Across the district, we often refer to things that have gone well, been done at high levels of performance, or demonstrate excellence as items of which we are ROCORI Proud. Over the last few weeks there have been a number of stories, notes, and examples of items for which we can be ROCORI Proud. I would like to share a few of these things.
Under the leadership of secondary teacher Barb Omann, the ROCORI Environmentalist club has been actively engaged in a number of very positive activities that are making a difference at the secondary site.
The club recently engaged in a drive to collect used footwear. The students did a great job as they collected and shipped over 400 pairs of shoes to World Wear, an organization that distributes the shoes to people in need of affordable footwear.
The club has pursued some financial grants to help students and staff have access to good water sources for drinking. The grant money that was secured along with two generous donations from individuals allowed the club to install a second hydration station. The hydration station is located by the new gym in the high school. The station allows students to fill water bottles to reduce and minimize the “consumption” of plastic water bottles.
The Environmentalist Club was also awarded 2nd place for the YES North-Central Minnesota Competition. The recognition and award was given for student-led projects addressing waste reduction and recycling.
The Environmentalist Club has been a very active organization at the secondary site. The group has been engaged in many activities for which we are ROCORI Proud and are making a difference in our setting.
In a note to the school staff, girls Track Coach, Jim Meyer, highlighted the recent success of the team. His note said, “the ROCORI Girl's Track Team won the (true team) state championship on Saturday. The was the first team title since 1987! The girls had outstanding efforts and team spirit on the way to the win. They really made ROCORI Proud! Erin Huls has been all over social media helping a Detroit Lakes girl after she was injured in the 200 meter dash. It was a great moment in high school competition and sportsmanship!”
Mr. Meyer’s note about Erin was explained more fully in a message to staff distributed by Activity Director Joel Baumgarten. The explanation was offered by Mike Labine, Track Coach at Detroit Lakes. “At the Class AA State True Team meet on Saturday in Stillwater, the ROCORI girls and the Detroit Lakes girls, along with Totino Grace, were involved in a great battle for the true team state championship. As the teams entered the 200 meters, they were separated by only a few points and this race was considered a huge point in the meet for all the contending teams.
“The young lady that Erin Huls is helping off the track is Lindsey Heinecke, a sprinter from Detroit Lakes and Erin's biggest rival in the race. The two girls were expected to battle for first place and the important team points that went along with that. When Lindsey injured her hamstring, you can see that Erin was the first person to help her off the track.
“After winning the 200 meter dash for her team, Erin had the compassion to help an injured opponent off the track and console her during not only great physical pain, but a huge amount of emotional frustration following the injury. Erin Huls is not only a great athlete and runner, but Erin Huls is an amazing person. To me, this is what high school athletics are all about. The ROCORI girls are not just winners on the track. They are first class people.”
OFF THE COURT AND FIELDS
Throughout the course of the year, our activities teams have been very successful both on and off the playing fields. We are well aware of the success of the teams in competition, but many times we don’t fully recognize their success off the field.
Many of our teams have earned academic honors through the year with high grade point averages and consistent performance in the classroom. In addition, many of our teams have been recognized in the Central Lakes Conference for their character with Sportsmanship honors.
In the fall, the football team earned both academic and sportsmanship honors. In the winter season, sportsmanship honors were awarded by the Central Lakes Conference to Dance (which was the third consecutive season with the award), Wrestling, Girls Hockey, and Girls Basketball.
These honors are not taken lightly! They are wonderful statements about the quality of students, coaches, and participants in the ROCORI activity programs.
WASHINGTON, D.C. TRIP
I recently had a conversation with High School Social Studies instructor Julie Woods. Julie has taken time over the last several years to organize a student trip to Washington, D.C. Although the program was often conducted under the auspices of the Close-Up Foundation, the students used a different provider this year. The trip was a little shorter, but the activities were more tightly organized and structured.
During the trip, the ROCORI group was “connected” in travel and activities with a school from Vermont. Julie reported that she was very proud of the ROCORI students in regard to their character and behavior. Many times during the trip, program organizers offered feedback to her about the ROCORI group and their high levels of behavior.
A week ago, the theater department completed a successful run of the musical, “Grease.” The musical was conducted by Leigh Ann Davis and performed before full capacity crowds from Thursday to Sunday.
About 100 students were engaged in the musical. Director Davis had these comments in the bulletin for the musical, “Grease was a popular movie and choosing to do this production meant creating an experience that could measure up to everyone’s expectation. I’m happy to report we’ve accomplished our goal in every category from acting, singing, dancing, and our amazing set design!
“The cast of 80 students has worked really hard over the last ten weeks to perfect every minute of this show. With the number of big songs and dances this show has, it took a lot of practice and dedication…It’s been wonderful working with each of them and watching everything come together. With an additional 14 crew members and 6 musicians…I could not be more proud of our final product.”
There are a lot of great things happening at the ROCORI School District. We have many programs, activities, students, staff, and issues for which we can be proud!