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He spent a lot of time with Hastings Middle School staff and students last Friday, asking for their opinions and suggestions. And that was just fine with chef Marshall O'Brien. O'Brien's visit at the middle school was his second stop among the Hastings schools - he visited Hastings High School several weeks ago and will visit the elementary schools later this month. His visits are part of a partnership that School District 200 and ConAgra Mills have formed to promote healthy living among the students. O'Brien praised the Hastings schools for their efforts.
The students at St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Vermillion, know their science. Last week, the annual school science fair was held. Participating in the fair is mandatory for third to fifth grade students and it is optional for other students. "Our science fair was begun almost 14 years ago by a teacher named Angie Petit, who planted the deep roots of this program at our school," said volunteer coordinator Julie Strommen.
Most of what the eighth graders at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton know about World War II they learned through books and movies. Henry Tetzlaff changed that this week. He lived through the war, originally living in East Russia and then escaping to a refugee camp in Denmark. On Tuesday morning, Tetzlaff, the grandfather to Seton student Johanna Tetzlaff, presented a human side of the war to the eighth grade students. For more than an hour, he talked about how he spent much of his childhood on the move.
New York Times best-selling author Garth Stein will read from and sign copies of his award-winning book, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Hastings Middle School. His appearance is part of the 2013 Hastings Reads and is open to the community. During the day, Stein will be working with students at the school. Other events Hastings residents will be able to discuss Stein's book at several events before his visit here. The Senior Center book group will discuss "The Art of racing in the Rain" at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Senior Center, 310 River St.
A man and his dog visited St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School last week, and they were instant stars. Actually, they have been stars for quite a while through a children's book. Charlie Johnson, owner of Whistling Well Farm and author of "Emmy of Whistling Well Farm," and Emmy were at the school last Thursday as part of the annual Catholic Education week. Johnson talked about the book, which has been available since last October and Emmy did what she does best - sat on the sidelines and watched. What has happened since October? More than 1,600 copies of the book have been sold.
They arrived with fanfare at the Hastings District 200 schools last Wednesday morning. Hastings High School musicians Rachel Roberts, Michael Notch and John Moes announced the good news with trumpets blaring as representatives of the Hastings Public Schools Foundation (HPSF) presented this year's "What If" grants to district staff members. A total of 19 grants totaling more than $59,000 were presented to district staff members.
For years, Dakota County and the Vermillion River Watershed have played a leadership role in working to understand and address groundwater and surface water contamination from agricultural activities through the Agricultural Outreach program, developed as a result of the Hastings Area Nitrate Study almost 10 years ago.
Hastings School District 200 has had the Adult Basic Education program in place for more than 20 years. It helps adults earn their GED, learn English (as a second language), and prepare for college and or technical colleges.
Two weeks ago, a special referee recommended that Hastings attorney Rebekah Nett be suspended from the practice of law for six months. Last week, the head of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board said his board of directors believes that a six-month suspension is not severe enough punishment. Nett practices law out of the Westview Law Center in Hastings. In November, the Board had filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School celebrates Catholic Education Week next week with a number of activities for students, staff and parents. It will continue to draw attention to its foundation, its strengths and the culture of the school. Principal Dr. Jill Moes smiles when talking about the school. The Hastings native, who graduated from the school, knew it well then. She knows it better now after returning to it as principal a little more than two years ago. "We're strong and able," she said. "Our school culture is a beautiful balance of respect for each other and a respect for life.