Emily Bollinger headshot

Our very own Emily Bollinger, English teacher at Park Center Senior High School, and eight other teachers from across the U.S., were chosen to participate in the Bridging Cultures Initiative, an opportunity funded by the United States Department of Education and sponsored by the Illinois-Northwestern African Studies Consortium. Through this experiential workshop at the University of Illinois earlier this month, Bollinger had the opportunity to learn new ways of infusing global perspectives into her teaching.

In addition to the nine U.S. teachers, 20 educators traveled from countries around the world to participate in this exchange of ideas, perspectives, and cultures. Bollinger learned how education is structured throughout the world and brought home new skills on how to continue incorporating multiple cultures and perspectives into her teaching.

When asked about this experience, Bollinger said, “Many of my students come from areas of the world that were not part of my formal educational background. Through various sessions and conversations at Bridging Cultures, I learned about the vast histories and cultures represented in my classroom.”

Bollinger has 12 years of experience as a teacher, two years with Osseo Area Schools. Through this program, Bollinger developed strong relationships with other educators around the globe and hopes to build new partnerships between schools. “I’m really excited to come back this fall and share what I learned with my students – and hopefully further involve them in international education,” said Bollinger.

GROUP PHOTO: Emily Bollinger (top row, far left), teacher at Park Center Senior High, stands proudly with the eight other U.S. teachers and the 20 educators from across the world who participated in the national Bridging Cultures Initiative in early July.

Emily Bollinger Bridging Cultures


Inspired by music, Megan Gosian set off on a sound endeavor this spring to collect musical instruments. As part of her desire to contribute to her community and earn a Girl Scout Gold award, Megan collected 22 musical instruments and donated them to Osseo Area Schools. These instruments will be provided to students who may not have been able to afford them.

Megan Gosian

 “I want everyone to have the opportunity to fall in love with playing instruments, just like I did,” said Gosian, who will be a junior at Maple Grove Senior High this fall. “From the moment I started learning piano and trombone to when I picked up euphonium, trumpet and some percussion, I developed a passion for music that will continue to grow with me.”

Gosian said she would also like to thank those who supported her project through donations of money and musical instruments.

PHOTO: Megan Gosian (left) stands proudly next to all of the instruments she collected. Christine Weatherman (right), district music program specialist with Osseo Area Schools, said the instruments will be distributed to students who need them each year.