Holiday Spirit Week Highlights

Last week was a busy one at St. Paul Prep, with all of our Holiday Spirit Week Dress-Up Days, basketball games, a SPP Night Out, and, of course, the Art and Talent Shows last Thursday!

Each day we awarded a prize to the “Best Dressed” of the themes. which included Pajama Day, Sport Day, Favorite Character Day, Career Day, and Christmas Day. Thanks to all the students who went above and beyond with their costumes!

The SPP/HSRA varsity and JV boys basketball teams had a monster week, picking up big wins in their first two home games of the season. The varsity squad trounced Minnesota Transitions Charter 85-42 on Tuesday, then upped the ante on Thursday with a 91-73 victory against Lincoln International. The JV team also had a huge week, posting wins of 44-12 and 67-4 (not a typo: 4 points)!

Students also had the chance to take in a Timberwolves game on Thursday evening. The hometown team gave our students a show, topping the Kings 119-96!

But the big event of the week was our Art and Talent Shows on Thursday, which was capped off with the traditional cake-eating contest. If you couldn’t make it to downtown St. Paul or you missed our live-stream of the event, you have some options to watch it! You can find the entire video on our Facebook page or our YouTube channel.

It was a crazy week at SPP, and now students are eagerly preparing for Winter Break! Hooray Falcons!

Upcoming Events & Activities

Though it may be the last month of the year, we’re not slowing down at St. Paul Prep! We’ve got a ton of great activities planned for our students in December that’ll take us right into winter break (Dec. 22-Jan. 8). If you have any questions about anything you see below, please contact Ms. Leko!


December 1: SPP Night Out: Bowling

Join us for a few hours of unlimited bowling! For $9, students (and their host families) get shoes and two hours of knocking down pins.

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December 8: No School

Enjoy the long weekend! Maybe check out some of these noteworthy spots around the city.


December 11-15: Spirit Week

Spirit Weeks at St. Paul Prep are a time to dress up and celebrate everything that makes our school great. Stay tuned for more details!



December 14-15: Art Showcase

Come view (and buy!) beautiful works of art created by St. Paul Prep students. In the Galtier theater foyer starting at noon on the 14th.


December 14: Talent Show

From 2-3:15pm, students will play, sing, and perform for a chance to be named SPP’s brightest star! We’ll also live-stream the event on Facebook!

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December 15: Winter Dance

Break out your finest (and warmest!) clothes for our annual Winter Dance. Held in the Galtier Theater.

So Much Room For Activities!

We have tons of great clubs and activities lined up this year at St. Paul Prep. Students had the chance to hear pitches from leaders of SPP’s various clubs and activities and the opportunity to sign up to join them at our Activity Fair on September 28.


While some groups simply had a sign-up sheet, others got a bit more creative, offering ‘incentives’ to join a particular club or activity.


Dance Club took their incentive to a different level, and it appeared to work great.


Math Team also had a solid approach.


Full list of Clubs & Activities at SPP for 2017-18:

Art Club, Math Team, One Act Plays, Table Tennis, School Store, Boys and Girls Basketball, Track and Field, Service Leaning/ WE Day, School of Rock, SPP Night Out, Student Council, Board Games, Dance Club, Korean Club, Ted Talk, Global Challenge, SPP Media, YMCA, Mount Airy Boys and Girls Club, East Side Boys and Girls Club


Photo Gallery: Soccer’s 4-2 win Sept. 19

The St. Paul Prep soccer team came away with a 4-2 win over Liberty Classical Academy on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

Here are photos from the game!

SCHEDULE RELEASE: 2017 St. Paul Preparatory School Boys Soccer

As the start of school draws near, we are excited for the new year to start! From academics to athletics, we can’t wait to see our students succeed!

At this time, we are pleased to reveal the 2017 Falcons boys’ soccer schedule! (DRUMROLL!!!) Without further ado:

(Home games in bold)

September 13
@ Chesterton Academy

September 15
5pm vs. International School of MN

September 19
5pm vs. Liberty Classical

September 20
@ Learning for Leadership

September 26
@ Calvin Christian

September 28
5pm vs. Shattuck-St. Mary’s

October 2 & 6
Twin Cities Athletic Conference Tournament (Rain dates October 3 & 5)

Last year, the St. Paul Prep Falcons soccer team finished first in the Twin Cities Athletic Conference (TCAC) final standings and also took the runner-up trophy in the conference tournament. TCAC is the largest conference of public charter and private school competition in the Twin Cities area.

Be sure to check our Rschool page and for the most up-to-date schedules.

St. Paul Prep Falcons

Students Work Hard and Play Hard in Orlando

Eight SPP students, two Staples students, and three chaperones flew to Orlando, Florida over spring break to complete several service projects and tour Disneyworld and Universal Studios. St. Paul Prep students Tanisa, Malcolm, Arthur, Wendy, Lena, Leticia, Rosan, and Ani joined forces with Alexandra and Catalina, Nacel Open Door students from Staples MN, to complete several volunteer service days including one day at Orlando’s Second Harvest Food Bank. There they worked diligently to sort and pack ten thousand pounds of frozen foods to be distributed to local and regional food banks, homeless shelters, and soup kitchens. A second day of service saw the students sorting household items for distribution at Orlando Mustard Seed to families who have experienced the loss of their homes or jobs or other personal tragedies. A third day of service allowed students to sort and organize various soap products donated from Myriad Hotels for recycling and distribution to children and families all over the US and the world to fight waterborne diseases that take the lives of so many children each day.

Wendy and Lena sorting frozen foodsWhile service projects were an important part of the group’s spring break experience, creating some fun tourist destination memories was also an integral goal of the trip. Consequently, students met many Disney characters at Magic Kingdom, toured the World Showcase at Epcot Center, swam in the Atlantic Ocean at New Smyrna Beach, and spent a day marveling at Universal’s popular Islands of Adventure. All in all, these 10 students and their chaperones all agreed that Orlando, Florida is a great place to spend a week of spring break, whether volunteering to a good cause or creating some magical memories at popular tourist destinations.

-Wanda Ostlund, English Teacher, Trip Coordinator & Chaperone

Learn more about student opportunities at St. Paul Prep by visiting our website!

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A Month in Congress

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Yasameen from Afgahnistan, a junior at St. Paul Preparatory School was awarded 2nd place for her outstanding artwork last year at the Betty McCollum Congressional Art Competition. She continues to create artwork focusing on the politics of her home country, Afghanistan. In early January 2014, Yasameen and SPP art teacher Ms. Kate Woolever wrote a letter to Congresswoman Betty McCollum explaining Yasameen’s passion for politics and her long-term goal to bring peace and education to her country. Ms. Kate Woolever asked if Yasameen could intern with the congresswomen to learn the ins and outs of her professional life. Days later, a letter returned accepting her request. The letter explained that this type of internship was not the norm, as they usually do not accept high school interns; however, Yasameen stood out to them and seemed to be full of great potential.

Excitedly, Yasameen began her first day interning at the congresswoman’s office in early January. She went two days a week, her tasks varied from working with their IQ system, monitoring emails from community members, researching information about congress, having discussions with staff members about their responsibilities, assisting and shadowing each member in the office and much more. “I learned how much hard work, patience, respect, and teamwork goes into working in politics” Yasameen explained. “It was so fun to be a part of this environment and even though there was a lot to do, the staff seemed to be good friends who truly enjoyed their jobs.”

Yasameen reflects on the end of her time there “My last day was a very bittersweet time; everyone in the office came together and threw me a party! Accompanying some tasty treats, Congresswoman McCollum personally gave her a leather portfolio case with all their contact information inside, a gold congressional token, and a letter Betty McCollum personally wrote. “I couldn’t believe how welcoming and accepting each employee was towards me!” Yasameen explained. “They didn’t treat me as a student but as another respected staff member. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I know it will be my foundation as I continue to work towards my goals in bringing peace to my country.”

– Kate Woolever-Martinez, Art Teacher

Learn more about our Internship program, arts, and other college and life preparatory opportunities at St. Paul Prep on our website.

A Day at the Capitol

IMG_20140313_085411 We arrived at the capitol this morning bright and early, eager for our busy day of observing the legislative session in full swing. We began our day with a tour of the Capitol building, given by the Minnesota Historical Society. Split into two groups, we were able to learn about the remarkable architecture and history of the Capitol building, in addition to viewing the chamber of the House, Senate and the Supreme Court. Then, Mr. Wiggin gave the whole class a supplemental tour to see the governor’s wing and the governor portraits.

At 10:00 am, we went through the tunnels to the State Office Building and observed a committee meeting addressing a bill proposed on student multilingual certification in K-12 schools. The school was recognized mid-way through the committee meeting by Representative and Committee Chairman Carlos Mariani.

After our visit to the committee, we went to the Senate and observed the session. After calling to order, the Senate made several motions, but adjourned the meeting after only ten minutes. Students were a little disoriented when they realized it was over, because the senators never really came fully to order or even sat down before the session was adjourned.

After lunch, we went to more committee hearings. Students could choose from a variety of committees including Education, Environment and Energy, Judiciary, Elections, or Taxes. For example, a few students and myself went to the Senate Education committee to see consideration and testimony addressing native and English language development of English learners. The bill promoted the use of native language in the continual development of English language and provided for educator professional development in best bilingual lesson delivery practices and cross-cultural competency.

Finally, we attended a political rally in the rotunda addressing independent private schools. Two students from SPP – Mary S. (Poland) and Virginia V. (Italy) – gave short speeches on the value of their unique experience at St. Paul Prep, supported by their classmates who filled out more than half of the chairs in the rotunda. Other speakers continued to honor our school in their own speeches and the last speaker finished the program by reiterating his wholehearted support of school choice for Minnesota students.

The trip was incredibly enriching for many students. Tanisa K. enthused that she learned so much about Minnesota culture by learning the history of the capitol building. Daniel T. made connections to the content he is learning in AP US Government and Politics class. “For example, when we have the test of the chapter ten and eleven and I was reading about the Sunshine Act,” he said, “I didn’t really know what it was about. Today, I was questioning myself why we can go to all the rooms and hear what they were talking about. I thought it would be all private but even as a foreigner, I could see. I thought that these kinds of meetings were private and just for people with special rights or privileges. I didn’t realize what this Sunshine Act really was about until we went here.” Nicole Rivera added, “I really enjoyed the last committee we received because they [the lawmakers] were fascinated with the international students. I also learned about architecture and I really loved that part.”

–  Kara Redding, Social Studies Teacher

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Robotics’ “Puppy Dog Program”

Robotics class has been working hard at finishing their robot. With only six weeks to design, build and test a robot, students have been staying late into the night to finish their creation.

The Robotics Competition is March 27-29 at Williams Arena on the U of M campus. The competition game this year involves picking up, passing and shooting a two foot yoga ball. This presented the students with many challenges, but they were able to work through them all and finish on time. One of the most fun problems to solve was to come up with the name of the robot… so the students decided on “Sir RC Swaggerdee III.” The programming team is still working hard to ensure a fully operational robot. They have developed code for the robot to follow a red ball and any student wearing red. They call it the “Puppy Dog” program.

-Dan Forseth, Robotics Teacher/Advisor

Learn more about Robotics and other club opportunities at St. Paul Prep on our website!

Model United Nations Focuses on Human Rights

Model UN Winter Conference croppedThe Model United Nations winter conference was held at Edina High School. It was Edina’s first time hosting a conference and the entirely student-run event was incredibly well-organized and professional. The conference focused on the rights of indigenous people around the world and our students were able to bring some of their own perspectives from their home countries to our research efforts on countries such as Ecuador, Indonesia, and the U.S. Our students represented the countries of Kenya (Hector), Sri Lanka (Jose and Josue), Saudi Arabia (Jose and Christoph), Ecuador (Grace and Phoebe), Indonesia (Tanisa and Daniel), and the U.S.A (Nelofar and Lam).

The Opening Ceremony was introduced by the principal of Edina High School and featured the Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey and Senator Al Franken each giving speeches to open the conference. Al Franken’s speech was particularly interesting and pointed, talking about his first pow wow and his commitment to addressing the grievous social issues that face Native American people today as a member of the Indian Affairs committee in the U.S. Senate.

The opening hour of the conference consisted of formal debate and moderated caucus where discussion revolved around which aspects of indigenous rights should be addressed first: education, political participation, socio-economic aid, or cultural legitimation. Disagreements grew through the morning as delegates continued posturing for their interests, highlighting a particular disagreement on the priority of education and bilingualism in this issue. Integration versus assimilation was often debated and puzzled over; students struggled to figure out how to offer solutions for addressing problems among indigenous populations without violating their right to self determination. After lunch, the committee focused on improving their resolutions and prepared to compel other delegates to vote in their favor. Sri Lanka sponsored draft resolution 3 which passed 37 to 32. This resolution attempted to address issues concerning education.

Model UN Winter Conf croppedSPP students enjoyed being able to work with other students from Edina, Maple Grove, Cretin Durham Hall, and other schools in unmoderated caucus. They were able to offer their unique, culturally relativistic perspective to a debate that clearly highlighted the difficulty in identifying solutions, that both provided equal opportunity to indigenous people and honored their cultural values.

The club will participate in their final conference at Hamline University on March 12, serving in three committees addressing development and poverty.

Kara Redding – Model UN Advisor, Social Studies Teacher

The Model United Nations club is one of many clubs and extracurricular activities available to St. Paul Preparatory School’s students. Learn more about student life and clubs at St. Paul Prep.


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