Friday, May 31, 2013

The Calm for the New Beginnings

Today should be the first day with only the remaining 9-11 graders who are claiming to be one year advanced.  We let them believe that if that helps with finals.

Now that the seniors are gone, it is interesting to see who wants to step up and be the next "big person on campus."  Many times that is not in the best sense of the words.  But we all live through it.

We continue to celebrate the milestone events for the graduating seniors - Class of 2013.  That is Saturday at 7:30 at Mariucci Arena.  Should be great event.  Don't forget the After-Party for Seniors only.  Tickets are still available.

It is only nature to start looking to the start of the new school year and the next grand adventure.  The summer is three months but really a very short time and it all begins again.  Lots to do and exciting plans for the 2013-14 school year.

For the Class of 2017 this fall marks the start of a great experience.  We are excited about the potential and possibilities.

The cycle continues

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Weather in the Forecast

In previous years, the weather has been nice and the graduates had some place to go.  They hurried on out to the lakes or backyards and other places.  Not today.  It must be the weather.  Trying to get them out of the building has been the task for the day.  We re thrilled they love us but it is time to go and we need to get back to business.  They have spent four years trying to get out of here and today they don't want to leave.

Maybe the storms will hold off a bit longer.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And so the Class of 2013 is Almost a Part of the Legacy

With cheers and screams and a couple tears the last bell of the regular school days for the Class of 2013 rang and it was over.  On to the next set of challenges and adventures for this class.  A bunch of years behind them and all the various classes, classmates, teachers, friends along the way helped make this day possible.

Tomorrow is a brief moment of paying the obligations, getting the graduation gown and then off to the parties.  Saturday at 7:30 pm we start the main event and the Class of 2013 official goes in the history book.

For many this has been an exciting and successful venture.  For a few there have been bumps and hurdles along the way.  But for all those (a little over 400) making to the stage, this has been a lifetime experience.  Now we wait and see if those dreams do become realities.

To the Class of 2013 -- Good Luck!

City-Wide Senior Student Leadership Awards

Southwest Senior Student Leadership Breakfast sponsored by City-Wide Student Government

Always Love Regardless

It is very difficult to be a Zoo Keeper and complain about cleaning the cage at night.  Or maybe a better way to say it -- If you have been a parent of a young child you have experienced the thrill of finding that love of your life covered with that sticky stuff that normally is the bottom of the diaper.  Yes, that precious bundle of joy somehow managed to express him/herself and then wiggle out of the diaper and smear the results all over the wall, the crib, her.himself and anything else in reach.

Ok, so you get the idea.  You still love them beyond logic and reasoning but you do share some thoughts as you clean up or repaint the room.  They do what they do because that is the age they are.

Most of the time you can look back on it and wait for that day of revenge like the birth of their first child or the wedding reception or one of the special days -- digital pictures are great.  You can project them more than lifesize.
Escaped from some farmyard.  If you recognize, please bring ladder
and remove from trees in front of the school.

Yesterday, it was yarn and ribbon and string all over the commons.  Frequently, I am never sure what I do is exactly right.  So I reacted that way I figured I was supposed to - I was indignant and irritated and proceeded to attempt to break and cut away the obstacles.  It was the end of third period and I assume the trap was for the change of classes and the confusion that would occur.  So, yes, I interrupted the scene and with the help of some friends we opened that hallway.

I did not have to repaint and thankfully no one was hurt.  I still love them even though I am sure I uttered some of those words under my breath.  They are and will continue to be creative.  We will attempt to continue with the adult role and try and keep people safe.  Somewhere there is a balance.

We love them and very proud of all they have done and become.  Yet, it is time for them to go.  Fly big bird, fly to your destiny.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Seniors are Sad about Leaving

The end of the school experience is a difficult one and each celebrates in his/her own way.  In general there is confusion and excitement.  It is good to be done and very scary at what might be ahead.

For many of the seniors this is the end of a four-year experience with friends.  There have been numerous successes and frustrations.  Heart breaks and tremendous celebrations are all part of the high school happening.

Every year is one of trying to find the balance between - let's celebrate to let's go over the top.

Unfortunately trying to find that balance is difficult.  What sounds like fun and a little silly easily gets out of hand and becomes unsafe to some.  What on the surface is innocent and charming turns ugly quickly.  We are proud that the seniors care that much.  We also want to remember them in happy and pleasant ways.

Please have a small chat with your senior and just say be careful.  We really want no one hurt in what may seem like a harmless prank.

Southwest Students Supporting Musicians

I thought you might be interested in this photograph taken of Southwest students and Alums supporting the locked out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. We met as part of the larger group "Young Musicians of Minnesota" this weekend, working on compiling a support video and writing letters to Mayor Rybak and Governor Dayton.  
The six of us, amongst many other students have studied with the members of the orchestra privately, have worked with them in sectionals as part of Minnesota Youth Symphonies and Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies  and we are also feeling the trickle down affects of the lock out.  Left to right, the students pictured are Hannah MacLeod, 2011 graduate, currently studying music as NYU, Fiona Kelliher, current Junior, Clara Engen, 2011 graduate, currently studying music at Oberlin College, Marja Ronnholm, current senior, going on to study music at St. Olaf, Nora Doyle, current junior and Emma Richman, current sophomore.   
Thank You, 
Hannah MacLeod

Southwest High School and Minneapolis Public Schools do not endorse a position on this issue.  That is left to the thoughts of each individual.  We do appreciate that our students act out their passions and commitments in appropriate ways.

Japanese Grant for Southwest Students

Southwest was selected to participate in the “KAKEHASHI Project – The Bridge for Tomorrow" – funded by the government of Japan. This project will give us a fully funded 10-day study tour to Japan from July 8th to July 18th 2013.

Ms. French, Southwest Japanses Teacher was instrumental in putting together this exciting opportunity for our students.  Southwest has maintained an "exchange" between our countries for several years.  Also the dedicated work of Ms. Frence.

 We can send a total of 23 students.  The committee for this selection chose the 23 students who will participate from the Japanese Program at Southwest below.  Please congratulate them when you see them.

Seniors: Fiona Walker, Alexis Linares

Juniors: Doone Anderson, Diego Baumann, Matthew Benbenek, Stuart Gordon, Anna Kelly, Susan Kofuji, Kim Vice, Jackie Vo
Sophomores: Henry Aoki, Cameron Fudeh, Denys Karia, Olivia Kuntz, Julia Meyer, Eli Wallen, Nick Williams,  

Freshmen: Laurel Bielinskie, Ruby Cromer, Fadumo Mohamed, Taylor Nelson, Yanique Simpson, Emma Thvedt

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ninth Grade Celebration

Ninth grade teams at Lake Harriett doing the Cupid Shuffle.  It was a beautiful day and the 9th graders had a great time as they celebrated the end of another successful year.

The move on to the next grade goes so quickly and yet sometimes so unnoticed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

2013 Legislative Session and Education

Dear MPS Partners and Friends,

Minnesotans should be proud of the work that was accomplished during the 2013 legislative session. I congratulate Governor Dayton and Minnesota legislators for a successful completion of the session. The successes could not have been achieved without the advocacy, support and dedication of the many Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) staff members, parents, students and community members who helped pass legislation that supports Minneapolis schools and students. Thank you for all that you have done!

We applaud the legislature for reinstating integration revenue and implementing reforms focused on achievement and accountability for results. The state appropriated $485 million over fiscal years 2014 and 2015 (FY14-15) for K-12 education overall, including $28.5 million for the integration levy and $20 million for a general education levy. 

The legislature’s recommitment to revenue is a good thing for all Minnesota schools; however, we must continue to advocate for further investment in our schools. MPS continually faces the challenge of budget uncertainty and again this year we tackled the daunting task of cutting millions from our budget – in this case, $25 million – by adopting a structurally balanced budget that aligns with our operational and strategic priorities and keeps reductions as far from the classroom as possible. In spite of budget challenges, we will do what we have always done: focus on providing a high quality education to our students.

Several of this session’s policy changes will benefit our students and families. For example, the repeal of the GRAD reading, writing and math exams and the passage of the Dream Act are going to be of significant benefit to our students. In combination, these two policy changes will positively impact students, particularly immigrant students and students whose first language is not English.

We are also pleased that the state will fund all-day kindergarten beginning in fiscal year 2015. We believe that funding early education and kindergarten is critical to long-term school success, which is why MPS already committed to funding all-day kindergarten for MPS students. Additionally, this legislative session provided funding for early learning scholarships for low-income families and funding increases for school linked mental health grants. 

I encourage you to learn more about the successes of this legislative session. Read a detailed summary of the early education-12th grade Education Omnibus Finance bill or read the final bill.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our schools and students, whether you help our state change policy, support our academic efforts or volunteer in our schools. Your dedication makes a difference.

Bernadeia H. Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dance Concert Under the Sun and Band Shell

What is that in the sky? 

A new day has arrived in the spring of 2013 for Minneapolis -- the sun.  The first day of spring!

Dance Concert at the Lake Harriett Band Shell tonight , Thursday, May 23.

Come out and enjoy the evening with the entire family.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dancers Create Flash Mob Dance in Support of Education

There were about 200 dance students dancing in a Flash Mob in the hallways between 3rd & 4th hours today -- Wednesday, May 22. Inspired by a dance class assignement - our V-Day dance on a freezing downtown bridge, several 7th Hour Beginning Dance students wanted to create a Flash Mob that meant something. So, thanks to the choreography and leadership of Claudia Lerma (Upperclass dancer & Foreign Exchange student from Spain), we've got ourselves a Flash Mob in support of EDUCATION! The dancers were in the Link/Commons area. We will also had dancers, dancing in the West Building Main Floor, and in the West Building 2nd floor hallway. I am sure there is a u tube up and running as you read this. ONce I find the locationI will let you know.

AREA C Meeting At Barton May 23rd

Area C Meeting at Barton Tomorrow - May 23rd  flyer

4237 Colfax Ave. South - Media Center on 2nd floor

6-8p.m. - childcare and interpreters available

This is the last meeting for this school year.  We hope to see you!

Dreaming About Possibilities

Are you interested in meeting a few times with other parents, students and staff to talk about possibilities?

Southwest will be conducting a "Building Tomorrow" workshop in the next couple weeks.  The idea is to gather interested parents, community members, staff and students to explore the possiblities. 

As we continue we are interested in exploring how to continue to improve our strengths and explore areas of need and support.

If you interested, please email Principal Bill Smith

Jazz and Big Band in the Rain

This was not the picture of the delightful Jazz and Big Band concert last night at the Lake Harriet Band Shell.  The first hour, approximately, was in drizzle and moderate light rain.  The next was in the rain with the audience on stage or in the front with umbrellas and wet jackets.

A dedicated group of student musicians and wonderful parents enjoyed an evening with sailboats, birds and other foul weather friends.

Wednesday Choir Concert is currently scheduled for the Band Shell.  Stay tuned for future announcements.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Concert at the Band Shell is ON for Tuesday

The band concert scheduled for the Band Shell on Tuesday May 21 is actually going to be at the Band Shell.  So come out and support the band!

Music Concerts at Band Shell and the Weather

Looks like more rain in the forecast.  Please watch for announcements regarding the location of the concerts.  With a review of the weather forecasts, most will probably be held in the school auditorium.  Thank you for attending the concerts.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, May 20, Band Shell Band Concert Moved In-Doors

The Southwest Band Concert schedule to be at the Band Shell Monday evening, May 20th is moved inside to the auditorium.

Please join us at the school auditorium for the Band Concert.

Stay tuned for announcements later in the week as we monitor the weather.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Southwest Baseball at the Dome Monday

Your Southwest varsity team plays in the Twin City Championship Game against the Highland Park Sots tomorrow, Monday, May 20th, at 6:00 P.M. at the Metrodome!

Please consider coming to the game and cheering on the varsity!

Southwest 2013 PROM at Minnesota History Center

Southwest 2013 PROM
Minnesota History Center

A beautiful setting honoring the Southwest Class of 2013.  The Juniors put together a fantastic show for the seniors.  The State Capitol on one side the the St. Paul Cathedral on the other.  It was a beautiful evening of fun and dancing and celebrating the moments.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tests and More Tests

If it stands still long enough we will test it.  Once we return from spring break the Southwest testing season begins in full swing.

It starts with the state mandated MCAs and continues through MAP for 9th graders and all the various AP and IB tests.  Some students may end up with 7 different tests over the season.  Some depends on grade and some on classes in which the student is enrolled.

We probably do not do a good job of fully explaining the whys and purposes of the various tests.  The majority are for the benefit of the student.  That may be a diploma (MCAs) or college credit - the APs and IBs.

Some of the testing is for curriculum review and large group assessment.  We are concerned about the academic growth of our students and the quality of our instruction.  Some of the tests help us review what works and what works well.  Some indicate areas we need to concentrate on for the coming school year and some provide insight in student strengths and limits.

If you don't understand why or for what purpose your child may be taking a test.  Please call a counselor and ask the questions.  Without a doubt, with the state mandates there is too much testing that does not directly relate to instruction.  However, we do have reasons for taking the time.

Need a Graduate Gift? or Just to Be Special?

Buy a Brick

Turn On The Lights -- light up the future.  Stadium lights are happening

Need a fantastic Graduation present or Birthday or just to be special?

 -- put your name, the name of your son and daughter, the name of the family pet or whatever you wish for all to see on a brick inside the Southwest Stadium
Various Sizes and Various Donation Levels

All donations are tax deductible.

Contact Ryan Lamberty, Athletic Direct for forms and details.


Graduation Gift for the Senior -- or any Grade

Name one for the Graduate.


Adopt a seat at the Southwest Auditorium Theater and you'll receive a brass plaque inscribed with the name of your choice.

Your donation helps fund ongoing preservation, technical improvements, maintenance and repairs. It's a great way to be a part of the Theatre or remember a loved one.

A great special gift for those special in your life. Your can have your son/daughter's name on the plaque and year of graduation or whatever wording would be appropriate.

Saving your seat is a $200. donation to the Southwest Theater Program. Contact Margaret Berg for additional quesitons.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Area C Parent Advisory Council Meeting Thusday May 23 at 6:00 pm

Area C Parent Advisory Council Meeting

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Barton Open School - 4237 Colfax Ave. South

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Welcome and introductions - Margaret Richardson, parent, co-chair DPAC
  • Updates - budget, focused instruction, summer food program, principal selection process
  • See What's Cooking - Bertrand Weber, Director Culinary and Nutrition Services
  • Go-To Cards - Jon Ledeboer, coordinator
  • Area C Schools, Progress Report, Theresa  Battle, associate superintendent
  • Q&A - Theresa Battle, associate superintendent

childcare available ages 3 & up, all children welcome

Spanish & Somali interpreters

Another Year Rolls Along

Frost on Sunday and over 90 on Tuesday - must be Minnesota.

Seniors picked a hot day to secretly sneak off to someplace and spend their day doing something.  After the very strange last couple months there are probably several who would like to join them - at a safe distance.

AP and IB testing continue.  Classes still move along into the final three or so weeks.  For some this is a scary time of the year.  For others it is hot and sticky and how do we get it done.

Has been another good year.  Academic award coming and various opportunities to say nice things about kids.

If you have thoughts or ideas you would like to share, hopefully you pass them along before you fade into summer.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Southwest Art Teacher Earns Summer at Art Institute of Chicago

Southwest and North Art Teacher Cynthia Berger was accepted into the Teacher Institute in Contemporary Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is an honor to be accepted into this competitive free summer program in which teachers from across the country will be present.

Congratulations Cynthia

Friday, May 10, 2013

Linden Hills Festival will be on Sunday, May 19th

Linden Hills Festival will be on Sunday, May 19th at the Linden Hills Park- Volunteers Needed
Every year, volunteers are crucial to making the Festival a successful event. 
All you need to do is click on the link below and sign up. 
We will add your name to our list of amazing volunteers that are much needed to make the Linden Hills Festival a success. 
We will contact you to sign up for a time slot in one of the following areas: serving food (including the dessert station), art fair, entertainment, parade, monitoring zero waste, selling tickets, silent auction sales, & many other area.
This is a fun and great opportunity to get involved, meet new people and support the local community!


Important Information for IB exam takers

Important Information for IB exam takers

Students who are taking IB exams in May should REGULARLY CHECK THEIR NAVIANCE EMAIL. 
Essential information -- such as last minute changes to the testing schedule, and instructions for accessing exam results -- will be communicated this way. 

Help Support SWHS Fastpitch at Chipotle

Come to Chipotle Mexican Grill - Edina 6801 York Ave S, Edina, MN - Wednesday, MAY 15th from 5:00-8:00p.m.
You know how to do this...Bring a flier, show a digital copy of the flier on your smart phone or iPod, or simply say that you support SW FASTPITCH and 50% of your purchase will go to the softball program. This includes Gift Card purchases!

They make great Grad Gifts. Hope to see you there!

SpringFest for Freshmen and Sophomores

 SpringFest for Freshmen and Sophomores

Freshmen and Sophomore dance, plus Link Crew leaders with Carnival Games, Volleyball,
Badminton, DJ Dancing.
Saturday, May 11,  4-7 pm,
Admission $7 and includes 5 drink/food/game tokens. Additional tokens available for $.50 each

SWHS 2013 Film Festival.

SWHS 2013 Film Festival.

Great student made films in 4 categories: Drama, Comedy, Completely Original and Short Shorts which are under 2 minutes.

There will be prizes for the winners. The audience will choose a grand prize winner.

Admission is 5 dollars at the door. 3 dollars in advance (go to E105 to purchase advance tickets)

For more information and especially if you want to submit a film go to Mr. West's website at 2 or join the Facebook page "Southwest Film Festival 2013

Young Artists Party – Saturday, May 11 – 6-9 pm

Young Artists Party – Saturday, May 11 – 6-9 pm
Gallery of Student work at the Minneapolis College or Art and Design

2501 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Donations collected at the door – silent auction – fine snacks and refreshments

Safety is a Priority at Southwest

Friday, May 10, 2013
Good afternoon,

This is Bill Smith, principal at Southwest High School. I am informing you of a neighborhood incident that happened this afternoon. Two Southwest students said they were confronted by two adults who were waving a gun from a car. Pershing Park is located about three blocks from Southwest.

The School Resource Officer and a part-time Minneapolis police officer responded to the incident. After searching the area of the park and circling the school building at least twice, police officers determined that there was no danger to students. School dismissed per usual at 3 p.m.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Minneapolis Police Department at 311.

Again, this is Bill Smith, principal of Southwest High School.

Safety is a priority at our school.  Our best  source of information is our students and families.  If you know or suspect inappropriate behavior, please notify the school officials.



Helping Parents Help Their Children with Math Homework

Helping Parents Help Their Children with Math Homework
In this article in Teaching Children Mathematics, Regina Mistretta (St. John’s
University/New York) shares strategies for getting parents involved in their children’s math

Here are questions that teachers could suggest parents ask their children if they are
struggling with math homework:

- What problem are you working on?
- What do the directions say?
- What words or directions don’t you understand?
- Where do you think you should begin?
- What do you already know that can help you work through the problem?
- What have you done so far?
- Do you have similar problems to look at?
- Can you draw a picture or make a diagram?
- Can you explain what the teacher asked you to do?
- Can you tell me where you are stuck?

“‘We DoCare,’ Say Parents” by Regina Mistretta in Teaching Children Mathematics, May
2013 (Vo. 19, #9, p. 572-580),; Mistretta is at

Media And Arts Projects

Southwest High School has been the first to complete their Media and Arts Projects this Spring.


For their project, Mr. Kier's 9th grade Human Geography classes discussed, explored, and researched the idea of urban agriculture, community gardens, and alternative solutions to today's food industry. Students were given the chance to write and develop their own project proposals as long as they worked to address the driving question: How do we live a lifestyle that helps reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of our food industry?


Every student approached the project differently and the classes created a final body of work full of diversity and ingenuity. Whether working individually or in groups, students tackled this question using an impressive variety of mediums including painting, mosaics, computer illustration, song, film, multimedia and more.



Some groups decided to focus on the need for healthy and organic food options. Others focused on forgotten areas of Minneapolis, such as roofs, or abandoned lots, and re-imagined the spaces as lush community gardens. Whether an interpretive painting representing the hope for change in our food industry, or an actual, functioning, hydroponic plan system, every student’s piece explores the driving question in a unique and creative way.



-- Ken Simon

Director, Office of College and Career Readiness

Minneapolis Public Schools


Senior DeAnthony McKinley Honored

Southwest Senior DeAnthony McKinley was honor by the Minnesota Alliance of Black School Educators at a reception and program at University of St. Thomas Thursday evening.

According to the presentation, DeAnthony was awarded the honor and scholarship for his character, written essay, high school academic record and community service.  DeAnthony reported that he will be attending Concordia University this fall.

The reception and program was part of the University of St. Thomas Julian Parker Lecture Series.  Dr. Joesph Scherer was the speaker for the program.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

2009 Grads Singing on David Angulo's Web Site

Some of you remember that in 2009 during graduation, Patrick Budde, Matthew Grathwol, Celina Kane, Tommy Bernardi, Sam Tank, Eli Kamin and Tarek Makky sang a song in Spanish, “El lago de mis sueƱos” by David Angulo (I had bought his CD during one of his concerts in Spain in 2000).

David Angulo is an artist of a kind (composer and singer, actor, does commercials, composes music for shows, designs covers for books and CDs, and writes comics).  In his website…

he shows a lot of what he does…his art.  BUT, he also put the link to the SW High school kids singing.  The title: Universidad de Minnesota, 2009 (they sang in Northrop Auditorium).  How cool is that?
I had written to him before they sang, telling him about my students learning one of his songs and he was extremely excited to know that kids in MINNESOTA, at SW HIGHSCHOOL, were singing one of his songs…and here it is…

at the bottom of the screen you will see a bunch of videos.   Bring the cursor (without clicking)  to the last video and they will move until you reach the last one…that is the one.  You save the best for last!
Jose Fresco
Spanish Teacher

SW Alumni Teacher of the Year in St. Paul

St. Paul educator wins Teacher of the Year

  • Article by: JIM ADAMS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 6, 2013 - 6:45 AM

Megan Olivia Hall, a teacher at Open World Learning Community in St. P...

Megan Hall’s husband, Leo Bickelhaupt, and their son, Dylan Bickelhall, joined her after her name was announced. She said she had planned to be a doctor but was inspired by a science professor.

St. Paul schools claimed three of 10 finalists competing for 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, including Megan Hall who won the honor and a $6,000 prize on Sunday.

Hall, who has taught science for 11 years in St. Paul public schools, was chosen from 135 teachers from around the state in the contest’s 49th year. She and other finalists learned she was the winner at a banquet at the Minneapolis Marriot Northwest in Brooklyn Park. Her reaction?

“Absolute shock and wonder and gratitude,” said Hall, who lives in St. Paul. She teaches at Open World Learning Community, a 300-student school based on the Outward Bound experiential model.

Hall, 34, is the third teacher in the St. Paul School District to win the award, which is sponsored by Education Minnesota, the state teachers union. Candidates include prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public, private and parochial schools.

Four Minnesota teachers, the last in 1996, have gone on to become the National Teacher of the Year.

Standing before a packed banquet hall, Hall thanked her family and colleagues and gushed about her students, in grades 7 to 12.

“My students have shown me that soulful delight and remarkable achievement can go hand in hand,” Hall said. “My students are funny and kind and curious and insightful.”

One of them, eighth-grader Sienna Leone-Getten, 13, said she nominated her teacher, who “really deserves it.”

Sienna said it was fun learning science from Hall because she “incorporates a lot of hands-on stuff … There’s very little textbook stuff and a lot of hands-on labs.” For example, in a biology class, Sienna said, she made mock cells out of Jell-O, peaches, blueberries and peppermint candies.

Sienna attended the awards ceremony with her dad, teacher Tim Leone-Getten, who works with Hall.

“As a colleague, she is always pushing me to do my best. She sets such high standards for her kids. I try to keep up with her,” he said. “She is inspirational, incredibly joyful and hardworking.”

Hall said she was a pre-med student at Macalester College, where she had a great science professor who inspired her to go into education.

She also was motivated by volunteering to teach music at St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis while she was in college.

She said that the children were trying to overcome difficult backgrounds to learn and that she felt that she’d seen how to make the nation a fairer place by helping such kids conquer the achievement gap.

“We believe in liberty and justice for all in this country, but we don’t have it yet,” she said.

“Teaching is one of the best ways to achieve that dream by opening the doors to higher education that ends poverty.”

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shopping and Supporting Southwest

If you are out shopping this week, remember to use your Target Red Card.

Hopefully you have designated Southwest as your charitable contribution. Target donates a portion of each purchase to your chosen organization.

Go to the Target Red Card web site to determine your chosen organization. Consider making Southwest High School your favorite.

Southwest does not endorse Target stores but definitely will accept the check from your purchases!

Walk a Mile In My Shoes Campaign

The Walk a Mile in My Shoes Campaign -  Put on your funkiest shoes and show support for those walking the journey of living with a mental illness!

May is mental health awareness month; May 9 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.  The goal of this project is to increase awareness and to promote efforts to eradicate myths, discrimination, bullying, and stigma that deter children, youth and families in need of care from seeking help. 


On May 9, 2013 NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) staff will be available throughout the day  to answer questions and provide  informational packets to students.  A banner “We all walk a different path-What will be your walk?”  will be hung.  The banner is for students who wish to take a pledge and post it on the banner to support students living with mental illness.   Preprinted pledges or blank shoes will be on the information table.  Students who want to take the pledge can either use one of the pre-written pledges, or write one of their own and pin it on the banner.  Come join us in “The Walk a Mile in My Shoes Campaign.”

9th and 10th Graders - Spring Fest May 11, 4-7 pm

SpringFest for Freshmen and Sophomores

Freshmen and Sophomore dance, plus Link Crew leaders with Carnival Games, Volleyball, Badminton, DJ Dancing.
Saturday, May 11,   4-7 pm,
Admission $7 and includes 5 drink/food/game tokens. Additional tokens available for $.50 each

SW Students On the AIR NPR Sunday May 5, 12-1

Congratulations to Southwest Students
Nora Doyle, junior, and Emma Richman, freshman, won first place in the A-Level of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Youth Chamber Music competition, as a part of the Luna String Quartet, which also included Alexandra Sophocleus (DeLaSalle HS) and Anna Humphrey (Buffalo High School). 

They will be featured on the National Public Radio Show, From the Top which will air on Classical MPR 99.5 on Sunday May5 from 12-1pm. Congratulations Nora!

Artists Party Saturday May 11, 6-9 pm At MCAD

Young Artists Party – Saturday, May 11 – 6-9 pm
Gallery of Student work at the Minneapolis College or Art and Design

2501 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Donations collected at the door – silent auction – fine snacks and refreshments

Friday, May 3, 2013

Southwest Alumni Olympic Trials and Beyond

Jamie Cheever Shifts Her Goals for 2013

Jamie Cheever ran a breakthrough race on Sunday in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, California.  She shattered her previous personal best(9:51.42) set in the prelims of the Olympic Trials last year by 22 seconds and ran the second fastest time in the World this year--the top time being by Emma Coburn, the 2012 Olympic ninth place finisher who finished a little less than a second(9:28.26) in front of Cheever(9:29.13) at Stanford. Answering questions on her iPad during the flight on the way home from California, Cheever first wanted to thank those who have helped her. 

First, I want to thank the Minnesota running community for its support during all of my running career. I have had fantastic coaches growing up in Minnesota (Ben Zhao at Minneapolis Southwest High School and Gary Wilson at the University of Minnesota). I am am so lucky to be part of Team USA Minnesota, both for having great training partners and access to invaluable resources and support systems. The Minnesota running community is so fun to be a part of, and I easily appreciate the support from Brooks, Lifetime Fitness, Twin Cities in Motion, Minnesota Elite Athlete Development Program, Run N Fun, Travis McCathie at Northwestern Health Sciences University, and Lawrence Wock at Chiropractic Healing Arts Center.--Jamie Cheever

Down the Backstretch:  Was the objective on Sunday to get a PR, get an A standard qualifying time, all of the above?
Jamie Cheever: The goal of the race Sunday was to run a PR.  My legs were feeling ready to go, so I thought getting the B standard(9:48) was a realistic goal, maybe the A(9:43) if I felt amazing. 

DtB:  When did you realize that you could do better than that?  That you might be able to win the race?

JC:  Thanks to my dad giving splits, I knew I was on pace at the mile for low to mid 9:40's. But I was feeling much better than I should have at that point, so I picked it up. 
Catching Coburn was not on my mind until I understood I was gaining on her a lap later. I continued to focus on closing the gap.  With 300 meters to go, I knew I had a chance to win, but Coburn was able to surge enough the last 200 meters that I couldn't catch her.

DtB:  What did you learn from the experience?
JC: Most importantly, I learned what I am capable of on the track with another year under my belt.

DtB: Did your training indicate that running under 9:30 was possible? 
JC: I knew steeple workouts were going well, but it was hard to know what they indicated. I keep track of my mileage and workouts, but my steeple specific workouts vary by year in terms of length, number of hurdles, lane used, etc. So even though I tried to compare my workout times to last year, I didn't have a good sense of what, if any, improvement I was having.

DtB:  You went out less aggressively in the steeple than you did during the cross country season.  Was that because you were running more for time in this race than competition or did the cross country experiences influence you to try going out less aggressively
JC:  I wanted to make sure I felt strong though the first mile, so I was not very aggressive. At the Stanford Invitational last month, I went out a little too hard in the 5K, and I paid for that during laps seven and eight. 
On top of that, there were four 2012 steeplechase Olympians in the race (Coburn, USA; LaCaze, Australia; Ramos, Puerto Rico; and Figuorea, Columbia) along with many other talented women, and I wanted to be realistic about where I fit in with these runners.  
Also, it has been a long winter in Minnesota, and I wasn't able to go over a water barrier until the day before the race. To sum up, my plan for the race was to get a solid effort and time in, while being realistic.
DtB:  Did the experiences from cross country season give you more confidence, make you more savvy on your race tactics?
JC:  Cross country and steeple both require strength and toughness, so my cross country season, and especially my US cross country championships race, gave me confidence for this track season. Just getting more exposure racing with some of the top distance women in the US has allowed me to learn from their tactics, as well as grow mentally. 


DtB:  Did you get a chance to get any “non-winter” training leading up to Stanford or were you just running off of what you could do during our "long Winter" this year?


JC:  I definitely planned on getting a warm training trip in during January.  Spending three weeks in the sun helped me so much last Spring.  However, because of my work situation at the time, I did not get the opportunity this Winter. I will not make that mistake again, especially after this crazy, long winter.

DtB:  What’s next?  You’ve got the A standard.  You nearly beat one of the favorites to win the steeple at his year’s national championships(both college and USATF).  Has this success readjusted your thinking about goals this season?

JC:  I'm going to run the TC 1 Mile on May 9, a 1500 at the Oxy High Performance meet in Los Angeles on May 17, then probably get one more steeple in before the US Outdoor Track Championships.  


Yes, this race has changed my goals. Before the race, making a World Team was a goal for another year, but I now think I should be focusing on getting to Moscow.