Twin Oaks Tribune

Twin Oaks Middle School

Volume 7, Issue 6

Andrea Peterson to be honored!

PE Teacher, Andrea Peterson will be honored by her high school this Friday night as she is inducted into the White Bear Lake Athletic Hall of fame. Check out this great story!

Congratulations on this special recognition Andrea!

"From the eyes of a 7th Grader"

Last week I got a chance to stop in to Mary Jo Pauly's 7th grade art class for a 'caricature sitting' and the students produced some pretty interesting portraits of me. It is always interesting to see how you appear in the eyes of a 7th grader... :)

Mary Jo selected this particular piece as the best one. I thought it was quite an impressive work of art done by Aruna Acharya.

Classroom Highlights from the week

  • In Laurie Friedges' classroom this week, the students were working on understanding idioms as a part of their social communications seminar class. An important part of this learning was the students understanding why this particular part of language development is so important in order to effectively communicate in our everyday environments. Have you ever thought of how prevalent various idioms are in our typical communications? Something to think about as we continue to need to ensure that our communication is clear to all of our students. Check out this posting.

  • In Nicole McMahon's 7th grade, Cook-Bake-Sew class, as a part of their nutrition unit, Nicole had the students preparing vegetables in class today. Additionally, at the request of one of her students, Nicole introduced the students to a "new fruit" that many of them had not previously tasted, a Jackfruit from Mexico. I had a chance to try some and it was pretty tasty. See Nicole's email if you are interested in trying it out yourself, but be forewarned, Nicole said it took who quite a while to cut up just a small portion of it...
  • Brant Chalupsky had his 7th grade health students engaging in some data analysis this week, as they were reviewing the data from the 2013 MN Student Survey. Brant had them taking it a step further by completing a writing exercise entitled "10 reactions" in which students need to write about their interpretations of the data set, and what thoughts and concerns they had. Not only a great exercise in data analysis, but also developing the skills of articulating their findings in a coherent manner. Future data analysists...
  • It was great to see all 3 of our computer labs in full use this afternoon for something other than administering tests. As our 8th graders were working on taking the writing process to the 'next level'.

Jackfruit from Mexico

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All 3 Computers Labs in Use

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Article on Growth

Our local paper has completed the following story in their 3-part series about the district's growth. Check out the following link.

"Twinning" at Twin Oaks

Teachers of the Week

Todd Becker

Position: 6-8 Industrial Tech & PLTW, 8th Gr SAIL

Years in the district: 4

Years in education: 19

Alma mater: Mankato State University

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): Mr. Wilke was my 'Industrial Arts' teacher who inspired me and let me help others with their woodworking projects, and I sort of became a teacher's aide without really knowing it!

Favorite Quote/Motto: "No matter who you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect."

Favorite movie: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Wedding Singer"

Favorite book: "Heaven is for Real" by Todd (& Colton) Burpo

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): My 1989 Pontiac Grand Am coupe...I loved my first car so much, I almost rubbed the paint off from washing it so much!

Anything else you would like to share: I am honored to be a full-time teacher now at Twin Oaks! I love teaching our students here, and working with such an awesome staff that is second to none!

Lisa Manders

Position: Peer Coach

Years in the district: 13

Years in education: 14

Alma mater: Drake University

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): Playing in the jazz band

Favorite quote/motto: ""In matters of style, swim with the current; In maters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite book: Into the Wild

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): My Grandma's piano

Staff Members of the Week

Mark Hunter

Position: CID paraprofessional

Years in the district: 6

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad): Playing soccer everyday at lunch time

Favorite quote/motto:Try your hardest

Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings - two towers

Favorite book: Walking drum by Louis l'amour

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): Our first chocolate lab "Calvin" was a great gift

Anything else you would like to share: Enjoy working with everyone at TOMS

DeAnn Nelson

Position: Lifeskills paraprofessional

Years in the district: 11

Favorite middle school memory (good or bad):I remember how it seemed so cool to be able to change classes every hour and see friends in the halls during passing times.

Favorite quote/motto: "Don't worry, be happy."

Favorite movie: Pirates of the Caribbean

Favorite book: Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Best gift ever received (can't be birth of child): My husband and I celebrated our 30th Anniversary with an Alaskan cruise and he surprised me with an awesome helicopter ride that landed on a glacier in Alaska. We were able to scoop and take a sip of the icy water that ran in a stream on top of the glacier.

Quote of the Week

"“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change.”

– Unknown

The Week Ahead


  • Grade Level Meetings, 2:15 PM


  • Unity Day during Primetime
  • Conferences, Team 3-4 PM, 'Arena Style' 4-7 PM
  • EM Break
  • EM Break


  • EM Break