~ Points of Pride ~
ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools Points of Pride
Note: This is an ongoing list of just some of the many accomplishments of ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools students and staff. Additional submissions always welcome; send to WeListen@district279.org
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- Maple Grove Senior High was featured on the WCCO Morning Show as its host Jamie Yuccas returned during Homecoming week to visit her alma mater. Students and teachers shared what it means to be Crimson Classy and talked about The Crimson Way, which integrates responsibility, respect and high expectations into Maple Grove Senior High’s school culture.
- Park Center Senior High student Sarah Aladetan recently received the state and national “Minnesota Aspirations for Women in Computing” Award for encouraging young women in the computing field. It is an honor given to only 35 students throughout the nation. Prizes for award winners include scholarships, cash rewards, tech devices and software and mentoring opportunities at Minnesota technology firms. Sarah, who is a senior, took a web design class at Park Center a few years ago and told the Brooklyn Sun Post in an interview earlier this year that she hopes to find a career that will allow her to combine her loves of technology and music.
- About 80 students and 12 staff from Park Brook Elementary School started back to school this year with fitness in mind. By participating in a fitness Boot Camp the first week of school, they began training to run in the Twin Cities 5K, in Minneapolis. Staff and students realized their goal when they ran the 5K on October 5. As a designated President's Challenge Demonstration Center, Park Brook continues to find ways to focus on fitness, which research suggests improves concentration and academic achievement.
- Osseo Area Schools’ Early Childhood and Family Education programs have been given a four star rating, the highest rating possible, from Parent Aware. Sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, in coordination with the Minnesota Office of Early Learning, the rating system helps parents find programs that go above and beyond to prepare children for school and life. Our early childhood programs that have received the four star rating include: Preschool for Threes, Preschool for Threes with Parent Connect, Prekindergarten for Fours, Title One Preschool, and Prekindergarten for Fours with Parent Connect. These programs run in multiple sites throughout our district.
- Woodland Elementary School staff and students celebrated Unity Day this month. Unity Day calls attention to anti-bullying efforts. Staff and students participated in character building activities centered on the theme of “We are all Linked.” They also wore orange, the color that has become known to represent anti-bullying. Near the end of the school day, everyone gathered outside and linked hands around the school building while singing the school song in a demonstration of unity and support for one another.
- Maple Grove Senior High’s football team defended its title as Northwest Suburban North Division Conference Champs. The Osseo Senior High football team is Northwest Suburban West Division Conference Champs. Both teams will have home field advantage when they meet their first section playoff opponents at 7 p.m. this Friday. Maple Grove will face Anoka and Osseo will square off against Champlin Park. Park Center Football travels to Fridley tonight for their section playoff game.
- Park Center graduate Ricardo Vasquez won the Emerging Artist Award at the 9th Annual Ivey Awards program which recognizes excellence in Twin Cities professional theatre. In an article for the Brooklyn Park Sun Post, Vasquez credited Osseo Area Schools music teachers Christine Weatherman and Barb Auer with helping him become more confident in his singing while at Brooklyn Junior High. He also acknowledged Heather Miller-Cink, who was his Park Center choir teacher, for motivating him to keep singing.
- Osseo Senior High student Tanner Wetzel was featured on Channel 12 as a Standout Student. In addition to taking high-level courses like AP Calculus, Tanner is the National Honor Society President, a student ambassador and three-sport varsity athlete, as well as Captain of the Nordic Ski Team.
- Maple Grove Senior High students Malavika Suresh and Emily Leonard have been named National Merit Scholar semi-finalists.
- Osseo Senior High student Emma Folke has been named a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist also. Congratulations to these three students for earning this prestigious recognition.
- Maple Grove’s Tahi Nomane was featured as a Star Tribune Prep Athlete of the Week for his standout performance in a varsity football game against Robbinsdale Armstrong. WCCO also named Tahi their U.S. Army Reserve’s Most Valuable Player of the Week for the Crimson’s game against Hopkins.
- Park Brook Elementary was featured on Channel 12 for outfitting 9 classrooms with stability balls this year, which research demonstrates can help improve students’ concentration in class. The stability balls are taking the place of traditional chairs, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Allina.
- Zenon Dance Company will visit Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts during the week of September 23rd. The weeklong dance residency will culminate in a performance for friends and family.
- The Osseo and Maple Grove Senior High Robotics teams were featured in the September issue of Maple Grove Magazine for their value in offering students a hands-on avenue to apply critical science, technology and engineering skills.
CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
- More than 18,000 Minnesota teens packed the Xcel Energy Center on October 9 to participate in Minnesota’s first We Day. Dozens of Osseo Area Schools students experienced the celebrity-packed event, which featured a lineup of entertainers and inspirational leaders including the Jonas Brothers and Martin Luther King III.
- The day was filled with inspirational messages, encouraging those in attendance, to make a difference through their time and talents.
- Students from North View Junior High, Basswood Elementary, Osseo Senior High, Brooklyn Junior High and our ACHIEVE program were present. These students have pledged to participate in volunteer work in the year ahead. The We Day movement aligns with our mission to inspire students to contribute to their communities.
- Mario Chacon Castellanos, a student from Park Center Senior High, assisted Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth Executive Director Rebecca Gilgen in delivering a presentation about the Alliance to the Brooklyn Park City Council. The Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth is a joint powers agreement between the City of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Hennepin County, and the school districts of Osseo, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale and Anoka-Hennepin. Ex officio members include Hennepin Technical College & North Hennepin Community College. Our shared vision is to assure the success of all youth by challenging the conditions that diminish their hope, and by ensuring that all youth are connected to a trusted adult who is vested in their success.
- More than 60 Osseo Senior High students in the Opportunities in Emergency Care program volunteered their time as part of the Medtronic Twin Cities 10-mile and marathon races this month. Students were on-hand to offer first aid services to the 29,000 runners who participated in the event.
- Students in the Service Learning Class at ACHIEVE are giving back to the community one yard at a time. Students are currently completing fall clean-up projects for members in the community who requested assistance. The students marketed their volunteer efforts to the community under the name, “Students By the Yard.”
- Park Center Senior High, Hennepin County, the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission and the cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center have received the Partnership in Planning award from the Minnesota American Planners Association for their collaboration on The Connections at Shingle Creek project. The award recognizes planning efforts that involve organizational partnerships that facilitate an outcome that could not be accomplished by an individual organization.
- On August 21st, Helping Hands and Boston Scientific provided huge volunteer support and service at Zanewood Community School. They cleaned up the playground, mulched and planted bushes, painted murals and washed windows.
- Osseo Senior High alum Jeremy Wolfsteller is one of 25 Veterans’ Voice Award recipients. He earned the award from the Humanities Center for his work connecting veterans with the help they need.
- On September 9th, members of the Park Center Pirate football team volunteered at the Brooklyn Park Athletic Association Youth Football Preview Day. They worked with youth teams consisting of kindergarteners through 8th graders, providing the older football players experience in roles of leadership, while building connections between the community, the high school and future Park Center students.
- American Dental Partners of Roseville donated approximately $5,000 in goods to Garden City Elementary. The donation includes three Hewlett Packard printers and ten cases of printer paper forstudent work and to replace printers in the special education department. American Dental Partners also donated hundreds of dollars worth of backpacks and school supplies for students.
- Just before summer ended, members of the Maple Grove Dance Team joined together to pack food at Feed My Starving Children. The team packed 78 boxes of food, which holds 16,848 meals. That’s the equivalent of feeding 46 children for one year.
- Jason Fotso, a student at Maple Grove Senior High, was named a National Achievement Scholarship semifinalist as well as a National Merit Commended student. The National Achievement Scholarship recognizes academically promising black students across the country. Jason is competing with about 1,600 select students nationwide for one of approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship awards. Jason was also recently featured on Channel 12 as a Standout Student for his accomplishments.
- Nine students from our district have earned National Merit Commended Student status from the 2014 National Merit Scholarship program. Students from Osseo Senior include: Kerry Bloomfield and Rory Stiller. Students from Maple Grove Senior include: Jessica Barry, Jason Fotso, Sofia Maltseva, Allen Miller, Vivian Nguyen, Michael Rouleau and Olivia Trudeau.
- On August 27th, dozens of Park Center student leaders and athletic team captains spent one of their last summer mornings attending a leadership workshop led by team-building motivational leader Rick Rassier.
- Former Osseo Area Schools teacher Carly Jarva was recently featured in the Brooklyn Center Sun Post as she steps into her new role as principal at Brooklyn Center High School. Years ago, Jarva’s aunt worked for now-superintendent Kate Maguire. Jarva shared with the Post that Maguire is one of her role models who inspired her to become an educator.
- The Park Center Senior High Orchestra students were treated to a visit by Elvis Presley tribute artist and Park Center Orchestra parent Todd Anderson. He talked about Elvis’ role in music history, sang some Elvis hits, and shared what it means to be a performer and entertainer. The Park Center Orchestra will embark on a spring educational tour this March to Memphis and New Orleans, which will include a performance at Graceland.
MISSION DRIVEN EMPLOYEES
- Several of our employees are voluntarily participating in a year-long book and film study on refugee and immigrant concerns. Our school district serves more than 400 refugee students, so this experience will expand the participants’ knowledge and understanding on issues that are relevant in their daily work. This is the sixth year the book and film study has been offered on a volunteer basis.
- Osseo Junior teacher Elizabeth Halbur co-presented at the Education Minnesota Professional Conference last week. The topic of the presentation was, “Mindfulness in Education: Creating a Calm Classroom.”
- Earlier this month, two Osseo Area Schools teachers were honored by a surprise visit from Office Max representatives as part of the annual “A Day Made Better” campaign. The program is designed to help erase teacher-funded classrooms by supplying more than 1,000 educators with more than $1,000 each in school supplies
- Debbi Anderson is first grade teacher at Cedar Island Elementary. She was honored for dedicating more than 30 years to teaching, for her countless hours of extra effort and a constant willingness to ensure that each child learns and has the tools needed to do so.
- Ann Hollencamp is a teacher at Osseo Junior High. She earned this award because of her tireless dedication to her students. Hollencamp has helped establish a building-wide recognition program to support students who are displaying positive behaviors at school.
- In addition to supplies provided to teachers, Office Max shared donations of school supplies, worth approximately $1,000 each, to both schools.
- Career and Technical Education Coordinator Julie Halverson has been appointed by Commissioner Brenda Cassellius to the Minnesota Department of Education Career Pathways and Technical Education Task Force. The task force is charged with recommending ways to redesign secondary and post-secondary education to better serve all students.
- Carol Brendal was featured in the September issue of Maple Grove Magazine for her work as a crossing guard at Rush Creek Elementary. Brendal oversees the school’s 5th and 6th grade student patrols who help the student walkers make it to and from school safely.
- Zanewood Community School Principal Carol Rowan was featured in a Brooklyn Park Sun Post and Osseo Maple Grove Press editorial about principals setting the tone for their schools. The piece highlighted Rowan’s example to her students by learning to play the clarinet alongside them during weekly band classes.
- Nearly a dozen of our 150 new teachers are former students of Osseo Area Schools. Many of these teachers have shared that their positive experiences as students in our district inspired them to become educators. We welcome them back as teachers and look forward to the work they will do in furthering our mission.
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