This is an ongoing list of just some of the many accomplishments of ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools students and staff. Additional submissions always welcome; send to CommunityRelations@district279.org 


 POINTS OF PRIDE

JUNE 2015

 ACHIEVING DREAMS

Park Center Senior High students Nate Meshesha, Lung Yang, Mohit Uppal, Verona Deenanath and Amit Harbaran have earned four-year Wallin Education Partners scholarships totaling $16,000 each. Scholarships are awarded to students who have challenged themselves academically in college preparatory courses, demonstrated leadership, and shown a commitment to service.

Rush Creek fourth-grader Sarah Feng earned a national award for her participation in the Continental Mathematics League 2014-2015 Competition. Sarah achieved a perfect score in all five meets that challenge students with higher-level problem solving skills and strategies. She is among only three fifth-graders in the nation this year to accomplish this feat.

Osseo Senior High presented its Prize Book awards to Jeremy Mattson, Cailey Hallen and Alesya Neviarovich. The awards are given to three students in the junior class who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, leadership, extracurricular activities and other fields.

Emily Stiyer, Dana Albrecht, Jordan Casperson, Imalia Gansop and Shayna Peterson were honored with scholarships by the Park Center Band Boosters. The scholarships were awarded based on academic performance, leadership and participation in band-related activities. 

Forty-six Maple Grove Junior High students earned college credit for the technical education course, Introduction to Engineering and Design, by successfully completing a two-day, 80-minute exam. Eleven of the students earned "Advanced" scores, placing them in the top 10% of all students who took the exam nationwide.

Osseo Secondary Transition Center students Jon Kugler and Joseph Rieman were recognized for “Tech Prep” and “Best Effort” for their participation in the Hennepin Technical Pathways - Construction Program. The awards acknowledge their college readiness and demonstration of skills through hands-on work in many construction disciplines.

Additionally, two students from OSTC earned diplomas from Hennepin Technical College. Diamond Meaway and Alex Charlton completed the Plastics Engineering Technology Program.

The Osseo Junior High Destination Imagination team 
DIdeas Keep on Comin’ finished in 8th place in the Middle Level Feary Tales challenge at the Global Finals competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. Oak View Elementary also sent a team to compete in the Global Improv Games challenge.

More than 60 adults who participated in the Families Inspired to Reach for Excellence family engagement program were celebrated at a graduation ceremony in May.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

Garden City Elementary created a Little Free Library to encourages reading by providing community members an opportunity to both take a book and leave a book. Garden City’s Little Free Library is specifically meant to house children’s themed books intended for readers in grades K-5.

This year, with the help of a grant and maintenance support from the local Pheasants Forever chapter and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, more than 100 Weaver Lake fifth-graders planted a half-acre plot of prairie at the school to attract monarchs and pollinators. Local Pheasants Forever members will help maintain the prairie for five years to ensure it becomes established.

Birch Grove’s student council visited Feed My Starving Children to help pack meals for hungry children in other countries. Together, they packed 25,488 meals, enough to feed 70 children for an entire year.

Students in the Skills Program at Brooklyn Junior High have participated in We Day for the past two years, conducting a number of service projects such as recycling books to send to Africa, China and Lino Lakes Prison; assembling hygiene bags to distribute at a local teen homeless shelter; and most recently, creating a quilt to donate to the shelter.

District 279 Foundation will host its annual Reading is Fun 5K Fun Run and Walk on Aug. 15. Funds raised from this event will be donated to Osseo Area Schools media centers.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Minnesota Twins Strength and Conditioning Coach Perry Castellano, catcher Chris Herrmann and mascot T.C. Bear visited Woodland Elementary students and staff as a reward for having the most people registered in the Hennepin County Step To It Challenge for a school with more than 500 students.

North View Junior High students were motivated this year by a school store that uses reward tickets as its only currency. By demonstrating positive behavior, students earned reward tickets that were used to purchase items stocked in the store. Student leaders volunteered to run the store during lunch break to gain career and customer service skills.

On Multicultural Night, Garden City Elementary celebrated many different cultures through a cultural attire fashion show, games, storytelling, free books and food from around the world.

Having been recognized in January with Hennepin Theater Trust SpotLight Awards, members of Maple Grove Senior High’s production of Cinderella performed in the SpotLight Showcase at the State Theater on June 14.

Crest View 5th and 6th grade students learned about different jobs at the school’s annual Career Day. Volunteers shared their time to talk to with students and answer questions about their respective careers and work experiences. 

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Members in the Education Minnesota – Osseo teachers, nurses, Kidstop Instructors, ESP and AESP units held a fundraising drive for CEAP, CROSS and Brooklyn Avenues as part of Education Minnesota's "Week of Action." They raised a total of $3,000.

As the school year came to a close, a group of seniors who were former Oak View Elementary students gathered with some staff at Oak View to reminisce about their elementary school experiences.

More than 500 of our teachers spent the first weeks of summer participating in the district-sponsored Summer Institute. Learning opportunities focused on technology, increasing rigor and engagement, culturally relevant instruction and more.

Two recent media reports have featured district staff’s role in Park Center’s progress towards closing the achievement gap and increasing on-time graduation rates for all students.

MAY 2015

ACHIEVING DREAMS

Osseo Senior High student Mimi Le was featured as a Channel 12 Standout Student. With her passion for the nursing profession nurtured by Osseo’s health and science magnet, Mimi has been accepted into the ultra competitive nursing program at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Mimi has been awarded the Chancellor’s full tuition scholarship and will be the first in her family to attend college.

Park Center Senior High student Ivey Robinson is a state finalist for the 35th Annual Selection of Minnesota’s Homecoming Queen. She participated in the state pageant earlier this month.

Brooklyn Junior High seventh grader Chief Williams was named a 2015 Scholastic 180 Award winner for achieving excellent gains in reading. This is an honor presented to only 16 students nationwide.

Alex Kreidler was voted Aspire Beverage’s Athlete of the Week for his achievements as the pitcher of Osseo Senior High’s CI-Adapted softball team. Over the past five years, Alex has more wins than any other pitcher in the history of CI-adapted softball.

Using a 9-iron, Maple Grove Junior High 8th grader Kate Achenbach carded a hole-in-one on the 90-yard third hole of the Mac Nine par 3 course at Rush Creek Golf Club.

Osseo Senior High student Sara Jeet won a gold medal in the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards competition and a silver medal in the National Scholastic Art Awards competition.

Fifteen Oak View Elementary students participated in the regional Math Masters of Minnesota Challenge. The students competed individually and as teams to complete several math problems. Emma Nahr received 11th place out of 201 students. 

Two North View Junior High students continued with the school's 8-year winning record at the Model United Nations (MUN) Junior Level State Conference held at St. Thomas University. Student delegates represented their countries well on the topic of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and Refugees. Congratulations to Matigann Luehman and Stella Mboma for earning Best Position Paper.

North View Junior high held its first-ever Model United Nations conference for Global Studies 8 students. Students researched the Refugee Crisis in Syria, negotiated as country delegates, and voted on multiple resolutions to solve the problem. The conference was led by students from the Park Center Senior High Model United Nations Team. PCSH students chaired the UNHCR Committee and worked in small group caucuses with students to help them write resolutions. The PCSH MUN team hopes to expand their work in the 2015-2016 school year to work with students at North View Junior High and Brooklyn Junior High.

LIFELONG LEARNING

North View Junior High students were motivated this year by a school store that uses reward tickets as its only currency. By demonstrating positive behavior, students earn reward tickets that can be used to purchase items such as spiritwear, pencils, socks, toys, bath and beauty products and more.

Weaver Lake students Natalie and Jenna Berg were featured on NBC’s Today Show as national finalists in the National Girl Scout Cookie Recipe contest. Natalie’s recipe was inspired by her desire to contribute to community through a charity pie contest.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

Maple Grove Junior Rotarians hosted a 5K Walk/Run called Crimson for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research.

Garden City Elementary created a Little Free Library that encourages reading by providing community members an opportunity to both take a book and leave a book. This particular Little Free Library is specifically meant to house children’s themed books.

Fifth graders from six of our elementary schools traveled to Arizona and Mexico to meet their pen pals and deliver school supplies as part of Students Connecting Through International Service. Throughout the school year, these students gain practice on their public speaking and writing skills while coming up with creative ways to raise funds as they build towards the trip to deliver supplies.

Osseo Senior High choir students volunteered at Feed My Starving Children, where they packed enough meals to feed 41 children for an entire year.

Maple Grove Senior High Cabinet is hosting a Crimson Survivor competition where students compete in various challenges and crowd-funding activities to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Through student-produced videos and social media, this fundraising competition has a high engagement level by students and staff. The competition culminates tomorrow.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

At the National AFT Conference in Washington D.C., Fair Oaks ESPs Joni Anderson and Ingrid Miera presented a session that helped participants explore cultural differences, community building, and how best to support English Learners and their families.

The Minnesota Safety Council awarded Osseo Area Schools a Governor’s Safety Award for Meritorious Achievement in Occupational Safety, which recognizes superior performance in workplace safety and health. This is the sixth consecutive year that the district has received an award for its exceptional safety performance.

More than 60 students, volunteers and employees were recognized at the District 279 Foundation “An Investment in Youth Gala.” Honorees were recognized for their investments in their own learning, betterment of education, helping the community, modeling for youth, overcoming adversity, and developing their own talents.

Three of our bus Educational Support Professionals were recognized with a Minnesota Association of Pupil Transportation 2015 Special Needs Assistant award for their excellent work and dedication to students and student safety. Diane Ericksen won first place, Richard Pryd was runner up and Peggy Krostag won third place.

APRIL 2015

                                               

ACHIEVING DREAMS

Maple Grove’s Anthony Bogachev was named a National Merit Seimens Scholarship winner, earning a $4,000 scholarship. National Merit Scholars are chosen from the top 1 percent of students taking the PSAT nationally. Anthony is one of only 16 students in the state to earn a corporate-sponsored scholarship.

All three of our comprehensive high schools fielded athletic teams that experienced state-level success last season. Some highlights include:

At Maple Grove Senior High:

  • The Dance team was named state jazz champion.
  • Swimmer Brenner Hohenstein placed first in state in the 100-yard breaststroke and
  • Wrestler Brad Osatiuk placed sixth in the 132-pound weight class at state.

At Osseo Senior High:

  • Wrestler Carson Brolsma placed sixth in the 152-pound weight class at state.
  • Sarah Bezdicek is the state champion in Nordic skiing, and
  • Kiara Russell made her 1,000th career point during this year’s girls basketball season.

At Park Center Senior High:

  • The girls basketball team is the repeat state champion.
  • Gymnast Hailey Illi finished seventh place on balance beam at state and
  • The Winter Guard won its third state championship in four years.
  • In addition, the district’s CI-Adapted Hockey team won the state consolation trophy.

A more comprehensive winter athletics recap can be found on the district website.

Following their success at the state Destination Imagination competition, Osseo Junior High and Oak View Elementary will send teams to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee next month.

The Maple Grove Speech and Debate team ranked 2nd in the Northwest Suburban Conference with Crimson students taking the top four spots in the Novice Public Forum category. Five students qualified for the National Speech & Debate tournament.

Osseo Senior High Speech & Debate students Majeed Sadiq-Adamu advanced to the state tournament, placing first in Creative Expression at sections. Sarah Asare and Sophia Aigbogun advanced to the state tournament, placing second in Duo Interpretation at sections.  

Weaver Lake student Renee Oh won her age level category of the 2015 International Aviation Art Contest. The contest encourages young people to use their artistic talents, while helping them to become more familiar with aviation, math, engineering, and sciences.

The Crimson FIRST Robotics team closed out a landmark year by becoming one of two Minnesota teams ever, to win their division at the World Championship; the team also made it to the quarterfinals of the championship round and finished 7th overall.

Rush Creek sixth grader Sara Nadian won first place in her grade and level division of the 2015 Letters About Literature Essay Contest co-sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English and Common Good Books. Her work will move on to be judged nationally.

Thirteen Maple Grove Crimson students each received $1,000 scholarships from the Maple Grove Lions Club. Sophia Vrba received a $5,000 scholarship from the organization.

The Osseo Junior High Math Team participated in the St. Cloud State University Math Contest with five individual top 20 finishes and two Top Five finishes in team competition.

Maple Grove’s Junior Achievement team tied for second place at the Junior Achievement Company Program competition, where they submitted a 10-page paper and presented to a panel of judges on their experience forming, running and dissolving a business. The team includes Joe Graves, Eric Kopen, Sujeet Kohli and Tyler Whitmore.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

On Saturday, April 18th, approximately 100 community members and staff came together for the 2nd annual “It’s Time to Talk About Race” community forum. The event was co-sponsored by Osseo Area Schools' Community Engagement division and Department of Educational Equity, along with community partners Hennepin Technical College, St. Joseph the Worker Church, and the City of Brooklyn Park.  The event was held at Hennepin Technical College and featured keynote speaker Tonicia Abdur Salaam. Participants engaged in facilitated table discussions about race led by Osseo Area School students and staff.

The 8th Annual Once Upon a Time Dance was held April 18th at Maple Grove Junior High for elementary girls and their father, grandfather, or other significant male in their life. The event drew more than 725 attendees representing every elementary school who were supported by 61 student, staff, community and Kohl’s volunteers. Through a variety of activities, the Once Upon a Time Dance creates lifelong memories and raises scholarship funds to support participation in Youth Enrichment programs. 

As a result of the funds raised from the Wastebasket Revue talent show, 18 students from our three comprehensive high schools have received scholarships they can apply toward their post-secondary education.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Park Brook Elementary celebrated Every Kid Healthy Week with a salad bar taste test offering a variety of fresh vegetables for students to sample.

The Osseo Senior High Choir recently visited the Minnesota Public Radio studios and the University of Minnesota with support from a District 279 Foundation grant. Students sat in on University voice classes, worked with a choir conductor at the U and experienced a world class recording studio session.

Former Minnesota Viking Matt Blair visited with Woodland’s Young Eagles group sharing with them how his education played a critical role in his accomplishments as an NFL football player and his ongoing service to the community with Special Olympics, the First Tee program and feeding the homeless. The Young Eagles group focuses on developing educational leadership in school and community among African and African-American boys in fourth through sixth grade at Woodland Elementary.

Cedar Island Elementary provided relationship building and some extra time encouraging reading by hosting a Parents with Pastries event before school. Parents and significant others were invited to join students for a before-school breakfast and some time reading and visiting the book fair.

Park Center Junior Rotarians recently hosted the Rotary Club of Brooklyn Park in an opportunity to practice their leadership, public speaking and hospitality skills.

Our 20th Annual American Indian Education Day and Wacipi celebrated American Indian heritage and culture through song, dance, drumming, college recruitment and other exhibits. Our American Indian graduating seniors were honored in a special ceremony at the event.

North View Junior High History Day students pursued historical projects in an area of personal interest during a two-month project that included conducting research, writing an essay, completing a visual/performance project, writing an annotated bibliography, and presenting the information to the public.

MARCH 17, 2015

 ACHIEVING DREAMS

Our two elementary magnet schools are among only 12 schools in Minnesota to earn national recognition from Magnet Schools of America this year. Birch Grove Elementary School has been named a 2015 National Magnet School of Distinction and Weaver Lake has been named a 2015 National Magnet School of Excellence.

Osseo Senior High’s Bashiru Kormah was named an Act Six Scholar and awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Augsburg College. Recipients are chosen based on leadership potential and ability to work collaboratively to address a complex community issue.

Eight of our students were recognized with the City of Brooklyn Park Youth Recognition Awards:

  • Park Center’s Melvin Wilson and Osseo Area Learning Center’s Olivia Taylor were recognized for Outstanding Growth.
  • Osseo Junior High’s Analise Stock and Jackie Cvek were recognized for Outstanding Leadership.
  • North View’s DeAndre Ester and Park Center’s John Taormina were recognized for putting Others Before Self.
  • Park Center’s Lucia Jackson and Renee Ruddock were recognized as Inspiring Role Models.

Osseo Junior High’s MATHCOUNTS team placed third at the regional competition. Students advancing to state competition include Jordan Chacko, Zach Majorowicz, Nick Im, and Nicole Campbell. The program is designed to help middle school-aged students improve math skills.

Two Destination Imagination teams from Oak View Elementary competed in the West Metro Tournament, placing second and third in their categories. The Creators of Imagination team, consisting of Paul Biason, Sevanna Jenkins, Jahkai Mutcherson, Sammy Mehervold, Collin Baker and Spencer Ohman, competed in the Elementary Level Improvisational Category, and will advance to the state tournament in April.

Maple Grove Senior High’s FIRST Robotics team won the Lake Superior Regional FIRST Robotics competition and will advance to the world championship in April. Additionally, Alex Kafer was named a finalist for the Dean’s List Award, which is the highest honor a student robotics member can receive. Last month, Osseo’s VEX Robotics team also qualified for their world championship.

Osseo Senior High’s Olivia Koskela was featured on Channel 12 as a Standout Student. She is a first-chair flutist and volunteer student aide for the music department. She also manages the cross-country team and works behind the scenes on school musicals. She plans to pursue a college degree in natural resource management.

The Park Center Senior High and North View Junior High Model United Nations Team competed at the State Senior Level Conference at Metro State. Fatou Dibba & Konzong Lee earned Best Position paper. Wendy Iteghete and Isatue Marigo earned Honorable Mention for their Committee.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

Through a partnership with KIVA, Maple Grove Junior High S+ Global Studies students are helping alleviate poverty by sending loans to individuals in other parts of the world. Students researched, discussed, debated and determined who would receive the loans.

State Representative Dennis Smith’s office will feature four pieces of artwork created by Maple Grove and Osseo Senior High students Isabella Hulne, Asavari Tembe, David Hallstrom and Shelby Noraas. Pictured here are Representative Smith’s wife, Sandra Smith and artist Justin Cox, who selected the pieces.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Cedar Island partnered with 3M Company to bring its Visiting Wizards program to first graders. The program taught students about magnetic forces and magnetic fields, and included an opportunity for students to discuss their findings with classmates.

Thanks to a grant, Minneapolis Chef Marshall O’Brien has recently worked with staff and students at Osseo Area Learning Center and Garden City Elementary in a hands-on lesson in healthy food preparation. The activity included creating a healthy lunch menu and offering a taste test survey. The activity was designed to engage students in discovering the benefits of healthy eating.

Osseo Area Learning Center students attended the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs STARS Legislative Day at the state capitol to meet legislators, share their stories, promote learning options programs and tour the capitol.

While visiting former teachers now working at Osseo Senior High, Park Center Senior High graduate Patrice Overton spoke to students at Osseo Senior about overcoming obstacles in her life and becoming a successful social worker and professional actress. Patrice, pictured here in the middle with the scarf, caught the acting bug from an acting opportunity at Park Center where students told their stories about being black in America.

Along with other area organizations, Osseo Area Schools will be co-sponsoring the second annual forum “It’s Time to Talk About Race,” on April 18 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.  The event will include a keynote speaker and guided conversations about the impact of race in the northwest suburban metro area.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Osseo Area Schools earned four Readers Choice Awards as determined by Osseo-Maple Grove Press readers. Maple Grove Senior High was named Best Public School. Isabel Kurpiers, who teaches at Maple Grove Senior High, was named Best Teacher. Rice Lake Elementary Principal Mark French was named Best Principal and Rice Lake’s PTA was named Best PTA.

Edinbrook Elementary fifth grade teacher Jill Love, pictured at right, was named a KS95 Teacher of the Week. Her class enjoyed a visit from Shannon, from the KS95 Morning Show, who presented the award.

Kip Sackett, pictured at right, received the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Exemplary Award, recognizing his impact on the MAAP STARS program at Osseo Area Learning Center and his contributions to progressive and innovative education in Minnesota. Sackett is a College and Career Readiness Instructor at the OALC and also serves as the school’s MAAP Stars Advisor.

FEBRUARY 2015

ACHIEVING DREAMS

Maple Grove Senior Anthony Bogachev has been named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Only the top one percent of students who take the PSAT earn this honor. Anthony is the captain of debate, speech and Model United Nations. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and tennis team. He plans to pursue a college education in a STEM field.

At the 2015 Future of Educational Technology Conference, Weaver Lake Elementary was named one of the top three elementary STEM programs in the nation. Weaver Lake was the only Minnesota school to be recognized as a STEM Excellence Award finalist, placing it in the top tier of honors. The school was selected from hundreds of applications that were evaluated on the use of interdisciplinary curriculum, collaboration, design, problem solving and STEM experiences for students.

District 279 student Lubertha Jiles performed at the Guthrie Theatre in “The Night Before Christmas – A Musical Fantasy.”

Park Center’s Emily Nelson has been named a Triple A Award finalist for Region 5AA. Only 15 female students in the state achieve this honor each year and it has been 12 years since a Park Center student has won this award. Triple A Award winners are students who are recognized for excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. Six seniors from our three comprehensive high schools were nominated for this year’s Triple A Award:

  • Sarah Dill and Zach Pias represent Maple Grove Senior High;
  • Natalie Kampa and Sam Dienslake represent Osseo Senior High; and
  • Emily Nelson and Robert Johnson represent Park Center Senior High

Basswood sixth-grader, Amara Monson, achieved a perfect score on the first WordMasters Challenge. Students take WordMasters Challenges nationally, testing vocabulary and verbal reasoning skills. Rush Creek Elementary also earned WordMasters Challenge recognition recently. Among classrooms competing nationally, Rush Creek third-graders ranked fifth overall against 292 classrooms and fourth graders ranked sixth overall against 352 classrooms.

More than 20 students from Osseo Senior and Park Center Senior earned awards in the Scholastic Arts & Writing competition. They competed against nearly 3,000 entries from schools across the state, entering work in drawing, ceramics & photography. A reception recognizing winners will be held at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota on Feb. 21.

Osseo Senior High’s VEX Robotics team, the Circuit Breakers, won the State Tournament Championship and will go on to compete at the World Competition in Louisville, Kentucky. Members include Brice Underwood, Xander Nelson, Jacob Walters and Darren Malaythong. Another Osseo team, the Bro-bots, won the qualifying tournament and will participate in the VEX US Open Championship in Council Bluffs, Iowa this April. The team includes students Thomas Dickovich, Sam Dienslake and Jonah Smith.

Park Center’s Mock Trial advanced to an unprecedented 5th Round beating Eden Prairie at Regionals.

Maple Grove Dance Team earned its sixth state title with a win in the Class AAA Jazz Division at the State Dance Tournament.

Osseo Senior High’s Sarah Bezdicek won the state Nordic skiing championship with a 40-second margin of victory.

Park Center’s Gymnastics team took third place at sections with Maddy Clausen and Hailey Illi earning a number of top ten finishes. Hailey will advance to the state gymnastics tournament to compete on balance beam.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
Osseo Senior High hosted the 2015 Northwest Suburban Conference Music Festival featuring performances from accomplished bands, orchestras and choirs from 14 schools, including Maple Grove, Osseo and Park Center.

Weaver Lake 5th graders raised $3,000 for Heifer International providing 20 families in impoverished areas of the world with a variety of animals ranging from a water buffalo to a flock of ducks, tree seedlings, a bio-gas stove, and an irrigation pump. They also raised enough funds to send a girl to school.

LIFELONG LEARNING

As part of the school’s Focus on Fitness, Park Brook Elementary students and staff participated in the Luminary Loppet in late January. Park Brook is also part of a collaborative group that received a Bike Fleet grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Park Brook will collaborate with Three Rivers Park District on teaching students how to ride safely and transporting 40 bikes and helmets to a variety of parks in the area.

Our district recently hosted local legislators for coffee at Brooklyn Junior High, where students and staff provided examples of how our schools use state funding to deliver results that are aligned with state priorities. Brooklyn Junior High STEAM (STEM plus Arts) students shared how they are developing science, technology, engineering, math and arts skills that are preparing them for success in the 21st century. Legislators and staff also shared perspectives on district priorities for legislative action.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Osseo Senior High art teacher, Dan Prody, was named a WCCO Excellent Educator for helping students achieve their dreams by developing their art skills, earning high honors in ceramic arts and even obtaining college scholarships.

Osseo Senior High Activities Coordinator Ray Kirch, maintenance crew and the football boosters were all commended by the Minnesota State High School League for their above and beyond effort in successfully hosting football playoff games during unseasonably cold and snowy weather last November.

Three Osseo Area Schools teachers have been named candidates for the 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. They include: Kris Campea, who teaches 7th and 8th grade at Osseo Junior High; Jennifer Hairrell, English Language Learner teacher at Oak View Elementary; and Jeanette Lepore, who teaches preschool at Arbor View Early Childhood Center.

JANUARY 2015

ACHIEVING DREAMS

In addition to the four students from Osseo Senior High that we highlighted at last month’s school board meeting, six Park Center students participated in the semifinalist round of the Act Six Scholarship competition, where they demonstrated their academic and emerging urban and community leadership potential to address a complex community issue. 20 semifinalists will continue to the final selection round in March.

Maple Grove Senior High’s production of Cinderella has earned an Outstanding Overall Production SpotLight Award from the Hennepin Theatre Trust. A number of students earned individual outstanding and honorable mention awards for their participation in the production.

In addition to hosting the “Dream It. Do It. VEX Robotics Competition,” all six of Osseo Senior High’s VEX Robotics teams qualified for the state competition later this month. Additionally, two of Osseo’s teams won the entire tournament.

Two of our students were recently featured on Channel 12 as Standout Students:

Park Center senior Amit Harbaran,was featured for his academic and student leadership skills. Building on his education at Park Center, Amit plans to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison and dreams of eventually becoming the chief financial officer of a major corporation.

Maple Grove senior Mary Eckberg was featured for her talent on and off the basketball court. She will attend St. Thomas University next fall where she will pursue her dreams of playing college basketball and earning degrees in education and Spanish.

The North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce recognized a number of our students at the 15th Annual Star Student Awards. Thirty-six juniors and seniors from Maple Grove, Osseo and Park Center were among those recognized for their accomplishments in volunteering, future career planning and success in the workplace.

Osseo Area Learning Center celebrated the accomplishments of its 17 Trimester I graduates with a commencement ceremony. This is the first time the OALC has conducted its own ceremony during the school year. Students will also be invited to walk in commencement ceremonies at their respective attendance area schools in June.

Four Maple Grove Crimson debate team members qualified for nationals. They will be competing in two-person teams in the Public Forum category. Adi Pidaparti and Anthony Bogachev will compete together and Seth Thompson and Ryan Hankins will compete together.

Several students from Woodland Elementary have demonstrated academic excellence through recent achievements.

Yulia Horton, Megan Marshik, Brooklyn Pollmann, and Emerson Whittemore earned perfect scores on the first WordMasters Challenge of the year. Nelson Kavi and Matthew Titus earned Outstanding honors by earning a score of 19 out of 20 on the test. WordMasters Challenges test students’ vocabulary and verbal reasoning skills.

Angel Cuate, Nikolas Kormanik, Alec Langowski, Lydia Bartolomeos, Madeline Evenson, Eva Olson and Anna Tran earned perfect scores in the first Continental Math League meet of the year. Continental Math League meets test students’ reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Rice Lake Elementary also earned WordMasters Challenge recognition recently. Third-graders ranked fifth overall against 292 classrooms competing nationally and the fourth graders ranked sixth overall against 352 classrooms competing nationally.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
The Park Center Asian Club hosted its first-ever Asian New Year Celebration that featured student and community performers, including singers, dancers, and storytellers. Hundreds of students and community members attended the event, which was an outstanding success.

Students from Osseo Senior High have continued with the Osseo READS initiative to build community between elementary and secondary students and encourage reading and literacy. Recently, high school students created a poster campaign and visited some elementary schools to read with younger students.

Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts 3rd through 6th grade Choir Troupes visited Maranatha Care Center in Brooklyn Center, where they performed songs for the residents. 

More than 55 community members gained skills to become certified in CPR thanks to free training offered by Osseo Senior’s Opportunities in Emergency Care students.

KARE 11 recently ran a commercial promo for the station’s morning show that featured Osseo graduate Kevin Curwick, creator of the Twitter account OsseoNice that promotes positive messages via social media. Reporter Lindsey Seavert is also an Osseo Area Schools alumna.

A number of our schools and school groups organized food, clothing, money and gift drives for individuals and families in need over the holidays. Some of those efforts included:

Opportunities in Emergency Care students raised more than $2,200 to provide gifts to 38 people.

  • Zanewood Community School’s Early Riser student group made and donated blankets to families living in transition at Redeemer Covenant Church.
  • North View Junior High staff and students collected more than 2,400 items that were donated to People Serving People and Mary’s Place.
  • Birch Grove Elementary Student Council collected 115 items for Toys for Tots.
  • Rice Lake Elementary staff and students collected more than 880 pounds of food that were donated to CROSS.
  • Park Center’s basketball teams and Park Center and Osseo’s National Honor Society members volunteered as personal shoppers at North View Junior High’s 3rd Annual Toys for Tots distribution that served 197 families in our community.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Students explored art and engineering skills as they built gingerbread houses with Target volunteers who visited Zanewood, Rice Lake, Park Brook, Garden City and Oak View Elementary Schools. Target donated candy, frosting and other supplies for this sweet relationship and skill building activity.

Park Center teachers Katherine Hutchinson and Andrea Flies coupled science and a sweet tooth to engage students in the classroom. During this experiment, the teachers demonstrated how to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen.

Rice Lake Elementary welcomed nationally acclaimed author, Julia Cook, who spent the day talking with students about social skills; the power of words; personal safety; taking responsibility for actions; and the writing and publishing process. Students were inspired by her stories and enjoyed the company of her therapy dogs, Kirby and Angus. 

On Culture Day, Crest View Elementary celebrated many different cultures through performances, a cultural attire parade, classroom activities, and artifacts and foods from other cultures.

Recently, Basswood, Garden City, North View, Oak View, Park Brook, Rice Lake, Weaver Lake, Woodland and the OALC all participated in the Hour of Code, a national initiative that offers students an introduction to computer science basics designed to demystify code and increase student confidence.

Park Center ProStart culinary students teamed up with professional chefs to participate in the 2014 Stars of the Future fundraiser. This culinary competition challenged student and pro chef teams to develop, create and serve small plate tastings to those in attendance.

Students in the Osseo Junior High Orchestra have enjoyed playing on an electric violin made on a 3-D printer by technology education teacher, Joel Vagle. The orchestra introduced it to their audience at the winter concert. Park Center’s music and tech ed departments also are collaborating on making an electric violin from a 3-D printer.

Each month, approximately 50 second graders attend a before school book club at Rush Creek led by parent volunteers and staff. At a recent meeting, club members Skyped with author James Burks, who wrote “Bird and Squirrel.” He answered questions, showed some of his work and gave students great advice about writing and illustrating.  
 

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Brian Siverson-Hall will serve as president of the Minnesota Community Education Association this year. The Minnesota Community Education Association is a statewide professional membership organization providing leadership, resources and support services to develop and sustain leading-edge Community Education programs and services.

Principal on Special Assignment Astein Osei served as a panel judge for the Hult Prize at St. Thomas University. Judges selected a group of college students to proceed to the finals in this global competition that carries a $1 million prize. The competition seeks to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas.

Just before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Woodland Elementary staff gathered to peruse the culturally relevant books available in the media center in order to be better prepared to connect students with the literature. Thanks to a $500 grant from District 279 Foundation, Woodland recently purchased 30 new culturally relevant books to augment the school’s collection.

DECEMBER 2014

ACHIEVING DREAMS

All three of our comprehensive high schools fielded numerous fall sports teams that experienced success this year. Some highlights include:

  • Maple Grove Senior High’s Erin Buck finished second at the state swim meet in the 200 freestyle; boys soccer finished fourth at state; and football advanced to the state semifinals.
  • Park Center Senior High girls soccer and Adapted Soccer CI each finished third at state; and the Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country teams each earned the State High School League’s Academic Gold award for academic excellence, with the boys team earning a collective 3.838 GPA and the girls team earning a collective 3.901 GPA.
  • Osseo Senior High’s football team advanced to section finals and volleyball advanced to section semifinals.

 A more complete fall sports recap. 

 Six Maple Grove Junior High students were named to the Minnesota Band Director’s Association Honor Band. They will rehearse and perform with other students throughout the northwestern suburbs.

 Osseo Senior High’s Project Lead The Way engineering program has received national certification in just its second year. This program provides rigorous and innovative STEM curriculum emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving, delivered by specially trained teachers.

The Otto Bremer Foundation recently awarded $35,000 to North View Junior High to continue its community partnership with the Quest Scopes One-to One Mentorship program. The purpose of the program is to provide additional in-school, social and academic support to students. 

Six of our students were recognized at the City of Brooklyn Park Youth Recognition Awards in the categories of: Inspiring Role Model; Others Before Self and Outstanding Growth. The students attend Osseo Senior, Osseo Junior, North View Junior and the OSTC.

Four Osseo Senior High students are in the running to become Act Six Scholars and receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend their choice of Augsburg College, Bethel University or University of Northwestern St. Paul. During this phase of the selection process, Johnson Davis, Bashiru Kormah, Nathan Limmer shown and Carter Eichwill join other candidates to participate in a half-day interactive event where they will demonstrate their academic and emerging urban and community leadership potential while working together to address a complex community issue. Based on performance, 20 semifinalists will be selected to continue on in the selection process with the final selection made in March. 

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

During Trimester I, Basswood students and families contributed to community by raising more than $38,000 during their Fun Run and collecting more than 2,700 food items during their We Scare Hunger campaign.

Maple Grove Junior High’s H20 For Life Club is fundraising to build new water wells for two schools in Africa. Their goal is to raise more than $6,300 this school year. Recently, club members created and sold more than 150 tie-dyed t-shirts as part of their fundraising. 

Park Center National Honor Society is collecting toys for Toys for Tots this month. The collected items will be distributed to families in need.

Under the direction of Melody Hahn-Merges and Kendra Kuhlmann, the district’s social workers collaborated with Boston Scientific to provide more than $10,000 in gifts, gift cards and gently used clothing to 36 district families in need. Social workers at each of our sites submitted requests for a specific family and Boston Scientific employees purchased items using their personal funds. Social workers sorted and distributed the gifts to our families.

LIFELONG LEARNING

North View students will be making voice recordings of some books so that younger students can call in and hear pre-recorded stories as part of a dial-a-story service. The books’ storylines offer multiple racial and cultural perspectives, some of which were provided by Chaun Webster, owner of Ancestry Books in Minneapolis.

Park Center has reconfigured its media center into a more collaborative and technology-friendly learning space called the Learning Commons. The Learning Commons held a grand opening for staff and students to explore some of the new equipment, which includes a makerspace with a 3D printer; a 3D scanner; and collaboration tables with monitors that allow individuals to share content on their mobile devices. 

iPads are enhancing learning at Maple Grove Junior High in ninth grade drawing classes. Students are used their iPads to learn digital photo editing techniques while also using the photos as examples when the created charcoal drawings using traditional art materials.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Dawn French, who teaches at Oak View Elementary and Heidi Johnson, who teaches at Maple Grove Junior High, were recognized as TIES Exceptional Teachers at the TIES 2014 Education Technology Conference. Every year, TIES acknowledges educators who model best practices in using technology in education and engaging students in learning. 

Two of our leaders are serving on state-level advisory or work groups:

  • Rice Lake Principal Mark French has been appointed as the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association representative to Governor Dayton’s Testing Reduction Advisory Work Group;
  • Director of Labor Relations Laurel Anderson has been named to a Minnesota Department of Education work group that will examine how to align and fund current local and state-level systems for teacher development, evaluation and pay for performance. The group’s recommendations will be forwarded to the state legislature.

Teresa Lunt and Dean Henke participated in the Minnesota School Board Association Delegate Assembly, where school board members from across the state gathered to discuss and vote on various legislative resolutions that become the basis for MSBA’s lobbying efforts on behalf of all public school board members statewide.

Maple Grove Senior High Counselor Janelle Gillis was featured in Maple Grove Magazine for her efforts to support students to be successful in high school and prepared for their future. 

System-level administrators Kim Riesgraf and Kathy Bushman represented Osseo Area Schools on the Intermediate District 287’s Core Planning Team. They provided input on the development of Intermediate District 287’s five-year strategic plan. The mission of Intermediate District 287 is to be the premier provider of innovative specialized services to ensure that each member district can meet the unique learning needs of its students. We are one of 12 member districts that contract with District 287 for specialized educational services and programs that complement and support our programs.

School Board Vice Chair Tammie Epley represented Osseo Area Schools at the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth Partner Recognition Reception where the Alliance celebrated raising more than $242,000 toward its new youth employment program, which will connect Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center youth with jobs, internships and shadowing opportunities. Osseo Area Schools is an active partner in the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth.

NOVEMBER 2014

ACHIEVING DREAMS

Seventeen students from all three of our comprehensive high schools recently realized their academic and athletic dreams as they signed letters of intent with colleges across the country. These students will compete at the collegiate level in softball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, baseball, and track.

Osseo Senior High’s Hamzeh Salti was recently featured on Channel 12 as a Standout Student. He talked about his love of science, math, engineering and technology, while his teachers highlighted the impact of his strong leadership skills. 

Boy Scout Troop 531 recently awarded Eagle Scout badges to Maple Grove Senior High students Garrison Boots, Andy Catterton, and Evan Hamamoto.

The Osseo Senior High Math Department recognized a group of students as “Mathalicious” for their exceptional academic work or improved efforts in math coursework.

Weaver Lake Elementary earned a Champion Creatively Alive Children grant to support its makerspace program. The program brings an artistic approach to the engineering design cycle with assessment focusing on the rigor of the process rather than the end product. Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals sponsor the grant.

The Osseo Senior High choir was selected to participate in the Minnesota Public Radio Choral Residency program this year, which includes visits from Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, who will work with students on vocal technique and classical music relevancy. He will also provide professional development for Osseo Senior High choir director Andrew Beard.

Maple Grove’s JV and Varsity competitive cheerleading teams both received a bid to attend UCA Nationals in Orlando, Florida. They qualified for Nationals by competing at UCA Regionals, where JV placed first in their division and Varsity placed second in their division.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

As members of the Student Nutrition Advisory Council, a group of Maple Grove Senior High students collaborated with district food nutrition staff and guest chef, Marshall O’Brien, to provide input on a la carte items, the cafeteria serving line, and marketing foods. They also participated in taste testing.

The Osseo Senior High Health Science Magnet program’s certified CPR trainer students are offering free American Heart Association adult CPR classes this week.

A group of Maple Grove Senior High students contributed to community while exploring civic responsibility by serving as election judges on Election Day. They learned about the opportunity through their government class.

Many of our student athletes volunteer together as a way to bond as a team while contributing to community. Recently, Osseo Senior High hockey players assisted senior citizens with fall cleanup and yard work.

Students from Basswood, Elm Creek, Brooklyn Junior, North View Junior, Osseo Junior, Maple Grove Junior and OSTC were invited to participate in We Day Minnesota because of their community service throughout the year. The event included speakers on economic, technological and educational empowerment. The We Day movement aligns with our district mission to inspire students to contribute to community.

A group of North View Junior High students participated in The Mother Bear Project by stuffing 500 knitted teddy bears that are sent to comfort HIV and AIDS-affected children around the world.

Park Center students Craig Kaizer Qui Wu and Brittney Suriyathai along with Executive Director of Community Engagement Brian Siverson-Hall participated in the City of Brooklyn Park’s annual Core Planning Team meeting. Team members are charged with reviewing the city’s programs and community conditions to ensure they align with the city’s mission of creating a thriving community, inspiring pride where opportunities exist for all.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Students in three of our schools successfully staged fall musicals.

  • Maple Grove Junior High presented “Once Upon a Mattress.”
  • Maple Grove Senior High presented “Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” and
  • Osseo Senior High presented “Guys and Dolls.”

Congressman Erik Paulsen recently visited Elm Creek Elementary and Park Brook Elementary where he read to students and discussed how a bill becomes a law.

More than 100 Osseo Opportunities in Emergency Care students attended a first responder camp to participate in hands-on training and skills-related seminars that help prepare them for certification exams.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Brooklyn Center City Council awarded Principal Todd Tischer and Superintendent Kate Maguire Random Acts of Kindness Awards for helping shape a promising future for hundreds of students in Brooklyn Center. Mayor Tim Willson presented the awards to Principal Tischer, who accepted Supt. Maguire’s award on her behalf.

American Indian Culture and Language Specialist Ramona Kitto-Stately received the 2014 Summit Learning & Teaching Award at The 2014 Summit for Courageous Conversations. The award honors an educator who demonstrates radically innovative and culturally relevant instruction that engages all students, and promotes the highest achievement of underserved student-of-color populations.

Representatives from Passion Church took to social media to share their gratefulness for the Maple Grove Senior High custodial staff recognizing their exemplary work at the facility. Passion Church rents the facility regularly for services and events.

The Rotary Club of Brooklyn Park recently honored School Board Vice Chair Tammie Epley and District 279 Foundation Trustee Eldon Tessman. Vice Chair Epley was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow for outstanding commitment and contributions to the Rotary Club. Mr. Tessman was recognized for 33 years of dedication, service, and leadership to the Rotary Club.

As a volunteer leader with Partnership for Change, School Board Chair Teresa Lunt assisted at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s community meeting to address the growing epidemic of heroin abuse. Partnership for Change is a local coalition of youth, parents, schools, law enforcement, and community groups that are working together to reduce substance use among youth and young adults in northwest Hennepin County.

 OCTOBER 2014

ACHIEVING DREAMS

Several of our students have earned esteemed academic distinction recently:

  • Fourteen Osseo Area Schools students have earned recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Program for their exceptional achievement on the 2013 PSAT exam.
    • Maple Grove Senior Anthony Bogachev was named a semifinalist.
    • Eleven students earned National Merit Commended Student status.
    • Two students were recognized by the National Achievement Scholarship Program; Park Center’s Kaylah Carlson is a semifinalist and Osseo’s Majeed Sadiq-Adamu is an Outstanding Student. The National Achievement Scholarship program recognizes academically promising black students.
  • Maple Grove and Osseo Senior Highs produced a combined 149 AP Scholars in this year’s results. These are students who have demonstrated college-level achievement by earning a score of 3 or more on three or more AP exams. Six of these students earned the highest designation of National AP Scholar, which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

Maple Grove Senior High’s Speech and Debate team earned membership into the National Speech & Debate Association’s 200 Club. This means the chapter earned 200 or more degrees last year. Degrees are awarded based on number of points won at various competitions and through service-related activities. This honor means Maple Grove’s chapter is ranked among the top 5% of schools nationwide.

Park Center Senior Eddie Saydee was featured on Channel 12 as a Standout Student. He shares how he overcame obstacles to achieving his dreams and is now planning to play soccer on scholarship while studying business management at San Jose State.

Over the summer, Crest View Elementary remodeled its library thanks to a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant. The walls were brightened up with a mural, and new furniture was purchased to create a more comfortable place for students to read and learn.

Maple Grove Senior High student Rory Calabria attended the American Legion Boys State this summer and was one of only two from the state of Minnesota selected to attend Nationals in Washington, D.C. Boys State is a selective government education program where participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of American citizens.

Park Center Senior High counselors hosted a breakfast event to build relationships and create unity among their Latino population. In addition to working towards increasing the graduation rate and overall academic success, the counseling department is assessing the possibility of creating some Latino based clubs to continue growing a sense of belonging and unity.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

Osseo Senior High’s cross-country team donated more than 2,200 items to Hope 4 Youth, an organization that helps homeless teens. Coaches John Rundquist and Norma Arrellano slept outside in a local park and shared the experience with their athletes to help bring to life some of the challenges faced by homeless teens.

Students in Osseo’s Opportunities in Emergency Care program volunteered at the Twin Cities Marathon finish line this month and taught CPR to all 8th graders in our four junior highs.

Recognizing that healthy students are better prepared to learn, Zanewood Community School is participating in Meals for Minds, a partnership between CEAP and Target that focuses on bringing fresh, whole ingredients to families along with healthy recipes from various countries. The purpose of the program is to inform the community of ways to cook healthy fresh foods for low cost and optimal health. At the first distribution event, approximately 200 students went home with 4,400 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and other whole ingredients for their families.

More than two dozen students from our three comprehensive high schools and some of our elementary schools contributed to community by volunteering at the district’s annual Kindergarten Information Fair, which was attended by several hundred prospective kindergartners and their families. Volunteers provided digital technology assistance on iPads, offered facepainting and led additional activities for children during the event.

Elm Creek Elementary 5th and 6th grade students attended the Osseo Senior High Homecoming Pep Fest last month. The Osseo student body and staff went above and beyond to welcome and include the 5th and 6th graders in the festivities. The students even took a turn cheering for their graduation year. Elm Creek students reported that it felt great to be included in such a memorable high school event.

Crest View Elementary students and families participated in a back to school dance and a special family night at Brooklyn Park Library exclusively for Crest View families. Both of these events provided an opportunity to build relationships among students, families and staff.

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Some examples of bullying prevention activities in our schools this month include:

  • Osseo Senior High’s student ambassadors contributed to a welcoming school environment by writing positive messages on the sidewalk for students and visitors.
  • Woodland Elementary participated in Unity Day. The day’s events focused on empowering students who witness bullying from being bystanders to being upstanders, who are individuals who recognize when something is wrong and take action to help make it right. Students created upstander superhero capes, which they wore during an all-school SOAR and Protect lap around the building.
  • Brooklyn Junior High seventh graders participated in a preview of a new, interactive bullying prevention program called, “Bully Cycle Snapshot.” The program weaves together comedy sketches teaching students about empathy, inclusion, the bully cycle and cyber bullying.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Osseo Senior High’s automotive program was featured in Maple Grove Magazine for being the first in the country to receive a Maintenance and Light Repair certification for accuracy from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation last spring. The program offers students a rigorous training course to advance them towards a job or additional training in the automotive field.

The Osseo Area Learning Center has designed a self-paced Personal Finance course available entirely online through Schoology and Osseo Apps. This exposes students to new technology, provides them with flexibility to work at school or home if they must be absent, and allows them to move through the curriculum at the appropriate speed for each individual learner.

Boston Scientific is one of our longtime local business partners who help support our educational mission. One of the many ways Boston Scientific supports students is by sponsoring the Osseo Robotics team and the VEX robotics state qualifying tournament that will be hosted by Osseo Senior High in January.

Several Park Brook Elementary students and staff participated in the Twin Cities 5K. The school held before and after school boot camp class that helped students train for the event. Research has shown that regular physical activity can increase concentration and improve ability to learning.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Information Technology Educators of Minnesota named Weaver Lake Technology Integration Specialist Andrea Wilson Vazquez their 2014 Technology Integrationist of the Year. She earned the award because of her leadership and dedication in the area of technology integration in schools. Andrea is the fourth Osseo Area Schools employee to be recognized in 2014 with the highest state-level recognition within each person’s profession.

Creating their own twist on a pay it forward challenge, Osseo Senior High staff created a Lunch Challenge. Each week, two staff members are nominated to eat lunch with students or donate to the school’s Smile Fund, which helps students in need. Staff who accept the challenge use their lunchtime to build relationships while eating lunch with students.

Elm Creek Elementary first grade teacher Julie Blue was recently named KS95 Teacher of the Week. A parent nominated her for the recognition because of her creativity and welcoming atmosphere in the classroom. Mrs. Bell and her students participated in an on-air interview with KS95’s morning radio personalities Ryan & Shannon and also welcomed Shannon to the school for a visit with the class.

Garden City Elementary Principal David Branch recently challenged himself to a “No-Office Day” where he spent a full work day outside of his office on activities such as instruction, instructional planning, professional development and student engagement. Throughout the day, he showcased the great instructional learning and other activities going on at Garden City via Twitter.

Maple Grove Sam’s Club recognized Crest View Elementary teachers for their hard work and efforts in the classroom with a cake and $1,000 worth of gift cards to purchase classroom supplies.

SEPTEMBER 2014

ACHIEVING DREAMS

Osseo Area Schools received a three-year, $1.3 million 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant to provide free, before and after school and summer learning opportunities to students at Brooklyn Junior High, North View Junior High, TreeHouse, and Zanewood Recreation Center. Goals of the grant are to help students develop and apply 21st century skills, increase school and community connectedness and increase students’ academic performance.

Park Center Senior High’s Marching Band competed in the 30th Annual Vikingland Marching Band Festival this summer, which is considered the premiere competition in the state for marching band. They marched away with 2nd place in Class AAA, 1st place in Color Guard and 4th place overall.

Over the summer, Casey Autey, a 2014 Maple Grove graduate, was named to the national Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Scholar All-America Team.

Thirty-five Osseo Senior High students earned a score of 30 or higher in one or more sections of the ACT. To support student achievement on the ACT, counselors offer an ACT prep course during the day, which includes two practice exams. Beginning this year, all juniors will take the ACT in school at no cost to them.

Thanks to an Education Minnesota grant, 30 sixth graders at Weaver Lake Elementary will become active architects of technology through coding and programming with Chromebooks. Library Media Specialist Andrea Wilson-Vazquez secured the grant to purchase Chromebooks to teach coding to the students, which will include app building and program design.

CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY

Rush Creek Elementary Kidstop students donated more than 10,000 books to Books For Africa as part of their service project this summer. Kidstop also continued its partnership with the University of Minnesota Gophers, which was featured in a video that was shown on the big screen at a recent Gopher football game.

The District 279 Foundation raised more than $7,100 through a successful 5K fun run. Proceeds go towards the media centers across our district.

Teachers Andrea Flies and Marilyn Trouth demonstrated contributing to community through participation in the PurpleRideStride for pancreatic cancer.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Maple Grove Senior High Robotics team took second place at the State Fair Robotics Competition, beating out some traditionally strong competitors from around the state. Additional students earning recognition at the state fair include Birch Grove 6th grader Kaya Moore-Hill, who won an Honorable Mention for her art project; and a number of Maple Grove Junior High students, whose woodworking clocks were on display at the Fair.

Over the summer, our Career and Technical Education program offered SCRUBS camp at Osseo Senior High, providing junior high students a chance to learn about careers in the medical field through hands-on activities, field trips and visits with professionals.

During August and September, several of our schools invited family members to attend all-school barbecues. These events help build positive relationships with students and their families.

Osseo Junior High has been awarded $4,000 to support healthy eating and physical activity initiatives as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The funds will be used to purchase a tabletop salad bar, healthy food tasting events and prize incentives for students related to healthy eating and physical activity.

Palmer Lake Elementary recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house where current and former students and staff gathered to reminisce and celebrate a lifetime of learning inspired within the walls of the school.

MISSION-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES

Kids In Need Foundation named Fair Oaks preschool teacher Etta Rassier Teacher of the Year. Rassier was selected based on the creativity and quality of her project for literacy in preschool called, “Learning Through Dramatic Play,” supporting kindergarten readiness and literacy by grade three, two requirements of our state's new World's Best Workforce legislation. She will receive $500 as part of the award and Fair Oaks Elementary will receive a $500 gift card to Staples to purchase supplies for the school.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently sent a letter of recognition to Park Center Senior High math teacher Marshall Thompson recognizing him for being an influential person in the life of a former student who now attends MIT. The recognition demonstrates the power of teachers who invest in building relationships with their students.

Maple Grove Senior High Principal Sara Vernig served as a VIP at the Gathering of Champions in August, where the state’s Academic All-Stars were recognized for their achievements.

Ten of our new teachers this year are former students of Osseo Area Schools. Many of these teachers have shared that their positive experiences as students in our district inspired them to become educators. We welcome them back as teachers and look forward to the work they will do in furthering our mission.

For the 25th consecutive year, the Association of School Business Officials International has recognized our district’s finance department with a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. This award recognizes the district’s high-quality financial reporting to the community through an exceptional comprehensive annual financial report that demonstrates credibility, confidence, and transparency.