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                                                                                                          Winter 2020, Volume 2
                                                  MINNESOTA’S K–12 EDUCATION CONNECTIONTODAY                                    MN                ™

                       Anoka High School Senior                                                            Fridley Middle School

                       Gabe St. Hilaire Honored for                                                        Students Embrace

                       Bravery by City of Coon Rapids                                                      Unified WIN Class

                                                           ished in the fire,” Capt.   Fridley Public Schools
                                                           Hawley  said.  “(They)   At  Fridley  Middle
                                                           clearly helped save the   School  (FMS),  students
                                                           life of another person.”  are  participating  in  an
                                                               On  Jan.  21,  the   opportunity  to  foster  an
                                                           two  were  presented   inclusive  and  positive
                                                           with  the  Coon  Rapids   environment for all. Since
                                                           Citizen’s  Award   of   the 2018-19 school year,
                                                           Merit by Capt. Hawley   FMS  became  a  Unified
                                                           and  the  Coon  Rapids   Champion  School,  an
                                                           City  Council  for  their   initiative  created  by  the
                                                           actions  —  the  highest   Special  Olympics.  The
                                                           honor  a  civilian  can   program promotes social
                                                           earn from the city.  inclusion  through  inten-
                                                               “I  think  it’s  kind   tionally-planned   and
                                                           of cool that we helped   implemented  activities,
                                                           save  someone,”  Gabe   such  as  unified  classes,
        Anoka-Hennepin School District      said. “It’s a really good feeling knowing that   school-wide engagement opportunities, and   in guided conversations, and enjoy activities
            Getting  credit  for  saving  a  life  is  no   we helped save someone.”  youth leadership opportunities.  that allow them to build meaningful friend-
        small thing. The act itself requires bravery   Gabe’s  mom,  Jamie,  was  also  in  the   Many  middle  school  students  are   ships with one another.
        and  courage,  selflessness,  and  most  of  all,   car, and called 911 as her husband and son   embracing this initiative by participating in   “I love how this class brings everyone
        being at the right place at the right time.  rendered help. Meanwhile, Todd, upon stop-  Unified WIN class. WIN, which stands for   together,” said 8th grader Brooklyn Dahms.
            On  Sept.  28  of  last  year, Anoka  High   ping along the roadway, didn’t expect Gabe   “What I Need,” is a dedicated, self-directed   “We do a lot of cooking, coloring, and other
        School  senior  Gabe  St.  Hilaire  and  his   to pitch in.             enrichment time for 7th and 8th grade stu-  activities  to  get  our  brains  working  -  and
        father,  Todd  St.  Hilaire,  were  in  the  right   “I simply headed off to assess the situ-  dents who make a weekly choice of activity   we  do  all  of  it  together  as  a  community.
        place at the right time.            ation and see how I could help,” Todd said.   they wish to participate in. The Unified class   It’s a great opportunity to work with others,
            According to Coon Rapids Police Capt.   “Gabe did not hesitate, and was right there   features  a  1:1  ratio  of  students  with  and   embrace  our  differences,  and  build  a  posi-
        Tom  Hawley,  the  two  came  across  a  one-  through  everything.  I  am  thankful  that  he   without a disability.  tive mindset.”
        vehicle  crash  along  Highway  10  at  Foley   was able to help, and I am so proud of how   “Unified  WIN  creates  an  environment   According  to  8th  grader  Sam  Gemlo,
        Boulevard. It turns out a 64-year-old woman   brave he was for stepping into the unknown,   where  everyone  is  an  equal,  rather  than  a   the  best  part  is  having  the  opportunity  to
        had driven off the ramp and traveled about   all while keeping his wits about him. I’m a   mentorship opportunity,” said FMS Special   spend time with his younger brother. “I get
        100 feet into the ditch and a small swamp.   very proud dad.”           Education  teacher  Jessica  Mularie.  “In   to hang out with him at school and meet all
        Before police arrived, Todd and Gabe waded   While  in  the  cattails  and  water,  Gabe   Unified  WIN,  we  have  our  students  pick   his friends,” said Gemlo. “I get to see what a
        into  the  cattails  and  muck,  and  toward  the   said there was a moment when a bang and a   their  own  weekly  activities  so  they  have   typical day looks like for him, and it means
        car,  which  had  begun  to  smoke.  The  two   flash came from under the car hood. That’s   ownership of what they are doing.”  a  lot  to  me.  I  like  working  with  everyone
        helped the woman from the vehicle, which a   when  he  and  his  dad  realized  the  time  to   According  to  Mularie,  the  main   and being with so many great people in one
        short time later, burst into flames.  move was at hand.                 purpose of this is to encourage community   place.”
            “If not for the immediate action (they)                             and relationship building. During the class,
        took, it’s likely the victim would have per-      Continued on Page 3   students play a variety of games, participate    Continued on Page 3

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