News from Como Park Senior High School

Como group takes service learning to the road

Como’s Dare 2 Be Real group of 40 students, guided by Como educators Dylan Hackbarth, Kirstyn Ouverson and John Robinson, hit the road for a service-learning trip during spring break in April. Dare 2 Be Real focuses on combating systemic racism to promote equitable access in education.

On their “pay-it-forward” tour, the Como student group partnered with national nonprofit Students Today/Leaders Forever and visited the University of Iowa to help remove invasive species from a creek area near Iowa City. They also toured Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and met with a social justice group on campus. From Missouri the trip proceeded to Memphis, Tenn., where they explored the National Civil Rights Museum. The Como students listened to Jesse Jackson address an audience assembled at the Lorraine Motel on the anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination at that site.

The students continued their journey and helped clean riverbeds in Memphis at Shelby Farms Park and then volunteered at a domestic abuse shelter in Quincy, Ill., on the way back to St. Paul.

Robotics team advances to state

Como Park Robotics (aka BEASTBot Team 2855) participated in the 10,000 Lakes Regional Competition at the University of Minnesota over spring break in April and advanced to the state tournament. Out of 200 Robotics teams in the state, the top 30 qualify for a return trip to Williams Arena and the culminating state event on May 21.

BEASTBot also won the prestigious Entrepreneurship Award at the 10,000 Lakes Regional, earning an addition to Como’s trophy case.

The Como Robotics team has 27 members, including captains senior Evan Hulick and junior Marie Wulff. The team’s coaches are Como teachers Donna Norberg and Mike Fischer, assisted by former Como principal Dan Mesick.

For those interested in supporting the team, fans are welcome at state and financial donations are accepted. Contact donna.norberg@spps.org with any questions. Go Cougars!

Finance students gain internships

The BrandLab has awarded six marketing internships to Como Park Academy of Finance students Archie Gjerdrum, Larissa Evans, Titilope Yusuf, Tou Meng Yang, Angela Aryiku and Innocent Murwanashyaka. The paid summer internships will allow students to work alongside marketing and advertising industry professionals at various agencies and corporations throughout the Twin Cities.

The BrandLab has been a community partner at Como for several years through Gail Rosenow’s marketing classes and recently launched two new initiatives this spring in Jamie Crandall’s Academy of Finance classes.

Finance Decathlon team goes to state

Seniors Emma Hartmann, Katie Erickson, Lina Abajebel and Ellie Thorsgaard placed third in the state competition of the Personal Finance Decathlon. More than 400 students competed online to qualify, and the Como team was one of 12 teams advancing to the finals at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on April 6.

The Personal Finance Decathlon lets students test their knowledge in 10 areas of personal finance, such as economics, financial planning, investment banking and financial institutions. Students prepared a case study of a fictional family’s financial situation, presented it to a panel of judges, and then competed in a quiz bowl round.

Study abroad

Five advanced French students spent their spring break in France under the guidance of Como French instructor Patricia Teefy. The travels began in Paris and then headed to Chartres, about one hour southwest by high-spread train, for visits to a couple of famous castles. From there the students met up with their respective home-stay families for a full-immersion experience and cross-cultural exchange.

Spanish lessons

Advanced Spanish students from Kirsten Peterson’s classes took their developed, interactive lesson planning out into the community to connect with elementary students and inspire language learning. The Como students conducted classes for young learners at St. Anthony Park and Chelsea Heights elementary schools, incorporating numbers lessons, colors and storybook vocabulary.

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