Library upgrade, choir, D.C. fundraising


by Eric Erickson


Como students performed “The Frog Princess” for the annual fall musical in the Cougar Forum. The cast and crew adapted well, moving their production to the forum while the auditorium was closed for remodeling. (Photo by Eric Erickson)[/caption]

Physical improvements to the library at Como Park High School have also been accompanied by programming changes. Ms. Sheri Chaffee-Johnson, a veteran English teacher at Como, has transitioned to become the school librarian.

Chaffee-Johnson has transformed the library layout into an open, welcoming environment capitalizing on natural light and creating places for collaborative work, various work stations, and quiet nooks for reading and studying. There’s even the aroma of fresh coffee from the Cougar Grounds!

Academy of Finance (AOF) students who wanted to design a small business created the coffee shop in the library. It’s student-run, overseen by AOF teacher Ms. Erin Colestock. Coffee, tea, lattes, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate have proven to be popular and add ambiance.

Another new library program is peer tutoring for all core subjects at various hours throughout the day. Plus, the collection of books and resources are getting an overhaul to reflect relevance and fulfill students’ literary needs.

The Como Park Choirs will present the annual Pops Concert on Monday, Dec. 16 in the Como Auditorium from 7-8:30 p.m.  The show will feature five choirs performing music from High School Musical, Shrek, Reflection, Alessia Cara and more. Admission for the Pops Concert is $2 for adults, $1 for students and senior citizens. 

On Friday, Dec.20, the choir will go on tour around the neighborhood to perform for elementary school students. The concerts will be held at Chelsea Heights Elementary and Como Park Elementary.

Advanced Placement Government students who will be representing Como in the national Close Up Washington D.C. program in February are raising funds to support their trip. Students will be bagging groceries for customers at the Roseville Cub Foods on Larpenteur Ave. from 10a.m.–8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21. The group already worked a successful Cub fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Cub customers generously support the effort of the students with donations that help defray the expense of the educational adventure. Community members interested in financially supporting students in the Close Up Washington D.C. program can also contact the trip coordinator at

Middle school students who are interested in experiencing a day of Como Park High School are invited to shadow a current Como student. Parents of interested prospective students who would like to shadow or take a tour may register by going to

The Cougar girls’ basketball team began the season ranked in the state’s top ten for Class 3A and held the #4 spot as the Monitor went to press. The team is playing an extremely challenging non-conference schedule in December with three games against top-ten teams in Class 4A, including large suburban schools such as Wayzata, St. Louis Park and St. Michael-Albertville. As for the St. Paul City Conference, the Cougars will be aiming to win their sixth consecutive title.


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