Friday, April 29, 2016

Southwest Lucia Sullivan Possehl Winner Congressional Art Competition

Thank you all for entering your students’ work in this year’s Congressional Art Competition. The voting was very close, but we are pleased to announce the following winners:
1st place: Lucia Sullivan Possehl with the piece “Driftless Area.” Her art teacher is Ben Zhao at Southwest High School. (Artwork will be displayed in the US Capitol for 1 year and she will receive two free roundtrip airplane tickets to the National Arts Competition Ceremony in D.C.)
2nd place: Cynthia Lucas with the piece “I’m Not Batman, I’m Jamar.” Her art teacher is Jim Spector at The Blake School. (Artwork will be displayed in Congressman Ellison’s D.C. office for 1 year)
3rd place: Owlyn Madrone with the piece “Life Lines.” His art teacher is Rebecca Bullen at the Perpich Center for Arts Education. (Artwork will be displayed in Congressman Ellison’s District Office for 1 year)

The winner of the National Park Service recognition is Damiah Oliver from St. Anthony Village High School with the piece “Human Nature.” Damiah will receive a National Park Service centennial medallion.

The winner of the Spoken Word competition is Amir Khadar from Fridley High School with the piece “7 to, or 10 things.”

Art may be picked up from the Congressman’s District Office (address in my signature) Monday through Friday, 8:30am-6pm. Please pick up this art no later than May 6th, 2016. Please reach out to me if you need to make other arrangements. We will be mailing certificates to students who were not able to join us at the reception.

I’ve uploaded the photos our intern Joy took at the reception. You can find them at the following link:

Thanks again for your participation. I am already excited for next year’s competition!

Nicky Leingang
Community Representative and Staff Assistant
Office of Congressman Keith Ellison

Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota

Southwest Grad Celina Kane, Milliner

A Q+A with Milliner Celina Kane

Celina Kane, Minneapolis native and milliner extraordinaire, is making some serious waves in the Twin Cities fashion scene. Her designs are crafted with the highest quality materials and incredible attention to design. From geometric to romantic, each hat is one-of-a-kind. We were lucky enough to sit down with Kane to ask her a few questions about her new collection, Derby Style, and what is inspiring her this spring. Meet Kane and check out her beautiful designs at our Kentucky Derby Party on SaturdayMay 7.

How long have you been a milliner?

I launched HAT MAKE in the spring of 2015 after studying with couture milliner Anya Caliendo in New York and developing my first collection, the Leopard and the Lark.

What do you love about derby hats? 

I love that derby season inspires Americans to dress up. I am always impressed by the derby fashion that comes out of the United Kingdom and Australia, but even here, it’s an occasion when people spend time coordinating a formal fashion look, including accessories that they may overlook in their daily lives. The derby is an excuse to express yourself — first because hats are the most expressive piece you can wear, and second because, while there is a strong thread of tradition that runs through derby fashion, creativity gets major points.

What are you inspired by this derby season?

This derby season and for my collection of Spring/Summer 2016 cocktail hats, I am inspired by the later works of one of my favorite artists, Henri Matisse. This translates into quite literally recreations of some of his pieces into three-dimensional hat form and also more abstractly inspiration for color palette and Mediterranean themes.

What’s the price range for your hats?

Custom hats range between $350 and $650 depending on the design and materials.

How long does it take to produce a hat?

I ask for three-week production lead time.

Contact Celina for your derby hat.

The Southwest Badminton Challenge

Staff, Parents, Community Members – if you have time swing by the gym after school TODAY to challenge a Badminton Player!!  $3 challenge can win you $5!!  Yes it is a fundraiser.  Attached you will see the 10-0 Varsity and 10-0 JV teams (Conference records)

Yours Sincerely,

Simon Whitehead

Minneapolis Southwest High School
Physical Education, and IB Sports Science
Head Girls Badminton Coach
Head Girls Soccer Coach

Thursday, April 28, 2016

SW Media Students Dominate EDU Film Fest Selections

The EDU Film Festival is the largest high school film competition in the state and the jury chosen to screen 10 student films from Southwest this year at the Showplace Icon Theater in St. Louis Park on Friday May 13. The Southwest Media Film Department will be taking a field trip over there but more on that later. 

For now please congratulate the following filmmakers on their remarkable achievement. 

Spencer Barck for Assassination 
Renn Elkins for Photographs
Avinash Patel for Sam the Sock 
Avinash Patel for Paranormal Accidental
Zen Raudys for Over and Over
Malcolm Ryshavy with Nathan Brunmeier for What I Forgot 
Malcolm Ryshavy with Nathan Brunmeier for Frontier Psychiatrist: A Visual Interpretation
Abdulsaraq Shekaden for Perceptions
Simon Tolman for Southwest Walkout Minneapolis 2015
Simon Tolman for Sonder

And anyone who remembers Luke Coverdale, who now studies at Perpich, he was also nominated.

The Southwest Film Fest is 7 pm Friday, May 6th where you can see all of the above and more.

David West
Fine Arts Teacher

Southwest High School

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Southwest Coffee Shop Opened Today

The Southwest Coffee Shop began service today.  The hours are 7:30 t0 10:30 am.

This is a soft opening to train staff and learn services.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Southwest AP Human Geography Test Prep

It was amazing to see around 160 9th grade students come to school on a Saturday to take a practice AP Human Geography test. 

The students seemed to get a lot out of it including a prediction of their AP score and strategies on how to study in the next few weeks. 

We are very proud of all the students who were able to attend.

The AP Human Geography Teachers

Southwest Opening Central Section Saturday, April 30

Southwest Opening Central Section
Saturday, April 30, 2016
9:00 am to Noon

The center section of the new addition to Southwest High School is now open.

Come and visit to celebrate the addition of the kitchen, new commons and Grand Stairs.  Plus there are two upper levels of classrooms.  First time ever there are crosswalks on levels two and three.

The building is open from 9:00 am to noon for your visit.  Come and celebrate with the Southwest students, staff and community.  The entire project will be completed August 25, 2016

Superior Award for Southwest Wind Ensemble!

 Superior award for wind ensemble!

Congratulate the students of the wind ensemble 
for their superior award, the highest ranking, 
at today's MSHSL large group band festival

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Four Southwest Students Selected to Minnesota All State

Band and Orchestra were 4/4 in all-state acceptances for 2016-17!  
Minnesota All-State Auditions

Applications that were Accepted from :

Ethan Feldman

Euphonium/Concert Band
Dylan Kinneavy

Andrea Kloehn

Flute/Concert Band
Max Voda

Violin II/Orchestra

Reid Wixson
Director of Instrumental Music

Friday, April 22, 2016

Most Challenging High Schools - Southwest Number 8 in Minnesota

State of Minnesota
1St. Croix PrepStillwaterMN64.006.006.338
2International School of Minnesota (P)Eden PrairieMN100.005.310
4St. Louis ParkSt. Louis ParkMN50.0036.004.106
6Mounds ViewArden HillsMN54.1012.203.666
9IrondaleNew BrightonMN51.0041.203.271
10EastviewApple ValleyMN56.0018.003.036
11Robbinsdale ArmstrongPlymouthMN30.0035.002.996
12CentralSt. PaulMN58.002.978
13SimleyInver Grove HeightsMN38.8039.002.904
16St. Anthony VillageSt. AnthonyMN2.380

How the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list works

We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2015 as they had graduates, were put on the national list. We rank the schools in order of that ratio, with the highest (27.32) this year achieved by BASIS Oro Valley, in Oro Valley, Ariz., which takes the top spot for the second straight year.

I think 1.00 is a modest standard. A school can reach that level if only half of its students take one AP, IB or Cambridge test in their junior year and one in their senior year. But this year, just more than 10 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and earn placement on our list. On our list, the top 220 schools are in the top 1 percent nationally, the top 440 in the top 2 percent, and so on.

2. Why do you count only the number of tests given, and not how well the students do on the tests?
Some schools brag about their high passing rates on AP or IB, meaning the percentage of test-takers who scored 3, 4 or 5 on the 5-point AP exam or 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the 7-point IB exam. Passing scores make students eligible for credit at many colleges and universities.

I decided not to count passing rates in this way because I found that many high schools kept those rates artificially high by allowing only top students to take the courses. AP, IB and Cambridge are important because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college examinations. Research has found that even low-performing students who got a 2 on an AP test did significantly better in college than similar students who did not take AP.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Coca-Cola 2016 Scholars

First of all, congratulations on leading the schools that produced the 150 Coca-Cola Scholars for 2016. Out of a field of more than 170,000 applicants, these 150 were chosen for their exceptional intellectual, service and leadership accomplishments and promise. You can view the full list of 2016 Scholars here:
“Out of more than 170,000 applicants this year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awarded only 150 scholarship awards of $20,000 to recognize students with considerable accomplishment and potential in their intellect and leadership. Please join me in congratulating Rewan Abdelwahab as a 2016 Scholar.” 

RewanAbdelwahabSouthwest High SchoolMinneapolisMN
NeeharBanerjeeMayo High SchoolRochesterMN

Athletic Awards - Scholastic All-American and Athena Awards

We have received notice that Southwest High School senior student/athletes Madeline Kaye, Colleen Staeger, Molly Voltz, and Jeremi Oziewicz, have been named to the National Interscholastic Swim & Dive Coaches Association Academic All-American Team.   Over 342,786 students are involved in aquatics at the high school level in over 15,623 programs for boys’ and girls’. Approximately 2% of these students are recognized as high school All American’s. 

In today’s Star Tribune (4/20/16) Athena Award winners were announced. This award is given to the outstanding female athlete at their school.  The following MPS female student/athletes will be officially awarded at a May 6th Banquet (along with winners from throughout the west metro area).  These outstanding accomplishments are examples of the wonderful students participating in MPS athletic programs.  Please help us spread the word – Thanks!

Emilie Zibble (badminton, gymnastics and tennis): Undecided

Destinee Moore (golf, gymnastics and tennis): Winona State

Toni Dollerson (badminton, basketball and volleyball): Undecided

Katie Jones (basketball, softball and tennis): Wis.-Eau Claire

Sydney Dynneson (hockey, lacrosse): Hamline

Emma Nelson (softball, swimming): St. Thomas

Hannah Oscarson (cross country and track and field): North Dakota

Dave Wicker
Assistant Director of Athletics

Minneapolis Public Schools

Latinx Pride April 20 at 7 pm in Auditorium


APRIL 20TH @ 7 pm
Southwest High School Auditorium
3414 W. 47th St

Suggested Donations at the Door
Song, Poetry, Social Justice, Pride

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Commons is Alive and Active

The morning at Southwest starts in the commons.  Some are busy at homework.  Some socialize and start another rewarding day.

Breakfast starts around 7:40 and ends at 8:00 am.  Many enjoy the start of the day and talk about the events over the evening.  Another start of another active and rewarding day.

Stop by check out the next commons.

Southwest at National Japan Bowl in Washington D.C.

Southwest Japan World Language students earned the honor to represent the region at Nationals Japan Bowl in Washington D.C.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Southwest Musicians and Singers On Tour in Chicago

The Bean captures some of the Southwest students on tour in Chicago.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Earth Day “Community Clean-up Day” Saturday, April 23, 2016

Earth Day “Community Clean-up Day”
Saturday, April 23, 2016

A healthy community is a community that is involved; we can use everyone’s help, so mark your calendars for this community service event. 

We would like to invite you to join us for an Earth Day clean-up in our community. Join the Southwest Community Education Advisory Council, and students from Southwest Community Education Green Team, in a one-morning effort to help clean up around the community. 

We will meet at Lake Harriet Upper Campus (4912 Vincent Ave. S.) on Saturday morning, April 23rd, at 8:30 a.m. for juice, coffee, and rolls. The clean-up will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. We’ll be cleaning up around the school, and also the shoreline along Minnehaha Creek, Lake Harriet, and Lake Calhoun (bus transportation will be provided to and from the school). 

We’ll be providing a gourmet picnic lunch for everyone back at school (it’s a good idea to share bread with friends & neighbors!), and the Green Team will be presenting their environmental workshops college-fair style. 

This project is being sponsored by the Southwest Community Education Advisory Council and the Southwest “Green Team”.

If you wish to participate in the clean-up contact Tom Neiman at 612-668-3100 or email us at

2016 Southwest Athena Award Winner

Senior Softball Captain Emma Nelson has been selected as the 2016 Athena Award Winner.  This is an award for the most outstanding senior female athlete.

She will be recognized at an awards ceremony on May 6th with all of the other Minneapolis Area Winners.

Congratulate her if you see her around.

Ryan Lamberty
Athletic Director

Southwest High School

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Soutthwest Foundation Fund Rasier April 14 at 1010

You are invited to:

the Southwest Foundation's 
4/14 @ the 1010 

Thursday, April 14th
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

at the great 1010 party space of our hosts:

Dawn & Tim Prinsen
1010 W. Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Please join all Southwest parents, alums, and staff 
for this fundraiser to benefit the 
Southwest Foundation. 

Last year's party was so much fun--don't miss it this year!  

Like last year, we'll have great food, drinks, conversation and music; a chance to meet our principal, Dr. Bill Smith (who will speak about 8 o'clock); and time to play PacMan and pool and eat popcorn. 
All while learning about how the 
Southwest Foundation supports excellence in education 
at Southwest High School. 

The Foundation's mission is supporting academics, athletics, and the arts at Southwest and it is the only organization fundraising for academics at Southwest. Your donation to the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will impact the education of every student at Southwest. 
Help us raise our goal of $15,000!

Every family's involvement is important --  if you are wondering if you've given to our annual campaign this year (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016), please check our list of wonderful donors
Thank you to all our donors!

Thank you to our co-hosts:

Christa Anders & Tom MacLeod
Una & Eric Edwardson
Dan Froehlich
Nikki & Erik Lindberg
Tricia & John Marden
Mary & Brett McCabe
Jill & Brad McLemore
Mona & Rick Patterson
Janice & Mark Peterson
Kathy Jo Peterson
Kate & Scott Raver
Nancy Rose Pribyl
Allison Rubin & Jeff Forester
Kim & Dave Schoenecker
Rebecca Skoler & Steve Stovitz
June Thiemann & Dan Bartholomay
Erin Ungerman
Connie & Tom Walsh

Hope you can join us!

The entrance to the underground 1010 West Lake party space is on Lake Street under the CVS in Uptown. Please don't park in the CVS lot! There is parking nearby at the Calhoun Square lot or Loop Parking lot at 1422 W. Lake--or on the street.

OR email RSVP to

Can't attend the party?

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest

Great Graduation Gift!

Honor a special grad or favorite teacher with a SW auditorium seat plaque!

Looking for a special graduation gift to honor your Southwest senior?  Want to pay tribute to an amazing teacher? Make a lasting impression with an engraved seat plaque in the Southwest auditorium!  

Seat plaques are available for a one-time donation of $200, which goes directly to Southwest’s Auditorium Fund.  

This fund is used to maintain and upgrade the auditorium. 

Go to for more information and order form. Or, contact .

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Southwest Students Return from Visit to French Sister School

We´re heading back tomorrow! Kids had a great time in Paris these past two days and the weather was mostly cooperative! We´re not excited to hear about the snow back home, I´m worried some of these kids might try and run off to avoid it. Thanks to all of you for your support and help organizing this, it was definitely a process but I think the experience these kids had while here in France is priceless. See you all Monday!

-Sarah Hallaway

French Teacher

Southwest High School

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

SW Abukar and Aden Advance to Nationals Spoken Word

After many rounds of competition across the Twin Cities, both Harun Abukar and Yasmin Aden (pictured 3rd and last below) will represent Southwest as two of six students from Minnesota competing in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam, at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC this July!!!

This is a huge honor, so please if you see them congratulate them and ask them about their craft. They are very talented writers and orators, who have a passion for social justice and are such an inspiration to me. 
(More info below if you are interested in learning more about the festival and process).

Be Heard Top 6 with Logo

More information here:

"The 19th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival will convene the most outstanding and outspoken youth poets from around the world for 5 days of workshops, slams, showcases, community service and civic participation events."

Southwest Students Report From France

Today the weather has been phenomenal for our visit to Fourvière hill, the site of Lyon´s Basilica and the ancient roman theatre next door. Based on their reactions I think this has been their favorite day so far! The Basilica is very detailed on the inside which was fascinating for the kids and it offers excellent views of the city below. Nearby are the ruins of a roman amphitheater that could seat somewhere between 10,000-15,000 people. After spending about 2 hours on the hill we descended for sandwiches on the bank of the Saone river and had the chance to feed some swans. Tomorrow is our last day in Lyon, I think everyone is amazed how quickly time flew by. We head off to Paris on the T.G.V. at 8am Friday morning! As always, I will attach some photos from our day!

-Sarah Hallaway
French Teacher
Southwest High School

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sebastien Children's Defense Fund Scholarship Recipient

ST. PAUL, Minn. - For more than 20 years, Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota has recognized extraordinary young people who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities, and aspire to attend college.
The above traits are exhibited by recipients of the Beat the Odds scholarship.
Southwest senior selected to receive Children'Defense Fund scholarship. Sebastien Lannelongue
This year, six of the most deserving Twin Cities-area high school students have been selected to receive a $5,000 scholarship.
This year’s scholarship recipients are: Christopher Oquist, Roosevelt High School, Minneapolis; Domenic Johnson, North Community High School, Minneapolis; Hennessey Carlbom, Takoda Prep, Minneapolis; Sebastien Lannelongue, Southwest High School, Minneapolis; Shamaria Jordan, Edison High School, Minneapolis; and Mela Nguyen, Great River School, St. Paul.
What does it mean to beat the odds?
"To me, it means that you overcome big obstacles in your life," said Lannelongue, who's family lived in Mexico. His father died when he was 6, immigrated to the U.S. with his mom and brother when he was 12, and then things got worse.
"The end of my sophomore year my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer," Lannelongue said. 
"One of the biggest barriers I've had is finding a space that I was very welcome to," said Oquist, who, at 4 years old, was taken away from his biological mother. She was selling drugs in hopes of making ends meet. 
Both Oquist and Lannelongue have a common career goal - wanting to help others.
CDF-MN will recognize the six students at its annual Beat the Odds awards celebration on Saturday, April 9 at McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis.

Two Southwest Alumni Inducted U of MN Hall of Fame

The "M" Club, one of the oldest and largest letterwinners clubs in the nation, welcomed the 14 newest members to its Hall of Fame on Thursday night in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium. The event celebrated the accomplishments of an eclectic group of Gopher greats whose playing careers spanned eight different decades and nine different Gopher programs.
"The `M' Club Hall of Fame Ceremony is our annual marquee event, providing us a chance to celebrate Golden Gopher student-athletes who set the highest standards for athletic achievement, both at the University of Minnesota and nationally," said George Adzick, "M" Club director. "These athletes are the best of our best and it is a privilege to honor those who have created so many special moments and memories in the history of Gopher athletics by forever enshrining them in The "M" Club Hall of Fame."

Southwest graduate 1945
* Byrl Thompson (Track and Field) - Two-time Big Ten champion in discus
and alternate for 1948 U.S. Olympic team

Southwest graduate 1951
* Dick Meredith (Men¹s Hockey) - NCAA All-Tournament team honoree and
two-time U.S. Olympian.