Harding team places second in statewide Ojibwe Language competition
A team from Harding Senior High School took high honors in the statewide Ojibwe Language competition on May 12 at Fond Du Lac Community College in Cloquet. Harding team members Skyler Kuczaboski, Elizabeth Otto, Phoua Thao and Bayli Seltzer placed second in the competition. The team is coached by Ojibwe Language teacher Stephanie Schroeder. In all, five SPPS teams competed in the annual Lester “Jack” Briggs Ojibwe Quiz Bowl.

Emily Holder recognized as a top presenter at National Afterschool Association’s conference
Emily Holder, a Community Education Discovery Club site manager recently received special recognition for presenting two of the top 25 workshops from the National Afterschool Association Conference 2016.

Holder’s two workshops that received recognition were titled "Theory to Practice: Reflection in Youth Work" and "Reflective Practice (Site Manager Superpower)”.

As one of the top-rated workshop presenters, Holder will present at the National Afterschool Association Conference 2017 in Dallas, Texas. She will also receive a number of other engagement opportunities that may include presenting as part of National Afterschool Association's Virtual Convention this fall, being interviewed on a new podcast series and participating as a guest writer in NAA's magazine, newsletters and other member communications.  

Harding Senior Selected as Minnesota Big Sister of the Year
Harding Senior High School senior Laura Petschauer was recently named the Minnesota High School Big Sister of the Year.

Over the past year, Petschauer devoted an hour each week to being an additional caring person in the life of her Little Sister -- a second-grader at American Indian Magnet School -- playing games, doing homework and hanging out together.

“Laura is really funny and makes me feel good about myself. She helps me with my homework and makes me better at the Frozen Matching Game. Laura really makes me happy and always tells me to do my best. I like seeing her every Tuesday,” says Little Sister Rozlynn of her Big Sister.

In addition to mentoring Rozlynn, Petschauer is also a member of the High School Leadership Council for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Como Park junior named Minnesota Big Brother of the Year
Como High School junior Ethimon Lee has been selected as the High School Big Brother of the year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.

Since 2014, Ethimon has spent an hour each week, September through May, with his Little Brother, a fifth-grader at Como Park Elementary, playing games like Uno, Headbandz and Bounce Off, as well as doing other indoor activities such as building models together.

“Ethimon is a great Big Brother because he’s nice,” says Nathan, Ethimon’s Little Brother.

“He always plays games with me, and helps me with the projects we work on. He’s a friendly and caring guy.”

Highland Park Middle School student wins 2016 SPPS We Day Glow Glasses Design Contest

Highland Park Middle School seventh-grader Anne Douma won the SPPS We Day Glow Glasses Design Contest. Her design will be used to create the final image that will be worn by SPPS students at We Day 2016. The design contest was hosted by Community Education. This year, the winning design will be imprinted on glow glasses, to help SPPS students light up the room.

SEAB gives their final presentation to SPPS Board of Education
The Student Engagement and Advancement Board gave their third and final presentation of the year to the SPPS Board of Education on May 17. Their presentation asserted that school climate is about more than discussing fights and suspensions. Rather, they said, school climate is about creating school conditions where everyone can thrive.

SEAB members told personal stories that highlighted what school climate means to them. The students also said that mistakes should be an opportunity to grow, not a push out the door.

SEAB member Keith Eicher closed the presentation with a challenge to staff, administration, legislators and the media.

"I lay at your feet the task of revolutionizing the way that teachers, administrators and policymakers interact with students,” he said.“... The solution to our school climate problems isn’t police, it’s perspective."

SPPS students featured in ‘I Am SPPS’
The “I am SPPS” campaign shares videos, photos and quotes from SPPS students, staff, families and supporters. The campaign can be found on Facebook and Twitter, and at spps.org/iamspps.

Last week “I Am SPPS” featured:

  • Chit, student at Phalen Lake Hmong Studies