(CSE staff photos by Tengo Lor, [email protected])
By CARLOS GALLEGO
AAP staff writer
St. Paul, Minn. (December 17, 2010) – The transformation of the Community School of Excellence to a Hmong-focused school is an impressive feat that was demonstrated with a grand opening and Hmong New Year event last month at its new location in the former St. Bernard School at 170 W Rose Avenue on Saint Paul’s east side.
Mo Chang, executive director, put together a program of speakers and performers as hundreds of guests admired the elaborate gymnasium mural depicting the Laos countryside. The mural, created by Hmong artist, Cha Ger Yang, offered a fitting backdrop for the ribbon cutting ceremonies that included school and community dignitaries and the second on with the school children that were excited to partake in the honor.
Chang shared her excitement in embarking in the exciting journey as a Hmong Charter school that tripled its enrollment to 651 students in just three years.
Aside from enthusiastic families of students and community members, many notable guests included Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and City Councilmember Lee Helgen.
Mayor Coleman acknowledged the schools rapid growth, recalling that when the school had just 70 students in its first year. He concluded by thanking the community and family members and expressing satisfaction of the school’s chapter in the history of the St. Bernard’s school building.
Saint Barnard Parish Pastor Father Michael Anderson was also in attendance along with other school supporters including area educators and school administrators, and non-profit leaders from Ready4K and Resources for Child Caring.
Father Anderson expressed his happiness that the Community School of Excellence would bring quality education that had for decades been the illustrious tradition of St. Bernard’s School.
The guests were treated to a traditional Hmong dinner and a program filled with performances from the various dance groups as talented student musicians who have mastered the use of the Hmong traditional instruments.
To learn more about this exciting school call 651-917-0073 or visit online at www.csemn.org.