The Rotary Club of Excelsior held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 16th with 21 members and guests in attendance.  Tim Litfin served as Opening Marshal taking us through the Pledge and Four-Way Test.  President Kate gave announcements including that Jill Holter has left our club due to a new job in Down-town Minneapolis.  We will have our first live meeting on April 6th at the Minnetonka Community Education Center in the 2nd floor Deephaven Room starting at noon.  Social distancing and masks are required.  The Board of Directors will meet at 11:00 prior to the meeting.  Birthdays this month include Jim Hillis (today!), Elizabeth Nicol, John Gray, Michelle Seets, and Tammy Rogers (Randy Schumacker’s wife).  Upcoming meeting in April are the 6th with Padee Yang pour Global Scholar and the 26th  the Nature Conservancy. 
Our Program on March 16th was the Minnetonka High School with Principal Jeff Erickson, Ann Hanstead-Assistant Principal and Brent Veninga-Instructor.  Jeff kicked it off by mentioning that our member Linda Gustafson is his Mother-In-Law.  Jeff noted that he has served as MHS Principal for 8 years and 28 years in the District #276.  He showed the Minnetonka Couture graph of three concentric circles with the inner circle being the students, surrounded by the next layer of student support and instruction and then surrounded by the Arts, Athletics, and Activities.  Jeff was excited to announce the $4 million Momentum Facility to MHS to house the Auto, Physics & Home Renovation and Metal Sculptures Programs.  A major goal at MHS is to provide its 3,500 students with a rounded experiential learning experience involving mentorship by professionals and ongoing innovational programing.  This includes the current academic programs and Vantage-Public Policy programs and now Momentum (Minnetonka Trade) Programs that are growing at MHS.
Assistant Principal Ann Hanstead then took over to describe the growth of the Momentum and the realization that more hands-on experience programs are needed and desired by students at Minnetonka.  She described the Vantage and Momentum Programs that get outside business resources and individual mentorship involved with students in these programs.  She provided a virtual view of the new Momentum facility to be ready in 2022 and already the Auto part of the program has 4 sections filled.  The facility will also have a Maker Building area and classrooms for trade education.  She described how students in the Physics-Home Renovation program made bridges while on home instructing this year have hands on experience working with Habitat to Humanity doing real construction projects and gaining their OSHA Certifications.  The program enlisted nine outside trade speakers in various trades to speak with the students and previous students from the program at MHS to speak about their experience and work they are now doing in their fields. 
Brent Veninga ended the presentation by asking for community support for the Momentum and Vantage Programs and the need for mentors form various trades and contact with projects and project managers. By surveying students they have found that outside mentors make a significant contribution to these students education.  There is great need for trade speakers to demonstrate skills used in their trade.  They have short and long term speaker needs and even could use help in April and May of this year!  Brent ended by saying that these experiences really helps students in making life work decisions and would welcome any Rotarians to become involved in the Momentum and Vantage Programs as speakers and mentors.
Our meeting ended with Happy Bucks and the surprising number of members that have already received their Covid inoculations and that bodes well for coming back to live meetings this year!