Tag Archives: Northfield Middle School

Hey kids, you too can be a video blogger like Charlie Kyte

Jen Winterfeldt, Youth Development Coordinator for Northfield Public Schools Community Services, invited me to speak about my career to a group of Northfield Middle School students yesterday,  part of an after-school program she runs at the Northfield Middle School Youth Center. Ruben Alvarez, ELL (English Language Learner) teacher, hosted me in his classroom, equipped with an interactive whiteboard which I got to use for the first time.

Griff Wigley at Northfield Middle School Griff Wigley at Northfield Middle School Charlie Kyte 'At the Capitol' video
As I was getting ready to speak, I got a tweet from Charlie Kyte, Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and former Northfield superintendent, alerting his Twitter followers to a new blog post, "At the Capitol" w/Charlie: Budget standoff looming, that includes a video of him speaking to the camera in front of the official portrait of former MN Governor Jesse Ventura. 

I was going to play the video on my smartphone for the students (center photo) but I decided that their interest in the budget battle was likely to be marginal.

Cyberbullying: is it a problem among Northfield area students?

Justin Patchin at the Northfield Middle School Justin Patchin Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying
Justin Patchin spoke to students at the Northfield Middle School last Thursday about cyberbullying. Patchin is an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, and co-author of Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying. Follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.

It makes sense to me for area schools to educate students about cyberbullying. It’s not clear if it’s currently a problem that has surfaced locally in a significant way, or if this is a primarily a preventive measure.

1st Annual Northfield Table Tennis Open; see the best players in the state next Sat. May 15

Bonnie McKownPatrick McKownBonnie McKown stopped by my morning office at the GBM yesterday to ask me to promote the 1st Annual Northfield Table Tennis Open that her son, Patrick McKown, has organized.

I refused, insisting that he show up himself and pay his respects, bastard that I am. Alas, he arrived this morning at 6:30 and gave me the pitch.

Northfield Table Tennis Open formPatrick has confirmed that many of the best table tennis players in the state will be competing. He’s not too shabby himself, apparently. See his ranking.

ttmnlogosmallThe non-sanctioned event (see the PDF registration form), held next Saturday May 15 at the Northfield Middle School, is sponsored by the Northfield Senior Center in part because they have a very active group of table tennis players led by Russ Margulies.

For more, see the Table Tennis Minnesota website and Facebook page.

School District response about middle school teacher’s arrest for ear-biting attack: Why the delay?

659-logoIn today’s Pioneer Press: Northfield teacher charged in St. Paul ear-biting attack:

A Northfield, Minn., middle school teacher faces a felony assault charge after prosecutors say she bit off part of a man’s ear during a drunken altercation in a St. Paul greasy spoon early Sunday. Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu, 30, of Rochester, Minn., was charged Monday with third-degree assault — inflicting substantial bodily harm — after the 4 a.m. incident at the Uptowner Cafe at Grand Avenue and Lexington Parkway.

The news is all over the media but nothing’s available online from the District’s web site, neither from Northfield Superintendent Chris Richardson nor from Middle School Principal Jeff Pesta. I’m on the Key Communicator email list. Nothing yet.

The District’s options are limited when it comes to its employees’ behavior when they’re not on-duty.  But it sure would help to have Richardson and Pesta making some statements to let taxpayers and parents know how they’re approaching this problem.

The ‘Most Northfield students’ campaign

Positive Community Norms Campaign posters  Positive Community Norms Campaign posters Margaret Colangelo and Amy Stowe
The ‘Most Northfield students’ campaign signs are plastered all over the Northfield Middle School these days. Today I noticed that the campaign now includes “Most” t-shirts that are being worn by some staffers, including Principal’s Secretary Amy Stowe, pictured here in office with Site Specialist Margaret Colangelo.

It’s all part of the Positive Community Norms Campaign of the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use. Joan Janusz and Susan Sanderson, Co-Chairs, highlighted the campaign in the January Boards and Commissions memo.

For more, see the April 2009 guest column in the Northfield News by consultant Heather Kuehl titled ‘MOST Northfield students’ initiative.