Spark • Fuel • Blaze

Discover One91 Trailblazers

With 14 distinct Pathways, students are invited on a joyful journey of self-discovery from the first sparks of wonder as young learners, through the discoveries that fuel their academic exploration, to being equipped with the tools they need to blaze their own path, no matter what life throws their way. Check out District 191 alumni journeys below.

Justin’s Journey into Journalism

Justin Amaker - student-2Justin Amaker - St. Thomas-2

It is fair to say that Justin Amaker has a nose for news.

As a fifth and sixth grade student at Rahn Elementary, Justin was involved in the “Rahn TV3 News,” a daily show where students would share daily announcements with the entire school. “That started the spark of getting into news,” Justin said. And the spark happened again as a student at Burnsville High School and the opportunity to take courses in the Arts, Global Communications and Information Systems pathway. He was part of the school’s TV production class and helped produce a weekly news show where he wrote scripts, served as on-camera talent and worked behind the scenes. His pathway into the news business continued in his journalism class, which led to his involvement in the school’s newspaper and yearbook.

Justin continues to follow his nose for news at the University of St. Thomas where he is pursuing a Communications and Journalism degree. At St. Thomas starting in September 2021, he will serve as the director of Tommie Media, a student-run news organization, and will supervise a 60-member team. There is no doubt that Justin’s journalism talents will continue to be shared with the world. And it all started at “Rahn TV3 News.”

It all started at “Rahn TV3 News.”

Justin becomes interested in news and journalism through his involvement in the “Rahn TV3 News.” 

5th & 6th grade

Justin’s interest in journalism is reignited when he enrolls in the TV Production class. Along with time as an on-camera talent, he also writes scripts and works behind the scenes on the weekly news show.

11th grade

Justin enrolls in a journalism course at Burnsville High School, which leads to more experience on the school’s newspaper and yearbook.

12th grade

Justin signs on as an intern in the communications department for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. The internship provides him with more writing experience and sells him on pursuing a major in journalism.

12th grade

Justin enters his senior year at the University of St. Thomas and is on track to earn a degree in Communications and Journalism. He will also serve as the director of Tommie Media, a student-run news organization. His vision is to pursue a career in journalism.

Fall 2021

Osman's Journey into Architecture

Osman Warfa

"It's been a roller coaster of projects" is how Osman Warfa describes his interest in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field.

He is particularly interested in aerospace engineering and architecture and his interest began as a third grade student when he participated in his first science fair at Gideon Pond. “I can remember my elementary science classes, which were taught by Mrs. Rau,” Osman recalled. “Her way of teaching us was hands-on and it was one of my first real experiences conducting observations in the name of science,” he added. Osman found success in many ways and also points to his “failed builds” as learning opportunities. Osman noted that when something does not work out the way he intended, he is able to deconstruct the problem to find different ways to approach it. His interest in science continued through middle school into Burnsville High School where took engineering courses as part of the Design, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies pathway. Osman graduated from Burnsville High School in spring 2021 and will enroll in the University of Minnesota to study architecture. 

I can remember my elementary science classes, which were taught by Mrs. Rau. Her way of teaching us was hands-on and it was one of my first real experiences conducting observations in the name of science.

- Osman
Osman at the 6th Grade Science Fair
First Spark

Osman participates in his first science fair at Gideon Pond Elementary in third grade and gets hooked on the STEM field. His project is focused on the solar system.

First Spark
Igniting Wonder

Osman loves his science classes at Gideon Pond taught by Mrs. Rau. He recalls the power of hands-on learning and scientific observation, including one assignment where he was asked to observe what he saw in the school’s butterfly garden.

Igniting Wonder
Curiosity

In 6th grade, Osman discovers his interest in art and art history through exposure to a variety of different art styles. “Learning the history of art, and more importantly, respecting that history, will always be an interest of mine along with my interests in the STEM field,” Osman notes. He continues to pursue his interest in art and art history.

Curiosity
Fuel Exploration

Osman finds his civil engineering course to be particularly interesting because it is another opportunity to work with his hands on various projects.

Fuel Exploration
Fan the Flame

Osman represents Burnsville High School and the state of Minnesota at the International Science and Engineering Fair in 10th grade. He is one of more than 2,000 student scientists from 15 countries to participate in the week-long event. His experiment focuses on the stability of varied winglets, which are devices on the tip of an airplane wing. Curious to learn more? Google “stability of varied winglets” and Osman’s description of his experiment will be one of the first to appear in the list.

Fan the Flame

Jenna Kay's Journey to NASA

Jenna Kay Foertsch understands - and appreciates - the time and hard work her teachers in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District 191 dedicated to her learning.

“I had a few teachers that really stood out to me and all of them in different subject areas,” Jenna Kay said. “Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned were not from lessons during class but from the chats I had with teachers after class while asking for advice,” Jenna Kay noted. She was not a student who excelled in a particular subject, but she felt a spark – because of her teachers – in STEM-related courses. It was the Burnsville High School robotics team that made a difference. “Joining the robotics team changed the trajectory of both my career and my life,” Jenna Kay said. “The high school robotics team was a perfect blend of STEM, business, communications, outreach and education – where my sweet spot lies. Through robotics, I discovered a network and community that led to my love for both space and NASA,” Jenna Kay added. She is a 2015 graduate of Burnsville High School and completed her degree at the University of Minnesota. She is now working in her “dream job” at NASA in the Planning, Integration and Environmental Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Jenna Kay also serves as a mentor to high school robotics team through FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) and has served as a mentor for a Burnsville High School team.

Joining the robotics team changed the trajectory of both my career and my life. The high school robotics team was a perfect blend of STEM, business, communications, outreach and education - where my sweet spot lies. Through robotics, I discovered a network and community that led to my love for both space and NASA.

- Jenna Kay
High School Years

Jenna Kay’s interest in STEM-related courses is sparked at Burnsville High School with the help of several teachers.

High School Years
11th grade

Jenna Kay joins the robotics team at Burnsville High School.

 “I remember watching kids walking into the basement of my school. At that time, I had just quit volleyball because I was injured. I was devastated that I didn’t have something to stimulate me or do after school. So I walked down into the basement and was instantly hooked by the chaos. I pretty much lived in that basement for the rest of my high school career.”

11th grade
Junior Year of College

Jenna Kay discovers her love for NASA. “I got into NASA not because I was a ‘genius’ or ‘rocket scientist,’ but because I am curious and like to solve problems,” she noted.

Junior Year of College
2018

Jenna Kay started the first of five internships at NASA. She worked in data analytics and visualization in center operations, technology transfer in the exploration technology office and the public affairs office.

2018
January 2021

Jenna Kay begins her full-time employment at NASA in the Planning, Integration and Environmental Office

January 2021

Arykah's journey to discovering her interest in neuroscience

A career test in the Success One91 course at Burnsville High School ignited Arykah Jones’ interest in the human brain and neuroscience.

“Taking the test led me in the right direction of finding something I would be good at and passionate about instead of wandering aimlessly,” Arykah said. She is interested in becoming a neuroscientist because she enjoys research and wants to learn more about human behavior. The Health Care pathway at Burnsville opened Arykah up to opportunities that she did not know that existed. Arykah will be a senior at Burnsville during the 2021-2022 school year and plans to take a psychology course and other related health care courses. She is also serving as the president of the school’s Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club. “As the president, I hope to have more fun events where students can learn about the options the healthcare offers,” Arykah noted. “I want to broaden people’s minds on what they can do besides becoming a doctor or nurse when they think of healthcare.”

9th Grade

Arykah completes the career test in Success One 191 course, which starts her interest in neuroscience and other healthcare careers.

9th Grade
10th grade

Arykah attended “Camp Neuro,” a neuroscience camp where she learned basic biology along with the anatomy of the brain and diseases that affect the brain.

10th grade
11th grade

Along with her courses, Arykah will serve as the president of Burnsville’s Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club.

11th grade
12th grade

Arykah is planning to enroll in a psychology course along with other healthcare courses to prepare her for college.

12th grade
post high school plans

Arykah is planning to attend the University of Minnesota to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then a Master’s degree in neuroscience.

post high school plans

Taking the test led me in the right direction of finding something I would be good at and passionate about instead of wandering aimlessly.

- Arykah