Staff Spotlight - American Indian Magnet School



Staff Spotlight - American Indian Magnet School
May 2016 | Volume #18
State History Day Results
May 17, 2016
Police Patrol Picnic for Band Students
May 18, 2016
Physics Day at Valleyfair
May 19, 2016
Spring Music Concert
May 30, 2016
No School – Memorial Day
June 6, 2016
Grade 8 Awards Night – 6:00pm
*Change in Date due to Como Park’s
High School Graduation*
June 9, 2016
Locker Cleanout
Yearbook Distribution
June 10, 2016
Last Day of School for Students
Grade 8 Valleyfair Field Trip
Grade 6 Awards Day – 9:30am
Grade 7 Awards Day – 12:30pm
Stay up to date on good news
and upcoming eventsFollow Murray Middle School
Stacy Theien-Collins
Wow! As a school community, we could not be prouder of the work our students
did in participating in History Day this year. This year’s theme Exploration,
Encounter and Exchange proved to provide a wide variety of topics and our
students took advantage with in-depth study of their chosen topics. Our Murray
Pilots became researchers, critical thinkers, defenders of positions, topic experts
and strong communicators. It truly transforms learning into action. The students
are expected to display their learning through creating websites, documentary
short films, display boards, or performances.
I want to congratulate all students as this project is expected in every grade level
at Murray and the commitment and quality of learning is impressive. We had
nearly 50 students that advanced to regional level competition, with 27 students
going on to the state level. We are excited to announce great results at the state
level competition.
Honorable Mentions:
Amelia Moseman, performance “The Orphan Train”
Nora Thomey, performance “The Invisible Ultra Bombe Machine”
Fiona Blank and Anna Gaudio, performance “Ruth Underhill and the Exploration
of Native American Culture”
Bridget Lee, Claire Driscoll, Fiona Juarez-Sweeney, performance “The Little Rock
Nine: Exploring and Encountering through Integration”
Kiersten Howatt and Lily Gordon, website “Hernan Cortez and the Conquest of
The Aztecs”
Place Awards:
Soren Sackreiter, 5 place for website “The Relocation of Hibbing”
Sam Skinner, 1 place and advancement to the national competition held in June
in Washington DC, website “Discovering the Truth: State of Minnesota vs. Phillip
Morris, Inc.
Again, congratulations to all our students and special thanks to our social studies
teachers: Ron Beck, David Hughes, Courtney Major, Carrie Newman, Katy Novak
and A Yang who worked to provide this authentic learning opportunity to our
We are Murray!
The Murray Journalism class has created a marketing and social media campaign
to communicate all that is special about Murray Middle School from the
perspective of the students and staff. The “We are Murray” campaign has been
launched on our website ( and will also be shared through
Murray’s Facebook (Like us here:
[email protected]_Middle).
In partnership,
Stacy Theien-Collins
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Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade
8th Grade Awards Night
Math with Ms. Brion:
In Math we will be covering Surface
Area of Prisms and Multi-step
Equations (Chaper 10 and 12).
Operations with negative numbers
(Chapter 2 in both the green and
blue books) will be touched on
lightly, so this would be something
that your children can work on over
the summer.
The website,, is operational during
the summer, so students can access
this information.
Username and
passwords are on the bottom of the
calendar and on our Murray website.
There are great instructional videos
and extra practice worksheets on this
Math with Ms. Abler:
Pre-Algebra students are currently
working on a geometry unit. Next we
will be studying probability.
Monday, June 6th
Intermediate Algebra students will
finish the year with a unit on factoring
*Changed from Thursday,
June 9th Due to Como Park’s
High School Graduation*
There are many summer camps
offered for middle school students,
both day camps and overnight,
academic and athletic.
consider signing your child up for a
week or two of camp.
We look forward to seeing your
children back next year as 7
Social Studies with Ms. Newman:
History Day happened Sunday, May
Over 27 Murray students
competed. Eleven of our students
advanced to the second round of
judging. Our Murray students were
competing with over 1,300 students
from all over the state of Minnesota.
Soren Sackreiter took 5 place in the
competition and Murray is very proud
of him as well as Sam Skinner, who
is advancing to the National Level
Competition in Washington DC! Way
to Go Sam!
Eighth Grade
Model UN
Rotary Club of Saint Paul
The Rotary Club of Saint Paul
accomplishments made by the
following students during the 20152016 school year.
Premika Gurung
Aysaiah Harris
Kahyni Johnson
Arianna Kendall
Amelia Schucker
Levi Treiber
Timothy Vann
Bernard Willis
Kean Wilwerding
Social Studies with Ms. Major:
6 Grade Historians Rock!
We’ve been busy scholars! All 6
knowledge of American Indian
Boarding Schools by writing and
performing in-class plays that
depicted many aspects of life at the
schools for American Indian children
and their families. We are finishing
our study of the Immigration to MN in
the late 1800’s and will continue to
study the rise of the Twin Cities in
our Flour, Lumber and Iron unit
before wrapping up the year with a
look at MN Today.
6 Graders represented Murray well
at the State History Day competition
Congratulations to: Dylan Aarness,
Joseph Hoang, Alex Miller, Peter
Wenger, Soren Sackreiter – who
placed 5 in the state for his website
on the City of Hibbing and Sam
Skinner – who placed 1 at state for
his website on the Tobacco
Settlement in MN.
Sam will
represent Murray at National History
Day in Washington DC in June!
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Great Northern History Adventure
Provided by the Minnesota History Center, 47 Murray historians ventured up to
Northern Minnesota for an overnight field trip. Students packed their bags onto
a coach bus, with our first stop in Pine City at the Northwest Fur Post. Students
learned about life of Voyageurs, Traders, and Ojibwe in an early 1800’s fur
trading post.
Staff Spotlight
We then traveled up to Lake Superior, stopping for a tour of the University of
Minnesota, Duluth. Current college students took our young scholars on a tour
of the campus, finishing with an “all you can eat” lunch in the cafeteria. We then
traveled up for a brief stop to check out the stunning Gooseberry Falls.
We were then on our way for the final destination of the night, Grand Rapids.
Students bunked up at the American Inn, and were happy to stretch their legs.
We spent the night journaling about our adventures, and preparing for our day at
the logging camp on Friday. Students were asked to investigate logging photos,
and record their interpretation of life at a logging camp in the early 1900s. Lights
were out at 10pm, as we were going to wake up as loggers!
Friday morning we went to the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids. Students
put on lumberjack clothing, and were taken back to life at the logging camp in
the early 1900s. Students were given various roles; from cooks, to clerks, to
blacksmiths. In these roles, students were asked to do the job of various
positions; washing clothes through the ringer, sawing logs, tending to the horses
or cooking “sweat pads” to name a few. Students then participated in a
lumberjack competition winning a trophy to take back to Murray! Life as a
lumberjack ended with a feast of biscuits, “linen lifters”, potatoes, pork, donuts,
and the choice of swamp water or cow to drink.
We then traveled to our final destination, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and
Trading Post. Students learned about Ojibwe in Minnesota, the Ojibwe
language, and what the changing seasons meant to the Ojibwe. Students were
then given a “moose coin”, and given the opportunity to trade at the trading post.
What a fantastic chance to see, learn, and experience the rich history of
Northern Minnesota! A huge thank you to the Minnesota Historical Society for
this wonderful opportunity!
Hello! My name is Sidney Miller and I’m
Murray’s Health teacher.
This is my second year working at Murray
and I thoroughly enjoy it. I enjoy working with
all the staff and my students. I love living in St
Paul and working at Murray because of all of
the diversity it holds.
I bring my knowledge and experiences to my
classes and I like my students to share their
stories and experiences with me and their
classmates. I believe everyone has a unique
point of view and we are better off when we
share our experiences with each other.
As a professional health teacher I try to
practice what I teach! I enjoy the outdoors
and love being physically active. This
summer I plan to go wind surfing and standup
paddle boarding, which I’m very excited
about. I have recently been trying a
vegetarian diet. Even though I love my
vegetables, it’s a lot harder than I thought it
would be. Currently, my favorite vegetables
are brussel sprouts and beets!
I am looking forward to seeing you all again
next year. Stay healthy!
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Athletic Clothing can be
ordered online. Go to, click on
team/business and Murray and
order your hoodie or tee.
Como Park Senior High
Coffee with the
Principal and Counselor
Murray’s Pollinator Garden
Students broke ground April 22 for
a pollinator garden at Murray Middle
School. In Tim Chase’s Ecology
Inquiry class this spring, they
researched sites, soils, and flowers,
proposed the project to school
leaders and community members,
and got a grant for supplies from the
U of M’s Monarch Lab. They’ll plant
the plot by the end of May and make
a presentation celebrating MN
Schoolyard Garden Planting Week
(May 23 – 27 ).
Wednesday, May 18
9:00am – 10:00am
Parent Resource Room
Come and meet Principal Theresa
Neal and Counselor, Kia Thao, and
answered. Call Sandy Kestner for
further information, 651-744-3997.
Save the Date! Summer Daze is on
Friday, May 13 from 4:30 – 7:15pm.
This event is only for youth who have
attended Flipside for 30 or more
days per year. Eligible students will
be notified soon! Questions? Call
Kari @ 651-744-3189.
In this project-based elective class,
students choose and develop
solutions to real environmental
problems in the area. Past projects
include designing a rain garden,
choosing where to send vegetable
garden harvests, biodiesel testing,
and reducing car emissions.
For the pollinator garden, many
partners are offering time, tools, and
other resources:
the Minnesota
Green Schools Coalition (a program
of the U.S. Green Building Council,
MN), the SPPS facilities department
and board of education, the Monarch
Lab, the Mulch Store (compost),
Sunbelt Rentals (sod cutter), and
neighbor volunteers.
Murray PTA!
Next PTA Meeting
All are welcome to join us at our next
PTA meeting which will take place
Monday, June 6th in the Murray
Library from 6:00-7:30pm.
Any questions, please contact us at
[email protected]
“Park Perks”
Sunrise Bank
Coffee and Cookies!
Stop by “Sunrise Bank” (Como and
Doswell) and participate in their
“Park Perks” by enjoying a cup of
coffee and a cookie.
All proceeds support The Pilot Oneon-One Program!!
Lost and Found
Please have your student check the
lost and found. There is a coat rack
by the front door full of shirts, sweatshirts, coats, and other various
items. Anything not claimed will be
donated to charity.
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