Community Education Classes Begin January 23, 2012

Community Education at Northeast Middle School will offer its winter session of adult evening classes starting January 23, 2012.  Community Education offers a wide range of enriching classes and activities.

Here are a few highlights: 

  • Swimnastics (Water Aerobics) and Open Swimming, beginning January 24 
  • Adult Lap and Family Open Swims on Friday evenings, beginning January 27
  • Prenatal and Restorative Yoga classes
  • For adults with disabilities, we run a 4 week Saturday program featuring open swims and activities, beginning February 11
  • 4 hour Defensive Driving 55+ refresher class will be offered on Saturday, February 25

 For further information please go to MPS Community Education’s web site, www.mplscommunityed.comor call our office at 612-668-1515.

Warm Up to Student Theater

By Mason Sullivan

The fourth annual Winter Warm Up, the primary source of funding for the Northeast Middle School after-school theater program, is set for Friday, January 20, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Grace Center, 1500 6th St NE. The Audubon Park Neighborhood Association is a co-sponsor of this event. All are invited to attend.

The event will feature:

  • Music by Buster Phelan (a local band that performs an eclectic mix of music with a focus on classic and contemporary rock)
  • Hors d’oeuvres (included in the $25, tax-deductible ticket price)
  • Beer and wine (available for a requested donation)
  • A silent auction.

Typical items up for bid include gift certificates to local businesses and items donated by parents; one item of note at last year’s event was a Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader.

Audubon Neighborhood Association Awarded a $2,500 Grant!

The Audubon neighborhood Association won a $2,500 grant from the Center for Energy and Environment and the McKnight Foundation on Tuesday, October 25th,for having a 10.17% participation rate in Community Energy Services.  Partnering neighborhood organizations and volunteers were awarded over $45,000 in grants for their work with Community Energy Services.  Visit for the complete list of winners.

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A Bag Lady Opens on Johnson Street

By Terza Kurki

A passion for unusual purses and fun jewelry was exactly the reason Dani McNutt opened up her newest boutique, A Bag Lady. Although Dani has another boutique, located in Northfield, Minnesota, i ties with a college friend in NE and the community’s energy gave her the inspiration to set up shop in the revamped Laundromat location.

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Central Avenue Median Update

You may have noticed that the Central Avenue median between 27th and 37th Avenue NE was stripped bare and cleaned in late September. For the past several years the median has suffered due to harsh weather, salt and plowing, occasional accidents and overall neglect. Many of the trees and shrubs along the median died off or were severely stressed, but a new plan is in the works to restore the median to a more natural state and resolve a number of long-standing driver and pedestrian issues.
The stripping and regrading is the start of the plan by the Department of Public Works to rebuild a new, sustainable median. The first step is to resculpt the median to hold rainwater better. The previous grading design caused much of the rainwater to run off the median into the storm sewer. 
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Family Involvement Group is a Key Partner at NEMS

Parents to Northeast Middle School may find an easier transition into the school year by joining the Family Involvement Group (FIG).

FIG, now in its 3rd year, closes a gap between parents and a school system that can often seem impersonal and confusing. FIG provides a close up view into the workings of a public middle school. Monthly meetings bring staff together with parents to help identify school needs, plan school events and support the students’ education. Before the group’s formation, there had not been a parent group at NEMS for 15 years.

Parent Kimberly Caprini joined FIG last year because she wanted to find out who her 6th grade daughter, Sofia, would be exposed to at school.

After joining the FIG group, Caprini said it enabled her, “to let go of some of the rope.”

Bridging community is a key aspect to FIG’s work. Events in the community and in school have been a good way to do this.

The News from Northeast Middle School

by Robin Sauerwein


Because of changes at Northeast Middle School made over the years by dedicated teachers, staff. and community members, the school  appears to be moving in the right direction.  You may not have heard about what is happening at the school, but we hope to change that with this column   In each issue, we will highlight some of the people working at NEMS and will run stories by and about students and information about programs and community events.

The Northeast Middle School leader is Dr.  Padmini Udupa. She has served as Principal for four years and held the position of Assistant Principal for several years before that.  Dr. Udupa described some of the positive things happening at NEMS and changes over the years.


9th Annual Johnstock Offers Something for Everyone



If you live in or around the Audubon Neighborhood, you may want to start off or end your Art-a-Whirl adventure at Johnstock.  The 9th annual Johnstock, sponsored by The Johnson Street Merchants, is bigger than ever and offers a variety of fun for the whole family including the kids.

Before heading over to Johnstock, start the weekend off on Friday, May 20 at the Waite Park Carnival, 34th and Ulysses Street NE. The carnival runs 5:30-8 p.m. and will feature food, games, and entertainment. Enter to win some great prizes like an iPad and  iPod Touch. All proceeds benefit Waite Park School and Local Parks and Recreation.


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