Friends of Education recipients announced

Four people in the Lake­ville Area Public School district will be honored as this year’s recipients of the Friends of Education Awards.

This year’s honorees are Todd Bornhauser for business partnerships, Lisa Holien for distinguished service, Colton Mehlhoff for education and Larry Hill for volunteer service.

The awards will be presented at the 2014 Staff Recognition Reception on Wednesday, May 21, at the Holiday Inn in Lakeville.


Burnsville junior Paul Nong wins art award

The artwork of Paul Nong, a junior at Burnsville High School, was chosen as the winner of the Creative Self-Expression juried art show, held at The Great Frame Up in Burnsville on May 8.

The show featured work by Burnsville High School students and is part of a national competition. Nong’s piece, “Summer Skies,” will compete against 16 others that won local competitions held by The Great Frame Up stores around the country. The prize for winning the national competition is $1,500.

This is the second award Nong has received recently. In April, he was named the Minnesota winner of the Doodle4Google competition sponsored by the Google company. His “doodle” is a national finalist in that competition.

All artwork submitted will remain on display until May 31 at The Great Frame Up store located at 1004 County Rd. W., Burnsville. Visitors can vote for their favorite piece and the winner will receive a “People’s Choice Award” of $50 in custom framing. Votes can also be cast on the store’s Facebook page at www.face

School’s food service manager is honored

Karra Hartog, food service manager at Gideon Pond Elementary in Burnsville, recently received an honorable mention in Dakota County’s Promoting the Health of the Public achievement awards. She was honored for her work in promoting healthy eating for kids.

One of Hartog’s accomplishments has been making changes to Gideon Pond’s breakfast program. In the past, only about half of the students at the school ate school breakfast because of long lines and a lack of time. Hartog and the food service staff obtained a grant of more than $7,000 from the Children’s Defense Fund. With the money, they purchased a “grab-n-go” breakfast cart and computer tablet and started the “Bag It: Bring a Great Start into the Classroom” program, encouraging students to grab breakfast quickly and take it with them to classes before school starts.

Since then, breakfast participation has gone up by 25 percent. Hartog also helps other districts make changes that will encourage kids to eat healthfully.

Burnsville senior wins $20,000 scholarship

Asha Farah, a Burnsville High School senior, has been selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The honor also includes other support that Farah, who wants to be a doctor, may need to complete a college degree, including technology, a mentor and a network of other recipients.

Farah will attend St. Catherine University in St. Paul and wants to become an actuary to work her way through medical school. One day, she hopes to open a hospital in a developing country.

The Dell Scholars program recognizes students who have overcome major obstacles to pursue an education.

Farah was born in Kenya to parents who fled Somalia. She has lived in the U.S. since she was young. At Burnsville High School, her favorite subject is math, and she speaks three languages in addition to English. She is a tutor and member of the school’s Diversity Club and also participated in the AVID program, which she says helped prepare her for college.

Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul

Free summer meals available for kids

If your child or a child you know may be going hungry this summer, there’s a program that can help. Students in the West St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul districts may qualify for the Summer Food Service Program. As part of the program, all children under 18 who attend will be provided with two meals a day from June 16 through Aug. 1, Monday through Friday. For more information, go to

Food will be served at Hilltop Elementary in Inver Grove Heights (3201 68th St. E.) but 150 sites around the state also participate in the federally funded program. For more information, call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-HAMBRE or e-mail

Staff reports