Schools notebook // Student art

Student’s art to hang in U.S. Capitol

LINDEN HILLS — A Southwest High School senior’s artwork will hang in a hallway at the U.S. Capitol for one year.

Erik Larson’s “Diana,” a portrait of a young woman in a dress, won first place in Rep. Keith Ellison’s 5th Congressional District Art Competition and Forum held May 11 at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley. Larson’s prize included three round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C., from Southwest Airlines and a $200 scholarship from the Perpich Foundation.

Southwest junior Anne Lee took third place in the competition. The Perpich Foundation awarded Lee a $50 scholarship, and her art will hang in Ellison’s Minneapolis office for the next year.

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Teachers, students receive service awards

An Anthony Middle School teacher and a group of Southwest High School students received service-learning awards from the Minnesota Department of Education in a May 14 ceremony at the state capitol.

The Department of Education defines service learning as experiential learning that challenges students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to community needs.

Paul Sommers, who teaches sixth-grade Minnesota history at Anthony, was recognized with the Practice Award for his use of service-learning techniques with students over the past eight years.

This year, Sommers’ students’ service-learning projects included starting a recycling effort at Anthony and lobbying for the homeless at the state capitol. Sommers also serves as a mentor to other teachers experimenting with service learning.

The Department of Education awarded the Southwest High School Green Team its Student Service Award. The group of about 50 student volunteers sponsors free public workshops on environmental issues, does community service projects and travels to other schools to give presentations.

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Lake Harriet student advances to History Day nationals

FULTON — A Lake Harriet Community School upper campus student won an invitation to the National History Day competition June 14–18 at the University of Maryland, Minneapolis Public Schools reported.

Carl-Lars Engen won second place in the junior individual documentary category at the state History Day competition May 2 at the University of Minnesota with his project “More Than Words: The Legacy of Sigurd F. Olson.” Olson, a noted writer and conservationist, was born in Chicago but spent the majority of his life in Ely, Minnesota.

The National History Day competition is open to students across the country. More than half a million students participate every year, researching a historical topic and presenting their findings through written papers, websites, documentaries, exhibits and performances.

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Wallin Foundation awards scholarships

LINDEN HILLS — A Southwest High School senior was among the Minneapolis Public Schools students to win a Wallin Foundation scholarship in May.

Alexander Christensen was awarded a college scholarship equal to $4,000 per year or $16,000 over four years.

Wallin Scholarships are awarded to students “with financial need and academic promise,” according to the foundation’s website. Over 2,000 Minneapolis students have received scholarships since the program began in 1991.

Minneapolis Public Schools reported Christensen planned to major in environmental studies in college. He was motivated by his mother’s diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease to explore links between the disease and the environment, the district reported.

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Windom students plant rain garden

WINDOM — More than 100 students planted a rain garden outside of Windom Spanish Dual Immersion and Open School in May.

The fifth- to eighth-grade students, from four science classes, put more than 700 native plants in a bed outside the schools south entrance, Windom parent Kevin McDonald said. The rain garden will help to filter storm water runoff from the school.

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District fetal alcohol work recognized

A first-of-its-kind district program to support students with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was recognized at a national health conference in May, Minneapolis Public Schools reported.

Kay Cole, who heads the district program, was invited to speak at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

In Minneapolis, students with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder are identified and get special help to improve their grades.

Children born with FASD may experience learning or developmental disabilities, hyperactivity and other symptoms.