Stillwater Area High School senior Andy Ylitalo tied for first place in the recent Minnesota State High School Mathematics League tournament, the latest in a series of honors for the math and science standout.

Ylitalo, 17, will travel to Atlanta in April to interview for a Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation scholarship and to Phoenix in May to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Last fall, he was one of six students inducted into the National Museum of Education's National Gallery for America's Young Inventors. He came up with an idea for an energy-efficient window that he spent about three years to develop, his mother, Caroline Ylitalo, said recently.

Working on science projects during cold-weather months is "our family tradition," said his mother, a research scientist at 3M. Andy's younger brother, Max Ylitalo, is a finalist in the 2013 I-SWEEEP (International Sustainable World Energy Engineering and Environment Project) Olympiad, which will be held in Houston in May.

For the Intel science fair, Andy submitted a project titled, "Functionalization of Hexagonal Boron Nitride Monolayers and Analysis with Transmission Electron Microscopy."

His mother said he qualified for the Coca-Cola scholarship by forming and coaching a math team at Oak-Land Junior High in Lake Elmo.

Andy has been accepted to Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and probably will attend Stanford, Caroline Ylitalo said.

North St. Paul

Screwball comedy will be put on for spring play

North High School's drama department will stage the comedy, "You Can't Take It With You," for three days beginning Thursday, April 4.

According to a district news release, the zany play pits the eccentric Sycamore family against the "buttoned-up bigwigs of Wall Street and the IRS. When Alice Sycamore agrees to marry the son of ultraconservative parents, will true love win out?"

Performances are set for 7 p.m. on each of three nights — Thursday through Saturday — and at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the theater website or at the box office, which will open one hour before each performance.

North High is at 2416 11th Av. E. in North St. Paul.

South Washington

Budget-cutting plan approved by school board has layoffs

Up to 22 teaching positions could be trimmed and secondary students will walk longer distances to school under a $2 million budget-cutting plan approved by the South Washington County school board on March 21.

Layoffs could be eased by state aid increases now being considered at the State Capitol.

Officials decided earlier this year that $2 million in cuts were needed in 2013-14 to keep the district's fund balance within the range of 5 to 9 percent of the total budget.

Transportation cuts will result in school-bus boundaries for middle school students being extended from 1 mile to 1.5 miles from school, leaving anyone living within 1.5 miles to have to walk or arrange a ride.

Boundaries for high school students were extended from 1.5 miles to 2 miles.


High school senior is tops for state in poetry contest

Woodbury High School senior Yemi Ajagbe repeated as state champion in the Poetry Out Loud finals at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on March 18.

She won with recitations of "Give All To Love" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "I Am the People, the Mob" by Carl Sandburg and "Cartoon Physics, part 1" by Nick Flynn, a South Washington County district news release said.

Ajagbe will represent the state at the national finals in Washington, D.C., in April.

The Minnesota State Arts Board, which coordinated the local event, said Poetry Out Loud is part of a "national resurgence in spoken word as a competitive event."

Anthony Lonetree