KUMD's contributing producer JP Rennquist brings us story about Denfeld High School, the most diverse high school north of the Twin Cities and one of the most diverse schools in the state overall.
As demographic trends in Duluth and other communities around the state have seen greater socio-economic segregation by adults and families (by neighborhood and therefore in neighborhood schools), Denfeld has bucked that trend.
For nearly a decade now, the Denfeld "link crew" has done a tremendous job of helping those students from so many different backgrounds build a unified identity and school spirit. And the cornerstone of that effort has been "Hunter Welcome," which takes place the week before the start of school when every incoming 9th grader is greeted by Denfeld juniors and seniors who lead the newcomers through a series of games and challenges that encourage them to work hard in school and get involved in student activities and remember that wherever they go and however far they rise in life they should always have "Hunter Pride."
At this year's Hunter kickoff the incoming Denfeld class of 2022 were addressed for a few minutes by the school's principal, Tonya Sconiers, who talked to the incoming 9th graders about success, and that in addition to working hard IN the classroom, the greatest predictor of achievement is being involved in sports, music, academic teams, and other extra-curriculars - the more the better.