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Published May 02 2010

K-12 Notebook: Fargo parent representing North Dakota at Mom Congress

Mom Congress is in session, and Fargo parent Cheryl Lausch is a part of it.

The mother of two teens is representing North Dakota at today’s national Mom Congress, a D.C. conference organized by Parenting magazine.

“I was pretty excited and honored,” she said. “I’m hoping to bring back a lot of information for a number of the PTA units.”

The Fargo nurse and South High School graduate joins 50 other delegates, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, magazine editors and national education leaders at the three-day D.C. event.

It’s part of the magazine’s initiative to celebrate and connect moms who work to improve schools.

The 47-year-old said she’s looking forward to bringing back insight on issues such as getting technology in classrooms and curbing childhood obesity.

In Fargo, she’s volunteered on Parent Teacher Associations for 12 years and currently oversees health and welfare initiatives on the citywide PTA.

She was nominated to attend today’s conference by the head of the North Dakota statewide PTA because of her achievements and commitment.

“It’s a fabulous organization,” she said of the PTA. “It’s just a good place to be involved as a parent.”

Economic smarts

A Moorhead High School team won the Minnesota Economics Challenge in the advanced placement division.

The Moorhead contestants – Lukas Gemar, Adam Hannon-Hatfield, Jim Kallander and Ryan Vesledahl – competed against 40 Minnesota high school teams. The students are coached by economics teacher Doug Johnson.

The Moorhead team was invited to compete against 33 other state champions in the national semifinals written exam. Six teams will advance to the national championships on May 22 through 24 in New York City.

Johnson’s students have competed at the national level twice before, taking the title the first year his team competed in 2004 and coming in second in 2006.

The National Economics Challenge, sponsored by the Council for Economic Education, is the only national economics competition for high school economics students.

Auto teams face off

Nine teams of high school students from across North Dakota will compete next week in the annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

Twenty juniors and seniors from Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Wahpeton, Williston, Minot, Oakes and Valley City will meet on May 13 at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo.

There, they’ll compete for more than $132,000 in scholarships and prizes as they aim to correctly identify and fix installed “bugs” in vehicles.

The winning team will represent North Dakota at the National Finals in June in Dearborn, Mich.

Readers can reach Forum reporters Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515 and Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5524