Oak Hills Elementary to have new principal

Wade Labatte, a dean at McGuire Middle School, is taking the top job at Oak Hills Elementary after winter break. Labatte, who worked in his current position for more than six years, will replace Oak Hills principal Mary Malone, who is retiring. She has worked at the school since it opened in 1999.

Kenwood Trail student is state's top storyteller

Seventh-grader Rebecca Heisel, a student at Kenwood Trail Middle School, took home statewide honors in a digital storytelling contest. Heisel won the contest, organized by TIES, for grades 6-8 with an autobiographical story called "I Will Be Her Best Friend," about her relationship with her older sister Sarah, who has a form of mild autism.

TIES is a consortium of 38 Minnesota school districts that provides schools with opportunities combining education and technology.


Carleton professor gets climate-change grant

Phil Camill, an associate professor of biology at Carleton College who specializes in global change ecology, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study global climate change in northern Canada.

The $412,000 grant, for three years of work, will help fund a project Camill will undertake with St. Olaf College professor Charles Umbanhowar, Mark Edlund, a senior scientist at the Science Museum of Minnesota and Christoph Geiss of Trinity College in Connecticut. The team will study more than two dozen sites in Manitoba to find out how geographic location influences lake or land ecosystems' responses to climate change.


Psychologist-author to speak on discipline

The Prior Lake-Savage school district is hosting psychologist and speaker David Walsh at 7 p.m. on Jan. 7 in the auditorium at Prior Lake High School, 7575 150th St. W., Savage.

Walsh will discuss his book, "No: Why Kids -- of All Ages -- Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It," and give parents and educators effective techniques to help them say no in a way that teachers children skills of self-reliance, respect, integrity, the ability to delay gratification and a host of other crucial character traits.

Walsh is the president and founder of the National Institute on Media and the Family in Minneapolis. Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 if you register online, and $15 at the door. Reserved copies of Walsh's book are $15. To register, go to, or call 952-226-0080.


District seeking help on integration efforts

The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district is looking for residents and staff members who want a say about what the district does to better integrate its schools. The district wants volunteers to serve on its Community Collaboration Council, which will help come up with a plan to improve the balance of minority students in district schools.

In 2004, the Minnesota Department of Education told the school district that two of its elementary schools, Cedar Park and Glacier Hills, were "racially identifiable," meaning that minority enrollment in the schools was at least 20 percentage points higher than the district's average. In accordance with state law, the district formed a three-year integration plan with the help of its original Community Collaboration Council.

Among other integration measures, the district converted three of its elementary schools to magnet schools this fall: Cedar Park, Glacier Hills and Diamond Path.

Glacier Hills is no longer racially identifiable, but Cedar Park has a minority enrollment of 53.4 percent, compared to the district's average of 23.6 percent.

The new council will help to develop a new integration plan for the next three years.

The council will likely meet twice a month for four months, starting Feb. 7. To get an application, go to or call the Elementary Education Department at 651-423-7739. The deadline to apply is Jan. 17.