Carly Spoden, a sophomore accounting major and daughter of Brenda and Gary Spoden of Sartell, is a member of the Accounting Club for the 2014-15 academic year at Southwest Minnesota State University-Marshall. The purpose of the Accounting Club shall be to supplement the education of the accounting students at SMSU through practical experience, to promote the pursuit of accounting as a career, to develop the community’s understanding of the accounting profession and to aid SMSU students to a better understanding of the role of accountants.
Zachary Jacobson of Sartell was recently named one of six University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars’ soccer team members to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference team after the team reached the UMAC Championship. Jacobson came on late in the year and scored four goals in the final month of the year. He finished the season with five goals while also contributing to the Cougars defensive effort.
Sartell police officers to serve as mentors to youth
The Sartell Police Department and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota are partnering on an initiative called Bigs in Blue, in which Sartell police officers will serve as mentors to children facing adversity in the Sartell community.
Jill Lundquist, a Sartell police officer who helped to develop the partnership, said, “I am thrilled to be partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Bigs in Blue program, which allows children to develop mentoring relationships with police officers as they face various issues throughout their lives. No matter the diversity a child is experiencing, the friendship that is established will benefit both the officer and the child through the one-on-one relationship. The child will obtain positive support from the match, strengthening their self-esteem and lifelong goals.” Officer Lundquist is familiar with the importance of mentoring. She has served as a Big Sister for six years and was selected as the agency’s 2014 Big Sister of the Year.
Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes is also supportive of the Bigs in Blue initiative. Chief Hughes said, “I believe the concept of Bigs in Blue is a terrific way to connect youth and law enforcement officers in a positive way. The kids are able to get to know the person behind the badge and the officers can continue to make a positive influence within the community in which they live and work, one child at a time.”
With nearly 100 children in need of a mentor, this partnership comes at a critical time. The officers will be paired with a child on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ waiting list and will meet weekly to provide friendship, guidance and support.
“These officers are already giving so much to our community but are willing to do even more because they see on a daily basis the need for positive role models for our youth,” said Ann Matvick, program director at Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We are very excited about this partnership and the support of the Sartell Police Department.”
The Bigs in Blue initiative began as a collaboration between the St. Cloud Police Department and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Due to the success of the program and the high demand for mentors, the local agency now hopes to expand this initiative throughout its central Minnesota service area. Big Brothers Big Sisters has reached out to other law enforcement agencies, and a partnership with the Waite Park Police Department is currently being developed.
Student Council leadership training
Six Sartell High School students: Paige Pawlenty, Gopi Ramanathan, Maiah Cameron, Theresa Slivnik, Hannah Yackley and Jaren Martin along with their advisor, Karrie Fredrickson, attended the National Association of Student Councils Leadership Conference this past June.
Attending the NASC Leadership Conference was life changing. Each year the national conference is hosted in a different state, so the group traveled with our Minnesota delegation to Orlando, Fla. The group left a day early to give our students a chance to get to know one another and explore the host school area. The group kicked off the conference by bonding as a delegation at Walt Disney World. Sartell High School students got to know the rest of the Minnesota delegation quickly and in the most “magical place on earth.”
The group boarded the bus for the conference each day at 6:20 a.m. to head to the host school – Ocoee’ High School. The group worked intently until 10:30 p.m. each night. Each day was spent actively engaged in high-energy sessions on topics to increase school spirit, include all students in activities, hands-on activities for team building, leadership training, project planning and fundraising. One of the most valuable pieces of this conference was the networking and idea sharing among schools throughout the whole nation along within Minnesota’s delegation. The strong friendships and networking for students and advisors has carried over into the current school year. Students who attend are expected to share their new expertise with the whole Sartell High School Student Council, which translates into leadership activities for the whole student body and our community.
This event would not have been possible without the help of the Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation’s generous grant to assist with the cost of the conference. We are very thankful for this opportunity because it’s a great way to build leadership in individuals and as a whole school.
Bria Ferns of Sartell-St. Stephen High School has been named to the Class A Girls’ Soccer All-Tournament Team by Well’s Fargo, the premier corporate sponsor of the Minnesota State High School League.
The award recognizes student athletes who demonstrate exceptional sportsmanship, team commitment, athletic ability and leadership during the state high school tournaments. Athletes are selected to the Wells Fargo All-Tournament Team by a panel of coaches attending the tournament; 16 awards are presented in Girls’ Class A Soccer. The premier corporate sponsorship helps offset the costs associated with tournaments and fine arts events for Minnesota students. It also supports programs such as the MSHSL High School Hall of Fame, along with the Challenge Cup, a program which selects the best Minnesota schools in Class A, Class AA and Class AAA for athletic and fine arts competitions.
Sophia VanSurksum, a native of Sartell, is officially enrolled in the Class of 2018 at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. The undergraduate class is the largest (4,666 students) and most diverse first-year class in UI history and is extremely academically accomplished.
Record attendance, amount raised at the 13th annual Toast to Autumn
2014 was another record-breaking year for the Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation. There were more than 300 guests who attended the 13th annual Toast to Autumn held at Blackberry Ridge on Oct. 9. The room was filled with people and energy; evidence of the communities’ commitment to Sartell-St. Stephen educational programming and opportunities.
Through the generous support of community businesses and individuals, SSEF has been able to raise more than $75,000 so far in 2014. This total is another record amount raised. These funds will support leading-edge programming throughout the district from early childhood to high school. Past grants that SSEF has supported include Sabre Splash, Academic Extensions Programs, Elementary Leveled Library Books and Early Childhood Family Story Hour.