What makes Minnetonka so great is that there are always people there to help you. Seeking out those resources and connections will help you discover what you’re capable of individually."
"My dad and brother played trumpet, so when I chose a band instrument in fifth grade I wanted to do something different," senior Isaac Schrof said. Choosing the French horn was the first of many different and fulfilling choices Isaac has made during his years in Minnetonka schools.
Isaac was among the first to take the accelerated science sequence at MMW that prepared him for Advanced Placement (AP) Physics freshman year at MHS. He also chose English Honors 9 Communications, a hybrid of traditional English coursework and technical communication. His love of writing and passion for science serve him well in the new Minnetonka Research program, where he is one of the first 46 students enrolled. He recently completed an authentic research proposal on autonomously self-healing elastomers and presented his project to the Minnetonka School Board (view his presentation). "The field of biomedicine intrigues me," Isaac said. "My research is a marriage between my interest in chemistry and an opportunity to help people through therapeutic treatment."
Isaac's four-year plan has always included courses he loves: band and Spanish. By including Tonka Online courses in his schedule, he has been able to retain these electives and still do more. "I took the opportunity to complete an English credit through Tonka Online. This opened up my schedule to enroll in Tonka Online AP Physics C-Mechanics before going to college," Isaac said. His hard work and exemplary scores on 10 AP exams earned him the National AP Scholar designation at the end of junior year.
Music is a big part of Isaac's life outside the classroom, too. He is a member of the pep band and brass ensemble, played in the pit orchestra for Bye Bye Birdie, and was chosen to participate in all-state band and the University of Minnesota honor band. As a Backpack Tutor, Isaac sees the impact of peer tutoring firsthand. He would love to develop a similar program that brings private music lessons to children who don't have access. "There is such a clear relationship between music, cognition and the way a person looks at problem solving," Isaac said. "If we can inspire in all students a passion or motivation for music, we will see results in other core subjects."
Through participation in DECA, Isaac has explored his interest in business and entrepreneurship and developed some of his fondest high school memories. "I joined DECA as a sophomore," Isaac said. "I was a little bit scared and unsure because I wasn't enrolled in a business class. Mr. Sill, Ms. Lolich and Mrs. Strand are absolutely inviting. They go out of their way to help you." Isaac took fifth-place at the international competition his first year. "I was on top of the world at that time, but while it was a great finish, I had the sense that I wanted to do better..." Junior year, Isaac participated in the Hospitality and Tourism professional selling event and took first place in the international competition. This was Minnetonka's first top honor at DECA internationals. "It was so great to represent our school in that way," Isaac said. He credits DECA for helping him think on-the-fly and problem solve. "I have also learned to conduct myself professionally and make connections with business people who have helped me along the way."