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High School Choir Concert Finale

Update Hopkins Public Schools

The community’s guide to the District.

Hopkins High School Ranked 15th Best School in Minnesota

May/June 2014

Don’t miss this special opportunity for an evening of beautiful choral music. All choirs perform. May 27, 7:30 p.m. Hopkins High School Auditorium

com m u ni t y Hopkins High School Graduation Congratulations to the Class of 2014! June 5, 7:30 p.m. Lindbergh Center 2400 Lindbergh Drive Minnetonka

Daddy & Me free events! Dads, grandpas, friends, uncles with kids ages birth to five, join us for these free and fun events. May 30, 6:30 p.m. Minnetonka Police & Fire Station 14600 Minnetonka Boulevard June 3, 6:30 p.m. Hopkins Police Station 1010 - 1st Street South

Everything I Need to Know I Learned In High School Three seniors share their experiences at Hopkins High School

Hopkins High School has once again been named one of the best high schools in Minnesota by U.S. News and World Report. Hopkins earned a Silver Medalist award and was rated the 15th best high school in the state due to its performance on state assessment tests, including the performance of the least-advantaged students, and its college readiness scores. Nearly half of all Hopkins High School students (47 percent) take Advanced Placement classes.

World Book Night Spreads the Love of Reading

On Tuesday, April 23, Kathy Patton, a retired Hopkins teacher, handed out 20 copies of the book “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson to light readers or non-readers at Alice Smith Elementary. This generous donation was made on behalf of World Book Night. Tanglen Elementary also participated in the project. The students who received books will use them as part of their summer school curriculum.

The school year is coming to a close, and the class of 2014 is gearing up for its final walk across the Lindbergh Center stage. This year, about 610 students will graduate from Hopkins High School, each has a unique story to tell. In this story, we focus on three seniors — Jae Bates, Madeline Warshaw, and Chantel Dixon-Shannon — who are each very different, yet share a similar bond in having a positive view of their high-school experiences. Although they have walked different paths, they have each found a road to success. We wish them, and the entire class of 2014, the best of luck as they take this next big step towards the future. I am so Jae Bates: a quiet leader Before entering high school, Jae Bates had a plan. He was going to keep his head down and stay as quiet as possible. He was going to blend in. Things did not work out exactly like he thought. He ended up becoming something of a of spokesperson for the LGBTQ community. He is president of the Gay Straight Alliance, was active in the Outfront Minnesota Campaign, and most recently campaigned for the Safe Schools Bill and the Youth Summit Bill. Last fall, he was nearly crowned Hopkins High School homecoming king, making him the first Minnesota transgender student to be part of a homecoming court. Head down? Hardly.

Throughout his entire high-school career, Bates has been a strong student. He values getting good grades, and attributes the entire social studies department for shaping his current perspective. His Honors and Diversity Seminar class, for instance, has changed the way he relates to other students, and the way he views himself as a person of color. Grades are important to Bates, but he is a firm believer that life’s most valuable lessons are learned outside the classroom.

impressed by the quality of academics and the breadth of experiences here. You can find your people anywhere at Hopkins. There is not one type of person, and that prepares you for the real world.

Bates describes his high school choice as a life or death situation. It was the adults and his peers who surrounded him at Hopkins that gave him the courage to not only come out, but to go out in the community and advocate for change.

Jae Bates presenting about the importance of safe schools.

One of Madeline Warshaw’s proudest high school accomplishments is creating PAWS for Thought, an organization to help shelter animals.

“My experience at Hopkins High School has been really positive,” said Bates. “The people here are so much more supportive than other communities. They shaped my confidence to go out in the community and change things.”

“Good grades are important, but the biggest lesson I have learned is that you need to participate in the broader school act,” he said. One of Bates’ proudest accomplishments at Hopkins High School is starting GROM, a semi-formal dance for LGBTQ students, around the larger Minneapolis metro. GROM is a type of prom for students who may not feel comfortable going to their own prom. The event also doubles as a fundraiser for community outreach — this year’s event raised $800. Bates plans to attend the University of Puget Sound in Washington, and major in gender psychology and women’s studies. He is particularly interested in working with transgender youth. His five-year plan could include teaching English in South Korea — his birth country — or living in Seattle and attending graduate school.

Madeline Warshaw: following her passions Madeline Warshaw is someone who makes the most out of each moment. She keeps herself busy with activities that inspire her. Her daily planner may be crammed full, but keeping to her schedule never feels like work. It feels like a calling. In addition to a rigorous course load, Warshaw is president of the French Club, co-president of the Student Wellness Committee, founder and co-president of PAWS for Thought, and a member of the National Honor Society. When reflecting on her high school experience, Warshaw is proud to have maintained a good balance of challenging pursuits both inside and outside the classroom. “I just don’t want to let these years pass me by,” said Warshaw. “Just because I am involved in academics does see HIgh School inside

Hopkins Elementary Art Travels to the Capitol Glen Lake Elementary participated in “Art at the Capitol,” a program designed to honor students, and celebrate their creative talents. Two other neighboring districts — Eden Prairie and Minnetonka — also participated.

Senator Hann (back row, right) with Gatewood Elementary staff and students

If you have visited the Minnesota State Capitol over the past few months, you may have noticed artwork created by Hopkins elementary students. Both Gatewood Elementary and

The students worked under the tutelage of art teachers Karen Anderson and Sarah Honeywell. In all, nine art pieces created by Hopkins students were on display outside Senator Hann’s office. Students and their families were invited to view their creations on display in their temporary place of honor. Seeing their work displayed in such an important place gave the students a sense of pride.

On April 22, Senator Hann visited Glen Lake and Gatewood to return the artwork and present the students with certificates of appreciation. Students who had artwork featured: From Gatewood Elementary: Shanita Davis, Ami Arpan, Jake Nordean, Abi Carter, Dee Johnston, and Victor Pantaleon-Gomez. From Glen Lake Elementary: Isabel Omdahl, Mynah Dhingra, and Calvin Bromley.

High School, continued from cover not mean that I can’t do other extra-curricular activities. It does not mean that I can’t make a difference in my high school.” Warshaw was part of the junior-high gifted and talented program, ALM (Autonomous Learning Model). To this day, she continues to credit ALM for making the biggest impact on her, and for shaping her entire experience at Hopkins High School. In fact, she continues to keep in contact with most of the ALM teachers. A woman of many talents, Warshaw’s future could include almost anything. No matter where she lands, she hopes her future involves a Frenchspeaking element. She speaks French fluently, is involved in the high school French program, and studied abroad her sophomore year. Interested in feminism, Warshaw enjoys volunteering at MyHealth Clinic, which serves teenage girls and young women. She also helped create a non-profit fundraising program for shelter animals called PAWS for Thought. Starting this non-profit is one of her proudest high-school accomplishments … well, that and surviving her AP Language and Composition class. This fall, she plans to attend Wellesley College in Boston. Although her major is undecided, she will likely study political science and French, and minor in women’s studies. When she looks back on her high school experience, it’s the range of opportunities and the people who have made the biggest impact on her.

“I am so impressed by the quality of academics and the breadth of experiences here. You can find your people anywhere at Hopkins. There is not one type of person, and that prepares you for the real world.” Chantel Dixon-Shannon: determined and focused Two words that may be used to describe Chantel Dixon-Shannon are determined and focused. Working up to 30 hours a week at four jobs and living with her grandma, life has not always been easy — but she has not let that stop her from finding success. Not surprisingly, DixonShannon claims that the key to being able to manage a challenging course load, a full work schedule, and a social life is careful planning and organization. “Time management is huge,” she said. “Each day, I ask myself what I can do to make tomorrow a little easier.” To keep herself calm and focused while navigating a demanding schedule, DixonShannon participates in a variety of activities. She is part of Knitting Club, and finds an easy serenity in making bracelets. Exercise is also an effective stress-management tool, and she runs every morning that the weather allows. During her time at Hopkins High School, Dixon-Shannon has taken her share of advanced and honors classes. She especially enjoyed her Honors Humanities class, which she said pushed her to new limits. She credits her Middle Eastern Seminar class for helping develop a more global

Hopkins Community Education

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Hop-Kids Summer!

Preschool-age play & learn

Sign up now for super fun classes for your little one. Art, sports fundamentals, dance, playground games, music exploration, and more! Registration Open! or 952-988-4070

perspective. Although many teachers stand out, it was AP European History teacher, Mr. Rexroth, who helped inspire her dream of going into education. “I remember being really frustrated in his class,” she recalls. “He understood and put things in my own language. I realized that this was the type of teacher that I wanted to be — someone who could connect with students.”

Chantel Dixon-Shannon came to Hopkins from Minneapolis Public Schools. She said it’s the people that make Hopkins so special.

Dixon-Shannon plans to study elementary education at Bethel University in the fall, although she might entertain the idea of becoming a speech pathologist, too. In five years she sees herself in the classroom as either a teacher or student teacher. She has no intentions to settle down in terms of marriage, but might be looking into buying her first home. She views going to college as a huge milestone, but admits that the transition will be bittersweet, as high school has brought her so many great memories. “Just graduating high school is going to be an amazing achievement,” she said. “I am going to be happy to be done, but I love this place. My high school experience overall has been fantastic.”

Early Childhood

Summer Fun at Hopkins ECFE!

Free! Baby & Mama Yoga June 4, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Infants & Parents classes

Evening classes start June 10 & 11

Fun in the Sun!

Family fun on August 21, 6:30 p.m.

District Life Changer

Regina Johnson

Providing a well-rounded education for students requires more than a bevy of course options. Well-rounded instructors are also required; for instance, a math teacher with a deep passion for literature. Enter Regina Johnson, a 14-year veteran of the Hopkins West Junior High math department, and the school’s gifted and talented services coordinator.

Regina began teaching at West during the 1999-2000 school year, but started to work with Hopkins Gifted and Talented Services in 2007, where she has infused more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects into the traditionally literature-based program. Likewise through her Autonomous Learner Model (ALM) classes, Regina has allowed students to further develop critical thinking and communication skills, while investigating topics they are passionate about. “Regina Johnson gives you a new perspective,” said former student Katherine Swenson. “She’s 100 percent honest with her students; she teaches you about real life. ALM was the highlight of junior high for me, but Ms. Johnson is what made it great.” In 2011, Regina gave up her math classroom to head up the gifted and talented program full time. Her efforts with the program have inspired students to look at their education through a new lens. “Thanks to Ms. Johnson, going to school was no longer a chore, but rather a special opportunity to explore my intellectual passions while remaining eager to listen to the voices of others,” said another former student, Timothy Bergeland. Background: Having attended seven different schools across five states before graduating from high school, Regina Johnson fully appreciates the importance of diverse voices and opinions. Despite moving frequently in her youth, Regina has spent her entire career at Hopkins West Junior High. The former math teacher still serves as the math department chair for West, in addition to her duties as the gifted and talented services coordinator. What do you love most about working at Hopkins Public Schools? I have the best job in the world — I get to work with bright, young, moldable minds, and I get to do a little bit of everything. Proudest moments? I enjoy watching students accomplish something that they didn’t think was possible at first. They get to do things they’re passionate about and end up doing things they didn’t know they could, and have that moment where they go further than they ever thought. Teaching/work philosophy? My standards are really high, but reachable. I love it when students tell me that ALM is the most stressful class they’ve ever had, and it’s their favorite. Stats: • B.A. in Mathematics, St. Olaf; M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, St. Mary’s; Certification in Gifted Education, Hamline University Johnson has been working at Hopkins West Junior High since 1999. She is the gifted and talented services coordinator at West, and the math department chair.

Where are they going?

Chantel Dixon-Shannon: 2014 graduate

Post-graduation plans: Bethel University is a top choice. Considering elementary education or speech language pathology. fun facts Where will you be in five years? Just beginning my teaching career. I also hope I will be purchasing my first home, or looking into some sort of investment. Proudest moment at Hopkins Public Schools? For me, graduating high school and attending college is an amazing achievement. My high school experience has been fantastic. What teacher influenced you the most? AP European teacher, Mr. Rexroth. He really pushed me out of my comfort zone. When he was talking, I felt like he was talking to me in my own language. He is the kind of teacher that I want to be like. What music is playing on your MP3 player? I love the song ‘Happy.’ I also listen to Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake. If your life was a movie, which actor would you want to portray you? Emma Watson. People would be surprised to learn: I love trying new things; new things make me happy.

Community Spirit Gillian Rosenquist

For Gillian Rosenquist, volunteering is just what you do when you’re a part of something. She began volunteering at Meadowbrook Elementary over six years ago, when the youngest of her three sons started kindergarten. Working on the Silent Auction committee, serving as PTO secretary, organizing Treat Street at the school carnival, keeping families connected with Meadowbrook’s Facebook page, helping at Kindergarten Roundup and Bingo Night — wherever there is a need large or small — Gillian steps up to fill it. Proudest moment volunteering? I love working on fundraising projects that allow teachers to purchase equipment, arrange a special field trip, or provide scholarships. Also, the hugs that I get from the children are priceless. What person has influenced you? My uncle Charles and aunt Edna Uecker. I watched them run a business, raise three children — one severely disabled — yet they remained very active in their family, church, and community. People would be surprised to learn... I love being 10 minutes away from First Avenue. My husband and I see live music as often as we can! Kayak or pontoon? Both! A quiet kayak ride is lovely, but so is piling the family on the pontoon! I volunteer because ... it’s who I am. I believe that when I choose to be a part of something, volunteering is part of the social contract. I feel compelled to spend my time doing the behindthe-scenes work that our schools and communities need but can't always pay for. A bonus is that I get to know the staff, students, and other parents!

2014 Hopkins graduates reflect on success, and focus on their future

Jae Bates: 2014 graduate

Madeline Warshaw: 2014 graduate

Post-graduation plans: Attend the University of Puget Sound and major in gender psychology and women’s studies. Hopes to become a sexual science psychologist. fun facts Where will you be in five years? I would like to travel to South Korea and teach English for a few years. After that, I want to live in Seattle, and begin graduate school. Proudest moment at Hopkins Public Schools? Starting GROM, a semi-formal dance for kids who are part of the LGBTQ community. What teacher influenced you the most? I never really liked history, but Jennifer Heimlich taught her Honors and Diversity Seminar in a way that really engaged students. She has a passion for teaching, and for helping students. What artist is playing most on your MP3 player? Dessa, Doomtree, Brother Ali ... local music. If your life was a movie, which actor would you want to portray you? Comedian Bobby Lee. He was the first actor that I realized looked like me. People would be surprised to learn: I am a Tibetan Buddhist. I consider myself really spiritual and heavy in faith.

Post-graduation plans: Attend Wellesley College, Boston. Considering a double major in political science and French, and a minor in women’s studies. fun facts Where will you be in five years? I would like to volunteer in a French-speaking country. Doctors Without Borders and the Peace Corps are both possibilities. Proudest moment at Hopkins Public Schools? Successfully getting through AP Language and Composition, I also felt proud when I started PAWS For Thought, a program to help animals in need. What teacher influenced you the most? All my junior-high ALM teachers — I still have connections with them today. They shaped my experience at Hopkins High School, and influenced my future career decisions. What album is playing most on your MP3 player? I love Taylor Swift, which might be a contradiction for someone who is into feminism. If your life was a movie, which actor would you want to portray you? Amy Poehler. People would be surprised to learn: I look like your typical suburbanite, but my mom grew up in Japan. Japanese culture is a big deal in our family.

Want to read more about Hopkins graduates? Visit the Hopkins Alumni Association’s Facebook page.

Update May/June 2014

ALM at West Showcased through ‘Little Free Libraries’

The ninth-grade ALM students who recently built three Little Free Libraries to be placed in the community include, left to right, Front row: Taylor Harrison, Jessica Torrison, Evan UnruhFriesen; Back row: Tara Gunstenson, Kristi Hetchler, Amber Johnson, Abbi Fine.

As part of the gifted and talented junior high program, Autonomous Learner Model (ALM), seeks to help develop students’ criticalthinking skills, while introducing them to more advanced concepts and themes. Along with their scholarly advancement, ALM students also spend their ninth-grade year organizing a service project, which showcases the leadership skills and individual development that has occurred. The most recent example of this service project came to light when current West Junior High ninth-graders were researching potential projects and noticed that some members of the Hopkins Public Schools community did not have access to public libraries, nor the means to purchase electronic versions of popular titles. All passionate readers, the students sought a way to bring books closer to their fellow community members. Their ultimate inspiration was found in a neighbor’s yard in the form of a “Little Free Library.” The size of a large mailbox, Little Free Libraries can be placed virtually anywhere, allowing community members ready access to a diverse selection of reading materials. In 2013, the Minneapolis StarTribune estimated that there were roughly 1,000 such libraries in Minnesota, but the number is expected to grow rapidly. “It works on kind of a trade economy,” said ALM student Evan Unruh-Friesen. “If you bring in a book or two, you can put them in and then take some out. If you take out a book, you bring one back later.” Eager to provide this service to as many community members as possible, the ALM students built three libraries. One will be housed on the West Junior High campus, while another will be located at Eisenhower Elementary. The third Little Free Library will be housed at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, off of Blake Road. Not only is the project the latest example of students giving back to their community, but it also showcases an ALM activity that develops skills in students as they continue to learn in the process. This year the students also hosted a “G20 summit” on poverty earlier in the school year, presenting them with an opportunity to research and analyze the causes and possible solutions to the issue. They even organized a students vs. staff “quidditch” match (based on the game from the Harry Potter book series) to help raise funds for the Little Free Library project. “I think in terms of outside of school, I’ve found myself a little more willing to step up and take some more leadership roles,” said Tara Gunstenson. “If there’s an event and they need someone to help plan, rather than just helping, I’m taking a leadership role.”

From the Superintendent, John Schultz, Ph.D.

Reflecting on the School Year and the Volunteers who Made It a Success It’s official — the end of the 2013-14 school year is upon us! For District students and families, the school year ends on June 6, at a time when our staff members will be busier than ever preparing to welcome students back for numerous summer school opportunities, and to engage them with fun and meaningful programming. Hopkins Public Schools serves a wonderfully diverse community of children and families who have a wide variety of interests and needs. I personally invite you to explore our website and see what our school community has to offer throughout the summer and beyond. You are guaranteed to find plenty of fun learning opportunities. Dedicated volunteers give the gift of their time and talents Throughout my career in education — as a student, as a teacher, and as an administrator — there is a common thread among every successful school district: volunteers. In Hopkins, we have wonderful volunteers who willingly and selflessly donate their time and energy in numerous capacities from reading, mentoring students, fundraising, chaperoning, managing referendum campaigns, painting hallways, and cleaning up schoolyards. There is not enough space to list all the amazing work volunteers accomplish for Hopkins Public Schools. Another example of volunteerism is that of our Hopkins School Board. Although elected officials, each Board member volunteers a significant amount of energy and commitment to guide and direct our mission of “Excellence. Every school. Every student. Every day.” These dedicated community members provide essential leadership to our District. The hours they put into their roles go far beyond their time sitting at the Board table. The Hopkins School Board — comprised of Steve Adams, Betsy Anderson, Irma McIntosh Coleman, Wendy Donovan, Warren Goodroad, Doobie Kurus, and Kris Newcomer — work diligently to help shape the future of excellence in our District. Thank you for making a difference It is the volunteer who adds a new and unique dimension to the quality of our schools. On behalf of every student — past and present — I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of our volunteers. You epitomize the word priceless, and set a strong example for all to follow. And although it may sound cliché, I mean it sincerely when I say that you make a difference. If not for volunteers in my life, I would be without my two beautiful daughters from China. Talk about pivotal! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Barb Westmoreland, family involvement and volunteer coordinator, at 952-988-4069. You can also learn more about the volunteers who positively impact our schools every day by reading the Community Spirit feature in “the Update.”

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 161 Hopkins, MN 55343

May/June Events Hopkins Royal Productions Spring Play: John Bishop’s The Musical Comedy of Murders of 1940. A comic romp poking fun at the corny thrillers of 1940s Hollywood. May 15, May 16, May 17, 7:00 p.m. Hopkins High School Theater; JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Company presents Juggle Jam 16 May 16 and May 17, 7:00 p.m. Hopkins High School Auditorium, Hopkins High School Choir Concert Finale May 27, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Hopkins High School Auditorium GED Graduation Ceremony June 3, 7:00 p.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, Hopkins High School 2014 Commencement June 5, 7:30 p.m. Lindbergh Center, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka 2014 Last Day of School Grades 10-12: June 5 (make-up day is June 6). Grades K-9: June 6. Summer Infant Classes – Hopkins Early Childhood Family Education is offering summer parent and infant (birth to 12 months) classes starting June 10. Call 952-988-5000, or visit

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Hopkins Public Schools First District in the State to Achieve StormReady Certification The National Weather Service recently certified Hopkins Public Schools as the state’s first StormReady school district. Hopkins also is only the sixth district to earn certification in the United States. To be recognized as StormReady, an organization must: • Establish a warning point and emergency operation center. • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and disseminate alerts. • Create a system that monitors local weather conditions. • Promote the importance of public readiness through seminars. • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters, and holding emergency exercises. Hopkins Public Schools practices two severe weather drills each year. Each of the District’s nine buildings has a crisis management team trained and ready to put a plan in place to move students quickly to a windowless classroom or rest room before a tornado hits. Because it is just as likely that severe weather may occur after the school day, the training efforts also target custodians, coaches, members of the athletics teams, and evening building supervisors.

1001 Highway 7 Hopkins, MN 55305 952-988-4000 Time Value

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Summer Rocks at Camp Royal! For youth K-12

Make your child’s summer sizzle! Registration open now:

Free Summer Meals Served On-the-Go for Youth Hopkins area kids can have fun catching up with our “Fuel for Active Kids” Mobile Food Truck serving up free meals at local parks this summer. For many kids, summer vacation is a much deserved break after a year of hard work in the classroom. For students who rely on school meals, however, the summer months can be difficult. Youth summer meals programs can provide an important source of fortifying food during the critical summer months. Hopkins Public Schools addresses this need by offering free, tasty lunches to area youth, ages 0-18, at several of its elementary school sites. In addition, Hopkins Public Schools’ mobile food truck serves meals at several community sites with high populations of youth who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. This year, the popular mobile food truck will be serving up delicious lunches at two Hopkins parks — Valley Park (700 8th Street South) and Oakes Park (900 Lake Street NE). A third site will be determined later this spring. These meals are paid for by funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

All youth (0-18) are invited to enjoy free meals this summer: Alice Smith Elementary: June 12 - August 15 Breakfast: 8:00-9:00 am Lunch: 11:00 am-1:00 pm Eisenhower Elementary: June 9 - August 8 Breakfast: 8:00-9:00 am Lunch: 11:00 am-1:00 pm Katherine Curren Building: June 16 - July 18 Lunch: 12:30 - 1:15 pm Mobile Food Truck Serving Lunch at Valley Park and Oakes Park: (watch for additional site to be announced late spring): June 16 - August 15 Lunch: Times to be announced.

Find updates about summer meals at

Hopkins Public Schools May-June 2014 Update-newsletter  
Hopkins Public Schools May-June 2014 Update-newsletter  

Hopkins Public Schools May-June 2014 Update newsletter featuring three Hopkins graduates and their reflections of their high school experien...