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Senior receives Rose Rees Peace Award

Recipients recognized for involvement in international relations

Jayne Stevenson

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Caroline Green
Senior Elise Bargman discusses possible speakers for a School Board open forum during a Gender Sexuality Alliance meeting.

Senior Elise Bargman said she felt honored and humbled as she received the Rose Rees Peace Award from the National Council of Jewish Women.

According to St. Louis Park public schools, the award recognizes “exceptional high school seniors from 25 local schools who have demonstrated a special interest in and commitment to international relations and world peace.”  

Beth Gendler, executive director of National Council of Jewish Women’s Minnesota chapter, said the organization allows schools to nominate students who exemplify strong community involvement.

“We really value having a diverse community of students from really diverse backgrounds and the hope is that it allows students to be honored (who) maybe isn’t the kid that is getting all the scholarships. But often sometimes it is, and that’s fine too,” Gendler said. “We just really value the diversity of students that are honored.”

Bargman said her activism initiatives revolve around promoting equality within the St. Louis Park school district.

“My work (includes being) Gender Sexuality Alliance president and leading those staff trainings on LGBT issues and helping encourage the school to open up the uni-sex bathrooms and then the work on the Gender Inclusion Policy,” Bargman said.

Gendler said current events provide chances for people to become active in their community.

“I think that the times we are living in give us really excellent opportunities to get involved and get engaged in work to promote equality, and it also gives us some unique challenges because there seems to be so much to do that it can be daunting,” Gendler said.

Bargman said she hopes to see St. Louis Park continue working on creating equitable school environments.

“I’m really hoping that St. Louis Park continues to do the work necessary to still be a leader in equality in our school system and that we step up to the plate and pass the gender inclusion policy and that we put forth the work necessary to make sure all students are being supported,” Bargman said.

Gendler said she advises people who hope to become engaged in society to first pick one topic they’re passionate about.
“I think a lot of us are guilty of spreading ourselves too thinly and by picking up one goal or one project or one issue or one task and doing that well and thoroughly, then that’s where you can really make the most impact,” Gendler said.

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Senior receives Rose Rees Peace Award