Changes abound at Como Park High School library

A makeover at the Como Park High School library has also been accompanied by another change: Sheri Chaffee-Johnson, a veteran English teacher at Como, is now the school librarian.

Chaffee-Johnson has transformed the library’s ambience into an open, welcoming environment that capitalizes on natural light and creates places for collaborative work, numerous workstations and quiet nooks for reading and studying. There’s even the aroma of fresh coffee from the Cougar Grounds, a coffee shop started by the school’s Academy of Finance students.

AOF teacher Erin Colestock oversees the student-run enterprise. Coffee, tea, lattes, cappuccinos and hot chocolate are among student and staff favorites.

Another new library program is peer tutoring for all core subjects at various hours throughout the day. Additionally, the library’s collection of books and resources is getting overhauled to reflect relevance and fulfill students’ literary needs.

“Libraries are great centers of knowledge, community, resources and access,” Chaffee-Johnson said. “Como’s library is a place of learning and community where I hope all people feel valued and can find what they seek.”

In other Como Park high school news:

• Como’s Marine Corps JROTC Leadership Academic Bowl team has advanced to the second level of national competition. Team members are Francisco Dominguez, Devin Thompson, Nayblut Kasuh and Alexander Le. Only 23 teams out of 77 across the nation are still in the running for the top prize.

• The Como Park choirs presented the annual Pops Concert on Dec. 16 in the Como Auditorium. The show featured five choirs performing music from “High School Musical,” “Shrek,” “Reflection,” Alessia Cara and more.

• Advanced Placement Government students, who will represent Como in the national Close Up Washington D.C. program in February, are raising funds to support their trip. Students bagged groceries for customers on Dec. 21 at the Roseville Cub Foods on Larpenteur Avenue.

• Community members interested in financially supporting students in the Close Up program can also contact the trip coordinator at eric.erickson@spps.org.

• Middle school students who are interested in experiencing a day of Como Park High School are invited to shadow a current Como student. Parents of interested, prospective students who would like to shadow or take a tour may register by going to spps.org/visitcomo. Any questions can be directed to Como Principal Stacy Theien-Collins (stacy.theien-collins@spps.org).

Eric Erickson is a social studies teacher at Como Park Senior High School.

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