Kris Heim, teacher at Nokomis, awarded scholarship for Prague workshop
Kris Heim was awarded the Vaclav Havel scholarship to attend a month-long writing workshop in Prague, Czech Republic, this summer through Western Michigan University. During the program, Kris will study with master writers and have time to work in their genres.

Kris has worked for Saint Paul Public Schools for 10 years, most recently as a literacy teacher at Nokomis Montessori

Retiree passes the torch of youth leadership and community impact to SPPS graduate
Ginny Newman will be retiring this summer after 22 years of service in Community Education at Saint Paul Public Schools. Ginny has dedicated much of her professional life to increasing opportunities for students to participate in service learning. To honor her departure, we asked Soua Thao, Community Education Youth Leadership Team member, to interview Ginny about her experience at SPPS and her hopes for the future.

Read the full story and interview on the Community Education website.

Congratulations to SPPS employees celebrating 25 years of service
Each year the district recognizes employees who are celebrating their 25th anniversary of employment with SPPS. This recognition takes place at a luncheon during opening week in August. This year’s luncheon is Friday, August 29, 2014.

Look for your invitation from Superintendent Silva via email before the end of the school year.

Human Resources has compiled a preliminary list of employees to be recognized this year. Employees who have completed 25 years of service as of September 1, 2014 should be included on the list. Employees who think they have been missed or those who think they don’t belong on the list should call Jayne Meza in Human Resources at 651-767-8245 by June 6, 2014.

If you have further questions about the luncheon call Kathy Weyandt in the Office of Communications, Marketing & Development at 651-767-8373 or at kathy.weyandt@spps.org

Nearly half of SPPS schools receive grant for fresh fruits and vegetables
Students and staff at 28 SPPS schools will benefit from more fresh produce thanks to a grant for the 2014-15 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Education. This program provides fresh fruits and vegetables to children, and exposure to these healthy snacks serves as a learning experience for students.

LEAP students produce news show
This spring LEAP students, facilitated by computer teacher Sandy Lucas, have started producing a weekly news show. Each week students plan, write and film a show that includes school news and several interviews. As students become more comfortable with the cameras and the process, they will take over the video editing as well. LEAP News is available to watch at http://leap.spps.org/leap_news.html

LEAP students are also working on a second video project in collaboration with Kao Choua Vue, a local artist and teacher at Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, and Springboard for the Arts.

Students selected a person with an exciting story to tell and are working with Ms. Vue and Ms. Lucas to plan an interview, record it and edit it. Some of the video pieces will be available to share with other LEAP students and community members at the end of the year.

Ho-Chunk Nation visits SPPS during American Indian Month
On May 16, the district's Indian Education and American Indian Studies Program welcomed the Ho-Chunk Nation's Heritage Preservation Department to Harding Senior High School for an instruction and demonstration of building a traditional ciiporoke (wigwam).

Harding student serves as page in Minnesota House of Representatives
Sulaiman S., an 11th grade student at Harding, was one of 14 high school juniors chosen from throughout the state to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives High School Page program March 10-14. During the program, students meet with legislators, participate in a mock committee session and do other hands-on activities.

"I learned that lawmakers may disagree about bills,” Sulaiman said. “But when the debate is over, they cross the aisle and shake hands."

He is pictured with the Speaker of the House, Representative Paul Thissen, and his fellow pages.