Two students from Park Center Senior High were recently recognized for their outstanding volunteer contributions.

Senior Olivia Maccoux, was named a Distinguished Finalist for the 2014 Minnesota Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. She also received a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Since she was nine-years-old, Olivia has dedicated nearly 1,000 hours serving on the Youth Advisory Council at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, working to help make the hospital a more comfortable place for children.

Olivia has spent a lot of time at the hospital for treatment of hydrocephalus, inspiring her to participate in the Council.

Senior Jenelle Hartzell also received a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. It is a prestigious designation with only six Minnesota finalists and two honorees named this year.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

“The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions the health and vitality of their communities,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and XCEO of Prudential Financials. “By recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.

-Published March 25, 2014

Two Osseo Area Schools elementary magnet schools have earned national honors from Magnet Schools of America, an organization that provides leadership and instructional support to magnet schools across the U.S. Both Weaver Lake Elementary  and Birch Grove Elementary School have been named a 2014 National Magnet School of Distinction. Only 13 schools in Minnesota earned national recognition this year.

Weaver Lake Elementary: A Science, Math and Technology School provides a dynamic, inquiry-based learning environment for students in grades K-6. Weaver Lake’s program incorporates value-added, hands-on activities that focus on problem solving and analytical thinking skills, and are based on real life experiences. The school’s integrated project-based, thematic approach to teaching has increased academic growth in all areas. This is the seventh consecutive year that the Osseo Area Schools elementary STEM program has been honored nationally.

Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts is an arts magnet for grades K-6 that integrates visual arts, music, drama and dance into the classroom curriculum while providing value-added opportunities in the arts.  Students receive daily standards-based instruction with arts specialists and have the opportunity to participate in arts elective classes, performing troupes, early-entrance band and orchestra, and an all-school musical. This is the sixth time Birch Grove has been national recognized by MSA.

“Announcing the recipients of our national merit awards is always a highlight of the year for the magnet school community. It is an opportunity for us to acknowledge our nation’s most exemplary theme-based magnet programs,” said MSA Executive Director, Scott Thomas. “Nearly 300 schools applied for merit awards this year making 2014 especially competitive.”

Principals Dennis Palm (Weaver Lake) and Jeff Zastrow (Birch Grove) will receive their respective awards at the 32nd National Conference on Magnet Schools in May.

Enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year is under way at all ISD 279 schools. To enroll, contact the district’s Enrollment Center at 763-585-7350.

-Published March 27, 2014