Ayaan and Tiana

Central students place 2nd in debate competition, proceed to nationals
Ayaan Natala and Tiana Bellamy, seniors at Central, competed in the Berkeley debate tournament over President's Day weekend. They placed second, beating out over 500 students from private and public schools all over the country. Because of their win, Ayaan and Tiana were invited to attend the Tournament of Champions in April. They are only the second African American women’s team to attend this elite national tournament. The last African American women’s team attended in 1989.

Harding student represents Hmong Boy Scout troop in meeting with President Obama
Harding Senior High School junior Tou Soua Thao had the chance to meet President Barack Obama this week representing Minnesota Hmong Boy Scout Troop 100. Thao left for the White House on February 22 to report to President Obama during the “Report to the Nation” event. Thao is one of nine boy scouts from across the nation to have a chance to meet the President. Learn more at spps.org.

SPPS African American Male Initiative Performs for Saint Paul Mayor, Leaders at City Hall
Saint Paul Public Schools’ African American Male Initiative performed during a lunch Friday for Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and other city and Ramsey County leaders to honor Rondo: An Enduring Legacy, an event to highlight African American History Month.

The students, who are from Washington Technology Magnet School, created projects based on literacy and legacy, said Janice Mandell, who led the class as a teacher on special assignment for the Multicultural Resource Center.

“It’s really about them talking about what they’re learning in a culturally relevant classroom,” said Mandell. “They dream a little bit about the legacy that they want to leave.” Learn more at spps.org.

Chelsea Heights raises over $10,000 for American Heart Association
Kudos to Chelsea Heights Elementary for raising over $10,000 in the annual American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart event. Mr. Lang, physical education teacher, led the effort.

Como Park Senior orchestra receives highest honor in local competition
The Como Park Senior High orchestra participated in the Solo/Ensemble Competition at Stillwater High School this past Saturday. The orchestra received the highest rating. Junior violinists Nate Parsons and Rachel Tetlie competed with solos and also received the highest possible rating.

Charlotte Landreau chosen as semi-finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year
Highland Park Senior High School teacher Charlotte Landreau is a semifinalist for the 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Landreau is the IB Diploma coordinator at Highland Park, and also teaches 11th and 12th grade history, philosophy and accelerated dance. Landreau has taught at Highland Park since 1994, and became IB Coordinator in 2001.

The field of candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor was recently narrowed down to 33 from an initial field of 128 candidates from across the state. Rebecca McQueen (Harding) and Chao Vang (Phalen Lake) were among the candidates.

The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year is Megan Olivia Hall, a science teacher at Open World Learning Community. She will announce her successor at a banquet May 4 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington.

Education Minnesota, the 70,000-member statewide educators union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program.