State Championships, Collaboration, and a more peaceful global society.

Last week I answered the phone midday, and spoke with Steve from Metro Transit. Steve drives the morning 3b route, and brings a crew of 20-30 students to Great River 5 days a week. He wanted to let me know that the students he drops off at Great River are "calm, kind, and considerate. They always take care of others on the bus, give seats to those who need them, and treat everyone well." Steve reports that this behavior is exceptional, and "gives teenagers a good name - something must be going well at school to have students behave that way."

2015 State Champions! Congrats Women's Varsity Stars! 
Ah, Steve, it's true. There are a lot of things going well at Great River School. Just a couple highlights from the week:

First off, our Ultimate teams were amazing this whole season. Both JV teams (women's and men's) finished as state semifinalists. Varisty men finished 3rd in the state. And our Women's Varsity team won the state championship! We compete against some of the largest schools in the state - public and private - and our student athletes carry themselves with classy determination in fiercely competitive games. They are ambassadors, athletes, and champions. You must come cheer on our ultimate teams next season. 

Second, a note about how collaboration and teamwork benefits your students and our global society!

We won a grant for honeybee education at Great River! (Thanks to Marie Rickmeyer and Tami Limberg for leadership and brilliance!) I mentioned in my last blog the challenges our students are inheriting in the world these coming decades. I wrote that
"real issues that will require cooperation, collaboration, and humanity to address solutions - issues of biodiversity, of water and land resources, and issues of fairness and justice in an increasingly interconnected world. Preparing students to out-compete their peers on tests and college admissions is not the solution to our local, regional, or global challenges." 
To be specific, the cooperation and collaboration we encourage and facilitate is the kind of skill that builds a more resillient society. To see one example of ecological challenge: honeybee protection has elicited a federal policy for action - one that requires international public-private partnerships to protect the $15billion that pollinators contribute annually to GDP.

Cooperating to install memorial design

I see our students using the skills of collaboration, problem solving, and ingenuity to solve real issues right here at school. Our 9th and 10th year students have collaboratively designed and installed a memorial space at the school in the north courtyard (and will host a dedication ceremony at 10am on June 6th.)

Student-Designed Memorial
Our Robotics team used gracious professional collaboration to join themselves to a state championship caliber robotics alliance and win a competition in order to attend the world championships this year. The Montessori value of collaboration which led them to the world championships is born out of knowing the talents of self, while also respecting and valuing the talents of an other.

presenting winning Robot to the board
This appreciation of differences, and valuing the success of others as well as self is the skill that solves issues of resource depletion, pollinator loss, and challenges that require global cooperative action. Our future engineers, ambassadors, architects, and leaders are working right now at Great River to build a better society at school. And that more peaceful society is spilling over into the bus, and demonstrating results in state and national competitions. What a wonderful sight to see.