News from Virginia High School – Grades 7-12 – Hometown Focus




With less than a month left of school, there are many end-of-the-year events taking place at Rock Ridge Virginia High School. Band, choir, and orchestra concerts, athletic events, Prom, Spring Week, Teacher Appreciation, graduation, and the all night grad party, etc. On May 3, all 7th graders will attend a field trip to the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm for the Iron Range Science and Engineering Festival. On May 27, the scholarship and awards event is happening in Goodman Auditorium. At that time, we will also unveil our first ever all-school LIP DUB, which promises to be an exciting event!

Here are a few big things happening at VHS lately:

On Monday, April 25, the high school bands put on an awesome performance, even raising over $1000 that was matched and will be used for student events in the upcoming year:

Each day during the week of May 2-6, Teacher Appreciation Week, Student Council members made and delivered different hand-made cards and treats to all teachers. Here, Cora Eilola-Zallar and Ethan Pond deliver Smarties candies and a card that says, “Thanks for making us a bunch of Smarties!” from the VHS STUCCO (Student Council).



On April 12th, 2022, six Rock Ridge High School students attended the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Conference at the Iron Trail Motors Event Center. This conference is a regionally focused event featuring technical programs that attracts hundreds of mining

professionals throughout the Midwest. The six students who attended the SME event were Jillian Zeidler, Britta Nordin, Thomas Glissman, Brady Pettinelli, Matti Koski, and Kaari Harsila. They also had the opportunity to shadow the Student Section of SME housed at Iron Range Engineering in Virginia, MN. When asked about the most important takeaways from the event, Matti responded, “Everyone who I talked to about getting a mechanical engineering degree (many people) said to just get it done and then I’ll have lots of opportunities to do many different jobs after college.” Brady Pettinelli stated, “It was a phenomenal experience!” Thomas Glissman went on to say, “I learned how many different jobs and employment opportunities there are in the field of mining & engineering and how all those different jobs are related and sort of work together.” Jillian Zeidler added, “I learned how important mining and engineering careers are to our local economy, and how many different



opportunities there are.” The new Rock Ridge School is looking forward to working with engineering and science professionals and organizations like SME to connect students to careers related to natural resources, architecture and construction trades, manufacturing, science and engineering, and mining.

Rock Ridge students built NEW dugout benches! Students in Mr. Foster’s Building Construction class designed and built all of the dugout benches for the new Rock Ridge Varsity Softball and Varsity Baseball dugouts. Students researched different dugout bench styles, built a prototype, modified the prototype, and then built 8 benches that were 14’ long, and two benches per dugout. While building these benches, the student focus was on mass production techniques which included making jigs and fixtures to ensure accuracy and quality.



The Apparel Design and Construction class at the Virginia Campus has been using their skills for good and Sewing For A Cause! It started when the class received a sizable donation of fleece fabric. After some discussion, they decided to sew stuffed animals, blankets, and large tote bags and to donate those items to the St. Louis County Child Foster Care program. Students said that the stuffed animals may have been the most fun to make. They started with a basic pattern and then individualized each animal; they even included a little sleeping bag for

those stuffed animals. This project took several weeks and students learned about project management, problem solving, pattern making, measuring, fabric selection, safety considerations when sewing for young children, and more.



Both Michelle Brown and Briana Aaser from the Child Foster Care program came to the classroom on Friday, April 22 and were very pleased to receive the donations. Shannon Malovrh, CTE director, was also on hand. She had donated the fabric that was received from a previous grant.

Overall, these students in the FCS program learned many new skills and the Foster Care program now has some needed items to give to children.


The VHS Class of 2022 nominated Mr. Wayne Christiansen to be their graduation speaker.

Students at Franklin Elementary had a blast in the snow this APRIL!?

Rock Ridge Speech Team won the Section 7A title! Twelve speakers moved to the State Tournament in Apple Valley on April 23









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