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South High Foundation News

Here are a few items of interest to members of the Foundation community.

  1. Remembering Mr. Kormanik

  2. From the latest Tiger Blast email - Lights for the Athletic Field

  3. South High teacher and coach Rodney Lossow

  4. South High Students in the news

  5. Students in the Project Lead The Way program

  6. Other News

The Foundation acknowledges the life and contributions to South High and the Foundation of Mr. Kormanik. The following comes from his obituary in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Richard Kormanik, retired South High teacher and coach, dies at 75

By  Star Tribune
FEBRUARY 14, 2018 — 9:20PM

As a business education teacher at South High School in Minneapolis, Richard Kormanik spent 35 years instructing students on topics like accounting and stock market investing.

But the investing class was serious business. Kormanik started teaching the class using $100,000 that had been donated by a successful investor who had gone to South High.

In six years, Kormanik and the students had turned the gift into a portfolio worth $300,000, enough to help fund student scholarships. That success led the donor, Robert Kommerstad, to give another $100,000 for the students to work with.

“He got the students actively involved in doing their homework and they were pretty successful,” said Steve Lindquist, who taught math at South High. “They invested real money, which was more fun that investing play money. They did very well.”

Kommerstad at one point told Kormanik that the South High students were doing a better job than students at a university in California, which had also received a donation for investing.

“He had a great relationship with students,” said Lindquist. “He was kind and enthusiastic and the students really did like him a lot.”

Kormanik, 75, died Feb. 1.

He began and ended his teaching career at South High and never wanted to leave the classroom.

“They wanted him to go to be a principal,” said his wife, Judy Kormanik. “But he said he loved the classroom, this was where he belonged.”

In addition to teaching, Kormanik was a football coach, the school’s athletic director for 12 years, and eventually the badminton coach.

“It’s a tremendous conditioning sport and it’s comparable to tennis,” Kormanik told the Star Tribune in 1988. “There’s a lot of strategy in the game to move the bird around.”

Kormanik played both football and badminton while he was an undergraduate at Macalester College in St. Paul.

At first he majored in journalism, but he switched to business administration with a specialty in education. He also earned a master’s at the University of Minnesota.

He was an accomplished handyman, building everything from bird houses to two residences, one a cabin and the other the family home in Maple Grove.

“He built a lake place and then a few months later that is where we spent our summers,” said Judy Kormanik. “He was real involved in building our home.”

On the family home’s seven acres, he spent a lot of time establishing and tending to vegetable and flower gardens.

Kormanik retired from teaching in 1999.

“He liked to teach students and make them better people,” said his wife. “My son ran into a person that had Rich as a teacher and he said, ‘All I ever learned from high school, I learned from your dad.’ ”

In addition to wife Judy, Kormanik is survived by sons Jason and Tim, as well as one grandson.

Services have been held.

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The latest news from a TigerBlast email note - getting lights for the Athletic Field:

South to get lights and updated field in 2018

After many, many years of complaints, meetings and discussions, South’s athletic field will finally be updated. The football field will get a synthetic field and lights for night games. The soccer field will be positioned to fit on the field. The track will have eight lanes, allowing meets to be held at South. However, there is no guarantee of a press box and sound system. That is where we need your help. We need to raise $100,000 for the press box and sound system. That is a lot of money, but we believe that with your help, we can do it!

If you have ever played a sport at South, especially football, track or soccer, or if you ever attended a football game or track or soccer meet or any other sport event, we are asking you to consider making a donation to the South High Foundation. Write "athletic field" in the comment section of your check, and we will make sure that your donation is credited to this project. You can also make your donation here at the Foundation web site by clicking on the green "Donate Now" near the top right corner of this page, and make your donation earmarking it for the athletic field.

We can do this. We hope that the updated field will be ready by December 2018! So we don’t have much time. Have any questions? Send them to

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Click on the following link to see Rodney Lossow - South High alum, football coach and ... Foundation Board Member - featured in the Mpls StarTribune on Sunday 27 Aug 2017:


Or click on the following link see a news item featuring two South High students.

Other news:

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Check out this video on one of the efforts at South supported by your donation to the Foundation and its Grants program. Click on the controls at the lower left.

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A calendar of upcoming activities:

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Click on the controls at the lower left to view a welcome by Judy Erickson Ayers, the current Foundation President!

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The Mission of the Friends of South High Foundation: provide financial assistance and support for programs at South High School that directly enhance the students’ overall high school experience by enriching their academic, cultural and extracurricular experience; and to support and enhance their ability to further their education.