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 email@example.com
POINTS OF PRIDE
For the 10th year in a row, Osseo Area Schools had a record number of students earn AP Scholar recognition from the College Board, based on Advanced Placement (AP) exams taken during the 2016-2017 school year. Our three comprehensive high schools had a combined total of 103 AP Scholars, 38 AP Scholars with Honor, and 41 AP Scholars with Distinction. Additionally, class of 2017 students Allan Khankari, Kevin Nguyen, Alyssa Risch and Sikai Yang (Maple Grove Senior High) and Jack Ewing (Osseo Senior High) earned National AP Scholar honors.
Congratulations to the Osseo Area Schools CI-Adapted soccer team for its state championship “three-peat” on Nov. 18. The Pirates defeated Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee to win a third consecutive state title. The PI-Adapted soccer team also competed at state, placing third overall after defeating the team from St. Paul Humboldt.
On Nov. 9, the Maple Grove Senior High football team made an incredible comeback by scoring three touchdowns against St. Michael-Albertville in the game’s final minute. This season, the Crimson also won their fifth consecutive section title. The team’s season ended Nov. 16 in the state semifinal game against Eden Prairie.
Meredith Haakenson, a member of the Maple Grove Senior High girls’ soccer team, was named the Star Tribune’s 2017 Metro Player of the Year. Haakenson also received Class 2A Ms. Soccer honors from the state coaches association. Hassan Kamara, a senior at Park Center Senior High, earned an all-state soccer honorable mention and was selected to the Star Tribune’s All-Metro Soccer Team.
Osseo Senior High cross country running standouts Vaughn Thomas and Lex Davis qualified for the state meet this fall. Thomas is a senior at Osseo and Davis is an eighth-grader at Maple Grove Middle School.
After a season in which they both won their respective section championships, the Maple Grove Senior High boys’ soccer team finished fourth in the state tournament in early November while the girls’ team earned second place honors.
Several Park Center Senior High student-athletes committed to continuing their education and athletic careers on National Signing Day earlier this month. Kylee Cox signed to play volleyball at Gustavus Adolphus College; Jarius Cook signed with North Dakota State University to play basketball; Destiny Truly will join the bowling team at Arkansas State; and Meghan Dubois will head to Concordia University as a member of the basketball team next year.
Osseo Senior High’s Gabrielle Holton was featured as a Standout Student on CCX News on Nov. 7. Holton, who shines on the theatre stage, in the classroom and on the athletic field, plans to study marine biology in college next year.
CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
In October, former Minnesota Vikings player EJ Henderson stopped by Park Center Senior High to award the Vikings Community Captain Award to Aaron MacMurdo. This award is presented to varsity football players throughout Minnesota who excel on the field, in the classroom, and in their community.
Kindergartners and second-graders at Cedar Island Elementary partnered to create Veterans Day cards for vets at the Maple Grove-based Arbor Lakes Senior Living Center. Students also made cards for veteran family members of their fellow Cedar Island classmates.
As part of their “We Scare Hunger” campaign, students at Basswood Elementary collected more than 3,500 items for CROSS Food Shelf.
Woodland Elementary students and staff celebrated Unity Day in October by creating stepping stones that will be displayed in the school’s courtyard to help reinforce the theme of “STEP UP.”
On Nov. 16, 250 Fair Oaks Elementary students and their siblings received bicycles as part of a donation event sponsored by nonprofit organization Free Bikes 4 Kidz. In addition to receiving the bicycles, each child was also fitted for a helmet to help ensure they ride safely.
After a successful event last spring, Zanewood Community School hosted its second Scholars’ Choice Day on Nov. 15. With 30 classes offered throughout the day, students had the opportunity to learn new skills and were exposed to a variety of concepts that supported the school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) focus.
For the third consecutive year, Osseo Area Schools Community Education is partnering with Stages Theatre Company to provide more than 300 students across six elementary schools with the opportunity to hone their acting talents in “Alice in Wonderland.” Students will perform throughout the year for classmates, staff, families and community members.
Members of Renee Pelton’s 2015-2016 third grade class at Park Brook Elementary are in their third and final year of a partnership with Three Rivers Park District to help redesign the play area at French Regional Park. The students are featured in a recent video from Three Rivers Park District that describes the collaboration.
Rachel Raz, social worker at Weaver Lake and Rice Lake elementary schools, is featured in a new public art installation in downtown St. Paul. Titled “Speaking of Home,” the exhibit has transformed four of St. Paul’s public skyways into a monumental public artwork, exploring the meaning of home among first-generation Minnesota immigrants. Family photographs of 58 immigrants and refugees who live in the Twin Cities have been blown up to fill each panel of the skyway bridges, turning them into a giant lightbox. Each is accompanied by text telling the story of the person featured.
Park Center Senior High world language teacher Sara Schreiner was awarded an Active Learning Center Grant from Steelcase, a furniture design company. Through this grant, Schreiner’s classroom is now decked out with new tables, chairs and white boards. Schreiner also learned instructional techniques to increase student involvement and effectively use the physical space in her lessons.
Lieutenant Robert Coder, a 2007 graduate of Park Center Senior High, participated on a fly-over to mark the opening of the X Games in Minneapolis this summer. On his way there, Coder, who is a pilot in the U.S. Navy, took a birds-eye view photo of his alma mater.
Zoe Adkins, a varsity tennis player for the Maple Grove Crimson, captured the Section 5AA girls’ singles tennis championship on October 17. Zoe will now compete in the Minnesota State Tennis Tournament.
Fair Oaks, Oak View and Palmer Lake elementary schools received $500 “Game On” grants from Action for Healthy Kids to help expand student access to physical activity and healthy foods in school. Fair Oaks, Oak View and Palmer Lake are among 23 schools in Minnesota to receive Game On grants this year.
The Maple Grove Senior High boys’ and girls’ soccer teams won their respective section championships on October 17. The girls defeated Centennial 3-0 and the boys were victorious against St. Cloud Tech 3-1 to advance to the state tournament.
CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
Members of the National Honor Society at Osseo Senior High recently volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. During their volunteer shift, students packed 16,200 meals—enough to feed 44 kids for an entire year.
A slight chill in the air didn’t stop students at Elm Creek Elementary from participating in Walk to School Day on October 4. Sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School, the event provided students and families with an opportunity to increase their physical activity and connect with friends, classmates and neighbors. At school, students were welcomed by Principal Beth Ness and Osseo Mayor Duane Poppe.
As part of the annual Osseo Reads tradition, Osseo Senior High students passed out bookmarks to elementary students throughout the district on October 18. This event serves to inspire our district’s youngest scholars to develop a love for reading.
Students at Zanewood Community School and Fernbrook Elementary participated in Cardboard Challenge events earlier this month. These events give students the opportunity to hone their inner engineer and artist—allowing them freedom to let their creativity soar. From robots to animals to cardboard computers, there were some ingenious designs on display at both schools.
Fair Oaks Elementary students celebrated Farm to School Month by participating in the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch on October 12. The event takes place across the upper Midwest and seeks to promote the region’s apple orchards; celebrate healthy eating; and connect rural and urban communities.
Philip Luoma Anderson, a teacher at Maple Grove Middle School, had a special opportunity to meet Finnish President Sauli Niinisto at FinnFest in Minneapolis last month. Anderson gave the president a photograph of the homestead his great-grandfather established after emigrating from Finland.
Four students from Osseo Area Schools have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. Osseo Senior High’s David Nguyen and Maple Grove Senior High’s Ethan Donaldson, Daniel Du and Ashvin Pidaparti are among the highest-scoring Minnesota students on the 2016 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. They represent less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors. Each semifinalist will now compete to receive one of more than 7,500 scholarships.
An Osseo Area Schools alumna and hockey standout will be inducted into the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame this fall. Krissy Wendell-Pohl, who graduated from Park Center Senior High in 2000, is one of ten members in the League’s class of 2017. During her senior year, she had 110 goals, 55 assists, and led the Pirates to the state championship. Wendell-Pohl is a two-time Olympic medalist with Team USA and won two national titles at the University of Minnesota.
The PTO at Elm Creek Elementary received an Honorable Mention distinction in PTO Today’s 2017 Parent Group of the Year search. PTO Today is a national media organization that promotes parent involvement in schools.
Alan Page, former Minnesota Supreme Court justice and player for the Minnesota Vikings, visited with third-graders at Garden City Elementary this afternoon. Page read students his book, Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack, and encouraged students to go after their dreams by learning from their mistakes and working hard in school.
CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
This summer, Osseo Area Schools students at all four Kidstop locations and The Spot worked hard to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Through several events such as a walk-a-thon, silent auction and car wash, students raised more than $5,900 for JDRF and collected items for the organization’s silent auction this fall.
Minnesota Timberwolves player Jamal Crawford visited Crest View Elementary on September 12 to deliver backpacks and school supplies to more than 300 students. Crawford worked with nonprofit World Vision USA to donate the supplies for students; he also donated supplies to Crest View teachers to help get the school year started off right.
Two Osseo Area Schools students participated in STEM Day at the Minnesota State Fair. James Schrode from Maple Grove Middle School presented his exhibit on conductivity, while Jamison Adams from Woodland Elementary showed off his robot to fairgoers. Both students were grand prize winners at Kidstop’s STEM Fair last spring.
Last school year, 12 students in the marketing class at Park Center Senior High partnered with nonprofit The BrandLab to gain real-world marketing experience through summer internships. Student Tyrus Jenkins was also awarded a rolling $4,000 scholarship that will support him throughout his college journey.
Two teams of students from Osseo Area Schools were semifinalists in the 2017 Minnesota Cup—a statewide entrepreneurial competition where entrants competed for prize money, support and training to help make their ideas a reality.
- From Maple Grove Senior High, the team of Akhil Gupta, Ian Lim and Sam Byun represented their business, Crimson Café, which serves convenient and quality coffee to students and staff at the school.
- From Maple Grove Middle School, the team of Meghan Barton, Abby Polen and Paige Meierhofer created an app called “Eye on Walleye” to support the preservation of the walleye population in Lake Mille Lacs and boost tourism to the community.
Palmer Kraus and Hannah Theisen, 2017 graduates of Maple Grove Senior High, were named two of the four Triple Threat Award winners at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s annual Spotlight Showcase in June. Triple Threat winners demonstrate excellence in singing, acting and dancing, as well as community leadership, teamwork and artistry. More than 80 high school juniors and seniors across Minnesota applied for the award. Kraus and Theisen are the first Osseo Area Schools students to receive this honor.
A 2016 Maple Grove Senior High alumna is among this year’s ambassadors in the Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Program. Ellie Brimeyer will represent the Minneapolis Aquatennial at nearly 300 community festivals and events in North America throughout the next year.
Osseo Senior High grad Bashiru Kormah was elected as Day Student Body President at Augsburg College for the 2017-2018 school year. During his senior year at Osseo, BK was named an Act 6 Scholar and last spring, he earned a Newman Civic Fellowship at Augsburg. He has also served as a Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth intern for our district’s community education program.
CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY
Ela Kanade, an eighth-grader at Maple Grove Middle School, created a mural to show her school’s commitment to equity. The mural, which will be displayed at the school, features a woman with a variety of colors in her hair, representing the skin tones of people who attend and work at the school. The rainbow depicted in the young woman’s eyes symbolizes peace and understanding.
Osseo Area Schools and the City of Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Department partnered to update playgrounds at Elm Creek, Rice Lake and Rush Creek elementary schools this summer. The city worked with stakeholders at each school in a collaborative process to generate ideas and solicit feedback.
As part of her Girl Scouts Gold Award, Maple Grove Senior High junior Megan Gosian collected 22 musical instruments and donated them to Osseo Area Schools. The donated items will allow students to have more options for choosing an instrument they prefer when participating in music programs at school.
Summer Kidstop students at Weaver Lake Elementary have had a busy summer of learning and discovery. From gleaning cake decorating tips from Nadia Cakes’ Erin Campbell to understanding weather cycles with KARE-11 Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, there was no shortage of weekly adventures for students.
Several Osseo Area Schools principals made personal connections with residents of their school communities during this year’s National Night Out. Shown in this photo are Elm Creek Principal Beth Ness, Maple Grove Senior High Principal Bart Becker, Osseo Senior High Principal Michael Lehan, and Maple Grove Middle Assistant Principal Sara Looby, along with members of the Maple Grove Police Department.
Emily Bollinger, English teacher at Park Center Senior High, was selected to participate in the “Bridging Cultures Initiative” last month. Through this national program, Bollinger exchanged ideas and perspectives with eight other U.S. teachers and 20 teachers from across the globe. This opportunity was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and sponsored by the Illinois-Northwestern African Students Consortium.
Kindergarten teacher Marci Rahne was named “Best Elementary Teacher” by Maple Grove Magazine. Rahne has more than 20 years of teaching experience in Osseo Area Schools. This fall, she’ll bring her teaching talents to Cedar Island Elementary.