Fifteen seniors in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District have been named semifinalists in the 2012-13 National Merit Scholarship Program, and 34 seniors were recognized as commended students.
National Merit semifinalists rank among the top 1 percent of high school seniors nationwide and are eligible to compete for the more than 8,300 merit scholarships - totaling more than $34 million - which will be awarded next spring.
They are: Mitchell Dawson and Micah Lindstrom of Apple Valley High School; Justin Dietz, Madison Janvrin, Paulina Marell, Eleanor Schriner, Nicholas Studenski, Sylesh Volla, Kevin Wei and Aliya Zhdanov of Eagan High School; Audrey Gunn, Lauren Schaffran and Kelsey Spaniol of Eastview High School; Paul Wollersheim of Rosemount High School; and Rand Silvers of the School of Environmental Studies.
Anna Hutton of Eagan High was named a semifinalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, which recognizes black high school seniors. Achievement semifinalists are eligible to compete for about 800 achievement scholarship awards - totaling more than $2.5 million - which will also be awarded next spring.
The South St. Paul/Inver Grove Heights Rotary Club has donated $5,915 to Independent School District 199 to purchase 13 iPads.
One of the iPads will be used by students at Inver Grove Heights Middle School, and the remaining 12 will be used with ninth- and 10th-grade language arts students at Simley High School.
More than half of the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District's 31 schools saw their Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) scores drop, according to most recent data from the state Department of Education.
The MMR school accountability measure replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress system earlier this year as part of the state's waiver to the federal No Child Left Behind law. The first round of MMR scores were released by the state in May and were based on results in reading and math that students took in spring 2010 and 2011. The second MMR scores released recently are based on MCA results from spring 2012.
A total of 17 Rosemount district schools saw their MMR scores drop while the other 14 schools saw their scores increase.
The West St. Paul school board has voted to boost the pay of school board members to $4,000 a year.
Board members had been making $3,000 a year. The increase, according to the district, is the first since 1997.
It was a approved by a 5-2 vote earlier this month, with Mark Spurr and Pat Barnum casting the no votes.
"We're not in this for the money," Spurr said. "I just feel better in budget discussions if our compensation as board members is minimized."
HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA