• The Como Park Asian American Club (CPAAC) and Annie Strupeck’s English Language class attended the annual Asian Pacific Islander (API) Day at the State Capitol on Feb. 8 (photo right). The event was sponsored and hosted by the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans. With a focus on the academic achievement gap and ways to engage youth in the civic process, students attended legislative committee hearings, met with legislators, listened to speeches by the Asian Council’s executive director, a state judge, and community leaders. Students also exchanged ideas and informally discussed policy with students from Harding High School, who were also participating in API Day.
• National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) was celebrated at Como on Feb. 13, highlighted by a program for students, parents and community members in the auditorium. Como choir singers and ensemble band members performed a few musical selections, mixed in with student orators who presented their original writings honoring black history, sharing future goals, and delivering inspiring messages. Additionally, parents enjoyed lunch, visited with Principal Theresa Neal, and had an opportunity to tour the school and visit classes.
• The Como Park String Orchestra was judged with the highest rating of “Superior” at the Minnesota State High School League regional ensemble competition on Feb. 24 at White Bear Lake, where they performed Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.”
Amelia Schucker’s solo was also judged “Superior” for her performance of a Bach concerto.
Como’s Chamber Singers (photo left) also performed on Feb. 24 at Concordia University with the Concordia Christus Chorus. The singers had the pleasure of sharing the stage with choirs from Hmong Academy, St. Anthony Village, and Central High School. The evening ended with a massed choir of 120 singers.
• Como’s Academy of Finance (AOF) students were welcomed to Travelers Insurance last month and participated in three seminars with professionals and mentors from Travelers: Resume Review, Mock Interviews, and Networking. Students reviewed their resumes with Travelers’ employees and left with annotations to incorporate, which left students amazed and aware of the attention to details. Academy of Finance students wore business professional attire for the event and blended into the downtown work setting, much to the delight of the AOF teachers, and commended by the business leaders.
• Global Minnesota sponsored the annual Academic WorldQuest competition at Ecolab Corporate Headquarters in downtown St. Paul on Feb. 1. Two Como teams of four students each participated. Both teams placed in the top 10 out of 42 teams from across the state.
The team of seniors Divine Uchegbu, Georgie Kinsman, Aaron Coggins, and junior Jackson Kerr finished in 5th place. The team of seniors Hannah Rhee and Ella Harker, with juniors Dominic Wolters and Stephen Boler finished 7th. The quiz bowl format featured questions from a wide range of world affairs topics and current events. The event was emceed by Current 89.3 radio host Mark Wheat.
• The Como Marine Corps JROTC placed 2nd out of 12 Army and Air Force regional JROTC units in a skills competition at Cretin-Derham Hall in early February. The events included a color guard, drill, fitness, and knowledge bowl. The Como cadre was led by an all-sophomore team including cadets Kathy Tang, Asia Faulk, Malee Vang, William Farley, and Philip Chervenak. Another highlight of the month was a skiing and snowboarding trip to Welch Village. 60 Como cadets took part, after developing leadership by fully organizing the event and fundraising for it.
• Donnell Gibson, known as “Mr. D” at Como, was featured on the WCCO morning news on Feb. 15 and honored with the station’s Excellent Educator Award. Mr. D is an intervention specialist and a motivating, positive presence in the halls and classrooms of Como. He was chosen for his tireless and selfless work with students, coordination of his non-profit Gibson Foundation, and his leadership as the coach for the junior varsity boys’ basketball team.
• The Como Park boys’ swimming team had an outstanding season. For the first time in coach Steve Conery’s 16 years of leading the Cougars, Como swimmers qualified for the state meet. The 400 relay team of Joe McCune-Zierath, Cole Napierala, Jared Czech and Josef Miller qualified for state at the highly competitive Section 4A meet on Feb. 24. The swimmers were preparing for state at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center as the Monitor went to deadline. Getting to state was a goal that the Cougar swimmers worked extremely hard to accomplish.
• The Como Park High School Booster Club is sponsoring its third annual friendly fundraiser at the Urban Growler Brewing Company on Sun., Mar. 12, from 4-8pm. Advanced ticket purchases are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Tickets at the door are $25 and $20. The price includes one meal and one beverage, live music, plus a chance to win some high-quality prizes.
Funds raised go to support extracurricular activities offered to Como Park High School students. Visit comosr.spps.org/booster_club for more details or to purchase tickets on the link. You may also contact the booster club at email@example.com, or call Ann Commers at 651-270-3692.