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Continued: School briefs: Mahtomedi High ranks 2nd in U.S. News & World Report list of top schools

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  • Last update: May 3, 2014 - 2:00 PM

“Mary continues to inspire any and all, year in and year out, with her endless devotion, knowledge, genuine care, creative ideas and love for learning,” teacher Jane Neils said.

O’Connor and Johannsen will be honored at the chamber’s spring banquet and annual meeting on May 16.

Forest Lake

Junior high teacher illustrates kids’ book

Larry Underkoffler, an art teacher at Southwest Junior High in Forest Lake, has provided the illustrations for a new children’s book, “Piko, The Dog With No Tail.”

The book, the first such venture for Underkoffler and its author, Tom Gillaspy, tells the story of a dog that searches for her tail and “discovers friendship, bravery and true beauty,” according to the publisher’s website.

Gillaspy is a former state demographer who has written poetry in the past.

Underkoffler has taught art at the junior high level for 20 years but had no previous experience as a book illustrator, according to the Forest Lake School District.

Autographed copies of the book are available at Southwest Junior High for $16.

Anthony Lonetree



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  • Larry Underkoffler, at left, an art teacher at Southwest Junior High in Forest Lake, illustrated the book “Piko, The Dog With No Tail.” Tom Gillaspy, at right, is the book’s author. It’s the first illustrator credit for Underkoffler.

  • Larry Underkoffler

  • Tom Gillaspy

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