SPMA student at MIA

SPMA students exhibit artwork at Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Saint Paul Music Academy's (SPMA) 4th grade students participated in the Creativity Academy this school year with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Students studied a piece of art, wrote poetry about it and created their own piece of art based on the original piece.

On Thursday, March 13, MIA held an opening exhibition of the artwork with students, teachers, and family members. The art will remain on exhibit for the public to see through May.

Central High School wins grand prize in Toyota “Drive for Education” contest
Central High School won $10,000 this month in the Toyota Drive for Education contest. Central will use the prize to purchase new weight room equipment.

High schools from across the state competed for the prize by submitting an essay describing what the funds would mean for the school. Twelve runners-up received $2,500 grants for their programs, and Central was one of two grand prize winners.

Central Student achieves perfect ACT score
Vince Dzik, an 11th-grade student at Central High School, scored a perfect 36 on his ACT test. Vince shared his reaction to his perfect score, plans for the future and tips on taking the college admission test in this Q&A. Congratulations, Vince.


Central High students compete in regional science fair
Congratulations to the following Central High students who competed at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair: Serena Jing, Rebecca Kirby, Hanan Farah, Grant Sommerhauser and Hunter Sommerhauser. Congratulations especially to Serena Jing, whose project involving the antibacterial properties of silver nitrate was selected to compete at the state science fair in March and the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles in May.

Ramsey Middle School students qualify for History Day State competition
On Saturday, March 15, the regional History Day competition was held at Harding High School. Twelve students from Ramsey qualified for the state History Day competition.

National History Day is an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12. Students research a topic of their choice and develop their research into one of five presentation categories: research paper, exhibit, documentary, performance, or website. Students may then enter their projects into History Day competitions at school, regional, state, and national levels. The theme this year was “Rights and Responsibilities.”

The students were Sarah Arnet, Annika Dunkel, Olive Hart, Katharine Ashley, Claire Brown Lee, Berit Depies, Leo Proctor, William Hintz, Ila Dovre Wudali, Bella Frost, Adam Pekel and Kolyn Vang.

Harding senior receives National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Scholarship
Nichelle Heu, a 12th-grader at Harding Senior High School, is a 2014 scholarship recipient from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences-Upper Midwest Chapter/Foundation for her journalism stories featured in ThreeSixty Journalism, a media program for teens at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul. Nichelle hopes someday to work in broadcast journalism. Read more at spps.org.

Galtier students join local artist for stop-motion animation projects
Fifth graders at Galtier Elementary used iPads to produce stop-motion animations with St. Paul artist Lisa Rydin Erickson during a 9-day residency in March. Check out their Science-themed original animations on the Galtier website.


SPPS students earn top seats at Minnesota Renewable Energy Challenge
Teams from Adams, Parkview, American Indian Magnet, Wellstone, Washington, Farnsworth and Capitol Hill placed in top seats last weekend in the Minnesota Renewable Energy Challenge.

The state competition on March 15 in Apple Valley is created by High Tech Kids and KidWind PROJECT. Teams in grades 4-12 design and build small wind turbines with the goal of creating something both efficient and elegant. The judging categories were energy output, turbine technical review, design documentation, weightlifter challenge, a wind farm-siting challenge and a sail car challenge.

Learn more at spps.org.

Saint Paul Fund for Teachers announces 2014 fellows
Fund for Teachers (FFT) is a national program that enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers. To do this, FFT recognizes and supports teachers as they identify and pursue opportunities around the globe that will make an impact on their practice, the academic lives of their students and on their school communities.

FFT is open to teachers nationwide and is funded by the philanthropic community. In SPPS, the program is funded through income from a $1 million endowment held at the Saint Paul Foundation. Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation coordinates the application and awards process.

This year five panelists, including two community members and a past FFT fellow who teaches in SPPS, voted on the applications in a “blind” process: applicant and school names were not included, and panelists made their recommendations based only on the merits of each application.

Congratulations to the following SPPS teachers whose applications stood out among the 30 proposals submitted: they will travel this summer and bring their experiences back to the district in the fall. Watch The Bridge in coming weeks for more information about these fellowships.


  • Martin Appelbaum, AGAPE – Italy
  • Rita Dahl, Horace Mann Elementary – Canada
  • Patricia Gardner, Bridge View School – Kenya
  • Kelly Gibson, Riverview East Side Elementary – Costa Rica
  • Karen Henry, Benjamin E. Mays IB World School – France
  • Emily Kjesbo-Johnson, Washington Secondary School – South Africa
  • Mee Kong, Jackson Elementary – Vietnam, Laos, Thailand
  • Sheryl Kuhn, Jackson Elementary – China


  • Lisa Boehlke and Susan Smukler, LEAP High School – Thailand
  • Luke Larson and Timothy Larson, Como Park Senior High – Wyoming