Murray Middle School students exceed goals, learn about motivation and success
During the months of November and December, students at Murray Middle School put their monthly core values to the test. In November students discussed the core value of motivation, which included a school-wide challenge to donate more than 2,000 pounds of food for families in need. This goal was exceeded with more than 2,200 pounds of food for Second Harvest. Students celebrated their accomplishment at their monthly assembly in December, which focused on the core value of success.

Harding, Linwood Monroe and Washington Technology Designated as 'Celebration' Schools by Minnesota Department of Education
The Minnesota Department of Education on Monday designated three Saint Paul Public Schools as “Celebration” schools for showing student achievement gains in 2013. Harding Senior High School, Linwood Monroe Arts Plus and Washington Technology Magnet were among the 48 schools to receive the designation.

The Celebration school designation is part of Minnesota’s federal accountability system that replaces No Child Left Behind. Under Minnesota’s program, schools are assigned a "Multiple Measurement Rating" based on students’ proficiency and growth, as well as a school’s progress toward reducing achievement gaps and increasing graduation rates.

Minnesota’s Title I schools—those serving racially and ethnically diverse student populations with high levels of poverty—qualify for the designation if they are top performers.

Gordon Parks senior wins 'Beat the Odds' scholarship
Gordon Parks High School senior DeVonte Miller won a $4,000 Beat the Odds Scholarship awarded by the Children’s Defense Fund—Minnesota. Only four of 90 finalists in the state win the scholarship.

The Beat the Odds awards program recognizes “extraordinary young people who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities and aspire to attend college.”

Each year, through a competitive review process, “four of the most deserving Twin Cities-area high school students” are selected for a Beat the Odds scholarship, according to the Children’s Defense Fund—Minnesota's website. The recipients are honored for their academic achievements and perseverance in the face of tremendous and often overwhelming obstacles.

Earlier this year, DeVonte helped present Gordon Parks' Transitions: University Avenue project at the national Summit for Courageous Conversation in St. Louis. Superintendent Valeria Silva also attended the conference and congratulated DeVonte and his classmate on their accomplishments. Read more about the event here.

Capitol Hill Student leads fundraiser to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan
Moved by the plight of the recent destruction from Typhoon Haiyan that left hundreds homeless and in great need in the Philippines, Nouchee Xiong wanted to help. The eighth grade student at Capitol Hill led a team of more than 90 We Act students to bring in baked goods, create friendship bracelets, and design personalized water bottle labels with a message of gratitude. These items were sold at a fundraiser and raised more than $700 hundred dollars for the American Red Cross Disaster Fund.

Fabulous Fiddlers perform
Fabulous Fiddlers from L'Etoile du Nord French Immersion School were invited to  perform at the Latino Community Dinner in December. Fabulous Fiddlers are students in third through fifth grade that play the violin, bass and cello. The students played two Mexican songs, El Zapatero and Cielito Lindo, as well as a classic fiddle tune and many holiday favorites. All of the songs were played by memory by the violinists.

The Fabulous Fiddlers rehearse each week after school on Tuesday and play concerts at school as well as in the community.

Mayor appointed Eyenga Bokamba as new director of Sprockets after school program
Mayor Coleman appointed Eyenga Bokamba as the director of Sprockets. Bokamba strives to increase enrollment in high-quality after school programs, which research shows improves school attendance, test scores and grades. Learn more.

Eastern Heights represented SPPS at the TIES Annual Conference
Eastern Heights presented to school districts from across the state on how they integrate technology in the classroom at the annual TIES conference in December. The school has embraced SPPS Apps and used Chromebooks school-wide. The school has gone from only a few teachers using technology, to a technology-rich environment in which teachers and students work collaboratively on documents, multimedia projects, assessments and online grading.


  • Bernetta Green, 5th grade teacher
  • Kent Sall, technology integration specialist
  • Marc Patton, technology integration specialist

Humboldt JROTC food drive
Cadets at Humboldt High School collected 1,428 pounds of culturally appropriate food for the Neighborhood House food shelf in their annual food drive. Over the last 20 years, cadets have raised more than 40,000 pounds of food.

Laurie Niblick wins permit parking spot
Congratulations to Laurie Niblick, who won a permit parking spot at 360 Colborne for participating in the Community Giving Campaign.

School board member visits 3rd graders for Proud To Be St. Paul
School Board Director John Brodrick attended the Proud to Be St. Paul musical performed by 140 third grade students at Capitol Hill. Mr. Brodrick is pictured with third grade teacher Phanida Thephrasouvanh, who was Director Brodrick's student at Como High School.

“I am so proud of SPPS, especially graduates like Phanida who make our district great,” said Director Brodrick. “The students and staff did a great job with the musical.”