Five schools, one class

Posted: March 3, 2020

Seven seniors are the only students to attend all five Minnehaha campuses

Seven current seniors have done something that no one else at Minnehaha has done. The group includes Luke Von Arx, Trent LeVahn, Jake McCabe, Scott MacLeod, Bennett Thurow, Sam Harris, and Will Wamre. These students have been on the move over the years. They are the only students to experience all five schools throughout their years at Minnehaha Academy: Bloomington, South, old North, Mendota, and new North Campus. Most recently, each student is approaching graduation at the new North Campus.
After two years or rebuilding, students were able to move back into the North Campus and experience an utterly new building.
“The new North Campus is a lot better because [the building] is in perfect condition without flaws like the previous buildings that I’ve been in,” said Wamre.
Prior to moving into the new North Campus the students spent two years at a temporary building in Mendota Heights. The students agreed that the community became stronger through the traumatic experience of the explosion. Due to the cramped spaces at the Mendota Campus, the students became more connected as a student body.
At the beginning of their high school experience, the group was able to attend the old North Campus. They collectively agreed that the old North Campus was one of their favorites due to the excitement of being in high school, the unique building, and the homey feel of it.
Before their transition into high school, the group spent their third grade through eighth-grade year at the South campus.
“South campus felt so big with the three levels compared to Bloomington campus which only had one floor and a gym doubled as the cafeteria,” said LeVahn.
Each student started their kindergarten year at Minnehaha’s Bloomington campus. After Minnehaha’s Bloomington campus closed when these students were in third grade in 2011 they were faced with the tough decision of where to attend school the following year. Minnehaha’s South Campus would be a further drive for each of the students, but despite the closure, every one of them decided to continue going to school at Minnehaha.
“I remember I was so sad when they said they were going to close,” said senior Luke Von Arx.
Since the Bloomington campus only went through fifth grade, the seven students would have been forced to transfer to the South Campus shortly. Von Arx described the Bloomington campus as “stress-free” with “small classes” where they could all become close friends.
“I think if we could have stayed at Bloomington through fifth grade, I think we all probably would have,” said McCabe.
The memories that each of them created were memorable enough to share to this day. Von Arx and McCabe both agreed that having a large outdoor area for recess was essential to creating the memories they did. The students ran races around the playground while several coaches supervised.
“I remember Will Wamre and somebody else were always a team,” said Von Arx. “They were always faster than everybody else, it was just funny looking back on it.”
McCabe remembers constantly getting in trouble Sam Harris and receiving blue slips or pink slips as a punishment for their actions. The two of them received a blue slip during a French class after Harris wouldn’t stop coloring on McCabe. Harris wasn’t a stranger to getting in trouble back in the day though. He would frequently mess with students, including a fellow classmate of his named Geneva, and his teacher, Ms. Martin, wouldn’t let him get away with it.
“[Sam Harris] came an inch from cutting Geneva’s hair and Ms. Martin said he could never use scissors again,” said Von Arx.
Another memory that Harris and McCabe share is during the class free time the two of them would cut out country flags and draw them together. Harris remembers getting in trouble with McCabe twice: once at a concert when the two were kicking each other, and the other when they wrote bad words on whiteboards with permanent markers.
Trent LeVahn also commented on the time where he got in trouble with Harris and Von Arx. During recess, Harris was pushing people as a joke and LeVahn and Von Arx got mistaken for pushing people as well.
“I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I got nailed with the blue slip,” said LeVahn.
From his time at the Bloomington campus, LeVahn also remembered his favorite lunches. Many of the students enjoyed the fruit cups while others didn’t. Although they weren’t allowed to get more than one, some risked it and made a run for the counter to steal an extra one.
“I was told that they were lunches that they would give to prisoners, but I think that might have been a rumor,” said LeVahn. “The best ones were always the tacos with the cinnamon rolls.”
One of Wamre’s best memories is one that he wishes he could forget. Instead of taking Spanish, the main language that they were taught was French.
“There was one day during the year that we’d make crepes. I had four of them and I threw up,” said Wamre.
The last student to weigh in on their time at Bloomington was Thurow’s. His favorite memory came from his third-grade year during the winter when the students were able to mess around in the snow.
“The whole winter we built a huge snow fort,” said Thurow. “We worked on it every day and would play games in there and acted like kings.”
During their Bloomington years, the students got the opportunity to grow plants. Some of the plants even had bees on the sticks. Harris’s mischievous behaviors got to him once again when he destroyed Bennett Thurow’s plant.
“Our teacher made Sam pretend that he was a bee so he wouldn’t get in trouble,” said MacLeod.
Another memory that all of the students shared was of a particular corner of the school where there were loose bricks on the wall. With the cover of a bush, the students would throw a large brick into the hole in the wall which caused the school to have to repair the corner eventually. While in class they would hear loud noises outside fixing the hole that they created.

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