Joyce Ester named president at Normandale Community College

Joyce Ester has been appointed president of Normandale Community College. She’ll start Aug. 2.

“Joyce Ester is an inclusive, transparent and collaborative leader with a proven commitment to the success of all students,” said Chancellor Steven Rosenstone.

Ester was president of Kennedy-King College, one of seven colleges within the City Colleges of Chicago district, from 2011 until 2013. Previously, she served as associate vice president for student services at Bakersfield College in California from 2010 to 2011, as assistant vice president for judicial affairs and division planning at California State University, Fresno, from 2007 to 2010, and as assistant dean of students/judicial affairs at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1995 to 2007.

She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Northern Illinois University and a master’s and doctorate in education from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Normandale Community College has nearly 15,000 students, making it one of the largest community colleges in Minnesota. Ester succeeds Joe Opatz, who is retiring after having served as president since 2007.

Eden Prairie

Jons takes first in science fairs

Eden Prairie High School sophomore Carolyn Jons recently placed first in national and international science competitions.

She competed with her science project and research paper titled “Improved Efficiency of Steam Generation Using Carbon Nano­particles.”

In March, Jons took first place at the North Central Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Along with a $2,000 scholarship, she received an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in Washington, D.C., at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. There she took first place and received a $12,000 college scholarship.

As a finalist in the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair, Jons was invited to the International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. On May 16, Jons competed at that fair among 1,700 other high school students from more than 70 countries and won a chemistry award.

Yard sale at International School

The International School of Minnesota will hold its annual yard sale on Saturday, May 31, for the ongoing Student Life Organization’s “Free the Children” service project.

The campaign’s goal is to help fund a new $10,000 school building in Quito, Ecuador. School families and staff will visit Ecuador in July to help build the school.

For more information, call 952-918-1800.


Reading Corps needs volunteers

Concord, Cornelia and Highlands Elementary schools are seeking volunteers to serve as Minnesota Reading Corps tutors. Volunteers will work one-on-one with K-3 students, providing research-based interventions to those who are below proficiency in reading.

Tutors receive training, a stipend and an education award that is applicable toward federal student loans or postsecondary tuition.

For more information, go to www.minne or contact Anna Peters at