News

News

Chamber Choir Selected to Perform at American Choral


Directors Association Conference

Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School

Receives $9 Million Grant for Financial Accessibility and Endowment

Minneapolis, MN - August 10, 2017 — The Amos and Celia Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School announced today that it received a $9 million grant over ten years from the Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation, the largest single gift in the school's 33-year history.

Heilicher alumni parents and philanthropists Lynne and Andrew Redleaf provided the ten-year grant for the purpose of making a Heilicher education financially accessible to more families. The Redleaf Affordability & Endowment Building Challenge Grant primarily will support tuition relief, including the establishment of a tuition reduction grant for children of professionals working at Jewish nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities. A portion of the gift is designated as a "matching grant" to help launch the school's upcoming endowment campaign.

"We are grateful for this generous grant," said Heilicher Board President Bruce Manning. "It will have a profound impact on the future of the day school. This gift opens the door for more students to experience the value of a Heilicher education and, ultimately, strengthens our Jewish community."

The Redleafs consider this grant an investment in a central pillar of a thriving Jewish community. "We believe a community day school is vital for developing the next generation of knowledgeable, thoughtful, and engaged community members," said Lynne, mother of two Heilicher alumni and a Heilicher board member since 2016. "The school provides children a rigorous education combined with a strong sense of Jewish identity—in a caring community. Financial accessibility is an important piece of this mission, and we wanted to contribute to the financial stability of the school."

"We hope that more families will consider Jewish day school for their primary education," said Andrew, founder and CEO of Whitebox Advisors, a Minneapolis hedge fund. "We saw an opportunity to help remove financial obstacles to this kind of extraordinary education."

"We are humbled by the generosity and commitment this grant demonstrates," said Head of School Yoni Binus. "Now we are closer than ever to achieving our goal of making a Heilicher education accessible to as many Jewish families as possible. We are buoyed by the Redleafs' confidence in our strategic direction, and we look forward to continuing to provide best-in-class education for years to come."

About the Amos and Celia Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School

Founded in 1984, the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School is the Twin Cities' K-8 independent school of choice for families who seek academic excellence in a nurturing Jewish environment. The school's inquiry-based/STEAM approach delivers strong academics and Judaic and Hebrew language studies. Students become critical thinkers, confident communicators, and creative, engaged community members. Heilicher is currently accepting applications for all grade levels at www.hmjds.org.

The Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation

The Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation was founded in 2016. Stalwart supporters of Heilicher for many years, the Redleafs received the school's Ner Tamid Award in 2014 for leadership and commitment. Their generous donations have supported scholarships and the school's Center for Individual Achievement which offers emotional, behavioral, and social supports to help students thrive at Heilicher. Other organizations that the Redleafs support include Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis, Washburn Center for Children, and Temple Israel, among many others.

New Boys Soccer Varsity Coach and Program Head Named

The Providence Academy Athletics Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Paul O'Connor to Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Soccer team and Soccer Program Head. Paul's background includes a wealth of coaching, training, and administrative opportunities that will help him oversee not only the boys varsity team, but also PA's entire Boys Soccer Program, grades 5 through 12.

Paul is a product of Easington Comprehensive School located in the village of Easington, County Durham, England. There, he played varsity school soccer and also participated in State Soccer with East Durham. He played Regional soccer with Northumberland, as well as playing a stint in the Hetton Youth League.

O'Connor also spent more than ten years on the professional circuit with the likes of Leicester City F.C., the Blyth Spartans, Hartlepool United F.C., and the Bedlington Terriers. While playing for these professional teams O'Connor enjoyed success as; League Winners, Northumberland Senior Cup winners, League Cup Winners, Carlsberg F.A. Cup participant, and he even played in Wembley Stadium as a finalist for the F.A. Vase.

During his time as a professional Paul was also lauded with many individual honors, including: Away Player of the Year, Journalists Player of the Year, Managers Player of the Year, Players Player of the Year, Supporters Player of the Year, and Press Player of the Year.

After an injury forced his retirement from 1st Division play, O'Connor turned his attention to coaching. He has coached at every level Minnesota offers, including assistant positions at: Edina, Hopkins, Bloomington Jefferson and Benilde St. Margaret's High Schools. O'Connor has also served as Goalie Coach for Hamline University and Macalester College, as well as two Minnesota Professional teams: the Minnesota Thunder and Minnesota United.

In 2016 Coach O'Connor became the Technical Director and Director of Goalkeeping for nearby Maplebrook Soccer Association, located in Maple Grove, MN.

O'Connor also has an impressive list of soccer related licenses that include a National Y License which is devoted to the physical, psychological and social characteristics displayed by children of specific ages, National C License which focuses on the core concepts of coaching, and a National B License which focuses on the principles of long-term player development and developing a team. All three are awarded by the United States Soccer Federation. He also has achieved his Goalkeeper National Diploma (Distinguished Pass) and Goalkeeper Advanced National Certificate through the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

When asked, why Providence Academy? Paul answered, "I had heard about Providence Academy because it is well known for its academics, art, and faith life, yet I knew little about the Athletics program until I did a little digging. What I found is that the boys soccer program has tremendous potential. My thought is to help build the program so that it is on par with schools Academics, Arts, and Faith."

Athletics Director Rick Johns states, "I know that Paul O'Connor is a great fit for Providence Academy. "He has a deep coaching résumé, the ability to develop meaningful relationships with our students and understands that coaching soccer is more than just teaching the game."

Of his appointment Coach O'Connor reflects, "I know a few of the players from previous coaching experiences so I am excited to meet more of the boys. My goal is to help them grow their game and grow as young men. In the end, we want to nurture good people, have some fun and build on the strong foundation set by previous teams."

Please welcome Coach Paul O'Connor to our community.


Blake School's Golf Team Wins Third Consecutive State Title


The boys' golf team successfully defended its 2015 and 2016 Class AA titles with another victory at this year's state tournament.

At the end of day one, the Bears had a slight lead over Holy Family and Detroit Lakes. Muggy air, gusting winds and hot temps made play challenging for all the teams. The Bears fought off the challengers and the elements to walk away with the state title after a strong showing on day two. All six players scored under 80. Derek Hitchner '18 led the Blake individuals, shooting a 73 and a 70 over the two days and placing fifth overall.

Minnehaha Student Wins Business Essay Contest

Sophie Olson, Minnehaha class of 2017, received first place in Minnesota, and sixth place nationally for her essay on the topic of values based investing. Congratulations, Sophie!

The essay was written as part of the Upper School's Introduction to Business Course. Minnehaha business students studied the topic of values based investing in their investment and business ethics unit.

Sophie's essay took a closer look at the environmental efforts of Tesla and The Body Shop, and why these two companies would be attractive to investors interested in using their money to make the world a better place. She explains socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social, and governance investing (ESG) in the essay as:

"SRI and ESG investing are not solely a numbers game; while it is important that an investor's money go towards a company that has potential future success, it is equally important that the investor believes in what the company is promoting. This is what separates SRI and ESG investing from regular investing. It is investing with a cause and a purpose. There are many different world issues that need tackling, and every person has the ability to help in growing our community, with hopes of providing a brighter future for the world around us."

There were more than 4,600 essays submitted nationally at the high school level. The contest was held by InvestWrite, a nationwide essay competition for students in grades four through twelve.

Sophie Olson graduated with high honors from Minnehaha Academy this spring. During her time at Minnehaha, Sophie took a number of AP science and humanities courses. She also was captain of the varsity soccer team and volunteers as a youth soccer coach. Sophie will continue her studies at Gustavus Adolphus in the fall.

Congratulations, Sophie!

Topics: Upper School

Sophie Olson, Minnehaha class of 2017, received first place in Minnesota, and sixth place nationally for her essay on the topic of values based investing. Congratulations, Sophie!

The essay was written as part of the Upper School's Introduction to Business Course. Minnehaha business students studied the topic of values based investing in their investment and business ethics unit.

Sophie's essay took a closer look at the environmental efforts of Tesla and The Body Shop, and why these two companies would be attractive to investors interested in using their money to make the world a better place. She explains socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social, and governance investing (ESG) in the essay as:

"SRI and ESG investing are not solely a numbers game; while it is important that an investor's money go towards a company that has potential future success, it is equally important that the investor believes in what the company is promoting. This is what separates SRI and ESG investing from regular investing. It is investing with a cause and a purpose. There are many different world issues that need tackling, and every person has the ability to help in growing our community, with hopes of providing a brighter future for the world around us."

There were more than 4,600 essays submitted nationally at the high school level. The contest was held by InvestWrite, a nationwide essay competition for students in grades four through twelve.

Sophie Olson graduated with high honors from Minnehaha Academy this spring. During her time at Minnehaha, Sophie took a number of AP science and humanities courses. She also was captain of the varsity soccer team and volunteers as a youth soccer coach. Sophie will continue her studies at Gustavus Adolphus in the fall.

Congratulations, Sophie!

Vis Yearbook wins National Award

Yearbook Award

When Josten's Journalism Educator Sherri Loney arrived on campus for the Upper School Awards Program, the students and teachers thought she was delivering the highly anticipated yearbooks. But Loney had coordinated with Director of Upper School Renee Genereux for a surprise announcement: "Congratulations to the Visitation yearbook program on being named to Jostens' 2017 National Yearbook Program of Excellence."

The prestigious honor recognizes engaging yearbooks that reflect a broad representation of the student body while helping students develop 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, information and communication technologies literacy. The award was presented to the Visitation yearbook program for achieving the defined criteria in each of three following categories: creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement and successfully managing the yearbook creation process.

Visitation's award winning yearbook program is led by student editors Riley Wilson, Anna Strub, Annette Okafor and Sam Plante under the direction of science and mathematics instructors Dr. John Lewin and Rachel King.


Standing Up for Something We "Bee"lieve In

On Wednesday, May 17 at 1pm the students of the Environmental Action Club (EAC) and the Student Committee Affirming Quaker Values (SCAQV) went to the state Capitol to urge legislators to support legislation that contains important language to protect Minnesota's pollinators from neonicotinoid pesticides. They met with Representative Hamilton, a chair of the Agriculture Finance Committee.

The Meeting
They met with State Representative Hamilton and expressed their concerns about the use of neonicotinoids. They talked about how bees are essential to agriculture and that at least one-third of the food on our plates is there because of bees. They gave facts about the economic impact of losing bee colonies at the rate we are losing them. Representative Hamilton asked questions and engaged in a thoughtful discussion with the students. At the end of the meeting, he said to them, "Thank you. I have learned some things today."

After the Meeting
They returned to school thinking about what other short-term and long-term actions they could take to advocate for pollinators. In the short term, they asked their friends and family to call or email Representative Hamilton to express their support for the amendments.

The children, their work, and their passion were very inspiring. We can't wait to see what they do next.

This winter Marshall School in Duluth added a two week iTerm to their curriculum allowing the school to emphasize authentic learning and to provide time to invite community experts into the classrooms. Working alongside doctors, engineers, linguists, and architects, the students were able to connect concepts to careers and to see the importance of the lessons they learned in school. Two examples of iTerm classes are "Bioengineering Prosthetics" and "Medical Careers.

In the Bioengineering class sixteen students united to build a robotic arm with flexible fingers controlled by a motor. They then designed code and a claw that received instructions to open and close from electrodes placed on muscles.

When the finished hand is assembled it will be sent to a child in need.







Meanwhile, in the Medical Careers Class students learned about the myriad of opportunities that exist in the medical field. Healthcare professionals from the community visited this class of fourteen and spoke about their specialty. They also shared interactive elements from their everyday lives on the job so students could experience this facet of medicine for themselves.