Newsletters 2017-18 Focus newsletter, [4] SPRING | Page 6

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE PAGE 6 Anoka High School scholarship winner wants to become a teacher Madey Anfang loves school. Particularly Anoka High School (AHS). “I like spending time here at school more than I like spending time at my own house sometimes,” the senior said with a smile. “I love the atmosphere here. It’s something I can vibe with — everyone lov- ing everyone and being a big family.” It’s probably no surprise that her love and enjoy- ment for school has sparked an interest in what Madey wants to do as she prepares for college. “I want to be a teacher, and I want to come back to the district to teach,” she said. “I love and appre- ciate the diversity of (Anoka-Hennepin). I’d love to come back here and teach.” And she’s already well on her way. Madey has already been accepted to the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse where she will study elementary education, and if that wasn’t enough, she recently learned she was one of four students nationally to win a National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators (NAFEPA) scholarship to help with her collegiate studies. Specifically, Madey won the John A. Pfaff Scholarship, which is a one-time, $2,500 scholarship, awarded annually to a student pursuing an educa- tion to be a teacher. “It made my day when I found out,” Madey said. “It was super overwhelming, and I was full of grati- tude and shock that I was one of four people in the whole nation to receive it.” “ I really like seeing when kids learn something and it clicks. ” - Madey Anfang Graduate spotlight John A. Pfaff, who the scholarship honors, served NAFEPA as secretary, vice president and two terms as president, according to the NAFEPA website. “Pfaff is a retired local practitioner, principal, and coordinator of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the Sheboygan Area School District in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He repre- sented his state for more than 23 years on the NAFEPA Board of Directors. His vision created this scholarship program and organized the first fundraisers to support scholarships.” In March, Madey learned she had won the schol- arship from her school counselor, Kari Schell. “It’s still a little crazy to think that I won,” she said. And Madey wasn’t the only AHS senior to apply for the scholarship. “When I got to the post office to make sure it was in the mail on time, there were six other kids all in line to submit for the same scholarship,” she said. “There are a lot of students, I think, who want to get into education and become teachers.” Th at piqued interest may be thanks to a program Anoka-Hennepin recently launched in its high schools, including AHS, called Education Teach and Train, where students act as interns in the classroom, the gymnasium, the lab, the sporting field, the art studio — anywhere lessons are taught. For Madey, the experience just solidified what she already knew: she wanted to be a teacher. “In the Education Teach and Train program, I worked in two classrooms at Andover Elementary School — fifth grade English and third grade art. I loved it,” she said. I really like seeing when kids learn something and it clicks.” Madey’s family at home, which includes a younger sister and younger brother, has really helped spur her interest in education as well, she said. Anoka High School senior Madey Anfang earned a $2,500 national scholarship awarded to students interested in becoming a teacher. “My brother is in fifth grade and he struggled a little, but the amount of help he’s received and the push he’s gotten from his teachers — it’s really pret- ty cool,” Madey said. “It’s inspiring, and one of the reasons I want to come back to this district to teach.” Madey said her family is proud of her and excited she won the NAFEPA, but she’s been so busy, she hasn’t had a lot of time to sit down with her family and map out college quite yet. In addition to being in the top 30 in her class academically, Madey is an actor and assistant director for the AHS theater pro- gram, is in choir, the Student Council treasurer, is part of DECA and the school’s National Honor Society (NHS), and works two jobs. “Now seems like the time to be busy,” she joked. “I’ll breathe a little in June, maybe. But right now I’m super excited to finish my senior year and then go to college.” ■ cont. from page 8 “She showed up to practice every day, and when she walked through the arena doors she became a different person. She was locked in on improving,” he said. “She was incredibly focused on getting better each and every day.” He describes Rooney as polite, generous and a great role model, and said he is incredibly proud of her success. “She earned it,” he said. “Nobody gave it to her, that’s for sure.” Winter Olympic hero Maddie Rooney speaks to Andover High School students during an assembly March 20. Rooney, a 2015 graduate, visited her alma mater just weeks after leading the US women's Olympic team to a gold medal. “He’s just been a great person to look up to for help and advice.” The decision to allow Rooney on the boys team wasn’t without controversy – some of Manney’s colleagues and parents of other players expressed concerns about everything from locker room issues to denying a boy an opportunity to play. But Manney said it wasn’t a difficult decision for him at all. He had been watching Rooney play since she was 10 years old and said she was an elite goalie from a young age. After Rooney graduated from Andover, she went on to play hockey for the University of Minnesota- Duluth, and as one of the top three goalies in the country was invited to play on the U.S. women’s national team her sophomore year. That team went on to win gold at the world championships in 2017, earning Rooney a chance to try out for the Olympic team last May. She said she was “overjoyed” to make it on to the Olympic team, which required her to move to Florida for seven months prior to competing in South Korea. “ Having the medal hung around my neck was such a proud and humbling moment because it was something I had dreamed about my whole life. ” - Maddie Rooney When asked where she keeps her gold medal, Rooney demures. “I need it a lot for different appearances, so I keep it close by,” she said. “We have a really nice case for it, and eventually I’ll put it away some- where safe.” Rooney is currently studying business marketing with an emphasis on sports marketing, an interest that was sparked by a marketing class she took at Andover High School. She said she hopes to work for a professional sports team someday, and to continue to play hockey competitively for as long as she can. She also coaches various youth teams in the summer and offers goalie instructing for players ages 6 to 16 years. But her connection to Andover remains strong: She said she plans to stay actively involved with the high school girls hockey program and help out whenever she can, including at summer camps this year. She said she’s extremely grateful for the sup- port she’s received from her hometown. “If I tried to name everyone at Andover who influenced me I’d be here a while,” she said. “I would just like to thank the whole staff there, especially during this past year. So many teachers reached out to me and were supportive of me, and it just meant a lot and helped me while I was over in Korea. Just to know the city of Andover and my high school were behind me meant a lot to me.” ■