Minnesota Trades Academy.

The nine-week long internships provided experience in trades such as carpentry, bricklaying, and roofing. The opportunity to develop skills in the labor market and create a pathway for a trade career is enticing for many students who enjoy hands-on work and are seeking livable wages. However, reliable transportation to remote job sites can present challenges. That’s where Vixayvong’s creativity and resources made the opportunity a reality and opened up doors for Como students.

• The Gibson Foundation directed by Como educator and junior varsity basketball coach Donnell Gibson has been up and running again this summer, serving youth in the city. The foundation leads youth basketball camps in the community as well as offering an opportunity for high school age students to play in the evenings and participate in leadership activities and workshops. Guest speakers include community experts, as well as alumni of Como and St. Paul schools who have gone on to play at the collegiate level.

• The Minnesota State High School League’s “fall” sports season begins on Mon., Aug. 13. For Como Park athletics, that means students will be practicing with their coaches and competing in games for three weeks before classes begin on Sept. 4.

Fall sports at Como include football, soccer and cross country running for the boys. Girls’ programs include volleyball, soccer, swimming, tennis and cross country running. Over 250 Como students participate on fall sports teams. For a full schedule of Como games and contests, visit saintpaul.sports.org, or spps.org, “About” and click on the Athletics tab.

• An early-season special event is planned for Tues., Aug. 28 at Como’s new turf field. The boys’ varsity soccer team will be hosting a game versus Hill-Murray at 7pm. At halftime, there will be a ceremony introducing the members of the undefeated state championship team from 2013. The community is invited to attend what should be a great game and a fun tribute to the players who earned Como a state title five years ago.

• Construction of the new academic wing adjacent to the southwest corner of the original school building continues to progress. The new state-of-the-art learning space is scheduled to be completed by the end of August and ready for the new school year. Upgrades and remodeling of west wing classrooms, bathrooms, library and common areas began in June. That work will continue during the start of the school year and remain closed to students and teachers.

Photo right: The new classroom wing at Como Park High School is nearing completion as the new school year approaches. (Photo submitted)

There is also a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system being installed with the new spaces. This intense summer of work has required the entire building to be officially closed until the last week of August. The Wenck Engineering and Construction Company is in charge of the building until then.

The changes are exciting to see from the outside. While the upgrade to the entire facility is a multi-year project that will undoubtedly present some logistical short-term challenges, the promise of a 21st-century learning environment inside Como’s walls will begin to be seen in September.

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