Jesse Anderson was stunned to be selected Fire & Ice king by fellow seniors at Richfield High School on Thursday, but at least one administrator had an inkling he might win.
“We actually kind of predicted that he might be [king]. He’s just a very kind, very outgoing kid, fun,” said Teresa Rosen, assistant principal.
Anderson, who participates in theater, also has autism.
“I was very surprised indeed,” he said. “It was such a wonderful gift from my classmates.”
When Anderson won, he jumped up and down and pumped his fists. His parents and grandparents were present in the gym to witness the moment, Rosen said. “The teachers were just choked up,” Rosen added.
At Richfield High School, a homecoming queen is traditionally chosen in the fall and a Fire & Ice king is picked during the school’s winter festivities week.
Anderson got to wear his crown and tuxedo all day Thursday. He said it’s an honor and a privilege to represent his class and the city of Richfield.
No legal action against Paez’s old district
An advocacy organization that alleged abuse at a school in Holyoke, Mass., will not take action against the school district, according to local news reports.
Sergio Paez, the former superintendent of Holyoke, was selected to lead the Minneapolis School District in December, but the school board rescinded its offer after the allegations surfaced.
The Disability Law Center in Massachusetts announced this week it would not take legal action against the district after it alleged staff at a school physically abused students with disabilities. For its part, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed to limit the use of restraints and seclusion of students in the school and make improvements to the Peck School building, according to MassLive.com.
In an article in MinnPost this week, Paez said the group’s claims were “sensationalized allegations.”
“Unfortunately, the whole process of my selection was compromised when perception became more prevalent than facts,” he said.
High school health center to offer free care
A health center is opening at Richfield High School to provide Park Nicollet services at no cost to children and youths who live in or go to school in the Richfield community.
The resource center grew out of a partnership between the Richfield school district, the Park Nicollet Foundation and Park Nicollet Health Services. It is Park Nicollet’s fourth school-based health center in the state.
Park Nicollet said in a June news release that Park Nicollet services would be free, though other service providers may bill insurance or charge.
In the Richfield district, almost 70 percent of students are on free or reduced lunch, according to 2014-15 school year data from the Minnesota Department of Education.
144 Teacher of Year candidates named
Education Minnesota, the state teachers union, unveiled the names of 114 candidates for the 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year on Wednesday. A panel of 25 judges will name the winner May 15.
The candidates are listed at tinyurl.com/jv9ezce.