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Spartan School News, Feb. 1, 2021

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From the Principal

To the Spartan Family,

Despite distance learning, RHS is working hard to continue traditions of connecting with students and celebrating our community. Our annual Fire and Ice celebration kicks off this week. Your AIR Pod teachers will be sharing more details. The week will end with a Fire and Ice Coronation with the royal court nominees being introduced and the crowning event as well as the spotlight on our nominated caring community members. This is an annual tradition with our RHS Spartans recognizing community members that go above and beyond in support of community members who have made a difference. We are very excited to continue this wonderful tradition in a whole new digital world and look forward to great experiences with our students!

RHS Fire and Ice Royal Court

On Sunday, Jan. 24 a team of RHS educators were able to complete “curbside” notification to our top student nominees as voted by their peers. Coronation is Thursday, Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. and will be live streamed on YouTube-Richfield High School. 

Joe Carr
Kaycee Cunningham
Riley Herling
Connor Hintz
Natalya Hoppe
Helen Nguyen
Adam Nordquist
Ryan Odefey
Brandon Portillo

Congratulations to our RHS Fire and Ice Royal Court!

In partnership,

Stacy Theien-Collins

Special Announcements

Semester I Grading

Semester grades are being finalized. Students will be assigned A through D- or No Grade (NG). An NG grade does not assign credit but will not impact a student’s GPA. Teachers may also assign Pass(P)/No Grade (NG) grades. If you have questions about grades for any course, please contact the teacher directly.

In-Building WiFi Access

This week only, due to our altered Finals Schedule, we will host wifi on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Please sign up below.
Monday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Fire and Ice is Here!

For Fire & Ice week this year, we will have themed dress-up days along with winter activities that students can choose to do. Please share photos or videos with the student government instagram account so that they may share some of our winter fun. Student government Instagram: @richfieldstudentgovernment


Activity for day

Dress-up theme


Best blanket fort

Pajama Day


Best ice skating or snow dancing move

Jersey Day


Sledding the furthest at Augsburg

Beanie Day


Airpod kahoot quiz challenge

Class Colors:12-red, 11-black, 10-white, 9-gray


Bring your pet to class day

Spartan Spirit

Again, Coronation for our Fire & Ice Crowned Royalty will be Thursday, Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. The event will feature our awards for Caring Community Members and will be live-streamed for all students/families to enjoy.


Senior Party Fundraiser

Visit the Potbelly Sandwich Shop on Wednesday, Feb. 3 any time between 4 and 8 p.m. and mention the Richfield Spartan Senior Party Fundraiser, and 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the Richfield Senior Class Party!

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
7644 Lyndale Ave S.
Richfield, MN 55423

We hope to see you there!

From the Activities Office

  • What elementary school did you attend? Sheridan Hills

  • What do you like most about your sport? I love the close bond we have and all the fun we have!

  • What do you like about Richfield High School? I like that Richfield has offered great diversity and small class sizes, which allows for a greater opportunity to get to know your teachers better. 

  • What motivates you to do your best? My motivation for dance comes from my past successes, I want to continue to do well. My school motivation comes from wanting to learn and better myself.

  • What advice would you give to middle school students? Don’t be afraid, it’s not as serious as you think! Do your best to set yourself up for college! 

  • What do you plan to do after high school? I will go to the University of Minnesota and study Sociology of Law and Criminology and hopefully go onto law school.

Minnesota State High School League Triple A Award Nominees


The MSHSL honors seniors who have excelled in academics, arts and athletics. This year Richfield nominees are Abigail Kliest and Jamison Taylor. Here are some excerpts from their nomination letters:

Abigail Kleist has been an active participant in Richfield Athletics and Fine Arts programs since 7th grade. She is a three sport athlete and team captain: Soccer, Gymnastics, and Track & Field. Two years in a row she received All-Conference for her contributions on the Soccer Field. Her band teacher, Chris Porter, said she is one of the best musicians in the program. While Abby is participating in Track and balancing her rigorous course load, she also finds time to support the Theater Program by being a musician in the Pit Band for the Spring Musical. In addition to her contributions to our athletic and fine arts program, she is also excelling in the classroom. Abby is in the top 10% of her class. Her CIS Calculus teacher, Jon Zoellmer says, “Abby is always at the top of her class, but what really sets her apart from the other great students is that her peers see her as a leader, a helper and a conscientious friend. She also has a wry sense of humor that endears her to her classmates.”

Jamison Taylor is a diligent student, great teammate, and tremendous percussionist. He is a leader in the classroom and in our athletic programs. Jamison is in the top 10% of the class. His CIS English teacher, Dr. Nicole Schiffler says, “Jamison is conscientious and a hard worker. He goes beyond the expectations and demonstrates his intellectual, as well as creative, abilities.” Jamison is a two sport athlete: Swim & Dive, Tennis. The head swim coach, Matt Graham said, “He is a great leader and brings positive energy to the pool every day. He is the type of athlete you always want on your team.” While playing tennis he also supports the Theatre program in the spring by anchoring the pit band for the Spring Musical. Jamison was named to the All-State Honor Band.

Live Streamed Athletic and Activities Events

Did you know you can watch many of our home events on YouTube Richfield High School? Check it out here.

Live Streamed Swim and Dive Team Events

Swim and Dive Team also has a channel for live streaming their events. Check it out here. The next air date is the home meet on February 2. 

Upcoming Events

Please check for the most up-to-date schedule and for any changes:

  February 1

  • Start of Semester II
  • 6 p.m. - Webinar (English) Registration Information Night for New Families
  • 7 p.m. - Webinar (Spanish) Registration Information Night for New Families

February 4

  • 10 a.m. - Fire and Ice Coronation (Live Streamed on YouTube Richfield High School)
  • 5 p.m. - 9th Grade Parent/Guardian Night: Join us for a virtual meeting to learn about the school schedule, tips for distance learning, coping strategies for students and families, and school resources, in Spanish & English.

February 17

  • Picture Retake Day. More information will be provided. 

Parent Resources

Technology Resources

MDH COVID Resources for Families

Virtual RHS Media Center

Spartans, did you know you can request books from the media center? 

  • In the portal, look for the Destiny image 
  • Click on the Destiny link > Select Richfield High School > Click "Log in" (upper right corner) 
  • Enter your Chromebook username and password (the Google login option is not working yet)
  • Use the search bar at the top of the screen to look for books, including e and audio formats. Selections can be placed on hold, marked as favorites, etc.
  • Click on the triple line (hamburger) menu in the upper left corner to view your checkouts, books on hold, favorites, and more 
  • Mrs. Anderson and Ms. Glavas will work with you to arrange a pick up for any holds you request. Email us or call 612-798-6319.

CCR @ Air Pod

Interested in learning more about the Naviance platform, which serves as our foundation for advancing career and college readiness? Here’s a 6 minute VIDEO that gives an overview of how to navigate the basic features of Naviance. Next week, look for a follow-up video that will explore its key features. If you have any questions about Naviance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to CCR Coordinator, Julie Magnuson.

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Contact Info 

Information for all Grades

  • Stanford University AI (Artificial Intelligence) Summer Program - Deadline to apply is March 1, 2021
    Students are invited to apply for this pre-college enrichment program developed and taught by a team of Stanford PhD students. Through the AI Scholars Live Online program, high school students are taught fundamental AI concepts and work toward building a socially impactful AI project in a domain of their interest such as healthcare, robotics, finance or sustainability. Students attend live online classes. Click on this link for more information.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Programs - Deadline to apply is April 30, 2021
    Applications for these pre-college high school programs, Badger Summer Scholars and the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), are now open. Financial aid is available for both programs.  

Information for 9th-11th Grade Students

  • Girls Who Code—Virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP)
    Apply to Girls Who Code’s Virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) for an unforgettable summer experience! During this FREE 2-week virtual program, you'll learn the computer science skills you need to make an impact, get an inside look into the tech field, and join a supportive lifelong sisterhood—all while being virtually hosted by influential companies like Twitter, AT&T, Bank of America, Walmart and more.

    Current 9th-11th grade girls and non-binary students are eligible to apply. SIP is 100% free and need-based stipends of up to $300 are available for those who qualify. Low tech? No tech? No problem! Girls Who Code is there to support you!
    Apply today or learn more in a webinar

Information for Freshmen

Out with the old, in with the new! Ninth grade students and caregivers are all invited to a virtual event to help kick off the new semester, start with a clean slate, turn over a new leaf, etc. We will discuss how to recover lost credits, how to start strong, and offer you all the support we have for Semester II. Join us on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 5-6 p.m.

Information for Sophomores

The Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) Program at UW-Madison School of Business is now accepting applications. To be eligible to apply, students must: 

  • Be a current 10th grade student
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (unweighted on a 4.0 scale)
  • Identify as at least one of the following:
    • Black/African American
    • Hispanic/Latinx
    • Native American
    • Southeast Asian American (Hmong, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian)
    • Eligible to receive free or reduced lunch benefits at school

Open to students from throughout the U.S., the BEL Program is a pre-college business experience spanning three years beginning the summer after 10th grade. Students who successfully complete all summers of the BEL Program and who are admitted to UW-Madison are granted a full-tuition scholarship to the Wisconsin School of Business.
Program Highlights:

  • Students participate in a range of activities focused on career exposure, academic growth, self-exploration and team building. 
  • There is no cost to students to participate in BEL other than transportation to and from the Madison campus. A decision about whether this coming summer's program will be held on campus or online will be made in spring 2021.
  • Participation does not guarantee admission to the UW-Madison School of Business; however, being a BEL scholar does help participants clearly articulate their interest in business in their college applications. 

More information and application materials can be found on their website. Application deadline is February 12.

Information for Juniors

  • Genesys Works - Learn more about how junior students can apply for a paid internship in 2021-22! 

    New for this year: Students will earn college credit for participating in summer training!

    • Last week our juniors had the opportunity to participate in a live webinar to learn more about Genesys Works and get their questions answered. Here is the link to the recorded webinar. Through the free summer training program, students gain real-world skills like public speaking, accountability, time management, Microsoft Office, networking and business technology. Upon completion of this training, students will have the opportunity to obtain a paid corporate internship during their senior year at a top Twin Cities company like Toro, Target Corporation, Optum, Best Buy, or Ameriprise Financial. GW interns also receive college and career support—in fact, 100% of GW students are accepted to college!
    • The GW MISSION is to provide pathways to career and college success for high school students in these categories:
      • on track to graduate
      • eligible for free/reduced lunch status
      • first-generation college applicants
      • able to adjust their school day to allow for early release (1-5 p.m. work schedule)
  • ACT at Richfield High School—Tuesday, April 20, 2021
    Originally scheduled for early March, the district-sponsored ACT for all juniors has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 20. This ACT is intended to take place in-person during the school day—specific details are yet to be determined, depending on the status of how school attendance may resume according to state and district guidelines. Please stay tuned for more information. Any ACT questions may be directed to Sara Linde, counselor for students in the class of 2022. 

Information for Juniors & Seniors

  • Abbott and Fenner Scholarship Program - Open to juniors and seniors. Submit an essay on the following topic: Describe your educational career and life goals. Explain your plan for achieving these goals. Include your degree/major, why you selected it, and how this degree/major will help you achieve your goals. They will be awarding up to $1,000 to the winner(s). Deadline is June 12, 2021. Additional information can be found on the A&F Business Consultants website. 
  • Distinguished Young Women: Scholarship, Leadership, Talent - DYW is the nation’s largest and oldest scholarship program for high school women. It offers the opportunity to earn cash and college-granted scholarships in a non-competitive atmosphere. The competition is free to participants, and no fees nor expenses are expected of any participant. More information is available here.

Information for Seniors

  • FAFSA Town Hall
    Saint Cloud State University (SCSU) is hosting a FAFSA Town Hall where you can get information about completing the FAFSA and ask questions. You do not need to have applied to SCSU to participate. This event takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 5:30 pm. Use this link and the passcode Huskies. 

  • Schedule Changes & College Applications
    Nearly all college applications will ask you to list your senior year courses. Colleges will then factor that information when evaluating your admission application. If you want to change a CORE COURSE (math, social studies, English, science) at semester, you need to reach out to your colleges to ask if/how that change may impact your admission decision. 

  • Wallin Scholarship (due February 1!) - More information can be found on the Wallin Education Partners website.

  • Alex R. Smith Memorial College Scholarship
    This scholarship was created to honor the efforts of Nicole Smith-Holt and the rest of Alec Smith’s family in memory of their son, who have fought for years to keep insulin costs low and helped create the emergency insulin law for pharmacists in MN and other states. “Be A Part Of It” and the CampTime Kids program would like to announce a yearly scholarship to a student residing in Alec’s home state of Minnesota entering college his/her freshman year in the fall of 2021 in the amount of $5,000 in memory of Alec R. Smith and his family’s dedication to protecting our children’s future. Email to get your application.

  • Vernetta Wilson Memorial Scholarship (deadline Feb. 26, 2021) - The Minneapolis St. Paul Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is committed to the education of young women in the Black community. Visit this website for more information about this scholarship offered by RMS Principal Dr. Hines’ sorority.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar Program - The HSF Scholar Program is designed to empower courageous young leaders of Hispanic heritage. The program helps ensure students achieve their higher education and career goals. To be eligible, applicants:
    • Must be of Hispanic heritage
    • Minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for high school students
    • Plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, public or not-for-profit, four-year university, or graduate school, in the U.S., for the 2020-2021 academic year
    • U.S. Citizen, Permanent Legal Resident, DACA or Eligible Non-Citizen (as defined by FAFSA)
    • Submit the FAFSA or state-based financial aid forms (if applicable)
  • Native American Scholarship Database - These scholarships are available specifically for Native American high school students. Students should be encouraged to apply to ALL other sources of financial aid for which they are eligible. Special thanks to Tami Johnson, School Counselor in St. Paul Public Schools, for her creation and continued updating of this resource!
  • MnACC Student of Color Scholarship - MnACC is excited to provide scholarships for students of color who are in pursuit of higher education. Students who are awarded this scholarship will receive a one-time award ranging between $500 to $2,500 to be used towards their education during the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Schedule Changes & College Applications - Nearly all college applications will ask you to list your senior year courses. Colleges will then factor that information when evaluating your admission application. If you want to change a CORE COURSE (math, social studies, English, science) at semester, you need to reach out to your colleges to ask if/how that change may impact your admission decision.
  • Page Grant (deadline April 1, 2021) - The Page Grant is a scholarship program awarded to students of color and/or American Indian students who graduate from a Minnesota high school and attend a Minnesota post-secondary institution. Students at all levels of academic achievement seeking to pursue a 2- or 4-year degree at an accredited Minnesota college or university and agree to complete annual service projects with children can qualify for a grant. Grants range in value from $1,500 to $2,500 annually, and subsequent grants are based on students’ academic progress and mentoring performance. Students must be registered and maintain full-time status throughout the academic year they are awarded the grant to remain eligible.
  • Community Service HoursYou’re already doing them!
    • What are you already doing?
      • The drastic changes to “normal” life and school have many seniors concerned about how to complete the 15 community service hours required for graduation. Fear not! As with everything else this year, we need to think about this in a new way.
    • Service is NOT limited to volunteering at the local community center; instead, the opportunities are all around us.
      • Many students have taken on more responsibilities in their homes and for their families. That COUNTS! If you are helping siblings with school, providing childcare, caring for a family member, cooking meals, shoveling, count it! Count it EVEN IF it’s something that you had already been doing! Complete the Community Service Hours Submission Form detailing the service you have completed. We will be sharing additional service opportunities as they become available. 
    • Are you looking for service projects? Check this out!
    • You can make 3-5 minute, educational videos (in English or Spanish) to be shared with our Pre-K students and families. These educational videos can include:
      • Reading age-appropriate books (sharing the pictures as you read, etc.) 
      • Demonstrating a simple skill (dribbling a basket or soccer ball, for example) and prompting them to try along with you
      • Completing a simple art project with items found around the house
      • Be age-appropriate AND creative!
    • When making the videos, be sure to be engaging! Speak clearly. It's okay to ask questions and allow them time to respond. Imagine that they are in front of you. These videos do not need to be professionally edited. Be thoughtful about what you're going to say. Make sure that the room/area that you are filming in is appropriate.
    • Completed videos can be uploaded to this Google Drive.
    • Questions? Contact Ms. Norwick, Pre-K teacher, at or Ms. Jastrow, Class of 2021 Counselor, at



College Application

Financial Aid

Social-Emotional Learning: At Home Connection

Greeting Richfield Families,

Whenever January is coming to an end, there is often a sense of relief. January is a LONG month and often one that is known to be a bit more cold and gray. We know many people are impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder, and when you double it up with a pandemic, some families are hit pretty hard.

Rather than list some of the ways to cope, we thought we’d focus on one specific strategy. In reading about Seasonal Affective Disorder, one way to combat it is to “cook healthy family foods.” Well, right there the coping in itself can cause many of us stress! Family meals can be stressful for many reasons, including that we often lack the time, energy, and resources to make what we envision as a “good family meal.” So here are some ideas. They are low budget, quick to make, easy to engage help from younger kids AND may be popular to all those in the household.

We thought it would be fun to just provide a few ideas to get you through the next week. It’s a new start to the semester and nice time to try a few new things! We do know finances around food is a real stress for many families right now. Please reach out to us if you have needs we can help with as well. This is a difficult time for many families and we are here to support you.

As always, remind your student of the options below: 

Mindful Moment: Mondays at 8:50 a.m.

We will continue to offer a guided breathing exercise each Monday morning to help students enter their week feeling calm and focused.

Managing Stress During Distance Learning: Thursdays at 1 p.m.

Students will learn new strategies to manage stress as well as have the opportunity to talk about their stress in a safe and supportive group setting. 

Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.

We look forward to meeting 9th graders and their parents/caregivers during this virtual meeting to discuss coping skills and tips during this challenging time. We hope to see you there!

Your RHS School Social Workers,

Marisa Zimmerman:
Jill Carlton:

Staff Spotlight

Melissa Glavas, Media Specialist

My name is Melissa Glavas, and I’m the Media Specialist at Richfield High School. This is my 10th year in Richfield and 16th year in education. I’ve had the opportunity to teach in a few different districts. I can say, without a doubt, that I’m so glad I’m here in Richfield working with great students and such a caring staff and community.

I didn’t take a direct route to my current position. I started my career as a chemist. I helped to develop environmentally friendly coatings. I also held positions in technical service and marketing. Eventually I took the time to figure out what I was truly passionate about. I realized that I wanted to work in education, and I’m a geek when it comes to reading, information and technology. On my first day in my masters of Library and Information Science program, the professor explained how many librarians often had multiple careers since they liked so many subjects. I had found my people. I am passionate about introducing students and staff to new books, resources and technology. If students ask me about choosing a career, I tell them that they don’t have to know exactly what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives. It’s truly a journey full of ups and downs with each step adding valuable experiences. 

I have a BS in Chemistry, an MBA, a teaching license in K-12 media, and my MLIS. My husband and I live in Minneapolis. Being a librarian, I have many interests. Here are a few: reading (of course), gardening, cooking, hiking and traveling.

Matt Caruso, Business and Computer Science Teacher

My name is Matt Caruso and I am a Business and Computer Science teacher. This is my third year as a teacher, and all three years have been at Richfield. I’m also the DECA (Varsity Business) advisor. Before teaching, I worked in Supply Chain, Engineering, and IT Project and Operations Management for GE Power Conversion, Harley Davidson, Polaris, and other companies. I attend University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire for my undergraduate where I got a Business Management- Operations and Materials Degree, and completed a little bit of my MBA at Cardinal Stritch. I recently completed my Masters in Teaching at Bethel.

I love sports and have coached football, baseball, weightlifting, wrestling and lacrosse. Lacrosse is my favorite sport to play, football my favorite to watch. I love music and have had a side hustle of music lessons and played in cover bands. I love to read about anything, but have a special place for Sci/Fi Fantasy novels as that is what got me into reading. Summer I like to golf, fall I like to hunt, winter I like to eat, and spring I like to exercise. 

I grew up in South St. Paul, but I live in Eagan with my beautiful wife and daughter, Tracy and Murphy Anne, along with another baby on the way (name yet to be determined). I love teaching at Richfield because the students are awesome, the staff is awesome, the food is awesome, and I literally learn so much everyday from doing it. I am grateful for being at Richfield and look forward to continuing teaching and learning everyday.

Read More

CCR @ AIR Pod: Jesus Garcia Garcia

Many thanks to CCR @ AIR Pod guest speaker Jesus Garcia Garcia, who shared his inspirational education and career pathway with us this week. Jesus shared that his goal in life is to help, “I want to use my time for good.” You can watch the video here.

Spring Sports: Spectators

The spring competitive season is here and we are excited to open our stands to fans! Here you can find information about attending spring sports.

MCA Testing Schedule

Here you will find the MCA testing schedule at RHS.