by Paul Rignell
Four of the brightest and most socially responsible graduating seniors from Elk River High School this spring visited the Sherburne County Board May 1 to report on their experience through T.I.E.S. (Together Inspiring Education and Success) in our Community.
For the second consecutive year, the high school joined forces with the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office and Elk River Police Department — supported by a federal grant from the Office of Justice Programs — to identify select incoming seniors who could teach freshmen about problems that can mushroom out of truancy. The T.I.E.S. in our Community senior leaders have also taught other students about practicing traffic safety.
The leadership opportunity has been open to 12th-grade boys and girls alike, though the group to complete Elk River’s program in 2011–2012 consists solely of four female students.
Michelle Botts’ plans for the coming year include starting a pre-med program at the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
Laura Crepeau plans to study biochemistry at St. Catherine University, and later become a pediatrician.
Katelyn Cummings plans to major in psychology at Winona State University, then join the Air Force, then enter medical school and become a trauma surgeon.
Kelsey Rausch is headed for Concordia College – Moorhead, where she plans to study English education toward her goal of becoming a teacher.
“It’ll be hard to replace them,” said Elk River High School guidance counselor and T.I.E.S. adviser Keith Howard of this year’s senior leaders.
Applicants for next year’s program will be interviewed this month, and chosen participants will receive training through the summer. Each senior leader earns a $500 T.I.E.S. scholarship for completing their duties.
Sherburne County has a program grant of more than $11,000 for 2012–2013, and the sheriff’s office hopes to honor six T.I.E.S. senior leaders with scholarships next spring at Elk River, Becker, Big Lake and Zimmerman high schools.