Residents asked for input on school district cuts

The Forest Lake school district will hold a series of public meetings this month for residents to learn about the district's budget and give input on the $1.25 million in budget cuts the district plans to make for the 2008-09 school year. Meetings will be held Monday at Forest Lake Elementary (6:30 p.m.), Columbus Elementary (7 p.m.) and Linwood Elementary (7:30 p.m.). Another meeting will be held Thursday at Lino Lakes Elementary at 7 p.m.



Deadline is Monday for new school's hallmarks

The South Washington County school district is looking for community input on the nickname, insignia, colors and school song of East Ridge High School, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009. Suggestions for these categories are due Monday and can be submitted through a suggestion form available at The district will also hold community meetings on Tuesday at Oltman Junior High in St. Paul Park and Tuesday, March 18, at Lake Junior High in Woodbury.



School dedicated to memory of famed American

Gordon Parks High School, St. Paul's new building for high school alternative education, was dedicated on Thursday. The new school opened in December 2007.

Members of the Gordon Parks family, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and students dedicated the building to the memory of the legendary American artist. Parks achieved fame in photography, poetry, literature, film and ballet.

He was 15 when he moved to St. Paul from Fort Scott, Kansas, after his mother died. After arguing with his brother-in-law, Parks found himself homeless, sleeping in trolley cars and working as a busboy to make ends meet.

He would later become a photographer for Life magazine. And he was the first black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood movie with The Learning Tree in 1969. He also directed the movie Shaft, wrote poetry and novels and composed and choreographed a ballet dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. Parks died on March 7, 2006, at the age of 93.



Foundation honors school, teacher, students

St. Paul Central High School was honored by the Siemens Foundation as a winner of the 2007-08 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement. The organization also honored a Mahtomedi Senior High School teacher and two Minnesota students with scholarships in recognition of their commitment to math and science excellence.

Teacher Jennifer Steiger received a $1,000 award.

Student winners Deepa Chari, of Blake School in Minneapolis, and Igor Luzhansky, of Eden Prairie High School, each will receive a $2,000 college scholarship from the Siemens Foundation.

Central was selected in recognition of its commitment to students and leadership in AP participation and performance and received a $1,000 grant from the Siemens Foundation to support math and science education.



Students raise thousands for three area charities

Students at Henry Sibley High School gave three charities a total of $19,500 they raised during a week of events, including a dating game, a carnival and a talent show.

In one week last month, the students kicked off events with a pancake breakfast at Applebee's restaurant on Robert Street in West St. Paul, according to a news release from the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan school district. During a carnival, students were offered a pie-in-the-face booth, an obstacle course and the chance to briefly jail friends for $1.

Last week, students gave $6,500 checks to Community Action Council, which is a nonprofit that helps families in crisis get back on their feet; Free Arts Minnesota, which will use the money to help children in shelters or who have lived through difficult situations; and Special Olympics of Minnesota, which will use the money to buy uniforms for teams.

The annual charity fundraising event, known as GOFA (Give Once for All), was co-chaired by Henry Sibley seniors Sam Skemp and Ella Horner and junior Sam Lee. GOFA is a 50-year tradition at the school.