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Education notes: New Americans have service project

A service project involving Global Friends Coalition and Red River High School students helped local thrift stores Friday organize, clean and stock their shops, according to Cynthia Shabb, executive director of Global Friends Coalition.

Twenty-six New Americans at Red River High School and their tutors volunteered at Joseph’s Social Care and Thrift Store and the Salvation Army store. The service project, which celebrates Global Youth Service Day, aims to civically engage both the New American youth and the college tutors, according to Shabb.

This may be the first time New American students at the high school have participated in a service project, she said.

“What I like about it is that it’s giving New American high school students a way to give back, and to learn

about volunteering and service,” she said.

One student, Bamita Kami, said she liked the project because “we can help them, because they helped us a lot.”


Grand Forks South Middle School students Seth Hanson, Benji Hu, Garrett Kovar and Isabel Krogh earned a first place trophy last month for their MATHCOUNTS team finish at the state competition in Bismarck.

The MATHCOUNTS Foundation tries to interest middle school students in fun and challenging math programs to expand their academic and professional opportunities, according to the organization.

Hu and Krogh received a trophy for individually placing fifth and sixth, respectively. The duo also participated in a countdown round that earned Hu a third trophy for his second place finish.

Adviser Linda Mrazek said they’ve won many times — this is the fifth time it’s happened while she’s been at the school — but it was bittersweet. Although the team placed first, her students didn’t get a chance to be a part of the all-star team in Orlando, Fla., because the students individually did not place within the top four.

“It was great, but it was sad,” she said.

After-school pickup change

Lake Agassiz Elementary School is one of the latest schools in the Grand Forks School district to change its after-school pick up process.

This change means families will have to arrange meeting places, among other changes, according to the district.

All elementary schools will be implementing a plan at the start of the 2014-2015 school year as part of safety measures by the district.

“The district is constantly reviewing our safety and security practices,” said Assistant Superintendent Jody Thompson. “We feel these steps are necessary to maintain a safe environment for our students and staff members.”

Other news

  •  The Cisco Networking Academy has named Paul Zettler, an information technology instructor at Red River High School, an advanced level instructor. The designation is awarded to instructors whose teaching contributions and achievements are recognized in the top 25 percent of instructors globally.
  •  The Associated General Contractors of North Dakota have scholarships available for high school seniors pursuing a career in construction. $1,500 scholarships are available at NDSU and $500 scholarships are available at Bismarck State College and North Dakota State College of Science. Applications are due May 1 and can be found at
  •  The North Dakota Society of Professional Land Surveyors has announced it will offer scholarships ranging from $500-$1000 for North Dakota high school seniors planning to attend two-year programs in land surveying and engineering technology at NDSCS or BSC. Applications are due June 1 and can be found at

More info: Share K-12 education news at; include “K-12 notebook” in the subject heading. To see more K-12 education news, visit the websites of Grand Forks Public Schools and East Grand Forks Public Schools. Herald Staff Writer Dani Meyer contributed to this column.

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is the K-12 education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald.  Contact her if you have any story ideas or tips and visit 

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