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East Central Schools
61085 State Hwy 23
Finlayson, MN  55735
Fax: 320.245.5453


East Central Schools ISD #2580

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EC Celebrates College Knowledge Month

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education  announced October as College Knowledge Month again this year.  To celebrate this month, East Central Schools provided a variety of learning opportunities for students leading up to the main event  - College Application Day.

The month kicked off with East Central Schools staff wearing college shirts and talking about their college and career experiences in the classroom. Many staff knew right out of high school or college that their futures laid in education, while others took a few career stops before entering education. Staff play an important role in assisting all students with that next step, regardless  of whether it is higher education or the work force.

Pine Technical and Community College assisted in providing knowledge to seniors, juniors, and parents about Financial Aid. Last year, legislation changed, allowing parents of seniors and college students to complete their FAFSA (Free Application to Federal Student Aid) on October 1. Shawn Reynolds, of the PTCC Financial Aid Department, explained the differences between grants, scholarships, work study, and loans, and how to efficiently complete the FAFSA.  Mr. Reynolds has presented at East Central Schools for the past eight years.

A growing trend in higher education is the attendance at two-year community and trade schools. Due to low costs and growing career opportunities in these areas, East Central Schools has seen an increase of enrollment of graduates at these institutions throughout the past few years. Former graduate Colton Lourey presented to junior students on October 12 about the growing trades economy. Colton started his college career at Hamline University but discovered he enjoyed working with his hands. Colton transferred to Saint Paul College, entering the welding program. Since graduating with an Associates of Applied Science in Welding, Colton has started his own welding company. Colton stressed to students about finding what they are passionate about, the importance of showing up, and how math has played a big role in his career. Another promoter of two-year community and trade schools was Anna Sorgert. On October 18, Mrs. Sorgert, of Anoka-Ramsey Community College, presented to students about the MinnState college system which includes all 37 public colleges and universities. MinnState schools offer a variety of degrees throughout the state. Admission into a community college requires a high school degree and a completed application. Community colleges are designed to serve the community and provide learning opportunities to all.  Admissions into a four-year MinnState school requires ACT test scores of 21 or higher and strong academics. Mrs. Sorgert also stressed the importance of services available on campuses, which include career, counseling, advising, records, and safety departments. Another trade opportunity occurred on October 30 earning about apprenticeships. Jeff Brown and a colleague from Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin Plumbers and Steamfitters JATC made students aware of apprenticeship opportunities with trade unions which allows workers to receive on the job training in trade careers.  

On October 27, former graduates Kaleb Mcculloch and Bart Johnson let seniors in on the tips-and-tricks of navigating through college. Kaleb is currently a senior at Hamline University and Bart graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Operations Managements and currently works for UPS  Both stressed the importance of doing homework, showing up for class, and asking for help.  

Throughout the month, East Central High School counselor Mrs. Gaede met with each senior student to begin their post-graduation planning. These conversations led to our main event, College Application Day.  Minn State allowed free applications for all their institutions throughout the last week of October. To take advantage of this opportunity, East Central organized a College Application Day on October 24. To kick-off the morning, State Senator Tony Lourey, Superintendent Andrew Almos, and High School Principal Stefanie Youngberg, motivated the seniors to think about their next steps. Their advice included to show up, whether it is for college classes or for their future job and to stay the course. After the kick-off, senior students were partnered up one-on-one with community volunteers to assist with their college applications, career planning, or celebrating their early college acceptance. In total, 51 senior students participated in College Application Day, submitting 90 applications to 35 different colleges throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Dakota. There were also many additional applications started that are waiting for the final essays before submissions. The day would not have been possible without the help of our community volunteers.  Volunteers include: 
  * School Board Members- Doug Ecklund, and Julie Domogalla;
  * Staff- Andrew Almos, Blanca De Marco, Missy Ecklund, Megan Nelson, and Amanda Thompson; 
  * Community Members-  Sherry Johnson, Andrew Hanely,  Beth Kalbow, , Kim Kolander, Kris LaBounty, Mary Pogozalski, and Katie Raverty; 
  * College Representatives- Josh Cleveland of the Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College, and Anna Sorgert of Anoka-Ramsey Community College; 
  * Cupcakes- Kayla Nelson; 
College Knowledge is more than just one month and this planning will continue throughout the school year as we support our seniors for their next steps and prepare our underclassman for their futures. Thank you to all the community volunteers and presenters who have assisted with this month.

Photos can be found in the Photo Gallery (to the left) of the various activities.

Upcoming Events

HS Testing Dates

Thanksgiving Break (No School) - November 23 & 24
Dollars for Scholars Phonathon - December 2
Band & Choir Concert - December 7
Dodge for Hunger - December 13 - Registration Form
Elementary Music Program - December 14
School Board Meeting - December 18
Winter Break (No School) - December 22 - January 1
Teacher Workshop (No School) - January 15
End of 2nd Quarter - January 19
Teacher Workshop (No School) - February 16
President's Day (No School) - February 19
WeScare for Hunger

On Halloween, members of the East Central National Honor Society went trick-or-treating in the Askov, Sandstone, and Bruno communities. Instead of asking for candy, individuals were asked if they were willing to donate any non-perishable food items that would be donated to the local food shelf. This was a great opportunity for the National Honor Society members to be active in the community, and provide a need. We had an impressive turnout and some very supportive community members. In total just close to 500 pounds of food was collected.  We look forward to participating in WeScare for Hunger again next year. If your house was not visited, please feel free to take your donations to your local food shelf.

Written by Emmalie Beavens
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