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West End Journeys Secondary School
9/11 10th Anniversary Observances
West 7th Public Library

West End Journeys Secondary School[IMAGE]

by Jerry Rothstein

Over the past year, St. Paul Public Schools engaged in a complicated reorganization process. As a result, after much controversy and revision, Open World Learning Community has been divided, with its higher grades moving to Downtown Secondary School; Four Seasons has moved out of the neighborhood and Bridge View expanded to use its space; and now the historic Jefferson School building is home to Journeys Secondary School, a special program encompassing grades 7 through 12.

Hamilton Bell, Principal of Journeys Secondary School

Community Reporter spoke with Journey’s principal Hamilton Bell to learn about plans for their program. Bell, who was on special assignment as Planning Manager for the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood program last year, wasted no time in stating his core value for Journeys: “All kids deserve the chance to get an education.” At Journeys, students who live with emotional and behavioral issues and who have been scattered at many locations, and separated from other students at those sites, are coming together in one program. “At Journeys,” Bell continued, “we respect and value each individual. We know that everybody’s light comes on at a different point of life. We want each student to learn how to take advantage of the situation.”

[IMAGE]The “situation” to which Bell refers comprises a rich learning and support environment of teachers, teaching assistants, education assistants, social worker, counselor and school psychologist — approximately 30 to 35 staff for a school population of 100. A central aspect of the program is the presence of The Lab, moved from its former site at Homecroft (see sidebar interview with Lab director Mary Tinucci).

Bell is convinced that Journeys can help produce future leaders, although, he says, “You never know how exactly they will evolve, and you never know how your work today with a student will impact them in the future.” He has many stories of meeting former students years later who tell him that his belief in them made a real difference in the path of their lives.

To establish the kind of school that can have such outcomes, Bell believes in guaranteeing safety and quality education, and creating clear understanding for the kids and staff of what success looks like and how you can get there.

Mary Tinucci, Director of The Lab.

When the District’s reorganization was confirmed, teachers and other staff members had the chance to go through an internal application process to compete for the programs they wanted to be in, so all of Journey’s staff, with personal track records of success, specifically wanted to be part of this program.

Bell sees the classroom teacher as the key, because the relationships formed in the classroom determine so much of what follows. “When kids see both care and clear expectations from their teachers,” he emphasizes, “they respond and start to want to fulfill them.”

A team model provides guidelines that Bell is happy to support. “It’s our school,” he says, “and we meet and talk with each other in many contexts. My door is open, and I expect honesty and perception — I ask my team to ‘tell me what you see.’ ” He goes on to say that he will provide his team with what they need.

In meetings during the summer, the team developed several working statements to guide the school’s work.

Journeys being new, Bell and his team are fully aware that they can create the culture they need to assure the success they want. Their relationship with the community is very important. Bell and Dan Wolff (Special Education Supervisor, Transition) met with members of the Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association in August and promised to do all they can to involve school and community in mutually rewarding and nourishing activities.

Journeys Secondary School: “Home of Future Leaders,” 90 Western Ave S., 651-293-8670.

Mission & Core Values
Journeys provides a premier education for our future leaders. We are a school with high expectations where we work hard, play nice, give 100% and take care of our family and ourselves.

Read Q&A with Mary Tinucci, Director of The Lab.

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St. Peter's Lutheran Church: 125 Years of Spiritual Work [IMAGE]

by Jerry Rothstein
In 1885 there was a growing number of Lutherans living in the neighborhood of Armstrong Avenue and Victoria Street. For a time, their need to worship together was supported by a visiting pastor from Zion Lutheran Church, Pastor Rolf. It became clear that this temporary solution would not allow for the more complex and time-consuming needs for pastoral care and education, and the group built a small chapel and sought a resident pastor.

Richard Biederman accepted the position, and in 1886 he began his work and the group adopted its constitution as St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Growth and development of the congregation was both steady and full of setbacks. The early history included many losses, as congregants moved out of St. Paul to other cities due to economic volatility.

Pastor David Wende at St. Peter’s Rose Window.

Nevertheless, in 1889 a new 30 by 50 foot building was constructed, and during the following decades the church developed structure and organization that supported congregants’ spiritual life as well as their life of service. The Senior Choir was founded in 1890; Ladies’ Aid in 1913 and the Mission Circle in 1922. Construction of the parsonage was begun in 1916 and fully completed in 1930.

Physical needs for worship and education continued to press the congregation toward fundraising and the development of new building plans. In 1929 a new basement was dug out under the church, which was also remodeled. It served as both a place for worship and for Sunday School instruction for 20 years. The Men’s Club organized in 1938 and sponsored a number of Boy Scout troops over the years.

With the Great Depression and World War II making expansion or new construction impossible, it was not until 1948 that St. Peter’s was able to begin building its present church. At the end of 1949, dedication and the first services were held there.

Almost immediately, the congregation showed its concern to beautify the church and thereby glorify their faith. A campaign to install stained glass windows was begun and over a five year period windows depicting the Life of Christ, the Good Shepherd and St. Peter and Christ on the Water were installed, as well as a magnificent Rose Window.

In 1971, women’s suffrage and service in elected church offices was adopted. The following years saw a special interest in music and choir. A new Allen organ was purchased in 1972, and the informal “folk choir” organized itself in 1973 into the Contemporary Choir. Largely due to the congregation’s love of music, plans moved forward to construct a balcony (completed in 1984) so that choirs could sing from “on high.”

Pastor David Wende arrived in 1976 and continues to lead the St. Peter’s flock as it celebrates its 125th anniversary. As its longest serving pastor, Wende says “The people of St. Peter’s have truly been blessed to be a blessing to others, myself included.” The church is known as a ship, sailing on the ocean of time. For St. Peter’s and for Pastor Wende, this continuing journey is inspiring.

Read about Elberta Nuffer: A Pillar of the Church

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Summit Brewing Marks Quarter Century [IMAGE]

by Jerry Rothstein


When a business succeeds in getting established and growing, becoming well-known and contributing to its community, it is natural to wonder how the owners’ original dreams and plans relate to present reality. As Summit Brewing Company celebrates its 25th anniversary, Community Reporter spoke with founder and owner Mark Stutrud to explore this question.

Mark’s first career was in clinical social work and addiction counseling with adolescents and young adults, and in the early 1980s he decided he needed to change direction. With no family history in business — both parents were teachers — it was his experience of home brewing and love of beer that helped form the fantasy of starting a brewery.

Mark Stutrud, Summit Brewing owner

Small “microbreweries” began to appear in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and Mark hired on as a laborer/learner at several of them, and began to meet people in the industry including, most importantly, Fred Thomasser, the former brewmaster at Schmidt’s. Fred left Schmidt’s when Heileman bought the brewery — he then worked as a private consultant to other breweries. Mark says, “Fred took me under his wing and became my mentor.” Mark then attended brewing school in Chicago and received his degree in 1991.

But he had already taken the plunge into business. He left his last social work position at the end of 1983 and by 1984 was working full time on planning and developing the business. He did market research with more than 50 bar and tavern owners. Microbrewing was very new and little known — would there be a market for a local, small-batch beer? He did a broader study of markets, comparing the Twin Cities with the Seattle area. We tend to be quite conservative, showing “healthy skepticism” for new products. The marketing plan was to work through this resistance and gain trust. Once there is loyalty here, he says, “It is fierce.”

Five original employees developed the first Summit business plan, which aimed to produce about 25,000 barrels per year with twenty staff. Today, the figures are 105,000 barrels per year and 53 full time employees. They and their families have been one of Mark’s main concerns. He has learned continually about managing a business and how to foster a person-directed culture of work.

This kind of growth reflects the energy the company must put into marketing. Fifteen of the employees are on the sales team, with 90% of sales in Minnesota and 70% in the Twin Cities Metro area. Summit also has distribution agreements in thirteen states and the potential to grow in those markets. These are all based on personal relationships between Summit and its three types of customer: distributors, where the environment is highly competitive, retail accounts (bars, stores) and beer drinkers in general.

All these business and marketing details are really the framework in which Summit’s products play the main role. Mark is clearly proud of the quality and variety of Summit’s brews. He says, “It is gratifying to make something technically very demanding to produce and provide it to the customer at the highest freshness.” That’s one of the reasons that a concentrated market improves quality. Also, the science of brewing beer is fascinating. The basic ingredients, wheat, barley and hops, are not unchanging constants. “They have good and bad years, like grapes for winemakers, and we have to be able to adjust as much as possible to maintain quality.”

Being in the West End has also been a powerful impetus for the company. From 1986 to 1998 Summit was on University Avenue in the Midway area, with several expansions ultimately allowing them to produce 34,000 barrels per year. By 1992, with sales growing, they had to decide “How much did we want to grow, and what would we need for significant growth?” The possibility of a fully purpose-built brewery in the St. Paul Port Authority’s Crosby Lake Business Park was a big, if calculated, risk carrying high financial challenges. But the facility would be a base to grow on, and construction began in 1997 with a December 1998 starting date, with fifteen full- and ten part-time workers. The potential output is between 250,000 and 300,000 barrels.

To produce very fresh beer for Summit’s markets requires critical control of the aging process. Consultant and personal mentor Fred Thomasser saw the new plant completed and the company well-established before his death. He provided a direct, unbroken link to the West End’s brewing history that reaches back more than 150 years. His grandson Tom Thomasser is Summit’s Chief Operating Officer.

Summit is known both for its beer and for its support of the community. Its Silver Anniversary Ale was released in July and will be featured at the Sept. 10 anniversary celebration — this is a ticketed event running from 11am-6pm with many Minnesota musicians and vendors present. The event also reflects Summit’s community side, as all proceeds will go to benefit the Minnesota Music Coalition.

As an organization, Summit seeks to add to the quality of life of the community. It supports local business and offers its Rathskeller room for community meetings and events. It has always had a strong connection to the music community and is also involved with the Feed Our Starving Children initiative.

Summit Brewing Company, 910 Montreal Circle, St Paul. Open weekdays 8:30am-4:30pm, Saturday, 1-3pm., 651-265-7800.

In the coming months, Community Reporter features some of the entrepreneurs who are investing in the West End. The importance of communities supporting small, local businesses has been clear for decades, and there has been a revival of efforts to organize and promote this insight.

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[IMAGE]2011 Oneida Scholarship Winners Announced

The Oneida Scholarships are a legacy that remains from the former Oneida Education Center that was located just down Oneida Street from West 7th Community Center. The Oneida Education Center’s mission was to provide quality adult education classes and to strive to improve individuals’ lives through education. After the Oneida Center closed, the West 7th community wanted to keep their mission alive for adult learners in our neighborhood, so the scholarship program was established.

(Standing l-r) Nicole Ancrum, Andrew Jirele; (seated l-r) Patricia Bour-Schilla, Elizabeth Erickson.

The Oneida Scholarship is awarded to adults pursuing post-secondary education who reside in our West Seventh community. Recipients must demonstrate financial need and contribution to their community, have clear educational goals, and demonstrate the capacity to be successful through educational transcripts and letters of recommendation. The Selection Committee takes great care and effort in evaluating each application and selecting the winners. Mr. Peter Montgomery, a former director of the Oneida Education Center, served on the scholarship selection committee in 2010 and 2011. This scholarship helps make our community stronger by promoting education among West Seventh residents.

The 2011 winners: Nicole Ancrum, $1000. Nicole attends Rasmussen College where she is studying to be a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Andrew Jirele, $1000. Andrew attends University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He has a double major of Economics and Business Administration, Finance Emphasis. Patricia Bour-Schilla, $1000. Patricia is attending Dakota County Technical College studying to be a Medical Assistant. Elizabeth Erickson, $1500. Elizabeth is attending St. Paul College where she is studying Child Development and American Sign Language

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9/11 10th Anniversary Observances

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the United States at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and the hijacking of United Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. “Never Forgetting” means NEVER FORGETTING, so please honor the 343 FDNY firefighters and the thousands of others who made the ultimate sacrifice that fateful day ten years ago by attending one of the following remembrances held throughout the Twin Cities on Sunday, Sept 11, 2011:
• At the Minneapolis Convention Center, fire departments, law enforcement, and EMS providers from around the area are hosting a static display of equipment and apparatus at 12 noon, followed by a remembrance ceremony from 2 to 3:30 p.m. led by Minnesota’s Commissioner of Public Safety, Mona Dohman. Admission is free.
  • A “Mass of Thanksgiving and Remembrance” to honor law enforcement and emergency personnel will be held at the Cathedral of St. Paul. It begins with a civic commemoration at 4:30 p.m. followed by a Memorial Mass at 5 p.m.
  • A special 9/11 commemoration, “Everyday Heroes: Honoring Those Who Make a Difference in our Community Everyday” will be held at 6 p.m. at the Central High School auditorium. This event is hosted by Mission Saint Paul.
  • For a complete up-to-date list of 9/11 events, go to the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s website at dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/Pages/default.aspx.
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Cliff Street Gardens

Consider adopting one of the gardens. Garden at your own pace and schedule. Lori Harris will help identify weeds and desirable plants and answer questions you may have. Please contact her at lkharris1@yahoo.com or 651-222-5852.

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Whole Wide World @ West 7th Public Library | 9.11

Can’t you just smell the corn dogs and school lockers? Cooler, saner weather is on the way and the library’s full of books to help you save valuable time reorganizing after the happy chaos of summer.

Libraries are your one-stop shop for information, from classroom help through after-school snack ideas to career and job assistance.
W7th Library’s newest addition is Spanish storytime, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Come in, say, “Hola!” and join the group. Ask our staff about JobNow! — an easy way to practice interviewing, brush up your resume and access job sites.

See you soon, Lisa, Kyle and the Volunteers

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