Sunday, february 26, 2012
Born into music T
im Stoneking isn’t a musician by choice. It was his birthright. The 19-year-old was born into a musically gifted family, and when his small finger first pressed the ivory key of a piano, it began a career he hopes lasts a lifetime. Stoneking, of Albert Lea, followed the typical path of a young musician. He began playing piano as a 7-year-old, taught by his grandma, and joined choir in elementary and band in middle school. As a teenager, Stoneking first picked up a guitar, and during his sophomore year at Albert Lea High School strummed and sang in front of a live audience for the first time at Tigers Roar, the school’s talent show. Now an adult, Stoneking is part of two bands and is writing and recording music on his own and posting tracks to YouTube and Facebook. Stoneking is now a veteran on the stage, but while he loves performing he doesn’t love the fanfare, so he plans on making music his profession by making others famous. “Being famous would be cool, but not really,” Stoneking said, on second thought. “I want to perform and enjoy it rather than it be my job. I want to be the guy behind the scenes for the big names.” Stoneking graduated from ALHS in 2011 and is working at Herberger’s, with plans to enroll at Riverland Community College for fall semester. After he earns an associate’s degree, Stoneking plans on attending the McNally Smith School of Music in St. Paul to study to become a music producer. “I’d like to spend the rest of my life recording and producing,” he said. “It has become a hobby of mine, and I’d love to peruse it further.” In the meantime, Stoneking is making music in Albert Lea. In addition to guitar and piano, Stoneking plays the bass guitar, ukulele, mandolin and sings. He started the band Riptide during his junior year of high school with classmates but is working on a side project called Panic Switch. As a member of these bands, Stoneking has performed at the Big Island Bar-BQ, Eagle’s Cancer Tele-
thon and a local battle of the bands outside of Bergdale’s Harley Davidson, to name a few. Riptide won the battle of the bands and was rewarded a recording session with Merle Krause, owner of Marshall Street Music, which they plan to take advantage of in the coming months. Stoneking said both bands began by playing covers but have since begun making original music. “I love getting to more or less take what you like from other songs and make them your own — to morph it into your own style,” said Stoneking. “It’s all the same four chords over again brought into new light.” Stoneking said he prefers writing instrumentals to lyrics, but when he does have to words to a song he collaborates with his bandmates. He’s written one song as a solo artist and recorded it, along with other covers, on his Macbook. “I like to change some of the covers up a little bit and make them my own,” Stoneking said. Stoneking said he didn’t have a choice to get involved in music at a young age. His mom, Julie, was a piano teacher and his dad, Steve, sang at church. His two older brothers, Andrew and Matt, and twin sister, Emily, were also musically gifted. Andrew sang in Nordic Choir at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and now is a high school choir director in Sioux City, Iowa. Matt is involved in the Albert Lea’s Community Theater and Emily plays the tenor sax in Luther’s band. Stoneking said he’s always loved singing and played around with musical instruments whenever he had the chance. “In high school, it was the only thing I really excelled at,” he said. “When I got home it was a way to blow off steam.” Stoneking, who’s favorite instrument in the guitar, said while he’s been involved in music his entire life, he became even more passionate about it once he joined a band and started creating his own. “My sophomore year really got me over the hump,” he said. “It brought me into the realization that I can actually do this.” — Andrew Dyrdal
Tim Stoneking plays on his family’s Kurzweil digital piano in his living room. Stoneking was taught how to play piano by his gradma at 7 years old.
Tim Stoneking plays his Hofner acoustic guitar in his home in Albert Lea. — Andrew Dyrdal
Page 2 • Albert Lea Tribune • Sunday, February 26, 2012 PROGRESS 2012 Ben Woodside brings the ball up the floor at Gravelines Sportica in Graveline, France. Woodside was an allstar for DCM Gravelines in the 2009 season.
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Ben Woodside, 26, a 2004 graduate of ALHS, then found a job in Tbilisi, Georiga, where he currently plays for the country’s Army base team. Woodside said he and his wife, A.J., 23, had to make a decision that was best for them. After consulting with Woodside’s agent, the couple landed in
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PROGRESS 2012 Georgia, a country that borders Turkey and Armenia to the south, the Black Sea to the west, Azerbaijan to the east and Russia to the north. “We had a couple different options leaving Slovenia,” Woodside said. “My agent had a couple different options, and we were actually about Turkey when at the last minute this whole Georgia thing came up with a great investment opportunity attached to it.” Woodside, who graduated from North Dakota State University in 2009 as the program’s all-time leading scorer, began his professional career with BCM Gravelines, a French Pro A team in northern France. Woodside played in France from 2009-10 where he was named a French League All-Star, before
Sunday, February 26, 2012 • Albert Lea Tribune • Page 3
Ben Woodside greets fans in France in 2009.
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signing a one-year contract with the Slovenian club. He has also played on the NBA summer league teams of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors. Woodside said while he and his wife enjoy Tbilisi, where they likely will spend a single season, it has taken some getting
Ben Woodside played for the Bison at North Dakota State University.
used to. The couple was assigned a chauffeur, and, unlike many places in the United States, smoking is very popular and legal indoors, including the arena Woodside plays in. “Before one of our big games we were all getting ready to come out of the locker room and our assistant coach was blowing a cigarette into our faces as we were running onto the floor,” he said. “That was a big reality check for me. Everyone smokes there. Guys in the locker room are having a smoke after the game. When you’re trying to get clean in the shower, they’re sitting there smoking in it.” Woodside also said the Georgians often stare at him and his wife when they’re out in public. “I don’t think it’s to be intimidating or rude,” he said. “They’re more curious than anything.” Woodside said his team, Irmia, is very professional and put him and his wife in a nice apartment. “All of my teammates are great,” he said. “There are a couple of Americans who are helpful and playing here for the same investment purpose.” The former Tigers star also said the fans are passionate and fill up an arena that holds 13,000 while standing the entire game. The only downside is the arena also fills up with a haze of smoke. Woodside said after this season he will try to play in one of the top two leagues in Europe, in either Spain or Italy. — Andrew Dyrdal
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Page 4 • Albert Lea Tribune • Sunday, February 26, 2012 PROGRESS 2012
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Sunday, February 26, 2012 • Albert Lea Tribune • Page 5
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Page 6 • Albert Lea Tribune • Sunday, February 26, 2012 PROGRESS 2012
They are the keys to
Success Virginia Herrera and Susan Frazier are the success coaches at Albert Lea High School. — Tim Engstrom
adult in the building,” she said. For instance, for someone struggling to fit in, Frazier will guide them to get involved in an activity, such as a sport or a club, where they can get to know a new set of students. Frazier said she and Herrera deal with a lot of parents don’t speak English, who struggle with reporting systems for things such as absenteeism. It creates a situation where the children can get away with things because the parents rely only on children for information. A success coach can bridge the gap. Herrera knows Spanish better than Frazier, who is working to learn. Herrera said parents can stop by to explain situations but if going to a home is needed to speak directly to parents, then so be it. “We make a point to let them know we are available for home visits,” Herrera said. She said being a success coach is a
fun job. They get to see students who struggled at the start of the year progress and succeed by the end. Sometimes, the joy of the job is just helping a kid get through a tough day. “It’s nice that they feel comfortable, that they can come here and feel safe,” Herrera said. The success coaches don’t go by courtesy titles like teachers and principals. Students call them by their first names. Freshman Aruna Evenson likes the spend time with the success coaches. Their office is in the school library. She said she struggles with math and likes how friendly the coaches are. “They are just always caring,” she said. The care motivates her to do the work and turn in the assignments. Teachers and parents say the program is successful. Parents will approach them and say something like: “Oh, my son is doing better now.” — Tim Engstrom
eet the success coaches at Albert Lea High School. There are two: Virginia Herrera and Susan Frazier. Their goal is to work with any and all students to remove the barriers that can keep students from graduating — bullying, frustration with a subject, a new language, not fitting in, bad hair day, you name it. Each school in the Albert Lea School District has one success coach, except the high school, which has two. Students learn about Herrera and Frazier through referrals from staff members and from word of mouth among the students. Frazier said some students just need a grown-up to talk to, one who isn’t an authority figure but can offer social advice and build their confidence. “They sometimes just need a positive
Albert Lea adopted its integration plan from Austin
t’s time for a Mad Minute-style math exercise in Kaia Kossman’s secondgrade class. Maria Miguel Felipe looks a bit nervous before the exercise as the class raises their arms, ready for the minute-long math quiz to begin. The objective is to complete as many addition and subtraction problems within the time limit. When the exercise starts, Felipe is ready. She has some help from
Chrissy DeLuna, Neveln Elementary School success coach. DeLuna is one of 10 success coaches in Austin who help students of color integrate and succeed in school. The “success coach” program is funded through state integration revenue, which many legislators say needs changing. As legislators debate tweaking or possibly restructuring the integration revenue program, area educators are concentrating on making
the most out of integration dollars. “Success coaches have certainly been able to support a lot of parents,” said Judy Knudtson, Albert Lea Area Schools’ integration plan coordinator. Albert Lea adopted the Success Coach program in 2009 after hearing about the work Austin’s success coaches did. The program is one of the largest positive educational stories out of Austin in recent years,
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Sunday, February 26, 2012 • Albert Lea Tribune • Page 7 Austin Success Coach Chrissy DeLuna helps Neveln Elementary School second-grader Maria Miguel Felipe on a math exercise earlier this year. The Success Coach program is considered an educational success in Austin and Albert Lea, but the state integration revenue used to fund the program could be in jeopardy this legislative session. — Trey Mewes
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ranking high among district initiatives. Success coaches help students new to the district succeed, whether that’s assisting a bilingual Hispanic or Sudanese student with classes, translating for parents who don’t speak English, or bringing new students and students from other countries up to speed on their lessons. “The success coaches are viewed as very welcoming by all the groups that we’ve talked to in our community,” said Kristi Beckman, Austin’s integration coordinator. “That would be one of the biggest things that we’ve done.” In addition, Austin uses integration funding for speakers like Naomi Tutu and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Allen Page, as well as community films, field trips, and academic opportunities like bringing Austin and Albert Lea High School students to Minnesota State Universeity, Mankato, for a Latino career day in
engineering programs. In addition, both districts fund after school opportunities which allows more students to come together for opportunities. The goal is to give students opportunities to learn from and with each other, as well as to bring students of all walks of life together. That’s part of the reason why Albert Lea and Austin partner with Southland and Hayfield and as part of the Southeastern Minnesota Integration Collaborative. The collaborative shares resources between districts and offers partnership opportunities like foreign language pen pals and lesson sharing. Several districts, such as Albert Lea, are voluntary partners with Austin, which was tasked by the Minnesota Department of Education in 2006 to put together an integration plan in response to the district’s increasing population of students of color. “All of the initiatives,
the partnerships have been a wonderful opportunity, as we’ve learned a lot from what Austin has been doing,” Knudtson said. “It’s a good opportunity for all of our students and their parents when we can work together with other districts.” Yet those partnerships will be put to the test this legislative session. Republican lawmakers tried to redefine integration funding last year during the 2011 shutdown battles so integration money could be spread around the state more evenly. Twin Cities school districts, which have a larger population of students of color, receive the majority of integration funding at the moment and lawmakers say the funding program isn’t doing enough to help decrease the increasing achievement gap between white and nonwhite students. “The important thing is we spend the dollars on things that work,” said Rep. Pat Garofalo,
R-Farmington and chairman of the Education Finance Committee. Garofalo and other legislators heard from state Department of Education officials as part of the Integration Revenue Replacement Task Force on Feb. 15 for its proposal on how the integration revenue program should be changed. Task force members have looked at ways to improve student achievement and forced busing, according to Garofalo. While Garofalo said Greater Minnesota could have increased funding under the new program, educators won’t hold their breath until Legislators decide what to do with the current program. “We just don’t know what they’re going to do,” Beckman said about collaborative initiatives. “In the spirit with that, we’re going to stick with the initiatives going on right now. We’ll keep those initiatives going until we find out what’s next.” — Trey Mewes
What’s the future hold? Population projections County Dodge Faribault Freeborn Mower Steele Waseca
2010* 20,087 14,553 31,255 39,163 36,576 19,136
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 23,470 25,110 26,510 27,740 28,800 15,180 15,190 15,180 15,050 14,960 31,970 32,050 32,110 32,020 31,940 39,760 40,330 40,790 40,990 41,210 40,810 42,900 44,630 46,030 47,200 20,070 20,400 20,690 20,760 20,850 — Minnesota State Demographic Center, figures released in 2007 * From the U.S. 2010 census
Projections for race
Projections for education
• The percent of Minnesota’s population that is nonwhite or Latino is projected to grow from 14 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2035. • The numbers of Latino, black and Asian Minnesotans are projected to more than double over the next 30 years. • The white population is projected to grow slowly and will decline in some parts of the state. • All regions of the state will become more racially and ethnically diverse than they are now. — Minnesota State Demographic Center, issued June 2009
• Minnesota K-12 school enrollment, including both public and nonpublic, is projected to rise about 7 percent between 2008-2009 and 2018-2019. • K-6 enrollment is projected to increase each year, with a total gain of 11 to 12 percent over 10 years. • Enrollment in grades 7 to 12 is projected to fall until 2012-2013, and then rise slightly. • Two alternative projections give similar results for total and public enrollments. — Minnesota State Demographic Center, issued June 2009
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Page 8 • Albert Lea Tribune • Sunday, February 26, 2012 PROGRESS 2012
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Page 10 • Albert Lea Tribune • Sunday, February 26, 2012 PROGRESS 2012
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Progress 2012 Community Life