June 10, last day of school for St. Paul Public Schools

Compiled by Sarah CR Clark

Murray Middle School

Submitted by Principal Jamin McKenzie

Minnesota History Day state and national contests

Thirty-four students represented Murray Middle School at the Minnesota History Day State competition on Saturday, April 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Eleven students won honorable mention and seven won topical prizes:  Scout Murch Gordon (Minnesota’s Laws and Courts prize), Ingrid Bollman (Africa Studies Prize), Maeve Callahan-Schreiber (Educational History), Susie Elewell (Memorial Prize), and Charlie Anderson, Peter Laska and Emmett Loth (Minnesota Experience Documentary Prize).

Four History Day projects from Murray students have advanced to the History Day National Competition June 9-13 at the University of Maryland: Sylvia McRoberts for her website Courage and Grit: Virginia Hall, the Spy who Helped Win World War II; Scout Murch- Gordon for her exhibit Griswold v. Connecticut: Legalizing Birth Control; Charlie Anderson, Peter Laska & Emmett Loth for their documentary “The Seven Countries Study”; and Maeve Callahan-Schreiber for her documentary “Sunny Days: A Turning Point In Children’s Television.”

T. Mychael Rambo, an internationally known actor and performer, completed his artist-in-residency with SAP Elementary first-graders in April. Students, led by Rambo, delighted families with their recitations of original poems, movement, call-and-response and other performing skills. Photo by Sarah CR Clark.

Principal Jamin McKenzie said Murray’s Most Valuable Historian (MVH) Award has gone to Paloma Dashevsky for her performance on Dolores Huerta.

Murray social studies teacher Carrie Newman said the MVH Award is given to a student whose project shows historical integrity, perseverance and creativity.

“Paloma not only did an amazing job with her performance, she was also chosen by the Minnesota History Day program to be filmed, as her performance was incredibly powerful,” Newman said.

St. Anthony Park Elementary

Submitted by Principal Karen Duke

Running Club

SAP Elementary’s Running Club was a rousing success again this year, with more than 200 runners in grades 1 to 5 participating. Runners trained twice a week, running together after school. A culminating 1-mile race was scheduled for May 15.

Principal Karen Duke said family members, volunteers and staff helped in making the program successful, adding, “a big thanks to physical education teacher Karen Paulsen who keeps the event running strong!”

Pre-K program returning

Nature Discovery Pre-K will be back at SAP Elementary next fall, also serving three-year-olds.

During the 2023-24 school year, the pre-K program served about 25 four-year-olds, about half of whom are enrolled at SAP for kindergarten in the fall of 2024.

Duke said, “We hope to continue to grow the program.”

Avalon School

Submitted by Tim Quealy, program coordinator

Staff nominated for award

Three teachers from Avalon School were nominated for The Minnesota Charter School Leadership Award in March. Carrie Bakker, Gretchen Sage-Martinson and Nora Whalen are all founding staff of Avalon, a St. Paul charter school that opened in 2001.

Avalon teacher Tim Quealy noted that for these three teachers, “This year marks their 20th year of graduates!”

According to mncharterschools.org, the award recognizes people who have “demonstrated ongoing organizational and academic leadership, professionalism, innovation, and community engagement.”

Twin Cities German Immersion School

Submitted by Paige Yurczyk, communications and outreach director

Eighth-grade Capstone Exchange program

Thirty-seven TCGIS eighth graders completed their 17-day exchange program in Germany during May.

“Students returned with wonderful stories and experiences of daily life as a teen in northwestern Germany,” Yurczyk said,

Besides attending school and traveling with host families, students visit local farms and historical sites (like the castle Burg Bentheim), and toured the city of Münster.

Yurczyk explained, “TCGIS has three partner schools in Gronau, Ochtrup and Schöppingen, Germany, near the German-Dutch border. Last September, TCGIS eighth graders hosted 38 German teens from these schools, and this spring’s two-week visit concluded this year’s Capstone exchange.

“The TCGIS Capstone Exchange is the culmination of nine years of language-learning for TCGIS students and an enriching opportunity to put all of their hard work and learning to use in real-life situations in Germany.”

Yurczyk said TCGIS has one of the largest back-to-back exchange programs in the U.S. This year, a total of 74 TCGIS and German students participated. The 2025 program is expected to serve more than 100 students, including up to 60 students from the TCGIS.  

Sarah CR Clark lives in St. Anthony Park and is a Bugle freelance writer covering schools.

Leave a Reply