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Chuck's column: A lot to do before the end of the year

Rumor has it winter is finally over. I'll believe it when I see it. I know many of you agree this has been about the strangest end to winter ever. I thought the night when the snow was falling intensely while the communities were testing their tornado sirens was a scene right out of The Twilight Zone. But Glory, Alleluia! The temperatures are rising!

Of course, you realize, that brings with it restless teenagers. For that matter, restless adults are roaming the halls here as well. Suddenly, the snow has melted, and we're presenting the Spring OnStage this weekend. In two more weeks, it's Prom. Two weekends after that, Memorial Day weekend. Then, it's a hop, skip and a jump to June 7.

What has to happen between now and then to successfully finish this school year, you ask? For starters, the kids have to be in their desks every day, prepared for the class and ready to learn. We always need help with this task, and that help has to come from home. In most cases, it certainly does, but you'd be surprised in some instances.

We have to get through AP testing as well. For a smaller percentage of our seniors here, it's a brutal time in their lives, but oh so important. I know for many, once these are done, they sort of check out. That's a challenge in and of itself.

We have to survive a safe and fun Prom. Most of us remember Prom in our high school gyms. At least I do. The dance started at 8 for us. There were pre-Prom parties at homes beforehand. At the dance, they served punch and prepared for the 10:30 Grand March. The juniors decorated the gym and the march began on time.

Parents came to watch the Grand March and then, at 1 in the morning, the dance ended and we shoveled off to one of my town's ritziest restaurants and everyone ate there, being served family style. It was a lot of fun. When I got here, people did Prom differently. Our students will have a 5:30 Grand March and then head out for dinner before returning for a dance that ends at midnight, all downtown in the First Trust of St. Paul. It's quite the venue for the annual affair.

We need to stage our annual All-School Awards Assembly, recognizing students, most of whom are seniors, but with a substantial number of underclassmen as well. This occurs one morning in late May for all the school to witness. It's about an hour in length. It merits doing simply because it provides modeling for underclassmen to see what the seniors, and again, some other non-senior types, have achieved through hard work and perseverance. We also take a moment to congratulate retirees from the staff who choose to be recognized that morning. Frankly, that part is awesome. The kids always come through with support for the adult, regardless of who it might be. They perform in a classy manner, and it generally moves the adult to tears.

We also have to patiently wait out news as to whether one of RHS's own, Mr. Steven Albaugh, receives the title of Minnesota Teacher of the Year this Sunday, April 28. He is one of 10 at this point, being considered for that title. We all wish him well but also congratulate him for having reached this pinnacle in his career.

There's much more to be had in these final six weeks, but that's just a glimpse of things to come. One thing's for certain, however, we don't have to deal with.

Snow. No More Snow. Happy May!