Category Archives: Public schools in Minneapolis

Prospective Edison Students and Families Meet with Principal Steinbach


Eighth graders choosing among their high school options can be assured of one thing – the red carpet is rolled for them at Thomas Edison High School.  If students and their families want to learn more, they are invited to join Principal Carla Steinbach for coffee, lunch and/or dinner.  These social gatherings offer a chance for entering freshmen and their families to get to know each other and to ask questions about Edison.


There are four opportunities to meet Dr. Steinbach.  Students and families are invited to attend as many as they would like.  The plans are these:


Thursday, June 16 – Dinner at Sen Yai Sen Lek from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00.

Wednesday, June 22 – Coffee at Eastside Food Co-op 8:30 a.m. – 10:00.

Lunch at Holy Land 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 23 – State of the School – District meeting with Principal Steinbach

Dinner will be provided at Firefighters Hall & Museum – 6:30 p.m.

This gathering is open to the public

Space for these events is limited.  Please RSVP by calling Julie at 612 290 3023 or email her at



Edison High School Alumni Marching Band Marches On — What Else!

Shun the shuttle, the bling, the sheet music and the graduating trombonists.  Think high stepping/, casual uniforms, and band music learned in high school.  Now you’ve got the picture and sound Edison High School Alumni Marching Band, marching strong in Northeast Minneapolis, throughout the Twin Cities and now on the national scene at the New Orleans Mardi Gras!

If you’ve heard and seen the Band you’ll know it’s like no other.  For one thing, it’s livelier – also more musical, more dedicated, and having a whole lot more fun than their juniors.

The band began in the late 1970’s when some recent Edison alums thought it would be great fun to get together and jam.  The school’s band director, Bob Stack, went with the flow.  They borrowed some flags and drums, got a gig in the Northeast Parade, and polished off some high school favorites – and a community legend was born.  Playing the band’s signature song “Basin Street Blues” on  the Basin Street was hardly on the agenda in those days.  In the early days Band members sported black wool suits, starched white shirts and spats!

Today the band is under the direction of Edison alum and today’s business teacher, golf coach and all-round Edison enthusiast Mike Icarello.  Band members come from throughout the neighborhood and from far-flung exurban communities.  Not all but most are Edison grads.  Though ages are a little hard to determine there is a streak of grey in the group that still high steps while their juniors shuffle  and that can blast a horn to be heard for blocks – trust me, I live in Northeast.

Without a doubt the Mardi Gras parades, all three of them back to back, are the highlights of the Alumni Band’s distinguished career.  Band members even learned new music for the Mardi Gras festivities.  Mike Icarello thinks the alums may have discovered a yet another way of staying young – as if high stepping were not enough – by learning two traditional New Orleans blues songs with arranged scripted just for the instrumentation of the Edison alumni musicians.  Though band members usually suit up in casual “uniforms” that look a lot like golfers gear, for the Mardi Gras parade their duded up with Vikings helmets contributed by Murphy-Good Winery of Sonoma, CA – no surprise, the company is run by a former Minnesotan.

Still, life on the home front keeps the Alumni Band busy – They march in the Aquatennial, the Columbia Heights and St. Anthony Village parades, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Though cancellation of the Northeast Parade on June 21 was a major disappointment, the band marches on to the Aquatennial and beyond.  When it’s not parade season they play on at high school reunions, community and even family events.

Learn more about the Edison High School Alumni Marching Band on their website – or, better yet, talk to any Edison alum who will be glad to tell the story of one of the unique treasures of Northeast.




Edison High School Marching Band at the Homecoming Parade in 1976

Edison High School Marching Band at the Homecoming Parade in 1976

Beastly Readers at Edison High School Share the Fun

Though the slogan “I’m a beast when I read” may not fit the scholar or the adult bibliophile,  it’s wild with new readers in Northeast Minneapolis.  It’s the theme that Thomas Edison High School readers have adopted and have now shared with early readers at Waite Park.

Edison has a school-wide reading program known as SSR (Sustained Silent Reading).  Everybody reads a book of his or her choice for 45 minutes.  The “bookmobile” circulates so every reader has a chance to choose a favorite or a book that shows potential!  A recent survey indicates that 93% of the readers enjoy the experience – and library stats reflect a 100% increase in circulation, with 12,000 books checked out of the school library this year.

This spring Edison students decided to share their joy of reading with the “little kids” at Waite Park.  First, the teen readers produced a series of posters.  Edison students took great color photos of themselves reading.  Posters are everywhere at the high school, with smaller posters now shared with the Waite Park 2nd and 3rd graders. Next, the Edison students designed a special t-shirt promoting the theme  “I’m a beast when I read” which they wear with pride.  The t-shirts, now in sizes to fit the 2rd and 3rd graders, will also be shared with the Waite Park new readers.

The day I visited Edison all was in readiness for the field trip to Waite Park – eyes sparkled and energy filled every corner of the library as the teens talked about the plans.

The results of the Edison students’ experiences have been shared with a whole new generation of newbie readers in Northeast.  I’m betting that the libraries in Northeast will be seeing some fresh new bibliophiles during the summer months, thanks to the good work of some enthusiastic teens from Edison High School.

A whole new generation of “reading beasts” has been launched!

Edison High School Honored with GREEN Program Designation

How Green is My High School?  That could be the new theme song at Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis.  And singing along with the Edison choristers would be Jayni and Chevy Chase who were recently on hand to kick off the GREEN Community Schools program, a national initiative designed to create a holistic model of environmenta; awareness to public schools.  Edison topped a field of hundreds of applicants to be named just the second GREEN Community School in the nation

Jayni Chase, an environmental educator, is the prime mover behind the GREEN Community School project, a joint initiative with MRG.  The GREEN project funds a Resource Coordinator who will work Edison staff to integrate green subject matter into thee curriculum and extra-curricular activities.  The program incorporates a range of topics focused on the curriculum but extending to the energy efficiency of the building and sustainable food procurement among other creative initiatives.

On hand at Edison for the kickoff on May 21 were Jayni and Chevy Chase and an all-star platform of political and community leaders including Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor RT Rybak, and Councilman Kevin Reich.  Edison principal Carla Steinbach described environmental projects in which Edison students, faculty and staff are involved;  one highlight was students’ production of “seed bombs”, aggregated blobs of compressed soil, compost, seeds and clay, designed to provide nutrients necessary to sustain the seeds to be scattered on empty fields and lots.  Watch for the blooming products of these Edison student-produced seed bombs throughout the community this summer.

Congratulations to Edison students, faculty and staff – and thanks to Jayni and Chevy Chase for recognizing a quality high school that has the stuff to capitalize on the opportunity to Go GREEN!